How has your week been? I have to admit, I’m pretty excited right now. Not just because it’s Friday, but because this week I’ve been making some major progress on one of my goals for this year: 10 unassisted pull-ups. On Sunday at Crossfit we were doing partner chin-ups, where a partner would help by giving the person doing the chin-ups a boost at the knees. The alternative version for solo workouts is using a band, and I don’t know why but I hadn’t done them this way in a really long time. I actually felt kind of good at it!
I’ve been practicing banded chin-ups (which are easier than banded pull-ups, but are part of the progression) throughout the week and am feeling really motivated by the little improvements I’ve made so far. Unassisted chin-ups just might make their way into my goals for May… we shall see! ?
Right, enough about me – I’ve got a workout for YOU (and don’t worry, it has nothing to do with pull-ups or chin-ups).
Work It Out
This week’s routine is a great one for you if you:
- Only have a short amount of time to spend in the gym
- Don’t have a huge amount of space
- Loathe using the machines in your gym (raises both hands)
- Love to push your limits and work up a solid sweat
- Are motivated by results (…which I think is all of us?!)
To make it easy to keep time, I highly recommend using an interval timer like Gymboss which is totally free in iTunes and Google Play. Set it to 16 rounds of 20s work, 10s recovery, which totals 8 minutes. You’ll see why in a minute, and this will prevent you from having to look at a clock throughout this session.
The Kettlebell Tabata Workout
Get ready for a tabata workout with 2 different parts – A and B. The only equipment needed for part A is a medicine ball (for the wall balls), and for part B, you’ll need 2 kettlebells of the same weight that you can push over your head. By definition, tabata intervals are short – 20s of work followed by 10s of rest, 4x through for a total of 8 minutes. You’re going to do A, B, A, B with no rest in between, which will total 8 minutes. Then you’ll take rest before repeating 2 more times for a total of 3 sets, or 24 minutes of intense work.
20s is a very short work interval, so the idea is to push HARD during that time. Your heart rate won’t (or and shouldn’t) have enough time to fully come down in those 10s recoveries, and if it does, it’s a sign you can probably either increase your weight or squeeze in a few more reps.
- Wall balls: Hold a slam/medicine ball in your hands and stand about 2 feet away from a wall. With the ball in front of your face, lower into a squat then push up through your legs, throwing the ball up as high as you can to hit the wall. After it bounces, catch it in your hands and lower into the next squat.
- Kettlebell swings: Here’s a tutorial. It’s up to you whether you swing the bell up to eye height, or straight above your head.
- Kettlebell thrusters: Here’s a video demo. Hold a kettlebell by the handle in each hand, resting them in the racked position by your shoulders. As you lower into a squat and push back up, pushing the kettlebells overhead, be sure to keep your core fully engaged.
- Alternating kettlebell row: Hinge at the hips, holding a kettlebell by the handle in each hand and letting the kettlebells hang down towards the floor. As if pulling a rope out of the ground, quickly alternate from side to side, pulling the kettlebell to your rib cage, then lowering back down. Think about engaging your back muscles to pull the kettlebells up.
[Tweet “Start the weekend off with sweet sweat: The Kettlebell Tabata Workout”]
Turn It Up
Ooh guys, after a dry patch for workout tunes I’ve finally found some gems. Last week I gave you Runaways, and today I’ve got the Cheat Codes remix of Heartlines by Broods. I like this song for any activity – running, weights, good old car dancing (don’t lie, I know you do it too!) because it’s uplifting and energizing. Turn ‘er up!
Can’t see the video? Click here.
Have A Read
- What Boston’s Elite Runners Eat During Marathon Week – via Outside Online
- Canadian Fitness Bloggers to keep an eye out for – via The Culture Trip. This was a total surprise and I’m super honoured to be featured in this piece (even though it’s just my legs on a yoga mat!)
- The Busy Woman’s Guide to Strength Training – via Nia Shanks. I found myself nodding and agreeing with so much of this post. If getting into lifting weights sounds intimidating, unmanageable, or overwhelming to you, give this a read.
Now it’s your turn! If I were to pick up your phone/iPod, what songs would I find on your workout playlist this week?