We are now two full weeks into your “Heroes Transformation” my loyal followers! Hopefully you have been experiencing success with the previous Upper-Body and Lower-Body workouts and are now into a routine of setting aside 15-20 minutes three times a week to get superhero fit (Having a hard time finding the time? Look closer!) Now it is time put in place the last 101 level workout; the total body circuit!
I know I keep harping on this but remember, these workouts are the foundation from which all other workouts evolve. In order to jump into more difficult (and rewarding) workouts you have to get the right muscles groups acclimated to the rigors of exercise and working in the proper range of motion. This isn’t to say that if you only did these three core circuits that you wouldn’t get significantly more fit over time (because you most definitely would) but it will become imperative over time that you keep our workouts fresh and new!
Just having strong legs or bulging biceps isn’t enough, it’s how you connect them all which allows for explosive and heroic feats of strength! Being able to functionally utilize all your muscle groups as an efficient machine is what we are looking for. Do you think Captain America hurls that shield of his with just his arm? Of course not; he draws the power from the floor up! All the way from his legs, through his torso and down his arm to the release of that swirling disc of patriotism… and that is what we are going to work on today with this beginner workout. How to link it all together.
So where are we starting this week? We are continuing the trend of not needing a gym or equipment. All we need is a very small open space, a bit of time and our good friend Mr. Gravity. Today we are going to do our first total body circuit, and I have made every attempt to make this beginner workout as friendly as possible. Truth is, everyone hates total body day as it tends to be the most strenuous workout of the week. Remember though, if we want to get superhero fit we have to push through and develop that work ethic. Do you think Iron Fist became the master of martial arts that he is without some pain and sacrifice? Of course not.
Please remember, we are going to slowly here. I want to reiterate the fact that I don’t expect anyone to be able to bang these workouts out on the first day in their entirety! No matter how out of shape you are, you will be able to complete these beginner workouts and you will start to get in better shape, but it is going to take time. Every workout you do improves your health and raises your level of fitness, no matter how minor the increment, so just keep pushing forward to a better life!
The goal, as a beginner, is to develop proper form so that all the correct muscles are being utilized. Take your time and work your way up to a comfort level with the routine so that it can be done at a rapid pace, increasing cardio as well as strength. This total body workout will continue developing the foundation of our “Heroes Transformation” journey and the musculature needed to strike fear into the hearts of criminals! (<legal voice>The Jerd does not certify that looking like a superhero actually gives you the ability to fight crime. </legal voice>)
I hate to have to say this, but make sure you are cleared by your personal physician for physical activity before undertaking these, or any, exercises. With that said let’s get to it!
Step One: Warm up!
Do.not.skip.this! Take 5 minutes and get your body warm and your heart rate elevated. Do a few jumping jacks, run in place, jog up and down a flight of stairs a few times or whatever (as a martial artist, I do some footwork drills and shadowboxing personally) but no matter what please do not workout cold! After you are warmed up move on to the workout itself.
If you need a more formal routine, or more convincing that this is a vital aspect of your routine then check out this article – How To: Warm Up Properly!
Step Two: Core Strength!
If you have ever watched late night TV, you probably have seen no less than thirty quadjillion (Yes, it is a real number because I said so) ads for machines that “work your core”. What does that even mean though?
Simply put, your core is the muscles forming around and the trunk of the body including the abdominal, oblique (sides), mid and lower back. While some of the core is visible on the surface, most of the muscles are deep tissue muscles layered underneath. Their role is to provide the foundation for pretty much everything we do… In fact, the only time your core muscles are completely relaxed is when you are laying on your back. So with that said, what does improving your core do for you except give you awesome abs for beach season? Essentially, all functional movements and exertion are highly dependent on the core. Whether it be kicking a soccer ball, doing a backflip or smashing your foes with Mjolnir – the more developed the core muscles, the higher degree of ability to perform the action.
Remember, the goal is proper form for the beginner’s workout before speed or intensity. If you are still new to personal fitness, and early in your “Heroes Transformation“, you might feel a little overwhelmed. That is okay! Do as many reps as you can with proper form and then next time you try this beginner workout, you do a few more until you are completing the workout in its entirety.
Okay, let’s get started!
Knees to Chest (10 reps)
Super Burpees (10 reps)
(No, I have no idea why they are called “burpees”)
Crunches (20 reps)
In-case you want a video reference!
Once you have finished 10 knees to chests, 10 super burpess and 20 crunches you have completed one set! Congratulations!
Repeat as you see fit with no more than a 30 second to 1 minute rest in-between. My goal for you, before you move further down the Heroes Transformation road, is to do 3 sets of this workout with proper form and speed (which is much harder than you might think). This is no easy task, and you should be proud of yourself for making it through.
Step Three: Stretch!
After your workout your muscles have been slightly traumatized from contracting, and they need to be stretched back out to allow for proper healing and use. I will cover my special stretching methodology in another post, for now just make sure to relax your torso and stretch backwards a bit and hold it, elongating your abdominal area.
Step Four: Rest!
Traveling down the Heroes Transformation road you are inevitably going to experience some soreness the day or two after you workout. That is normal and to be expected. Give yourself at least a day in-between workouts to recover. I will go into how to schedule your workout in more depth for you in the future, but for now it is good to do one upper, one lower and one total body workouts a week. While you are resting is the perfect time to finally beat your favorite JRPG or fire up that new release you have been waiting to play. However you spend this time, you have earned the simple pleasure of being a geek, so enjoy it!
This is it! You have seen all the steps of phase one your “Heroes Transformation“, I hope you are as excited about this as I am!
You now have the tools to occupy yourself for a couple of months. Stick with it, hit each one of the workouts once a week, and make sure to eat right! I promise you, with a little diligence and adherence to this process you will see positive changes in not only how you look, but how you feel. The Jerd does not lie!
Please keep me abreast of your progress and hit me up with any questions you might have! Make sure to sign up for our newsletter and get your FREE e-book! Also subscribe to the YouTube channel (if you want access to our Nerd-Core Fitness exercise videos), follow me on Twitter, and like us on Facebook and Google+ (there is content on both not available here on the site.) There are so many different ways for you to get your daily dose of Jerdly goodness so don’t miss out!