conditioning

#DirtyDecember At-Home Fitness Challenge: Day 2

Stardate: 2nd December – 2015

Alright!
As many would know, for years I’ve hosted free (monthly) online fitness challenges. True to form, I’m hosting one for Christmas… to help negate the weight-gain inherent to the season.
What many don’t realise, is that I actually participate in these challenges as well. I do so, whilst maintaining my usual workouts… as a form of support. And, yes… I struggle. Some days, I struggle BAD! Today was one such day.
Here goes!

Prologue: ‎
Missed the 1st day of my challenge… so I needed to combine days 1 and 2’s workouts (plus my normal gym workout) to make up.
I was NOT looking forward to it at all.


My goals for today, not counting my usual workout:

  • Planks: 5 minute total
  • Burpees: 100 reps
  • Push-ups: 100 reps
  • Jumping jacks: 100 reps
*sighs*

Arrived at the gym 8 minutes early… figuring that’d give me a decent headstart. My training partner came 15 minutes late… giving me more of a headstart than i’d anticipated. I’m still unsure as to whether I should thank him, or tell him off.

– Jumping jacks: 100 reps
JESUS CHRIST! MY LUNGS! I’d forgotten how much these burn. This is not a good sign.
– Push-ups: 100 reps
Contrary to popular belief, I suck at push-ups. I regretted every rep… unashamedly.
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– burpee (without push-up): 100 reps
I walked past the treadmill, and swore I observed a woman watching hardcore black pornographer. Either i’m in the wrong place, or burpees have left me delusional.

Either way…

BURPEES!

I swear I must be the only person in existence that likes this exercise. My legs are wobbly. My eyes are blurry. My lungs feel like i’ve been holding my breath underwater… under burning water… with mortar shells whizzing past me… whilst carrying full tactical gear.

But… HOLY SHIT, do I ever love it.

Today, I experimented with several variations: those with forward jumps, backward broad jumps, overhead clapping, lateral hops, behind-the-back clapping. I’m not sure if this was self love or abuse… but it happened.

Dear Lord, did it ever happen!

– Machine standing calf raise: 5 sets – 300 lbs x 15 reps each
I like to train calves when i’m fresh, so I can dedicate a tonne of energy to developing large ones. Today though, no such luck. Everything from burpees onward has been a struggle. 🙂
– Lying leg curls:
3 sets: 10 plates x 15 reps each
My hamstrings are on fire. There must be a law against this. I’d call the police myself, but I’m too pretty for prison.
Barbell squat: ass to calves, with a deliverate pause at the bottom – ‎3 sets: 225 lbs x 3 reps each
Decided to cut back on the poundage today. I *may* be a bit light-headed 🙂
– Plank.
Managed to knock off a 2-minute set, and three one-minute sets. My shoulders were DONE at this point.
Mind you: My legs are fine… But i’m horribly nauseous by now.
Job well-done methinks.
I mean… look at this face!
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’til tomorrow.

Yours in health, peace, and fitness,
– Corey Springer
Apollo Fitness Barbados

http://www.GetNarked.net

p.s. Here’s a link to the Full Fitness Challenge: https://www.facebook.com/events/1524360047879653/

Give it a go!

Got 20 minutes? I can give you abs!

Stardate: 30th August 2015

Ok, ok… maybe that should read: “Got 20 minutes, a lack of fear, a vomit bag, a box of tissue for your tears, 2 spare t-shirts, and maybe a change of underwear? Well… yea… I can give you abs.”

G’day all!

I’ve heard the complaints of the masses:

  • “I don’t have time to exercise.”
  • “The gym is SO boring.”
  • “3 sets of 10? Who came up with that shit?”

Today, I’ll let you in on a secret: None of my clients have time for those concerns. None of them are applicable. Each of my clients works in a Type-A-primed, 8am-til-whenever, kind of environment. We neither have time to waste, nor any to spare for boredom.

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We aint got time for boredom!

Here’s how we approach fat-loss:

Exhibit A: Kristin.

Kristin is a lawyer, and competitive olympic lifter, who hasn’t exercised in 8 months… due to a rough pregnancy. This is her 3rd week back with me…having been cleared to exercise just days prior. The first two weeks were mobility, skill tweaking, and conditioning. As a new mother, her time is very, very limited… as I’m sure you all can appreciate.

Her Circuit:    1 round

  • Bike Sprint – 1 minute
  • bodyweight plyometric squat – 1 minute
  • deep squat hold – 1 minute
  • bodyweight plyometric squat – 1 minute
  • deep squat hold – 1 minute
  • single-arm kettlebell snatch – 1 minute
  • Bike Sprint – 1 minute
  • barbell thruster (ass to calves) – 1 minute (ie squat to overhead press)
  • bodyweight plyometric squat – 1 minute
  • Barbell front squat (ass to calves) – 1 minute
  • Hyperextension: bodyweight x 30 reps
  • Barbell hang snatch – 1 minute
  • front-loaded barbell reverse lunge – 1 minute
  • Bike Sprint – 1 minute
  • barbell overhead squat – 1 minute

Exhibit B: Kirk

Kirk is an accountant who, one year ago, had a 40 inch waist and zero mobility. After reaching his fat-loss goals with me, his work schedule intensified. So, we’ve had to find ways to use the limited time we have effectively.

His Circuit:        1 round

  • bike sprint – 1 minute
  • bodyweight plyometric squat – 1 minute
  • bodyweight hyperextensions – 30 reps
  • bodyweight plyometric squat – 1 minute
  • bike sprint – 1 minute
  • Standing behind the neck press x 1 minute (switched to push-press @ exhaustion)
  • bike sprint – 1 minute
  • Standing behind the neck press – 1 minute (switched to push-press @ exhaustion)
  • Alternating-arm one-arm row: 1 minute
  • Brisk 1km run
  • Alternating-arm one-arm row x 1 minute
  • GHD sit-up: 20 reps
  • Alternating-arm one-arm row x 1 minute
  • bike sprint – 1 minute
  • Alternating-arm one-arm row x 1 minute
  • bike sprint – 1 minute

Exhibit C: Liam.

Liam works in a quality control setting. That means long hours on his feet, and very odd shifts. Like Kirk, his time is limited. Unlike many others on my roster, Liam sometimes exercises with me in a sleep-deprived state. So our sessions have been optimised to accommodate such..

His Circuit:        1 round

  • half burpee: 20 reps
  • bodyweight plyometric squat: 10 reps
  • push-ups: 10 reps
  • bike sprint: 1 minute
  • deadlift: 1 minute
  • burpee w/o push-up: 1 minute
  • bodyweight plyometric squat: 10 reps
  • push-ups: 10 reps
  • forearm plank: 1 minute
  • bike sprint: 1 minute
  • alternating arm row: 1 minute
  • bike sprint: 1 minute
  • barbell squat: 1 minute
  • burpee w/o push-up: 10 reps
  • push-up: 10 reps
  • burpee w/o push-up: 10 reps
  • push-up: 10 reps
  • suspended inverted row: 1 minute
  • bike sprint: 1 minute
  • half burpee: 1 minute
  • Plate front raise: 1 minute
  • half burpee: 1 minute
  • hang clean and press – 1 minute

Exhibit D:Shane

Shane is a lawyer. His client load sometimes leads to him getting to his personal training sessions late. Optimising that limited time sometimes means scrapping the plan for the day, and compiling a conditioning workout as laid out above.

His Circuit:        1 round

  • bike sprint x 1 minute
  • bodyweight plyometric Squat x 1 minute
  • bike sprint x 1 minutebodyweight plyometric Squat x 1 minute
  • bike sprint x 1 minute
  • behind-the-neck barbell thruster x 1 minute
  • bike sprint x 1 minute
  • behind the neck barbell thruster x 1 minute
  • bodyweight plyometric squat x 1 minute
  • kneeling push-up x 1 minute
  • plyometric squat x 1 minute
  • barbell clean and press x 1 minute
  • bike sprint x 1 minute
  • kneeling push-up x 1 minute
  • barbell row x 1 minute
  • floor sit-up x 1 minute
  • kneeling push-up x 1 minute
  • barbell row x 1 minute

Putting Together a 20 minute Routine For Yourself:

Just how do we go about that? Easy

  1. Assess your skillset. If you aren’t good at olympic lifts, leave them out. Not good at kettlebell stuff unsupervised? Leave them out. Working out at home, and don’t have much equipment? Bodyweight resistance exercises are great, especially for beginners.
  2. Pick 1-2 exercises for each major muscle group (e.g. push-ups for chest, shoulders, and triceps, squats for the lower body, and pulling/rowing exercise for the muscles of the back etc.)
  3. Place a conditioning/cardio exercise between each exercise to keep your heart rate up. You should be able to sustain this exercise for 30 seconds to 4 minutes (e.g. anything from skipping to a brisk walk or run; burpees fit here as well)
  4. Do a light warm-up prior to starting. Nothing exhausting however. Exhaustion before the hard work starts is pointless.
  5. Weight selection, where weights are used: 50-70% of your one-rep max works here. Expects loads of pauses. Don’t let go of that bar however! (NB: DON’T know what a one-rep max is, OR your percentages? Not interested in being that anal either? Pfft… No problem. Pick a weight that you can manage 8-15 reps with. The rest will take care of itself. Trust me)
  6. Post complaints on Instagram @NarkSide. (lol)
  7. Set your timer for 20 minutes. When it goes off, stop. Doesn’t matter what you’re doing. The session is over!

…as is this post. 😉

Yours in health, peace, and fitness,
– Corey Springer
Apollo Fitness Barbados

http://www.GetNarked.net

p.s.
I’m sure you’re wondering what my OWN conditioning workout looks like… so I’ll share it–> How I approach my own conditioning.

(Please don’t try this. PLEASE don’t try this. It won’t take 20 minutes… or feel good. lol)

BootCamp, or nah?

Stardate: July 11th 2015

Hi all.

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So… as many of you would know, I operate some pretty brain-bending bootcamp classes. We get clients from all over the world; from all age groups and interests. It’s fun. It’s hard. But, did I mention, how fun it is?

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Before we get side tracked with the fun element, let me slip in a disclaimer:

Boot camp
noun
  1. a military training camp for new recruits, with strict discipline.

    • a short, intensive, and rigorous course of training.

Bootcamp is HARD. Yes, there are multiple levels of difficulty with each of my classes. Yes, there are multiple variations of each exercise, to accommodate (basically) all levels of fitness and/or injury. BUT… it. is. hard! Make no mistake about it. Often (- and because we don’t mask the difficulty in our pictures and videos on social media), people shy away from trying it for the first time, because ‘it looks too hard’.

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So how do you decide if bootcamp training is right for you? Let’s find out!

Bootcamp Benefits:

  • Accelerated fat-loss: If you’re already active, but you find that you’ve stagnated, the always-new stimuli (-and high intensity) inherent to bootcamp WILL put you back on the right path. And, while we’re on the top of new stimuli:
  • A good bootCamp is never boring: This is super-important for the average exerciser. So many people fall short of their ultimate health and aesthetic goals because of boredom. I mean, crap… how many months would you last doing the same thing, over, and over, and over? Me? I’d last 3 weeks. Trust me. I haven’t been on a treadmill in YEARS, for that reason. Bootcamps are my only form of cardio, outside of walking the dog, and sex.I’ve digressed however.
  • Community Support: A well-structured bootcamp is a family. It is the support system that many people lack in their lives. Where else in life will you find people who will celebrate you overcoming struggles, or hold your hand whilst you try to? Almost nowhere. Trust me.
  • Guilt-free introspection: BootCamps are competitive, but supportive. This balance allows one to push oneself, comparatively, against others… whilst objectively deciding what areas you need to improve on. It is a mirror that doesn’t scream back at you “you’re fat”.
  • It’s fun!!! – Where else can you push trucks, climb trees, swing from things, flip, cartwheel, crawl, jump, roll, and shamelessly get dirty? Seriously. BootCamps are SO much fun.

Don’t take my word for it though.

Try one today.

Here are a few videos from ours.

I challenge you to be successful.

Yours in fitness,
– Corey Springer
Apollo Fitness Barbados

http://www.GetNarked.net

Why everyone should own a treadmill!

Why everyone should own a treadmill!
by Corey Springer

NarkSide: December 2009

Hey guys… Here we are, at the end of another year. We had a great run didn’t we? It’ll be Christmas in a short while and, as I was making out my own Christmas wish list, I thought I’d make a suggestion for the ultimate stocking stuffer: A treadmill.

“Um… What?”

You heard right. I’m going to get myself one… and I think you should as well. 🙂

We’ve discussed the benefits of cardio to great lengths. Still, I know most of you blanch at the thought of waking up at an ungodly hour to road-walk or hit the gym for

cardio. There must be a solution though… right?

There is. It’s called “a treadmill”. 🙂

I think having a piece of equipment at home is vital. But, let’s talk about the options for a minute:

  • Stairmasters/Stair-steppers cost too much (and they’re unsuitable for people just starting out, as they’re easily misused)
  • Stationary bikes are VERY uncomfortable (especially around the crotch area… You know what I’m talking about)
  • Rowing machines take up *way* too much space

Treadmills happen to be cost-effective, stable, easy to use, and especially safe for beginners. I mean, what could be more natural than walking?

4 reasons why I think everyone should have a treadmill:

1. You don’t have to worry about getting wet.

However, when you’re outside you do. Road-running/walking means exposure to the elements, as well as exposure to the exhaust fumes from vehicles.

Ew.

It also means having to deal with uneven gradients, too-hard surfaces, and sometimes wet and slippery surfaces.

Not cool.

2. You can control the pace

…and you can push yourself a bit harder than you would if you were on the road by yourself.

Admit it: How many times have you been out on the road literally dragging your feet behind you? For me, I’ve lost count of the number of times.

Truth-be-told, if I don’t have a running partner with me, my ‘run’ looks more like a jog. That’s the honest-to-God truth! On a treadmill however, you can’t automatically slow down when you get tired. The automated pace requires that you keep up… thus taking the work-out to a higher level of intensity.

And while we’re on the topic of intensity:

3. You have control over the level of intensity

“Up the incline!”
“Up the speed dammit!”
“Set it to a random program!”

Sorry… the cardio-addict in me came to the surface for a minute. 🙂

*Breathes*
*Continues*

There are multiple ways via which the intensity of a work-out on the treadmill can be manipulated. Personally, I like to mess around with the inclines. I’ve found that higher inclines really target the butt and hamstrings (which, incidentally, are problem areas for most people)… Also, I’ve found lower inclines, coupled with longer strides, great for the muscles of the core.

Additionally, most treadmills offer you the option of programming in a pre-set work-out. These programs are great for interval training (and fat-burning)… Another benefit is that they allow for a warm-up and warm-down period, thus preventing injury.

And while we’re on the topic of injury prevention:


4.
You can prevent injuries

As previously mentioned, running outdoors means exposing oneself to uneven, and overly hard terrain. These conditions frequently hasten wear and tear of the joints. But that’s not all. Running outdoors also usually means dodging obstacles like potholes. The spontaneous changes in gait and other adaptations made to prevent falling are out of question for people who already have joint/motility issues… and also for the overweight.

On the flip side, the treadmill’s surface tends to be even… and a number of them are padded, thus reducing stress on the knees and ankles even further.

Let’s re-cap:

  • We can avoid getting wet.
  • We can eliminate the need to leave home at ungodly hours in order to get our cardio work-outs in.
  • We can prevent injuries
  • We can control the pace, incline, and duration… thus controlling the intensity.
  • We can burn fat and get lean and sexy.

I mean really… what are you waiting for?

Get yours today. 🙂

– Corey “Narkissos” Springer
Owner of: “The NarkSide” Fitness Forums,Apollo Fitness Barbados, & NarkSide Apparel.