Sometimes it’s good to get back to the basics. This one move will help you achieve any goal whether it be burning fat, building muscle, or just overall fitness.
By Roger Lockridge
To improve the shape and performance of our bodies means we should probably be able to use the one piece of equipment we have constant access to which is…our bodies. While the big weights and fancy machines certainly have their place, calisthenics and bodyweight exercises are often overlooked but can be very effective. Whether the goal is to burn calories, warm-up, improve strength, get a pump, or build muscle, calisthenics are the good old-fashioned way of getting in shape.
8 Count Body Builder
One movement that comes to mind is the classic 8 count exercise. It was also known as the “body builder” in some circles. You might not even remember this but it’s a movement that is performed by people in elementary PE all the way up to the Navy Seals. All you need is your body and space. For those of you that can use a refresher course, here’s how it goes.
Starting Position – Stand straight and tall with feet pointed forward and shoulder width apart. Your hands should be at your sides.
- Bend over and place your hands on the floor wider than shoulder width.
- Kick your legs back so your toes are on the floor and you’re in a push-up position.
- Drop down into a push-up.
- Push-up back to the top.
- Kick your feet out to the sides.
- Now bring them back together.
- Bring your feet back in so they are under your torso.
- Return to your standing position.
That would be one rep. Repeat for the desired number of reps.
You can start your workout with this exercise because it requires the entire body to move and remain stable at different points. It wouldn’t be wise to perform it as fast as you can from the start but you can go slow for the first few reps and gradually increase your speed until you are capable of going faster. Perform as many reps as you feel you need to so you can be prepared for your normal workout.
8 Counts can also be a great finisher at the end of a full body workout. If you want to get stronger then you can wear a weighted vest or wrist/ankle weights. With the extra resistance you can perform 2 sets of 8-10 reps with one minute rest in between.
If you don’t feel you need the extra load that’s okay too. Perform 2 sets to failure at the end of your session and you can leave the gym knowing you got a good one in.
No machine available for cardio? No problem. This plan will help you burn calories fast, help your overall fitness, and definitely leave you sweating. Perform as many reps as you can over the course of a minute. Rest for 45-60 seconds and repeat. Go for 10 rounds of this which will take 20 minutes counting rest periods. As your endurance and fitness level improves, cut the rest time by 5 seconds until you can do this for 10 rounds with 30 seconds rest between rounds.