Variable Workouts

Since I have been following a varied exercise program, I have developed a system to ensure that I cover the planes of the body, cover push/pull, cover phosphagen system, cover oxidative system, etc.

I have a large repertoire of exercises. They run the gamut of angles and philosophies. For example, I’ve got kettle bell movements, yoga movements, Pilates, body weight calisthenics, gymnastics, parkour movements, free weights, medicine balls, tree climbing…the list goes on. Because I want to ensure that I don’t develop repetitive injuries, I choose different exercises from this repertoire every week. I watch which exercises should be phased out for a couple of weeks if my shoulders feel overworked or if my arms are overworked or if my glutes are under worked. You get the picture?

So far this has worked well. No injuries to speak of and I feel as though I’m in shape for any sporting movements. I especially like doing what I call Peaks and Valleys. This is where I start with say 5 reps of an intense exercise, decrease by 1 rep for each set until I reach 1 and then I increase 1 rep for each subsequent set. I often do this where I have 3 to 4 exercises in a circuit. I do this without planned breaks in the session; however, if I am winded, I rest. For example, I’ll do 5 reps of pull ups, 5 reps of handstand push ups, 5 reps of dips, and 5 1 legged squats. Then, I’ll do 4 of reps of each exercise, then 3, and so on until I’m at 1 rep. This is going from Peak to Valley. Once I’m at 1 rep, I then move on to another peak. Note: 1 legged squats really get the heart pumping!

Here’s an example of last week’s progression:

  • Sunday: Rested
  • Monday: Tread water for 10 min, Peaks and valleys using 5 reps as starting peak with the following exercises: Handstand push ups, burpees, kong vaults, horizontal pull ups, front flips into the pool. Total time: 25 min
  • Tuesday: Rested
  • Wednesday: Rested
  • Thursday: Front planks, side planks, back bridge, 3×20 of Hindu push ups, Hindu squats, pull ups. Total time: 15 min
  • Friday: Rested
  • Saturday: 3 sets of 5 minutes of chasing tennis ball bounced off garage while barefoot, alternated with tree climbs and a few laps in the pool. Total time 25 min.
  • Sunday: Alternating hand placement push ups, 2×12 1 legged squats, Pilate’s toe touches, Pilate’s 100s. Total time 15 min.

I should note that this routine was totally modified for being away from my kettle bells and having a swimming pool nearby. I don’t normally have a pool. I also normally take a long walk, but I’m in a place with chiggers.

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