The 12 Exercises Of Christmas

2013CAMBI know it’s a tough time of year for everyone, too much temptation, too much travelling, to much drinking or whatever your vices may be so it’s probably best that you keep it simple this year and cut the workouts down to 20 minutes a day of complete physical annihilation and then get back to the couch! So here is my list of simple moves that I will be doing this season to keep me focused, motivated and give me the ability to stay the course no matter how buy I am. The list includes stuff you can do if you are lucky enough to be able to get to the gym, some for if you are stuck at home with limited weights and several that don’t require anything except your bodyweight and maybe a kettlebell you have in your trunk. You DO have a kettlebell in your trunk, right? If not, I know what you should be shopping for this Boxing Week.

I will list these in order of most challenging / complex to simplest. This does not mean they are less effective the lower you go, just that they require less preparation, equipment or time to accomplish.

1- Barbell Clean and Press – One of the top 2 or 3 exercises there is for whole body strength. If you can’t get to the press, it’s OK.
2- Squats – From air squats to back, front, zercher or overhead squats they are all good.
3- Barbell deadlift – Try to do at least your bodyweight as a starting goal.
4- Pullups – Lots of hand positions, levers, bar roll ups etc, lots you can do if you are luck enough to have access to a chin up bar.

That’s good for the equipment heavy stuff, now for dumbbells or kettlebells (not that you can’t do the above with either!)

5- Kettlebell swings – This is why there is no cardio on this list.
6- Curls – Kneeling, free, hammer, french, lots of types, brace your elbow against something for an extra degree of difficulty
7- Kettlebell Snatch – You can sub clean and press here but the KB is a great way to introduce you to the power required for a barbell snatch.
8 – Free Dips – You will need boxes, a dip station, a couple of chairs or something, but get up off the floor and use your bodyweight.

That’s pretty basic, but what about if you have nothing?

9 – Lunge or Lunge Walk – Some think squatting is enough, if that’s you, do a hundred lunge walks touching your knee as you go and tell me how those squats are working out for you.
10 – Pushups of all kinds – From your knees, to military, incline and up to handstand pushups this is the most basic and effective bodyweight / zero equipment exercise for the upper body.
11 – V-Snaps / Abs – There are a thousand ab moves out there, just pick your favourite and DON’T DO THAT ONE! Do something you are challenged with, the one you can’t quite get a handle on and make it work!
12 – Burpees – I know, everybody hates burpees but if you add a tuck jump and a plyo pushup to them you don’t have the time or energy to remember how much you hate them!

Once you are done, as a bonus tip sign up for a class or download some YouTube videos and do some Yoga. Yes, it’s the ultimate coordination, balance and flexibility workout. Anyone who does heavy weights should include Yoga in their program, it’s just common sense and it will make everything else so much better.

So there you have it, no excuses, don’t wait until the 1st of the year to get going on your turkey laden butt!

I realize I may have omitted your favourite off the list, not all of mine made it either but there is just no place on a top 12 for Turkish Get Ups! Drop me a line if you think I missed something major and have a great New Year!


10.47-52 – Fitting In

It’s been a tough few days around here, we were away for the weekend in St Thomas Ontario visiting Thomas The Tank Engine and staying overnight in a hotel with a pool the size of a postage stamp. That said, I resolved to take my kettlebell and I did get in a KB workout on Saturday night while my wife went visiting with her girlfriends. I was so out of gas by the time Sunday night came around that I took an extra day off which I am sure I will regret at some point! Maybe, it is possible I needed the rest given that I am not scheduling rest weeks. Anyway, it was an enjoyable weekend and my workout schedule looked like this:

47 – Friday Rest
48 – Kettlebell clean and press with swings 5×5
49 – Sunday Rest
50 – Double workout including WOD Century Club (Pullups, Squats, vsnps, box jumps)
51 – Bootcamp Bodyweight (details to follow)
52 – Today, hopefully a day of rest!

Round 2, Days 39-43. Niagara Vacation

So I have been away and trying to fit something into my schedule. For the first time in a long time I worked out at a gym in the hotel only to be ashamed at my lack of brutish strength. I realize that this will bother me forever now that I have shifted my focus but I just can’t help myself. I did take my Insanity DVDs with me also however the room was prohibitively small and they had really nice treadmills in the workout room so I opted instead for some tried and true relatively fastish walking…

I did however manage to get Pure Cardio, Legs and Back, Chest, Shoulders and Triceps done while I was out of town. I also did quite a lot of walking around the area however with a very pregnant wife by my side, walking isn’t what it used to be! So back to today with what is supposed to be max interval plyo. I have to admit that the hardest part of this Round 2 is keeping track of where I am and what day I am on. Not only is it difficult to maintain my focus on the P90X portion but it is equally hard with two forced rest days a week to keep motivated. I have found much to my disappointment that I have been largely unable to do 5 days a week with the 2 coaching days off. I have found that extra rest day creeping in regardless of what I plan.

Here is what I have scheduled on my list for the next 5 workouts. That should, in theory, take me to Monday. I guess we will see.

The message here I guess is that if you are going to plan your workouts without a structured 7 day routine, make sure you have your 90 days written down and take it one day at a time.

Max Interval Plyo
Back & Biceps, Ab Ripper X
Max Cardio
Legs & Back, Ab Ripper X
Max Interval Circuit

Max Interval Plyo

Back & Biceps, Ab Ripper X

Max Cardio

Legs & Back, Ab Ripper X

Max Interval Circuit

I have also just noticed that I was supposed to start the Max workouts last week and failed to do so. I will therefore introduce myself to Max tonight. I just hope he is nicer to me that Shaun T.