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Health & Fitness

Rowing your way into shape for Summer

Gyms all across South Africa have finally been allowed to open their doors. Now some of you have used the national lockdown as an excuse to not do any exercises. Hey, no judgment from me. We are focusing on the future, not the past. Others may have tried our home workouts.

https://sleb.co.za/home-workout-exercises-for-you-during-this-lock-down-period/

Now that your local gym is operational, it’s time to pack away your 3kg dumbbells, dust off your favourite stringer vest and get back to the grindstone. Not only that, but December is also around the corner and though these December holidays may see fewer visitors to the beaches than in previous years, dropping as much body fat as possible in the next 14 weeks is still a worthwhile goal. What that means, is cardio. Ah yes, the vegetables of exercise. That necessary evil we need to endure on the path to six packness. More specifically the focus of this article is the rowing machine, a.k.a. the ergometer.

The ergometer is an acquired taste, but it is my favourite cardio machine. It is a non-weight bearing cardio workout, which means it isn’t destructive on your joints. And it’s a full-body workout. However, there will be no 20 or 30-minute sessions here. Instead, we’re going to perform HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) workouts. For a more detailed explanation of HIIT, you can check out our Tabata column

https://sleb.co.za/all-you-need-to-know-about-tabata-workouts/

These ergometer exercises should not be done as a standalone workouts. Perform these directly after your weightlifting session. The reasoning for this is that your body’s preferred energy source is glycogen. Glycogen is a converted form of carbohydrates that are stored within your muscle fibres and the liver. Once the glycogen stores are depleted, only then does your body begin tapping into its fat reserves for energy. Your weightlifting workout should be sufficient in burning through the glycogen stores, meaning by the time you strap your feet on the ergometer, your body is in prime fat-burning mode. That’s your biology lesson for the day.

There are exceptions if you have an ergometer at home or at your workplace. You can always sneak in a session in the morning or at lunchtime. For these workouts, the damper settings are of no consequence. The damper setting is the lever on the side wheel, with a 1-10 setting. When you’re rowing at an all-out intensity, the damper setting makes little difference.

Experienced rowers normally pull the handle to chest level, but you can bring the handle as low as your belly button. Use your legs to drive the initial part of the movement, and then once your legs are fully extended, your arms can come into play. If you suffer from pre-existing hip or back issues, stay clear of the ergometer.

Before you begin this phase of your session, you can spend some time doing a warmup. Row between 3-5 minutes at a low intensity just so you can get your bearings and make sure the foot strappings are set correctly.

Remember! The periods of work are performed at all-out intensity. Row as fast as you can, as hard as you can. Okay, ready! It’s choose your own adventure time.

Workout 1:

Round 1. Row 600m/Rest 50 seconds

Round 2. Row 500m/Rest 40 seconds

Round 3. Row 400m/Rest 30 seconds

Round 4. Row 300m/Rest 20 seconds

Round 5. Row 200m/Rest 10 seconds

Round 6. Row 100m

Workout 2:

Row for 40 seconds. Rest for 20 seconds. Repeat for a total time of 8 minutes.

Workout 3:

10 minutes for as many rounds as possible

250m Rowing

15 Air Squats

10 Butterfly Situps

5 Pushups (Burpees if you dare)

If 10 minutes is too much, reduce the time to suit your fitness levels, but you still need to be pretty gassed when time is up.

Workout 4:

Choose 3 songs from your playlist. Ensure each of those songs has a chorus. Work during the main verses of the songs, and rest during the chorus part. If you don’t have your own music, then you’re at the mercy of the gym’s music. If 3 songs are too much, again make the necessary adjustments for your fitness levels.

Workout 5:

The 2000m challenge

This is a gut check challenge. How fast can you row 2000m? Anything under 7 minutes is impressive. Oh, and try not throw up in the middle of the gym.

How many times a week you perform these workouts depends on a couple of factors such as your fitness experience, your schedule (not everyone can train 5 days a week). But try to exercise a minimum of twice per week.

The workouts are not cast in stone. You can adjust them to make it easier or more difficult depending on your fitness levels. Take deep breaths during the rest phase.

Disclaimer

Please seek advice from your GP if you’re suffering from any pre-existing medical condition/s before considering embarking on an exercise programme. Neither Sleb nor Sizwe Luthuyi may be held liable for any medical complication/s. Only do exercise programmes in accordance with your health practitioner.

Sizwe Luthayi (Qualified Personal Trainer)

If you have any questions for me on training programmes please get in contact with Sizwe. Details below.

Cellphone: 0839942748

Email: luthayis@gmail.com

Instagram: @bearzulu11

Twitter: @SizweLuthayi

Categories
Health & Fitness

Home workout exercises for you during this lock down period!

The Coronavirus (Covid-19) has brought life across the world to a standstill. Businesses have been forced to cease operations, schools are closed, the sporting calendar has been decimated, and your daily to-do list revolves around the bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and lounge (maybe the garden for some).

The National Lockdown means your local gym is closed. Some of you might take this opportunity to have a break after years of training, or to recover from niggling injuries. However for others being inactive isn’t an option, because lying on your couch while watching tv may lead to binge eating of sugary and salty snacks.

The National Lockdown means your workout space has been reduced to the confines of your home. If affordability is not an issue for you, you can pop down to a Makro or Game (if you don’t mind the queues) and purchase exercise equipment. Anything from Dumbbells, Kettlebells, Bands, Skipping Rope, Treadmill, Stationary Bike, etc.

But since we may have to reign in our spending in these uncertain times, buying pricey workout products is is unlikely to be a top priority. That means we have to get creative. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) type circuits are my preferred choice. You don’t need any equipment, and they are over fairly quickly.

All workouts are to be completed every 2nd day. I.e. leave a day between sessions. Happy hunting.

Workout 1
Beginners
1st Round
  • 9 Reps
  • Pushups or Handstand Pushups (feet against the wall) or Burpees
  • Squat or Lunges (9 reps on each leg) or Pistol Squat (9 reps on each leg)
  • Crunches or Lying Leg Raise or Butterfly Situps
2nd Round
  • 6 Reps
  • Pushups or Handstand Pushups (feet against the wall) or Burpees
  • Squat or Lunges (6 reps on each leg) or Pistol Squat (6 reps on each leg)
  • Crunches or Lying Leg Raise or Butterfly Situps
3rd Round
  • 3 Reps
  • Pushups or Handstand Pushups (feet against the wall) or Burpees
  • Squat or Lunges (3 reps on each leg) or Pistol Squat (3 reps on each leg)
  • Crunches or Lying Leg Raise or Butterfly Situps
Intermediary
1st Round
  • 15 Reps
  • Pushups or Handstand Pushups (feet against the wall) or Burpees
  • Squat or Lunges (15 reps on each leg) or Pistol Squat (15 reps on each leg)
  • Crunches or Lying Leg Raise or Butterfly Situps
2nd Round
  • 10 Reps
  • Pushups or Handstand Pushups (feet against the wall) or Burpees
  • Squat or Lunges (10 reps on each leg) or Pistol Squat (10 reps on each leg)
  • Crunches or Lying Leg Raise or Butterfly Situps
3rd Round
  • 5 Reps
  • Pushups or Handstand Pushups (feet against the wall) or Burpees
  • Squat or Lunges (5 reps on each leg) or Pistol Squat (5 reps on each leg)
  • Crunches or Lying Leg Raise or Butterfly Situps
Advanced
1st Round
  • 21 Reps
  • Pushups or Handstand Pushups (feet against the wall) or Burpees
  • Squat or Lunges (21 reps on each leg) or Pistol Squat (21 reps on each leg)
  • Crunches or Lying Leg Raise or Butterfly Situps
2nd Round
  • 15 Reps
  • Pushups or Handstand Pushups (feet against the wall) or Burpees
  • Squat or Lunges (15 reps on each leg) or Pistol Squat (15 reps on each leg)
  • Crunches or Lying Leg Raise or Butterfly Situps
3rd Round
  • 9 Reps
  • Pushups or Handstand Pushups (feet against the wall) or Burpees
  • Squat or Lunges (9 reps on each leg) or Pistol Squat (9 reps on each leg)
  • Crunches or Lying Leg Raise or Butterfly Situps

NB! If you’re able to complete pull-ups anywhere on your property that’s great, add those in. After your workout, complete 100 reps of Calf Raises anywhere with an elevated platform e.g. stairs. If you’re able to complete all 100 reps without stopping, do single-leg calf raises for 100 reps. Complete these workouts every second day.

Workout 2

7 Rounds Every Minute on the Minute

 You’ll need a timer for this.

 Complete the prescribed reps within the minute and then rest for the amount of time left within the minute. Repeat the process each minute.

Beginner
  • 10 Mountain Climbers
  • 10 Jumping Jacks
  • 5 Bench Dips (you can use a chair, your bed, a strong table etc)
Intermediary
  • 15 Mountain Climbers
  • 15 Jumping Jacks
  • 7 Bench Dips (you can use a chair, your bed, a strong table etc)
Advanced
  • 20 Mountain Climbers
  • 20 Jumping Jacks
  • 10 Bench Dips (you can use a chair, your bed, a strong table etc)
Workout 3

Up and Down The Ladder

Only for Advanced

1st Round
  • 3 Lunges (on each leg)
  • 3 Burpees
  • 3 Butterfly Situps
  • 3 Jumping Jacks
2nd Round:
  • 4 Lunges (on each leg)
  • 4 Burpees
  • 4 Butterfly Situps
  • 4 Jumping Jacks
3rd Round:
  • 5 Lunges (on each leg)
  • 5 Burpees
  • 5 Butterfly Situps
  • 5 Jumping Jacks
4th Round:
  • 6 Lunges (on each leg)
  • 6 Burpees
  • 6 Butterfly Situps
  • 6 Jumping Jacks
5th Round:
  • 7 Lunges (on each leg)
  • 7 Burpees
  • 7 Butterfly Situps
  • 7 Jumping Jacks
6th Round:
  • 8 Lunges (on each leg)
  • 8 Burpees
  • 8 Butterfly Situps
  • 8 Jumping Jacks
7th Round:
  • 7 Lunges (on each leg)
  • 7 Burpees
  • 7 Butterfly Situps
  • 7 Jumping Jacks
8th Round:
  • 6 Lunges (on each leg)
  • 6 Burpees
  • 6 Butterfly Situps
  • 6 Jumping Jacks
9th Round:
  • 5 Lunges (on each leg)
  • 5 Burpees
  • 5 Butterfly Situps
  • 5 Jumping Jacks
10th Round:
  • 4 Lunges (on each leg)
  • 4 Burpees
  • 4 Butterfly Situps
  • 4 Jumping Jacks
11th Round:
  • 3 Lunges (on each leg)
  • 3 Burpees
  • 3 Butterfly Situps
  • 3 Jumping Jacks

NB! If you’re able to complete pull-ups anywhere on your property that’s great, add those in every round.

Workout 4

7 Rounds for 7 Reps

There are 7 Rounds. In each round complete 7 reps of each exercise.
Only for advanced.

  • Burpees
  • Squat
  • Bench Dips
  • Walkouts
  • Jumping Jacks
  • V-Ups
  • Pullups (if possible)
Workout 5

Complete all the reps for each exercise as quickly as possible. You do not have to complete the reps for one exercise before moving on to the next. Break it down however you want to.

Beginner
  • 25 Reps Total for Each Exercise
  • Pushups or Burpees
  • Jumping Jacks or Mountain Climbers
  • Squat or Jumping Squats
  • Butterfly Situps or V-Ups
  • Pullups (if possible)
Intermediary
  • 50 Reps Total for Each Exercise
  • Pushups or Burpees
  • Jumping Jacks or Mountain Climbers
  • Squat or Jumping Squats
  • Butterfly Situps or V-Ups
  • Pullups (if possible)
Advanced
  • 100 Reps Total for Each Exercise
  • Pushups or Burpees
  • Jumping Jacks or Mountain Climbers
  • Squat or Jumping Squats
  • Butterfly Situps or V-Ups
  • Pullups (if possible)

There is also the option of doing the Tabata workouts. You can complete a Tabata session as a stand-alone workout, or combined with any of the above workouts.

https://www.sleb.co.za/all-you-need-to-know-about-tabata-workouts/

Disclaimer

Please seek advice from your GP if you’re suffering from any pre-existing medical condition/s before considering embarking on an exercise programme. Neither Sleb nor Sizwe Luthuyi may be held liable for any medical complication/s. Only do exercise programmes in accordance with your health practitioner.

Sizwe Luthayi (Personal Trainer)

If you have any questions for me on training programmes please get in contact. Details below.

Cellphone: 0839942748

Email: luthayis@gmail.com

Instagram: @bearzulu11

Twitter: @SizweLuthayi