Saturday, May 17, 2008

No-Equipment Cardio for Weight Loss

You don't need fancy machines to do cardio circuits for weight loss. You can do cardio without equipment, at home! And you'll burn fat. Here in Toronto, it rained non-stop on Sunday. So I skipped the walk to the gym (where I was going to do intervals), and did a bodyweight workout at home.

This is a great routine that you can save for any rainy day, or even better - challenge some of your buddies prior to next week's super bowl party at your house. The workout will take away some of the guilt while you pound nachos and wings, like I know some people tend to do when they watch football.

For my bodyweight workout, I decided to make one up from the exercises in the 6-month manual, rather than following one of the pre-made routines. Plus, I didn't want to do a lot of upper body stuff, because my Monday workout is heavy pressing and rowing. So I ended up creating a huge circuit, as there were just too many exercises in the manual that I wanted to do.

If you have the manual and exercise descriptions, you can do this workout the next time you feel like a change. If you don't have the manual, you'll probably have no idea what some of these exercises are...but at least now you know what you are missing.

And as I went through this workout, a workout I called "Ghetto Cardio", I got to thinking about some of the home gym setups that clients tell me they have.

You know, the more money people spend on exercise machines (like those elliptical machines), the easier and less effective their workouts become. Here I am doing the Ghetto Cardio workout, one that didn't cost me a cent, and some people have thousands of dollars worth of cardio equipment in their basements that won't give them the same "functional strength and endurance" results as bodyweight training.

And those aren't the only benefits you can get from a mid-day bodyweight circuit workout. In fact, during this workout, I relieved my computer-related upper body stress and tension, and the exercise stimulated my thought process, allowing me to plan 4 workouts for Monday's clients, and 4 newsletters this week. All in 20 minutes.

So here's the workout, and I did this circuit twice, and then some of the exercises I did a third time:

Prisoner Squat x 15
Sumo squat x 15
T-Squat x 20
Siff Squat x 20
Walking lunge x 20
Spiderman pushup x 16
Stickup x 12
Cross Crawl x 30
Inverted Rows x 12
Spiderman climbs x 24
Plank x 60 seconds
Side plank x 30 seconds
Y-squat x 20
Close grip Pushups x 20

These are all bodyweight exercises that can be done at home. You don't need to spend money or time going to the gym.

Craig Ballantyne is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Maximum Fitness, Muscle and Fitness Hers, and Oxygen magazines. His trademarked Turbulence Training fat loss workouts have been featured multiple times in Mens Fitness and Maximum Fitness magazines, and have helped thousands of men and women around the world lose fat, gain muscle, and get lean in less than 45 minutes three times per week. For more information on the Turbulence Training workouts that will help you burn fat without long, slow cardio sessions or fancy equipment, visit


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