Man, do I have a solid bodyweight exercise program for you. I’m more excited about the name of it though. There’s a funny story of how I came up with the name Braveheart. I’ve had my client Judy now for almost 5 years. She’s in her sixties, but she can run circles around many chicks in their twenties. Is that politically correct to say? I certainly hope not. That’s just how I roll.
Anyway, I see her twice a week and she is up for any challenge. We typically do one strength training workout and one metabolic workout each week, but even that changes. She loves using bodyweight exercises, but she’s not afraid to lift heavy either. We even do supersets of heavy resistance training supersetted with bodyweight exercises, like 6 reps of the reverse grip lat pulldown followed by push-ups.
Can Bodyweight Exercises and Heavy Resistance Training Improve Daily Activities Like Running?
Judy is a very avid runner. She loves running and that is her off day activity. As a matter of fact, she admits that ever since she started using bodyweight moves and lifting heavy, her running has become easier and she runs more efficiently. I’m really proud of her being in such great shape and setting an example for others to follow. Did I mention she is in her sixties? I’m pretty sure I did. Looky there, now I did twice. It just proves that it’s never too late to start.
As Judy and I were finishing one of our sessions, she was laughing at the names of the metabolic finishers I come up with. She then told me it would be cool if I were to come up with a bodyweight exercise routine and named it something different. That’s when I said, like Braveheart? She thought it was brilliant. Alas, the Braveheart bodyweight exercise routine name was born. And you know what? You’re going to rock it.
How this Bodyweight Program Works
First of all, brace yourself. This is one is a doozie, doozy, douzie. Spell check, you annoy me. I guess doozy is slang. I suggest you grab your tunes and put on some cool 90’s hip-hop, or the Sanford and Son theme song… whatever motivates you. You’re going to hit the ground running with this program. This is the kind of program where you may find yourself praying in the middle of it. Your heart will be thumping with anger, your veins will present themselves as road maps, and sweat will trickle down as if your body is crying. Nike, do you see this? Call me. Onward to the program…
Although this is a bodyweight program, you will need a few things. You’ll need a chin-up/pull-up bar, stability ball, ab wheel (optional) and some blue face paint (optional as well).
(because you can never take away my freedom… OK, too much)
Do the following circuit one time, resting only when needed. Form takes precedence! When form starts to break down, you MUST stop and rest. You can break the exercises into smaller sets. For example, you could do 5 pull-ups, rest, and then continue in that fashion until you complete 20 reps. But you must complete all reps before moving onto the next exercise. Record the time it takes you to complete the circuit. The next time you perform this circuit, try to beat your previous time. Exercises 8-10 are chaotic. Enjoy… or something like that.
- Bulgarian Squat Jumps (20 ea leg)
- Pull-ups (20)
- Close-Grip Push-ups (40)
- Ab Wheel or Stability Ball Rollout (25)
- Jumping Jacks (100)
- Alternating Prisoner Cross-Over Lunge (25 ea leg)
- Cross-Body Mountain Climbers (20 ea)
- Burpee Chin-up Combo (10)
- Decline Spiderman Push-ups (10 ea side)
- Burpee Chin-up Combo (10) (Yes, I typed that on purpose)
- Stability Ball Jackknife (30)
- Swing Lunge (15 ea)
One quick tip to help you out – don’t train to failure on the exercises.
For example, if you’re performing the close-grip push-ups and you typically go to failure at rep 25, just go to 20 reps and then rest for a little bit. You’ll find that it is easier to pace yourself this way.
Now one of the things on my bucket list is when you google ridiculous bodyweight exercise programs, this program pops up as number one. It would give me goose bumps.
Are bodyweight Exercises are Better than Cardio?
You could hop on the treadmill for 6 hours and do some endless cardio, or you can knock this workout out of the ball park and the caloric afterburn would last about 14 years (I may be over-estimating, but trust me, the afterburn will last for a long time). And unlike cardio, bodyweight programs like these will improve your conditioning and sculpt your body. Hours of cardio wont do that.
Down goes the bodyweight along with improved conditioning, and fat-burning!
You’re going to be sore the next day, no doubt about it. As a matter of fact, if you´re not, you may want to see a doctor or someone from NASA because congratulations, you’re an alien. Seriously, as a recovery strategy, try some light activity the next day like some walking. You can also use a foam roller along with some stretching.
I would only perform this workout once a week. So each week, see how much you can improve your time, while burning belly fat.