The TDL 300 Workout
Boy, those Spartans in the film '300' looked trimmed. I thought 'why don't i create a small fitness session people can do every day to help people get as trim as those delicious people?' Let's do it. So! Fancy an extra 10 minutes in the gym? Feel like trying a few body-weight exercises at the end to improve your conditioning? Call it the fitness way of running past the finish line rather than walking over. This is one of the simplest 10 minute sessions that include rest times and only three (or 4) exercises to do. It is incredibly simple and you can show improvement by timing how long it takes. Fancy giving it a go? Let's tell you about it.
300 simply means 300 reps. The session requires nothing but body-weight, a gym mat on the floor or carpet if you are doing this in your house and a stop watch to time yourself. You need nothing else. No weights (though it's always a good progression later). The aim is to see how long it takes you to finish the 3 exercises (300 reps in total) and to see if you can better it next time you do it.
The first 100 reps is 100 press-ups. Whoah, Tony. That sounds like too much! Yes, hypothetical questionner. Wait, how did you get in my house? Put those strawberries down, they're not for you! 100 reps does sound a lot but the idea isn't to do them in one blast but to aim to get there perhaps resting for a bit at 25 intervals, or more breaks, however long it takes for you to get to 100. Keep the timer going even if you are resting as you get to 100. The reason press-ups are the exercise is that they are fantastic for working multiple muscles at the same time thereby favouring the principle of adding lean muscle rather than bulk making it friendly for all fitness motives. A press up works the chest (duh), the triceps, the biceps, the shoulders and the back as well as the core as it keeps you level. Here's a couple of form tips for free:
- Your aim is for your tummy to touch the floor.
- Don't straighten your arms as you go back up. They should always be bent at every time.
- If you are resting sit on your legs. Don't hold the press up pose as you rest.
- Try breathing in as you go down and breathing out as you go up.
- Clench the core. Imagine you are about to get punched in the stomach. Hold that s.o.b.
The second 100 reps is split into two 50's to do side hip raises. If you aren't sure about this, this is the exercise where you lie on your side, elbow and forearm down vertical from your shoulders and you raise your butt in a vertical motion up and down. You should feel the burn in your obliques (side muscles) as well as the shoulders and to a lesser extent the butt as long as you clench. As always keeping the core strong will help a lot. The reason this exercise was chosen was because the side muscles are rarely looked at in most gym routines, weight machines etc so this is a good opportunity to slip them in. 50 on each side equals 100. Here's some form tips too:
- Clench your abs to help raise your hips up and down.
- Don't rotate your hips over or twist them in any way as it will make it easier on the body and therefore you are doing less of the work. It also puts a hell of a strain on your lower back if you do rotate the hips.
- Don't use your shoulder or arm to help lift. It's all in the hips.
- To stabilize yourself put your free hand on your hips to guide it or rest it in front of you. Be sure not to rotate the hips if you do the latter.
The third exercise for 100 reps is body-weight squats. So simple. So effective. All you need do is have your legs around shoulder width apart and squat as low as you can making sure not to straighten the legs as you go up. Clenching the core muscles will help you on your ascent. The reason this exercise was chosen was because it works the legs, the knee joints, the pelvic floor, the abs, it's just a great exercise to do. It helps improve general mobility in the legs which is no bad thing. No weights needed. As fast as you can. Here's some tips:
- Keep your knees bent in some way at all times.
- Clench the tummy on the ascent and descent to control movement so there's no jerky movements.
- Keep a straight back throughout. No arching at any point of the back. Shoulders and hips must always be in perfect alignment.
- To help with balance try holding out your hands and clasping them together in front of you. This can help stabilize if you are going fast.
- Imagine you are sitting on a chair as you squat.
- Your knees should never pass over the tip of your shoes.
There you have it. Do those exercises as quickly as you can, giving yourself adequate rest times both within the exercises themselves and between exercises. Time yourself and see how you do. You will probably finish in less than 10 minutes, in which case that's the time you need to beat tomorrow. Do this at the end of a workout. You might find you have to change the order of the exercises if you have just done a chest workout and would rather leave the press ups to the end. Play with it. But there's the 300.
Let me know how it goes and your time in the 'contact us' page on directly via the members page. We'd love to hear how you get on. FOR TONIGHT WE DINE AT T.G.I. FRIDAYS'! ....are those even still around?