Your Do-Any­where Fit­ness Plan

Women's Health (South Africa) - - FRONT PAGE - By Marissa Gains­burg

In bare-bones spirit, we’ll get straight to the point: “There’s a mis­con­cep­tion that body-weight ex­er­cises are less ef­fec­tive for build­ing strength than loaded ones, so they’re of­ten thought of as ‘ the be­gin­ner’s rou­tine,’” says cer­ti­fied strength and con­di­tion­ing spe­cial­ist Mike Robert­son. Drum roll, please... But “I’ve de­stroyed su­per-fit clients us­ing noth­ing but their own weight as re­sis­tance.” As de­cep­tively tough as body-weight moves can be, they of­fer a unique perk. “By elim­i­nat­ing the ex­tra stress of weights, your brain has one less thing to worry about, so you can zero in on your form and sta­bil­ity,” says Robert­son. Peo­ple for­get that adding weights can be a chal­lenge and cause you to shy away from us­ing a full range of mo­tion, he adds. (Con­sider the squat: throw in a bar­bell right away and you might not drop as low with ev­ery rep.) “You’d ac­tu­ally be do­ing your­self a dis­ser­vice, since you’re not ac­ti­vat­ing the right mus­cles to their fullest po­ten­tial.” This uber-ef­fec­tive to­tal-body work­out from Robert­son keeps things sim­ple so you can squeeze the full ben­e­fits from ev­ery rep and fast-track your re­sults. Heads up: there is a bench in­volved to get your body into an ideal po­si­tion – “body weight” just means no added weight-bear­ing equip­ment – but you could use a couch or park bench in­stead. Hit the cir­cuit two or three times a week to see changes in as lit­tle as three weeks. Start­ing with the first ex­er­cise, per­form all sets and reps as in­structed. Then com­plete the next two moves (2A and 2B) as a su­per­set: do all reps of move A and move B with­out rest­ing, then rest 60 sec­onds be­fore re­peat­ing for two or three to­tal sets. Con­tinue this pat­tern for the next four ex­er­cises (3A and 3B, 4A and 4B). Fin­ish with one set of the fi­nal two moves.

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