So you want to get in shape, but you have no gym membership. Or maybe you're just not ready to join a gym yet...
That’s fine, you don’t need a gym to get in great shape! You can work out anywhere with this particular workout!
Luckily, you can burn fat, build muscle, and get a great workout with just your body weight using HIIT workouts.
What the hell is HIIT?
HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, is a training technique in which you give all-out, one hundred percent effort through quick, intense bursts of exercise, followed by short, sometimes active, recovery periods. This type of training gets and keeps your heart rate up and burns more fat in less time.
With all of that said, the real magic of HIIT lies in its ability to keep you burning fat even after you are done working out. Say whattttt?
In short, your body isn’t able to bring in enough oxygen during periods of hard work. Therefore, you accumulate a “debt” of oxygen that must be repaid post-workout in order to get back to normal. The result: your metabolism is revved for hours after you leave the gym. Trainers refer to this phenomena as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC. The biggest way to use it to your advantage is to make short, intense exercise bouts a regular piece of your workout regimen.
Combine that with a good diet and you got yourself a kick-ass plan to follow!
Why Body Weight Circuits Kick Ass
What makes body weight circuits work so well?
Every exercise involved utilizes multiple muscle groups, gets your heart rate pumping, and burns tons of calories.
Basically, if you’re trying to lose weight, spending hours doing cardio on a treadmill is a really crappy use of your time.
I’m going to take you through a basic workout today that can be completed in your house, apartment, out at a park, in your parents’ basement, wherever. As always, make sure you are cleared by your personal physician for physical activity before attempting these exercises. Proceed at your own risk!
This is a basic body weight circuit split into 3 different levels. You'll do the same moves for each level, but the work to rest ratio will be different for each level. The 3 levels are:
Here is the list of moves in the video below. Once you watch, decide which category you want to begin with. (hint: I recommend starting at beginner and working your way up)
Squat - Place both feet about shoulder width apart. Keep your chest tall and your back flat. Avoid bending over as you squat down. You want to inhale on your way down and exhale as you drive up through the back half of your foot. More advanced trainees can perform a jump squat.
Pushup - Place both hands about shoulder width, right below your shoulders. Beginners can begin on the knees. Shift your hips forward and squeeze your butt and brace your abs tight like someone is going to punch you. You want to inhale on your way down and exhale as you push up. More advanced trainees can perform full pushups.
Reverse Lunge - Stand with both feet together. While keeping the chest tall, take one big step back with one leg and then use the other leg to come back to a standing position. Try to not let the back knee smack off the ground. Alternate legs. More advanced trainees can perform jumping lunges.
Mountain Climbers - Start in the pushup position mentioned above. You will be up on your toes with your belly and butt squeezed tight. Bring in one knee to the chest/stomach area and then extend it back out as the other knee begins to come in. More advanced trainees can perform this move at a quicker pace.
Sit Up - On your back with your knees bent, place your arms in a straight line in line with your thighs and crunch your upper body up just far enough to have your shoulder blades come off the ground. You want to exhale as you come up and focus on squeezing your abs at the top of the movement. More advanced trainees can perform a full sit up.
The work to rest ratios are listed below.
I Have Never Done This Before (Beginner)
You'll do each move for 20 seconds. Complete as many reps as you can within that 20 seconds. Then you'll rest for 40 seconds before advancing to the next move. You may not need that 40 second rest for the first few moves, but trust me, you'll be thankful for it after you are a few rounds in.
There are 5 total moves in this circuit. You'll do all 5 moves sequentially and then repeat that entire circuit for a total of 2-4 rounds. Start with 2 rounds if you have never done any style of training before and work your way up to 4 total rounds which will translate to 20 minutes of fat blasting work!
I Think I Can Hang (Intermediate)
You'll do each move for 30 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds. Once you finish all 5 moves then wait 30 seconds and start from the top. Complete 3-4 total rounds.
Bring It On! (Advanced)
You'll do each move for 45 seconds and rest for just 15 seconds. This will be tough! Aim to complete 3-5 rounds.
How many times per week should I do this?
If you are new to this I would recommend doing this particular workout just 2-3 times per week. Perform the workouts on alternating days. For example, I would suggest doing this circuit on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Or Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. On the days that you are not completing this workout, I would suggest doing some light activity such as walking for anywhere from 30-60+ minutes to help with recovery and overall health.
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If you have any questions, just let me know!