This week, personal trainer Darin St. George offers a few tips about exercise that combine different combinations of savvy and sweat:
We've all heard the old saying, "You get what you pay for" regarding good value where many things are concerned. Many of us have also learned about the concept of "sweat equity."
I like to marry these two theories when talking about getting in shape and staying there. Sure, we all inherit some DNA from the landlords before us, but once we take full ownership of this house known as our body, we definitely have nobody to count on nor blame but ourselves for what happens when the mortgage is due.
Let's explore the combination of the aforementioned cliches and see if we can't make some sense out of different combinations of savvy and sweat:
Jump, jive and wail for 10 minutes. Without question, jumping rope has to be one of the hardest forms of cardiovascular work out there. There are many reasons Muhammad Ali is the greatest boxer of all time, and one of them is his unbelievable conditioning -- the man could jump rope with the best of them. For a small investment (under $20) you can get a great rope, add in some squats and pushups (there are a ton of variations of both moves) with intervals of 30 seconds, 60 seconds or more of heart-pounding jump rope and you'll have yourself long-lasting results for short money.
Move a pile of rocks back and forth every day for some true grit. It has been said that legendary martial arts instructors would begin each day by moving huge piles of stone from one side of a yard to another; one, to keep them humble and grounded, and two, to make sure that they got their work done before anything else could get in the way. If you have trouble accumulating a pile of rocks, the next time you're in the gym, load and unload every dumbbell on the dumbbell rack to begin your workout. You'll have no trouble hindering anyone else's progress; they're probably all on ellipticals.
Run to the playground and go bananas. My friend Izl will just decide to run three or four miles, and "ends up" at a local park and does a ton of pullups and does plyometric jumps up and down on picnic tables, and then runs home. For a man who shopped for my birthday gift in the lost and found, it doesn't get any cheaper than this -- and nobody works harder.
Consider these options and see if you can't wring a few extra pennies, I mean reps, out of your next workout. Until then, have a great week, gang!
Darin St. George is a personal fitness coach at Gold's Gym in Natick, Mass. Visit his website at www.TrainerX.com.