I want to demonstrate the power of bodyweight training to you right away and that’s why I’m starting with this simple workout. It’s called the Super Simple and Effective workout because it’s super simple and effective.
The workout is a circuit. That means that you’ll go through each exercise once and then you’re going to start again from the beginning.
You’re going to rest for 30 seconds between each completed set and you’re going to perform each set of moves for 30 seconds.
The exercises are push ups, pull ups and jack in the box.
So the workout looks like this:
· 30 seconds of push ups
· 30 seconds of pull ups
· 30 seconds of jack in the box
· 30 seconds of rest
You then repeat it five times.
Make sure that you are doing as many repetitions of each exercise as you can and that you’re giving it your all. You also need to ensure that you aren’t resting at all when you move from one to the next.
It doesn’t matter how many press ups and pull ups you do. All that matters is that you keep going until the end of the thirty seconds (at least keep trying).
If you can’t do push ups, then you can do push ups on your knees to begin with.
And if you can’t do pull ups (or can’t do enough), then you’re going to do assisted pull ups.
Assisted pull ups means that you’re going to take a chair and put it underneath the pull up bar. You can now put your feet on that chair and use them to slightly help yourself through each pull up. Don’t cheat and just ‘stand up’ – just give yourself the slightest bit of help with your legs so that you can complete each exercise.
Remember as well that pull ups are the ones where you use an overhand (pronated) grip. That means that your palms are facing away from you and this way, you’ll also be engaging your lats more in the exercise rather than your biceps.
Finally, when performing the jack-in-the-box, you need to squat all the way down and crouch, then you’re exploding upward and splaying your arms and legs like a star-fish. It’s like a squat combined with a star jump. If you can’t do this, then just tuck jumps will be fine to begin with.
That’s the whole workout. Like I said, it’s simple. But it’s also really effective.
And you’re going to do it five days a week before you start work.
One more tip: don’t do it immediately upon waking. Wait at least 10 minutes as that way your spine won’t be soft from sleeping and you’ll reduce the chances of injury. This is pretty light stuff though, so you should find you’re fine to go into it without a warm up.
Why This Works
So what’s so special about this workout?
The first thing is that it has everything you need in it. The workout has three components: push, pull and legs. Each exercise is also compound and that way, you’re actually targeting nearly every muscle in the body:
Press ups: Pecs, triceps, shoulders, traps, abs
Pull ups: Lats, biceps, abs
Jack in the Box: Quads, hamstrings, calves, glutes
You’re also going fast and all of these exercises are enough to get your heart rating. That means that if you go as intense as you can, you can easily stand to burn around 150 calories from this alone. At the start of your day that’s an excellent way to begin and it means you can slip up and eat a KitKat without it mattering as much. By the way, that also adds up to 750 calories by the end of the week…
And because you’re training at the start of the day – before breakfast – this counts as ‘fasted cardio’. For those who don’t know, this basically means you’re performing cardiovascular exercise at a point where there is no glucose in your blood. That in turn means that the body will burn fat rather than sugar and you’ll lose more weight as a result.
Then there’s the fact that these moves are actually quite tough in terms of the muscle work. You can easily start to notice your biceps, your pecs and your abs strengthen from this alone. Press ups are actually surprisingly good for your abs. Not only because you’re training fast enough to burn calories but because you’ll be using your transverse abdominis (the abdominal muscle that wraps around your body like a weight belt) in order to hold your stomach in. This will make your abs look much flatter and it’s what’s missing from a lot of training programs.
Better yet, this is also super convenient. No matter how much of a rush you’re in or how tired you are, almost everyone can afford to get up 10 minutes earlier and do 10 minutes of exercise. You need to be strict with yourself here: never go over the 10 minutes. This defies the object and means you’ll end up putting it off.
You’re doing just 10 minutes. But it’s enough to build more strength, more energy and more lean muscle mass.
The other big advantage is that you’re doing this before your shower. And you can wear the clothes you slept in! Just some underwear will be fine even because you’re training in the comfort of your own home. So in a pair of boxer shorts or panties, you can perform your press ups and pulls and then jump straight in the shower.
If you already workout regularly – even if you’re an athlete or a bodybuilder – then just adding this little bit of extra training at the start of your day will be enough to help you through patches where you miss workouts and to ensure you get that little bit more exercise throughout the day. Simply put, the SSE workout is the solution to all of your training problems – so add it to your regime!
Now you have something to start doing right away… so start doing it!
Don’t wait until you’ve read the rest of this book. Don’t wait until you’ve spoken with a personal trainer.
All that really matters, is that you start doing something. You’ll learn more as we go through the book but in the meantime just start doing that one thing and start making progress!