Sometimes on Friday my small group class gets even smaller (some of the guys have a standing soccer commitment, etc.). Occasionally, I take this opportunity to write up a kind of “funtime” workout that is keeps the skill level basic. This allows me to participate on occasion, which I think is important because it helps me monitor the intensity of certain combiniations, rest periods etc. Besides any excuse to have fun and test things out first hand is good by me. Also, Friday’s crowd tends to be pretty in touch with their skills and have learned when they need to back off the intensity when necessary. Normally I train alone and in an informal “throughout the day” extreme GTG format. About once a week I pick a day and get a little nutty with the cardio, often this seems to coincide with a Friday… Friday’s workouts also seem to have an element of play to them – one time we visited The Jungle MMA and Fitness, and borrowed their tires to flip – then helped out one of their teams during their tire and jumping relay race. It’s so important to have a fun workout every now and then. It was in this spirit that yesterday’s workout was created, and also because I filled in leading a friend’s boot camp this past week, I was reminded of a few old favorite moves as well. Some very interesting things ended up happening because of this workout, but I’ll tell you about that after you see what we did.
We started with a joint mobility warm up.
Ring Around the Rosey (the “rosey” is what happens to YOUR FACE):
The stations were basically set up in a circle or triangle to speed the progression from one station to the next. Set your gymboss timer for NINE rounds of 20sec work, 10 sec rest/transition (this assures 3 visits to each station)
- Station 1: Medium to heavy kettlebell swings (I provided a choice of kettlebells)
- Station 2: Battling Rope throws (up-downs or alternating up-downs)
- Station 3: Sprawls or Burpees
Go ahead… do this for 2 or 3 sets of 9 rounds and see what happens. This is definitely one of those times that exemplifies why it is SO important that you keep your rest active. Keep your body moving—even just strolling—between sets to stay heart-safe.
After this, we packed up all the goodies and headed to the nearby park – which has a large raised platform/pavillion/stage. At first I thought we might use the edge of the fountain, but gosh… it was looking kind low to the ground, and it was time for a challenge. The gymboss was brought out yet again and set up for 30 second intervals:
- Bench dips
- Body weight squats (this was practically active rest at this point) keep form STRICT!
- Push ups (the platform was great to let everyone do the full range of motion)
- Step ups or box jumps
We did that a few times through then strolled back to small group HQ for our joint mobility cooldown.
The funny thing which happened during the 2nd part of the workout was that there were a LOT of families out in that particular park at that time of day. The kids saw us working out on the edge of the platform, and I think assumed we were playing some kind of game (well in a way we are). One little girl saw me doing the box jumps and started doing these giant leaps in the grass next to her Mom. Other kids started running around, jumping and mimicing some of our other moves in the grass. Everyone was laughing at this point, but something very important was happening. These kids were seeing that exercise is like play, and is a good thing to do, they were seeing exercise in a very positive light. From my personal experience, these images will stay with them, I can remember my Grandmother, Mom and Dad all being active and involving me with the activity from a very young age and feel like that has given me an advantage over the years. So don’t mope about exercise around your kids or in public (I don’t have kids, but they all notice the “muscle lady with the weird hair.” Likewise, the positive vibe of our small group class was effecting other people’s kids!)
Actually, if you are feeling negative about exercise, that may be a clue that you need to make a change, try something new, or keep exploring until you find an exercise solution that works for you. It doesn’t even have to be something so formal as going to the gym, go to a park and do the fit trail, try out a new implement like a kettlebell, club, or mace. That mace of mine has really inspired people – you wouldn’t believe how many He-Men and She-Ra’s that has re-awakened in otherwise respectible, professional adults. By the Power of Grayskull, exercise can be fun and imaginative! If you think exericse is boring, I know you haven’t tried everything. Plus, remember the kids are watching… even if they aren’t YOUR kids. There seems to be a lack of good, realistic role models in popular culture, so that means we need to step it up in our communities, homes, etc. They will model the behavior of adults around them, so be cool, be healthy, make a great example no matter where you are in your fitness journey. PLAY HARD and wake up your IMAGINATION!