What to do?

Question:

Boot Camp only meets 3 x/week, what should I be doing on my off-day workouts?

Answer:

This is a great question that has been popping up repeatedly in camp lately.  I figured, what better way to answer it than writing a post for everyone?

To be honest, if you are happy with where you are, you might not need any more exercise than the 3 days of camp.  The boot camp sessions are intense and those alone will get you great results.

Always remember, our bodies need time to repair after intense exercise.  Rest is a good thing.  This isn’t sit on the couch and eat potato chips rest but active rest, still moving by going for a walk or a bike ride.

I know this won’t satisfy the workout junkies, so I am going to highlight a few different options you could do on off-days to speed up progress or if you are just looking to come in and burn off some steam.   If you have some serious weight to lose or have a few trouble areas, putting in some extra work on these off-days is a great option.

I know everyone is different and has different goals, so I will post a few scenarios and you can find the one that meets your needs.

Scenario One:  Core Strength is Lacking

What to do about it?

Core exercises are a great routine to do on your off days.  They will get the blood flowing, get you moving, and most importantly reinforce proper stabilization patterns.  Plus, everyone loves a toned, flat core.

Here is a simple circuit to help tighten your core and get you moving.

Front Plank (progress to a one foot plank)
Side Plank (L) (progress to a full plank holding a small dumbbell overhead)
Side Plank (R)
Supine Lying Hip Extension (progress to elevating the feet on a small object)

Do each exercise for 4 reps of 10s holds then rest as needed before going onto the next exercise.  Go through the circuit 5 times and call it a day.

Scenario Two:  Weight Loss is a Top Priority or you want to Increase Cardiorespiratory Fitness Efficiently.

What to do about it?

Option 1: Incline Treadmill Sprints

7 minute workout

2 minute warm-up
15 s elevated sprint  then 15 s rest and repeat
6 sets
2 minute cool-down

*Use an elevation between 6-10 degrees and play with a speed that works.  Start easier than what you think you can do and slowly build your way up.

*Also, if you are 30 pounds or more overweight or have orthopedic issues, I highly recommend not sprinting, use Option 2

Option 2:  Bike Intervals

18 minute workout

4 minute Warm-Up
15 s HARD (8-9 out of 10)
45 s EASY (2-3 out of 10)
10 sets
4 minute Cool-Down

Total time 18 minutes

*You can use any modality you like for this, but I prefer treadmills or bikes.  On the hard intervals increase the level you work at and then decrease the level for the easy portions.  On the hard portion,s you should be working your butt off and look like a maniac.

Option 3:  Take the day off and work on NUTRITION

Take the time you would normally spend going to the gym and working out and focus only on planning your meals for the week.   You should be able to plan your meals and write up a grocery list in this time.

Plan 3 meals for each day of the week leaving 2 spots open for cheat meals and then make a list of appropriate snacks in case hunger strikes between meals.

This will actually help you more than the other two options if your nutrition is not on point.  Don’t know what to do?  Set up an appointment with me to do a nutritional session.

Scenario Three:  A particular body part is weak and needs extra strengthening (ie: upper body)

I am going to use the upper body as an example for this one because I know many of my clients could use more upper body strength.

For these clients, a simple strength routine consisting of 3-4 exercises using heavy weights will suffice.

Upper Body Strength

Heavy Push-Ups
Standing 1-Arm Row (L)
Standing 1-Arm Row (R)
Arms Extended Squat

Do 5 sets of 5 reps for each exercise.  Use a weight you can only lift 7-8 times.   These are heavy sets.

Scenario Four:  I just need to do something

What to do?

Do some type of low-intensity activity that you enjoy; something that will get you sweating and moving your body.  Go jogging through the park, take the kids to the local swingset and play a game of tag, yoga, easy bike riding, walks etc…

I suggest also going through your personal improvement routine.  This shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes.

Now you know four quality options that you could use on your off-days.  Also, if you are starting to feel run-down, or you just aren’t getting as much sleep, think about taking a day off.

Do one of these options only 2-3 days per week and make sure to take one day completely off every week.  Also, vary your options from time to time and don’t do the same option more than once during the week.

Well, this is a quick and simple way to stay active on your off-days.  If you really need more guidance think about upgrading to the platinum package where you can work directly with me in a small group setting.  I will then design your off-days specifically for you and you will work with me one day outside of boot camp.

If you are interested in the PLATINUM OPTION talk to me at boot camp or simply reply to the newsletter.

Enjoy!

-TJW

2 thoughts on “OFF-Day Workouts

  1. Charles

    I would like to know something that is going to help increase size on the off days. I’m working out the 3 days doing 5×5’s and other small workouts using one muscle but I feel like I could be doing something on my off days to help this even more.

    • twittwer

      Focus your attention on nutrition and consuming enough calories. This is going to be just as important as your workouts. Really ramp up calories post-workout.

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