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Pool Circuit Workout

Pool Circuit Workout

After so much running in the past year, I was ready for a change after finishing my first half marathon in February.

Swimming quickly took over cardio workouts, and it has been such a great escape from pounding pavement, trails, and the track. It’s low-impact but steals your breath and gets your heart racing.

As a kid growing up in Florida, I was a fish. I spent hours in the pool on weekends and during the summer months. Everyone I knew had a pool, and swimming was the main attraction at nearly every party and sleepover. I also took lessons every year up until I was about 12.

So after getting back into swimming (P.S. that whole muscle memory concept is so true), a friend and I decided to take our steady, 1000-meters-straight swims to another level. Say hello to our crazy cardio/muscular endurance pool workout.

Let me warn ya – it is no. joke.

Pool Circuit Workout from Hungry Gator Gal

If you’ve never formally learned strokes, definitely ask a swimmer friend for some instruction or take a formal lesson. If you’re a Michael Phelps in training, dive right into the workout (haha). Below are videos for the uncommon exercises.

Warning – the pool wall push-up/muscle-up is KILLER on your front delts. The first time you do it, you’ll wake up the next day wondering what the hell happened.

Pool wall push-up/muscle-up

Four-count flutter kicks

Plank with alternating leg lifts

Good luck!!! 🙂

 

Questions:

  1. Are you a fan of swim workouts?
  2. If so, what’s your favorite swim workout?

 

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5x5 Circuit Workout from Hungry Gator Gal
50-Rep Upper Body + Abs Challenge from Hungry Gator Gal
10 Tips for Cranking Out More Push-Ups on a Military PT Test

10 Tips for Cranking Out More Push-Ups on a Military PT Test

Once upon a time I HATED push-ups. And when I say I hated them, I mean I loathed them, and not in a love-to-hate kinda way. I just sucked at doing them.

But guess what?

Push-ups are by far my favorite exercise now, even over the squat, which says a lot coming from someone like me who lives for the power rack and sprints.

Source

Push-ups are a total body movement, and I didn’t master the movement overnight. I learned the tricks of the push-up trade. After nine months in the Army ROTC program, here’s what I’ve learned that can help you perfect the form, get stronger and therefore crank out more push-ups.

I went from being able to do 25 push-ups in two minutes to being able to crank out 62 push-ups in two minutes on last month’s PT (physical training) test by using these techniques.

10 Tips for Cranking Out More Push-Ups on a Military PT Test from Hungry Gator Gal

Graphic by Brianna Kolota

 

1. Look straight ahead while performing the entire movement.

In other words, DO NOT look down at your hands!

 

2. Pull in your glutes.

a.k.a. Don’t sag in the middle or make yourself a tepee. Your body should look like one straight line from the heels to the top of your head.

 

3. Find the distance between your hands and feet that naturally allows you to perform the greatest number of push-ups . . .

 

4. . . . and change that stance when it becomes difficult.

Changing your stance will engage different muscle groups and will allow you to crank out a few more push-ups than you thought you had left in you.

 

5. Enagage your quads (a.k.a. the tops of your thighs) and push your heels backward.

 

6. Engage your core muscles (a.k.a. your abs).

 

7. Don’t forget to breathe.

You don’t want to pass out in the middle of a push-up, do you?!?

 

8. Take a 10-second break when you’re nearing complete muscle failure.

After your 10-second break, perform two or three push-ups and then break again for five seconds. Repeat this pattern of two or three push-ups followed by a five-second break until you can do no more push-ups or your time expires (if you’re being timed for a test).

 

9. Practice!

Basically every other day I crank out 100 to 200 push-ups. I usually complete it circuit style by alternating between 20 push-ups and a 1-minute rest. I do these push-ups a few hours before or after a workout to give my body enough time to rest.

Some days I go MUCH slower with these reps than I would during a test. Slowing the upward and downward motion of a push-up allows you to focus on form rather than speed and builds the muscles needed to push out as many reps as possible on test day.

Other days I focus on an explosive upward movement as I would during the test. This trains the muscles of your upper back for power and speed.

Note: If you can’t complete 20 push-ups in a row without resting, focus on doing 5, 10 or 15 at a time. Rest 1 or 2 minutes. Repeat as many times as possible.

 

10. Lift heavy things (body weight and added weight).

In addition to practicing straight push-ups for muscular endurance, I lift and pull heavy things.

I bench press or do incline presses. I do pull-ups. I perform military presses, goblet squats, dips, and biceps curls. In other words, I hit it all.

I like to stick with three or four sets of five heavy reps for each of the exercises. I focus on strength here as opposed to endurance with the 100 to 200 push-ups every other day.

 

That’s it!

Feel free to email me at bkkolota@gmail.com if you have any questions related to Army ROTC, military PT training, or PT tests. I’d be happy to share my experience! 🙂

 

Question:

  1.  What’s your trick for performing as many push-ups as possible?

 

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Lately + 5×5 Circuit Workout

5x5 Circuit Workout from Hungry Gator Gal

10 Goals to Improve Overall Fitness in 2015

50-Rep Upper Body + Abs Challenge

50-Rep Upper Body + Abs Challenge from Hungry Gator Gal

50-Rep Upper Body + Abs Challenge

50-Rep Upper Body + Abs Challenge

Merry Christmas Eve! If you’re looking for a fast-but-challenging workout to do today, you’ve come to the right place! 🙂

I’m all about challenges, both mental and physical. Pushing limits means making progress for me, and if you feel the same way, you’ll probably like this workout.

50-Rep Upper Body + Abs Challenge from Hungry Gator Gal

 

Exercise videos:

The workout may not look difficult on paper, but trust me when I say it’s a doozy, especially if you’re not accustomed to endurance workouts. I used lighter dumbbells (affiliate link!) for the curls and raises, and my biceps and shoulders were ON FIRE.

I had already completed 250+ push-ups, so this workout was a “finisher” that brought me to muscle failure. If you do this too, you’ll combine strength and endurance into one session and get more bang for your workout buck.

However, you can also complete this workout by itself if you’re new to strength training or short on time. I started strength training 3.5 years ago with these basic moves and still complete them today.

Regardless of what you choose, let me know what you think of the challenge if you try it. Also, stay tuned for more “challenge” workouts in the next week or so. I’m home for the holidays and actually have time to share my fitness creations. <— Yay for vacation!!!

Until next time,
Brianna

Questions:

  1. Do you ever combine strength and endurance in one workout?

 

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Upper Body Drop Set Circuit Workout

Upper Body Drop Set Circuit Workout from hungrygatorgal.com

Chest + Back Supersets Workout

Chest + Back Supersets Workout from Hungry Gator Gal

Quick Bicep & Tricep Blast

Quick Bicep & Tricep Blast Workout from hungrygatorgal.com

Upper Body Drop Set Circuit Workout

Upper Body Drop Set Circuit Workout

If you’re new to weight training, this upper body workout might not be for you. However, if you’re a seasoned lifter who’s ready to shake up your routine, get ready because this advanced workout is KILLER.

This challenging, high intensity plan combines circuit training and drop sets to leave you completely and utterly exhausted by the final rep of each exercise.

Circuits allow you to work on aerobic conditioning while the sets allow you to work onr muscular endurance.

In other words, you’re getting more bang for your workout buck. 
  

Upper Body Drop Set Circuit Workout from hungrygatorgal.com

Video demonstrations for the exercises:

When I train hard in the gym, I train HARD. I’m talking about the let’s-make-sure-I-can’t-lift-anything-tomorrow type of hard.

Now you may be thinking, “Don’t you work out five or six days per week? How can you go hard all the time?’

Well, the truth is that I don’t go full throttle every day because I don’t want to over train. I like a mix of hard, moderately hard and easier workouts, which you’ll see if you check out my workout log.

Although this opinion is based purely on personal experience, I don’t suggest you complete a workout like this one more than twice per week. You’ll end up doing more harm than good because you won’t have enough time to recover, especially if you work out more than three times per week.

With that said, I encourage you to try this workout if you’re a fitness veteran who’s stuck in a rut or if you’re looking to improve muscular endurance. This workout is a doozy. Let me know if you give it a try. 🙂 

Question:

  1. Do you incorporate circuit training and/or drop sets into your workout routine? If so, many times per week?

  

Helpful articles about circuit training and drop sets:

What Is Circuit Training?

What are the Costs and Benefits of Circuit Training?

Definition of Drop Sets in Weight Training

Creative Drop Setting

Related HGG Workouts:

Total Body Burnout Circuit Workout

Total Body Burnout Circuit Workout from Hungry Gator Gal

Push + Pull Upper Body Circuit Workout 

Push and Pull Upper Body Circuit Workout from Hungry Gator Gal 

Upper Body + Abs Circuit Workout 

Upper Body + Abs Circuit Workout from hungrygatorgal.com