Hey Law School!
Been sitting around studying too much? Or just sitting around?
The next time you have a spare half-hour, instead of watching another YouTube video, why not head outdoors for a quick workout?
Why not the gym?
Going to the gym is all fine and good, but the most glaring disadvantage is: YOU NEED TO GO TO THE GYM!
Sometimes, it’s crowded — someone’s using the weight you need, there’s an idiot hogging the leg press or the chin-up bar, and people just keep getting in the way when you want to move around!
Or maybe you’re shy and you don’t like having to work out where other people might see you (and that’s fine!).
Or maybe… you’re just plain bored and sick of the same old exercises and want to try something different.
That’s why Justified is bringing you a bunch of neat workout ideas you can do almost anywhere! They aren’t organized in any particular program or order — they’re more like “Workouts-of-the-Day” that you can get through pretty quickly when you feel like it. Each workout should take at most half an hour and the exercises can be adapted to your preferred intensity.
(For the purposes of this article, we’ll be using the CCAB track to demonstrate all the exercises. But really, you’ll only need a chin-up bar, if at all, and maybe somewhere to run and jump!)
Workout 1: UNIVERSAL SPANDECK TEST OF GAINS (Run/ Strength Circuit)
This workout is inspired by CrossFit-style challenges.
How it works:
You finish all the static exercises (like pull-ups, push-ups, etc) and run for a distance — one set; then you continue doing the same for the remaining sets till you’re done.
It’s really good for building muscle and burning fat. You’ll be moving for almost the whole duration of the workout since you aren’t resting between exercises, which keeps your heart rate high and your body in fat-burning mode. Also, because you’re changing which muscles you use (like when you change from doing pull-ups to push-ups to squats), your muscles can rest till the next set, so they’re ready for more reps with good form for maximum gains!
I like this type of workout because you train all your body parts in every set. Even if it rains halfway, or you get too tired to finish the fourth round onwards, you would have at least trained your whole body for the first 3 sets.
|4-6 sets:||5 pull-ups; 20 push-ups; 20 crunches; 20 squats; 400m dash|
How to adapt it:
For most given exercises, doing 3 times your maximum repetitions makes for a decent workout, and doing 5 times your maximum repetitions makes for a really tough workout.
So, if you can normally do 40 push-ups at one go, you should try to do at least 120 push-ups by the end of the whole exercise. If you’re doing 4 sets, do 30 push-ups in each set; if you’re doing 6 sets, do 20 push-ups per set. Don’t feel shy about doing fewer reps of an exercise: it’s much better to do fewer reps with good form than it is to crank out more with horrible form!
If any exercise is a bit too difficult, there are ways to make them easier.
One way to make push-ups easier is to do them from your knees. You don’t have to keep your toes off the ground if it hurts your knees, but remember to keep your back straight or you’ll lose all the benefits of the exercise.
If you can’t finish all the pull-ups, you could do negative pull-ups for the remaining reps. Just jump and pull yourself to the ‘up’ position, then lower yourself down slowly (about 5 seconds is good). Just be careful to stop if you can’t lower yourself slowly (i.e. you simply drop down after jumping up) because you’ll injure yourself if you can’t control your descent.
Workout 2: INCREMENTAL TEST OF GAINS (Strength Pyramid)
Here’s another full-body workout! You have a series of 5 exercises (pull-ups, push-ups, crunches, squats) and you have 8 sets and the reps for each set decrease as you progress along the workout.
This way of working out saves on rest time while allowing you to do more repetitions. For example, if I just did 3 sets of 8 pull-ups with a 2-minute break per set, I’ll have done just 24 pull-ups in about 7-8 minutes. If I follow this pyramid workout, I’ll have done 8+7+6+…+2+1= 36 pull-ups and the time between each set of pull-up would have been spent on other exercises instead of just waiting around! I also find that doing fewer reps in later sets allows me to “sneak in” a greater total number of repetitions (36) than if I had just tried to do larger sets (like 4 sets of 9).
1 set: pull-ups; pushups; crunches; squats.
|Set 1:||8 repetitions, then immediately start|
|Set 2:||7 repetitions, then immediately go on|
|Set 7:||2 repetitions, then immediately do –|
|Set 8:||1 repetition, DONE!|
It’s ok to cut out the later sets if your form is totally gone and you can’t finish the whole workout.
How to adapt it:
As mentioned before, if you can’t finish the pull-ups and push-ups, go to the next easier version of the exercise like negative pull-ups and knee push-ups.
When you get stronger, add another set to the beginning (i.e. start with 9 repetitions).
Workout 3: CONTROL + F TO GAINS (Explosive Leg Workout)
This workout focuses almost entirely on your legs, with an emphasis on generating power. It’s really good for training to run faster, and to jump higher. An added benefit would be burning fat because your legs contain the largest muscles in the body — training them burns the most fat and builds the most muscle!
This workout uses the stadium steps at CCAB, but other than a stadium, you could just jump onto a sturdy bench or step. If all you have is really just a flat open space, you can do standing broad jumps instead.
In my own experience, my legs get really sore after this, making it really hard for me to do running or any other training, so I prefer to only do this once a week, if at all.
|Circuit style; 4-6 sets|
|Jumping squats up steps||twice up the whole way||or standing broad jumps x 5 (go far!)|
|Alternating lunges||x 12 per leg|
|Rest 1-2 minutes between every set|
How to adapt it:
If you aren’t confident of your leg strength, I’d recommend starting out with 1 less set, or a few reps less in every set. In other words, the first time you try the workout, do just 3 sets. Add in the 4th set and subsequent sets when you can finish all the reps in all the sets confidently. If you are struggling to finish all the reps, don’t force yourself to squeeze out the last few (since you’re unlikely to be doing them properly anyway) and it’s perfectly alright to rest a bit more.
I would also stay away from this if I had a recovering knee injury — pay attention to your body and don’t do anything that hurts!
A Final Word
Doing any of the workouts 2-3 times a week should help make you healthier (probably) and happier (possibly). Try getting a friend to do the workout with you so it’s more fun! Keep in mind that doing a random workout once in a while is fine, but you probably won’t see any results (in losing weight or gaining muscle) unless you stick to a dedicated workout routine and change your eating habit (but that’s a separate can of worms).
Till next time, HAPPY TRAINING!