Do you ever feel like briefly getting away from the holiday rush, shopping, work, family, kids, loud relatives and yuletide stress? During this time of year, that feeling occasionally happens to me, and when it does, I head to the gym for a hard holiday workout. After all, multiple research studies have proven that exercise is stress relieving and produces loads of happy endorphins.
Plus it feels good to just throw some tunes in my .mp3 player and just lay down the hurt for a little while - burning a ton of calories and injecting an enormous amount of both cardiovascular and muscular fitness into my body during the process. So if Santa music at the mall isn't doing for you, then toss this full-body, hard holiday workout into your routine once or twice this holiday season, and I guarantee you'll leave the gym feeling refreshed, restored and (my apologies in advance) slightly sore.
The workout is split into three separate blocks (upper body, cardio and lower body) and will probably take you about two hours (I did it 4 days ago and it took me 2:04). Feel free to add or subtract as you please to fit your time, or even split it into the upper body component in the morning and the cardio and lower body components in the evening. Finally, be sure to scroll down to the end of this post for a little bonus I'll throw your way if you make it through the whole routine.
------------------ The Full-Body, Hard, Slightly Insane Holiday Workout ------------------
Block 1: Upper Body Warm-up/movement prep:
10 Dynamic Arm Swings in each direction
10 Lateral Lunges in each direction
5 Four-Step Hip Stretches per side
5 Standing Lat Stretch per side
20 seconds Figure Four Stretch per side
20 second Scorpion Stretch per side
Block 2: Cardio 9x30 seconds treadmill sprint - maximum incline and maximum speed you can handle.
After first, second and third sprints: 20 push-ups
After fourth, fifth and sixth sprints: 20 body weight squats
After seventh, eighth and ninth sprints: 10 Swing Squats per side
Block 3: Lower Body Warm-up/movement prep:
10 side-to-side leg swing per side
10 front-to-back leg swing per side
Complete 4x through the following 4 exercises, with minimal rest:
3 single leg squats per side
25 fire hydrants per side
Core (yes, again):
Full body foam roller - 10 rolls per body part
I will send a hard copy book/DVD of the Shape21: The 21 Day Lean Body Manual to the first person that A) puts on a heart rate monitor; B) completes this entire workout then C) sends me the heart rate monitor file to prove you did the workout, along with a quick video of you telling me how the workout felt or any other noteworthy thoughts of the workout.
I will also give a digital copy of Shape21 to anybody who does what I just described above! But the first person to do it gets a hard copy.
The reason I chose Shape21 is that I would say that the book of mine that contains the most "metabolic" style, full-body workouts like this one is Shape21: The 21 Day Lean Body Manual - which is also a good last minute Christmas idea, as it ships hard copy book with exercise DVD. Get it for yourself, or anybody else you want to burn fat, get lean muscle or make sore. They'll thank you later.
Ben Greenfield has been coaching athletes for over a decade from the website http://www.pacificfit.net, and is author of the modern triathlon coaching manual, "How To Be A Triathlon Coach," at http://www.triathloncoachguide.com.