No more excuses!
All across the country right now, people are feeling the pressure of getting the #summerbod. And whether you’re trying to get in shape for the beach or training for a race, Spartan Race has alllllll the info you need on wtf you’re supposed to do.
Lots of people (ME) assume that in order to get in shape, you need a fancy gym prescription with a sauna and a juice place in close proximity. Personally, I’ve fallen back on the “I’m too broke for a gym membership” excuse way to many times.
But, it turns out there are just a few things you need to do for a quick, brass-tacks, full-body workout: running, burpees, stretching, and pull-ups. Coupled with adequate sleep and a decent diet (eat something green every now and then, ok?), you should see some decently fast results.
What you need:
- Running shoes
- A pull-up bar (or strong tree branch)
- A patch of space
Be consistent with these exercises for at least four weeks, stay hydrated, eat well, and get good sleep. We really think your body will surprise you with what it’s capable of.
(Img courtesy of Spartan Race) Cardio is an important part of any workout regimen, and running is something that can be done anywhere. Things like biking, swimming, rowing are great as well, but they can be less accessible if you’re ballin on a budget.
If, like me, you have something (injury, bad joint, etc.) that prevents you from being able to run, that does NOT mean that you’re doomed to an unhealthy life. Briskly walking, or even just regularly walking, can be interchanged. If you want to boost the intensity, feel free to add a weighted backpack or vest- or walk in a hilly place. It’s all about getting your body moving and your heart rate up!
(Img courtesy of Spartan Race)
It’s always a good idea to work on increasing your flexibility. Things like yoga- even if you’re a total beginner- are a great way to do that. Yoga not only keeps you limber, but it has benefits even beyond your physical body.
Yoga forces you to take some time to focus on your breathing and be present in the moment. Being in college is HARD and it can be really hard to take the time to breathe without having a specific reason. Yoga helps you exercise while simultaneously taking time to yourself to breathe and focus on you. And, you don’t have to take a fancy class: YouTube has billions of intro videos online. You’ve got this.
(Img courtesy of Spartan Race)
A burpee is basically 5 motions in one: a squat, squat thruster, plank, push-up, and squat jump. It’s hard as f*ck, but doing even 5 minutes of burpees is effective and MUCH better than doing nothing.
Remember it’s ok to start slow- it’s better do do fewer, better burpees than more sloppy ones. You should not just flop down onto the ground and then scramble to your feet. Take the time to watch videos of proper burpees, and let your form and quantity improve and increase over time.
If you don’t know how to do a basic burpee, here ya go:
- Drop down into a squat and place your hands on the ground in front of you.
- Kick your legs out behind you so that you are in the top of the pushup position.
- Touch your chest to the ground, like a push-up.
- Push yourself off the ground, land in a squat and proceed to stand to the upright position with a fully extended hip.
- Jump off the ground, making sure both feet are in the air.
- Raise your hands above your head.
(Img courtesy of Spartan Race)
Ngl, I can’t do a pull-up. They’re hard af. But, according to the fitness experts over at Spartan Race, they’re one of the best and safest exercises for building upper back strength (a really important muscle group).
If you’re a beginner like me, there are some ways you can make pull-ups a little bit easier on yourself. Remember, it’s important not to overdo it right away. Work your way up over time so your body can adjust and tone its muscles. Here are some ways to make pull-ups more doable for yourself at first:
Jumping pull-ups: Grab a bar over your head. Jump from the ground and pull your chin over the bar.
Single pull-ups: Grab pull up bar. Execute 1 pull up. Let go of bar. Repeat. Unload completely each rep. If you can adjust the height of pull up bar, try and have it right at the height of your up-stretched hands.
Hanging pull-ups: This is when you hang from a bar and execute multiple pull-ups without letting go or touching the ground.
Rows: Standing rows are good for the beginner who needs to build grip strength and fire up the muscles that—once strengthened—will allow you to graduate to above options and move up the ladder. Use a TRX sling or a set of gymnastic rings or just along rope or strap looped to a bar or beam above you. Standing tall and engaging your stomach and hip muscles so that you’re as stiff as a board, hold onto the handles (or rings or ends of rope) and lean back, tipping yourself like a teapot (although backwards). The stopping point is when your arms are locked out. Then pull yourself up and in for a single rep.
You’ve got this
Do your best. If you’re a beginner, don’t expect this to all be easy right away. And, it shouldn’t be! If your body isn’t feeling the burn, you’re not pushing it enough. But, of course, remember that you need to listen to your body. There’s a BIG difference between being having sore muscles and having a pulled muscle!
Whatever it is that you’re getting in shape for, whether it's a big beach vacay or a Spartan Race that gearing up to run, always remember to put your health first and your vanity second. YOU’VE GOT THIS.
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