As a new instalment I wanted to give you some insight as to how I would execute each workout at bootcamp in January so that you may get the most out of your boot camp workouts.

We start off the New Year with a workout known as “Muscles from Brussels”!

This workout is a moderately weighted upper body resistance training day. I say this because it is a circuit where each exercise is 60 secs in duration followed by a short 20 sec rest/transition.

Performing any exercise for 60 secs can be challenging, so we know you will not be going for a personal best in terms of weight lifted. This workout does lends itself to be a great blend of upper body resistance training, cardio, and core, so let’s get into discussing a few components of it…

I’m a firm believer of the impact of the drop set. A drop set is where you lift your body or a weight as many times as you can and then go immediately towards a lighter weight or modification to finish the set. This term is generally used for the same exercise, but I find it fits in this circumstance where you need to modify the exercising to continue.

This technique can be employed with many exercises in this workout, especially with trx rows and pull-ups. When looking at a 60 sec time frame, please do not choose the easiest route. If you are capable of performing pull-ups (even if it is 1 rep), then start there, perform as many pull-ups as you can, and then “drop set” or modify to the trx row.

Speaking of the trx row, I routinely see many individuals not challenging themselves to their full potential on this exercise, so please for your benefit, start off as horizontal as you can, do as many reps as possible and then take a step back! Your body adapts to the stress you put on it and continually builds a foundation upon that! To make the trx row the most challenging, start with your eyes under the bar and legs straight, from there, you can modify by bending your knees, and from there you can take as many steps back as you wish. The more steps you take and the more vertical you get, the easier the exercise will be.

The same can be said for pushups. If you can do 1 perfect pushup on the ground, start there, and then modify by elevating your hands. We want you to be able to get a lot of work done in this 60 sec timeframe. And work is defined as force x distance (your body or the weight you are moving is the force). So choose a height where you can move your body repetitively (the distance) for at least 10 reps.

The biggest mistake I see with pushups is individuals not elevating their hands on a regular basis and struggling with pushups on the floor. Please use the benches or the racks! Ask the trainers for help! Take note of where you are, and look to improve the position on a weekly basis! This is your best approach for being able to do multiple pushups easily on the ground. BUILD THAT FOUNDATION!

Considering the timeframe in this workout is 60 secs, don’t expect the height of your hands to be that low (you always need to keep in account how many reps your are doing and in this workout you are going to do at least 10 reps in 60 secs).

So to recap, if you can do pull-ups or pushups on the ground, start there, and then modify to trx rows or elevated pushups at a height where you can get at least 10 reps!

This is also the perfect time to go over midline stabilization. This is a fancy term for keeping your spine in a neutral or straight line position during the exercise.

I wrote a blog about this a while back, you can read more about it here.

As a quick summary:

Before every exercise you should go through this checklist:

– Squeeze the butt
– Draw in the belly button to your stomach (tighten the abs and pull your ribs down)
– Pull your shoulder blades down and back

This will put you in the safest and strongest position for all exercises!

Note: you may not be able to squeeze the butt in certain exercises if you are starting in a bent position at the hips.

I think that is a good start to the month. Remember keep the glutes and abs tight – it helps so much in the pushups!

For the rest of the workout, we will see you in the gym for the first workout of the year!

Looking forward to a fantastic 2015 with all of you!

Josh Saunders
The Bootcamp Effect