Those that scoff at bodyweight exercises as being "too easy", or not "tough enough to build real strength", and so forth don't have a clue.
This morning, I did a "finisher" that I haven't done in a long, long time. A "finisher" in my book being an exercise that finishes my workout off - both literally and figuratively speaking - as one should have nothing left in the tank after a finisher". Now like I said, I hadn't done this particular movement in a very long time - it was one of those "forgotten" exercises (for me), you might say.
So I start. I pump out one rep, and think "ah, I can still do it. No problem". On to rep #2, which somehow didn't seem as easy. And so forth. The sweat started to roll off me like raindrops off a slanted roof after just a few reps. Each rep became progressively harder, until I stopped at rep #15 or so.My lungs were burning, and I felt like my legs were going to buckle under me at any moment.
"This is ONE evil exercise, buddy", my inner voice told me.
"It is for sure. Get on with it", I responded.
And get on with it I then did. I completed my first set, then did another two sets of these, before I was ready to shout "Uncle" (for the more imaginative of you out there, insert expletive of choice).
And this exercise, my friend, is something SO simple that you wouldn't believe it could provide such a hell of a workout. It's the much under-rated and oft-forgotten BURPEE - and it's a movement that can bring the fittest of us to our knees in less than two minutes flat.
What does the movement include? Well, simply put, you crouch down on the floor so that your hands are by your feet, and from that position, you move your feet back to a pushup position while keeping your hands at the same position. You do a pushup, immediately move your feet back to where they were, and then you jump up with arms extended as high as you can. That's one rep. You repeat for as many reps as possible.
Yes, it's simple enough - a pushup, jump and squat - I said the exercise was simple to start with - but does simple make it EASY? Not a chance, my friend, and for those of you that doubt, get down on the floor right now and pump out a set of 20, or whatever number you think might be challenging enough for you, and THEN let's talk. The exercise is aptly titled as well. . .those of you with excess flatulence or distended stomachs might even experience "relief" in a way, if you know what I'm talking about, hehe.
Now there are those that might say "15 reps? Pah! I could do more of those in my sleep". And while you might or might not be able to do burpees "in your sleep", remember that I'm doing this as a finisher. And for today, that meant doing it after 250 pushups (30 of which were handstand pushups) - which makes it a total of almost 300 pushups. NOT for the fainthearted, and certainly not for those looking for an "easy" workout.
And for those that are wondering, you can do this exercise both as a finisher, as well as part of your regular routine - your imagination is the only thing that limits you.
I don't cover this exercise in Fast and Furious Fitness, pretty much because I regard it as an advanced exercise of sorts, requiring a solid base to work upon, but I may well incorporate it into edition #2, which should have an "advanced" exercises section. Again, this movement is NOT for beginners - make sure you get good at doing regular pushups, jumping rope, and other things before attempting this one.
Well, my friend, there you have it - a simple movement that's enough to give you a solid overall workout. I'll cover more such movements in the future as well. For now though - have a great day - and remember that the SIMPLE things in life are often also the BEST!
PS: Building a solid base is easy enough if you have the right tools at your disposal - and Fast and Furious Fitness sure qualifies as the "right tool" to get the job done: - http://rahulmookerjee.com/index.php/articles/83-fast-and-furious-fitness-the-book
PS #2: For those of you that try building a workout around burpess, be sure and write to let me know how it goes!