After sleeping in for the last time this year, but not this week–thank goodness for days off, we took to the gym for our last workout of 2012. I received a handful of fitness and workout books for Christmas, and to send the year out in sweaty style, we did a workout from two of them.
We started with a dumbbell complex from Cardio Strength Training, a book full of useful information and workouts by Robert dos Remedios. A complex is similar to a circuit in that you move from one exercise to the next, but different in that you do not rest between exercises. You don’t even put the weights down. Dos Remedios, a strength and conditioning coach at College of the Canyons, explains that complexes not only help you tone your muscles and burn fat during the workout, but shakes up your metabolism so the benefits continue well after you leave the gym.
For this complex, we did three sets of seven reps. I used 25lb dumbbells and Liz used ten pounders. When it comes to complexes, you are only as strong as your weakest lift–even at seven reps, I wasn’t confident I could curl more than 25lbs, thus, I lifted that load for the whole complex.
- Lunging Curl & Press
- Romanian Deadlift
- Bent-over Row
- Squat jumps
This complex didn’t take us very long to complete; we probably spent 8-12 minutes working, but like an action sequence in a guy move, when it comes to exercise, length takes a backseat to intensity. At the end of the first round, we didn’t feel too bad. We both thought moving from lift to lift without even setting the weight down added some novelty and fun to our workout, and the squat jumps were a great, heart-pumping finisher. During the second round the dumbbells felt a little heavier, making the curls a bit more of a challenge. By the end of the final round, my feet barely left the ground on the squat jumps, and we were debating whether complexes are best used as a way for busy people to stay fit or as a punitive measure for petty crimes like vandalism and littering.
Everyone finds themselves searching for the time to fit in a worthwhile workout from time to time. Some days, it feels like there is just not enough time for fitness. Complexes are a great way to get yourself out of this kind of a jam. As I type this, I can still feel the effects in my arms and quads.
We moved to the treadmills for an interval workout from The Men’s Health Big Book of 15 Minute Workouts by Selene Yeager and the editors of Men’s Health. The routine started with a three-minute warmup walk, and from alternated between sprints and brisk jogs. The sprint was defined by setting the treadmill speed to 8 or higher and the brisk jog at 5.5-6.5. These intervals were “ladder” style meaning they started at 45 seconds, worked their way up to 1:15 and came back down again. By the team we reached the top of the ladder, we wished we were climbing a step stool instead. After a couple of sprint intervals, the brisk jog was a bit too brisk, and our legs burned as hot as a New Year’s Eve fireworks display. By the time we reached the cool down walk, our chests were heaving. It was a great end to the year.
We will see you in 2013. Have a happy, healthy new year.