As you know by now, I am a firm believer in body weight exercises, or what I like to call “REAL” exercises.
What does this mean?
Well, based on my experience, I find that too many people tend to take the easy way out when it comes to the exercise they do to try and lose their unwanted body fat.
A perfect example is that mystery machine that seems to be so popular, called the “Elliptical Trainer.” Body weight exercises can beat this type of exercise hands down in many ways. For example, it’s been proven that the movement that is replicated by one of these elliptical trainers is unique unto itself, and doesn’t mirror any natural movement that the human body performs on a regular basis. In other words, doing a regular workout on one of these machines is like practicing your golf swing for hours upon hours and then going out and playing a game of soccer, hoping that those practice sessions will help your game!
Plus, let’s face it, once you get on the machine and get it moving, you’re pretty much just “going through the motions” and letting inertia and momentum do the work for you, right? And, while some fat burning does occur while using machines like this, as soon as you step off, that tends to stop because you haven’t given your body and your muscles anything substantial, like body weight exercises do to keep them engaged and burning off fat for several more hours after your session is over.
I have a somewhat unique strategy when it comes to using body weight exercises to burn fat, and it’s called Dynamic Body Weight Training (DBT for short). In its very basic form, DBT consists of 5 main exercises, each one focused on delivering an “exercise shock” to different parts of the body, and forcing it to try and adapt to those movements. You see, that’s the key to getting results from ANY fat loss program: you have to continually force the body and the muscles to adapt to the stress being delivered via exercise. Unless that happens, your fat loss will stall and come to a halt, like repeating the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
With all that being said, today I want to reinforce my DBT body weight exercises strategy with you by introducing you to what I call my “FAB-5″ exercises. I promise you that if you can incorporate examples of each of these 5 categories of exercises into your regular workouts, and truly give an honest effort, you will have the success you desire when it comes to your fat loss goals.
The first exercise in your arsenal of fat loss is the Lower Body Exercise. This can be any of the body weight exercises which primarily focus on the legs. For example, the body weight squat is a perfect way to begin a FAB-5 workout. This exercise affects the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves and the glutes in one fell swoop! The legs are typically larger and also more often used than the upper body, and are therefore a natural starting point for your DBT workout. If you’re using the body weight squat, remember not to allow your knees to come past your toes when you lower down into the squat position.
After your lower body has had a go, it’s time to move to the upper body for your second exercise, which is a Pushing Exercise. Any form of the classic push-up works great here, as long as you are using your arms, chest and shoulders to move your body away from something in front of you, in this case, that would be the floor. There are so many variations to the push-up that you would be hard pressed to need to repeat a version of it during a typical 4-week DBT workout session!
Number 3 on the list works as an opposing exercise to the push. That is, of course a Pulling Exercise. In this case, your arms and shoulders are still coming into the equation, but the main focus of a pull is the upper back. There are lots of terrific body weight exercises for the back, not the least of which is the chin-up or the pull-up. Some others include wall stick-ups or prone stick-ups. Body weight exercises like these are perfect for engaging difficult areas like the upper back, and giving you the results you want. Who wants their “sexy back?”
We’re getting near the end of our FAB-5 exercises, and next on the agenda is that central part of our body, called the Core. This is where the entire body gets its balance and strength from, and is made up of the lower back and abdominals. So your fourth exercise should be a Dynamic Body Weight Core Exercise. Again, the possibilities are almost endless here. The one word of caution that I will give you is this…please, at all cost, stay away from sit-ups or crunches! These do a real number on your lower back, and for a lot of people, their neck too. Instead, do some body weight exercises that will engage your core fully, and also give you the benefit of working other muscles at the same time. For example, something like a spider-man climb, or even a simple exercise like a cross crawl will give you this effect quite nicely.
Finally, we want to be sure to get a bit of cardiovascular exercise into our FAB-5 circuit, so you are going to finish off with a Dynamic Full Body Cardio Exercise. Quite simply, this exercise is something that you can do which will engage the entire body and increase your heart rate, breathing, and, as a result your cardio conditioning all at the same time. The most basic form of this exercise is running in place. If this is your choice, make sure that you are moving your arms vigorously, and bringing your knees up as high as you possibly can. This is the one that will show you just how “lame” that elliptical trainer machine really is when it comes to getting results fast!
There you go. My FAB-5 body weight exercises that you can perform almost anywhere because they don’t require any equipment, and will give you better results than any expensive cardio machine since they are combining both strength and cardio into one workout! In my opinion, the best way to do a FAB-5 workout is as a circuit. You perform each of the 5 body weight exercises one after the other with no rest between them, either for a pre determined number of reps, or for a period of time, then give yourself a 1 minute rest at the end of the 5th exercise. You should aim for repeating the circuit at least 4 to 6 times before you cool down.
What are you waiting for?
Choose your body weight exercises for your FAB-5 workout, and then go and get it done! You’ll absolutely love this type of workout, and you won’t get bored out of your mind by looking at the console of one of those elliptical machines where it shows you how many calories you’ve burned in the last 2 minutes!
REAL EXERCISE leads to REAL RESULTS!