It is said the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. If that were true, we wouldn't have spent the last two weeks hiking up and down Mt. Everest to reach our destination. After all, however, a straight line seems pretty boring and dull sometimes so changing things up from time to time is a good option and challenges both body and mind. In reality though, if you want to work smarter not harder, you would likely choose the most efficient path which indeed would be a straight line.
Now while talking about lines reminds us of years spent studying art, genealogy, or mathematics, that is not the focus of this weeks blog. Nor is it about the dots (or points) that connect them. Rather the key word here is straight so let's do as the title suggests and get on with it.
Like in previous posts, you're probably wondering how everything is going to come together. Have no fear, I assure you, it will. This current series of articles are all tied in with different formats that can be used in your own workouts. We learned earlier that change is good, but just this once we're going to step back and examine a style that is the most widely used in people's fitness programs...that of straight sets.
What are those you ask? Well...in a nutshell it is completing a specific amount of sets (usually three) that contain the same number of reps throughout the entire workout. Since most everyone is familiar with a pushup, I'll use them as an example here. To implement straight sets using the above exercise, you would perform ten (10) pushups repeated three (3) times. Going back a couple chapters ago to the drop sets, remember there were five (5) total sets in that design but each one had a different rep count. Part of what makes each workout unique is the way in which it is executed so although this seems the most common in workout programs, by stepping away from it for a bit makes it now seem foreign and not so redundant.
The workout ideas below should assist in clarifying anything mentioned previously that may be confusing. Note that any activity (even cardio) can be substituted for those listed to satisfy your particular fitness goal or interests. Keep in mind you can experiment with what works for you by decreasing the reps to eight (8) or increasing them to twelve (12) or even fifteen (15). When you can easily get through your workout you have two choices:
increase repetitions or
ALWAYS make sure to add reps BEFORE adding weight. With straight sets, the ONLY exception is if you have already reached a maximum of fifteen (15) reps per set.
3 × 10 tuck-ups
3 ×10 plank rolls
3 ×10 hundreds
3 ×10 burpees
3 × 10 spiderman march
3 × 10 upper cuts
3 × 10 stand ups
3 × 10 ea leg fire hydrants
3 × 10 ea side sidelying abduction
3 × 10 ea side sidelying adduction
3 × 10 gas pedal w/band
3 × 10 seated toe raises
3 × 10 press outs
3 × 10 lat pull downs
3 × 10 skull crushers
3 × 10 hammer curls
3 × 10 ea arm kneeling row
3 × 10 chest flys on machine
You may be thinking "That seems like a lot!" It is when you do everything in one session so if you have limited time or want to spread them out over say, a week, I recommend picking one or two from each group. By doing this you can make three distinct, equally demanding workouts that are sure to please beginners and experts alike. Whatever you do, be creative, have fun and most importantly get up, get out and get moving! Join me next week for a great way to get "super" fit!