Snow Week: Run Your Health Circuit Training Class

The snow has not been awesome in any way, shape, or form for the past few weeks. Whoever made Princess Elsa angry, please go apologize! I’ve gotten snowed in a couple times – my gym has been closed both of those times, and it wasn’t safe to hit the road, anyway. So I was very excited to attend the Run Your Health Circuit Training Class that my friend Laura M., a marathoner, mom, nurse practitioner, and certified trainer offered. She demonstrated proper form and how to make sure you were doing it correctly; below, she’s demonstrating squats. Laura P., an awesome group fitness instructor, also demonstrated form for us, so we had two fitness professionals to answer our questions. Here are the main takeaways:

Laura demonstrates squat form.

Nutrition is very important. Within 30 minutes of your workout, you should aim for a snack with 18-30 grams of protein. She recommended consuming 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight if you’re active. Meal planning is also key.

Plan your workouts. Simply writing “exercise” into your calendar isn’t enough; you need to plan what you’re going to do. Laura provided a handout with 101 body weight exercises that can be done at home in a small space (like the space between a couch and a TV in your living room once you move the coffee table). A full body routine should include moves for your quads, glutes and hamstrings, push muscles (chest, shoulders, triceps), pull muscles (back, biceps, forearms), and core (abs and lower back).

Know your different types of training. Circuit training is fast-paced, and you do one exercise and move on to the next. then repeat the circuit. HIIT is high-intensity bursts with low-intensity recovery sessions. AMRAP is as many rounds as possible in a set time, and Tabata is a challenging four minute period of 20 seconds of intensity and 10 seconds of rest.

So a sample circuit with 10 exercises hitting all the muscle groups would include the following:

  • Squats
  • Box jumps (can be done on a stair)
  • Step ups
  • Hip raises
  • Pushups
  • Dips
  • Dumbbell rows (or water jug rows, canned food rows, cheap dumbbells from Five Below or Ocean State Job Lot rows)
  • Lateral raises
  • Planks
  • Jumping knee tucks
Ideally, you’d break this down into two workouts, so one day you’re focusing on your upper body and one day on your lower body, and doing a full-body workout on a third day.
And equipping a home gym is pretty inexpensive. A mat and dumbbells are really all you need. I have the Gold’s Gym 40 Pound LB Vinyl Cement Dumbbell Weight Set, and it works really well on the days when I can’t get to the gym.

The other thing I love to have are videos: Gigabody, Grokker, Xfinity On Demand, whatever I can stream to my iPad. And as much as I dislike Nike, its Nike+ Training Club app has some excellent (and free!) workouts you can download to your Android or iOS device. 

How are you getting in your workouts when you’re snowed in?