Build Muscle, Burn Fat, and Boost Cardio with this Full Body Workout

November 6, 2018

Welcome back to Down With The Fitness, your one-stop shop for at-home bodyweight exercises and bitchin’ music to play while you do them! How’s your habit of drinking a glass of water and doing ten squats when you wake up going?

We focus on exercise and nutrition in these blogs, but really those are just two areas of life most people could improve (including me). Improving feels f***ing good. If we all work to improve ourselves, the world will improve. As magical and amazing as 2018 is, I’d say there’s still plenty of room for improvement. Down with the Fitness is meant to give people some simple, fun opportunities to improve.

Improvement is also something we can all do, regardless of where we’re at. I work with 79, 80 (x2), and 83 year-olds. They can, and do, improve. They see the value of improving, even at that age. This is not about being perfect- it’s about doing the best you can and putting some effort into a worthwhile venture, such as taking better care of the miraculous network of cells carting your consciousness through this crazy ride known as life...

It’s about improving your body, with exercise and nutrition.

It’s also about improving your relationship with yourself.

Every blog, I ask about your habit of drinking a glass of water and doing 10 squats right when you wake up. I introduced this early on because it’s so damn simple and will take a minute, tops. Imagine doing that first thing in the morning and having an apple and a salad at some point throughout your day. Not a very complicated health approach, right?

You can still have your pizza and Netflix. Your cupcakes and Fortnite. Nothing else changes. Nothing gets removed. We’re just adding water, squats, salad, and an apple to your day. Could you handle that? (If not, just pick one to start with! Or something else that's so simple and obvious you can't see ANY reason you couldn't fit it into your day.)

I bet you’ll feel better when you try it, and will probably do more than I just suggested as time goes on. That’s great! It’s a snowball-starter. Feel free to add to it, but don’t skip out on those bare minimums. Think of them as non-negotiable parts of your day. Don’t underestimate the power of simplicity and consistency.

Simplicity and consistency are lessons I preach all the time to everyone who asks; from readers of this blog, to clients, to friends and family, to random people at shows who come up and talk to me about their health and exercise concerns.

I was recently reminded of the importance of these when finally (I think) getting a handle on meditating regularly! This has always been an elusive habit for me because I “never had time”. Well, to fix that, I started a daily practice of meditating for ONE MINUTE. That’s it.

(I do it right when I wake up in addition to my water and squats.)

This is not a blog on meditation. Meditation is just an example of how I’ve set the bar appropriately for myself to actually do something every day. I bring it up because it is something I always wanted to do regularly and knew would be good for me, yet never consistently made time for, and a lot of people feel this way about about exercise.

Sure, one minute, like ten squats, won’t feel like much going into it... THAT’S THE POINT!

Instead of being like, “damn, I gotta set 15 minutes aside” I just think, “one minute? Psh, I could do more than that!” and I usually do. A lot of time I go for more than one minute, often I do it more than once a day. One minute is my non-negotiable minimum. There’s no way I can justify NOT doing it.

Find your non-negotiable exercise minimum.

Today’s exercise isn’t just an exercise, it’s actually a few of exercises sequenced in order to create a combination move, also known as a “flow” sequence. You will be able to flow smoothly from one to the next.

These are hands-down my FAVORITE form of bodyweight exercise. The possibilities are endless while your mind and body work together to build muscle, burn fat, and boost cardio!

It’s important to have fun with this. There is no “failure”, just movement. If you move smoothly and maintain control, you’ll get the most benefit. Smooth and controlled usually means SLOW!

On that note, you will be doing this for a set amount of time, so don’t worry about trying to do a number of reps. The song at the bottom of this blog will double as your timer.

Go through these moves (which we’ve already gone over in past blogs) with intent and control, until the song ends. Remain fully focused on controlling the movement and feeling the various muscles working together. Slow is smooth and smooth is fast. It won’t even take 4 minutes!

This is a very simple flow, consisting of three separate exercise we’ve covered: The Squat, The Walk Out, and The Push Up. Technically it’s four, I guess, since you can’t do a push up without doing a Plank:

  • You’ll notice we pause at the bottom of the squat, before “walking” into the plank for the push up, “walking” back, then finishing the squat. This involves controlling the bottom of your squat, which is a great skill.
  • To start, I would recommend going as slow as I do in the first one, and deliberately pausing at each checkpoint: the bottom of the squat, the plank, and the bottom of the push up.
  • As you get a feel for this you can make things a little more fluid, like I do in the second one. Although, you’ll notice I stay in control of my body and am “owning the movement”, as we say, the whole time; not floppin’ and flailin’ all over the place. Rushing through movements is not going to get you as much benefit.

Even by going slow and maintaining great control, you will notice your heart beating faster by the end, maybe a little sweat dripping. These are signs of a “metabolic” response which is to say, you’re burning calories. You do not need to remember this. I just brought it up because “Metabolic” is the name of the song you’ll be doing this flow to:

 

Man, Slipknot have fueled SO many workouts for me. I got into them well before I got into working out. Iowa is a top-3 album for me, no question. Those songs got me through some $#!T!!  As a matter of fact, now that I think about it, it may have been my best friend in high school! Albums can be best friends, right?

Back then, I always kinda felt the album was front-loaded, but the older I get, the more I realize the second half (everything after “Left Behind”) is its own crushing masterpiece. I’m by no means saying “Metabolic” is my favorite song on the album, or even the second half of it. I just chose it because of the name. It may be my favorite song on the album. I don’t know.  If you can easily pick a favorite song on an album, it’s probably not gonna be in your top 3 all-time albums.

Part of me feels like a contradictory idiot for telling you about meditating, and encouraging you to go super slowly through the movements, then hitting you with a beast of a song like this. The thing is, contrary to what many fitness “experts” will try to tell you (usually in an effort to get you to buy into their “way”, which costs money), there aren’t actually any rules to this stuff!!

You need to enjoy it, so you’ll do it for the long-haul without driving yourself crazy! That’s really the closest thing to a rule I have. I really enjoy doing flow sequences like this and I hope you will too, because they are a great tool to build muscle, burn fat, and boost cardio, while being very joint-friendly so you can do them long-term without beating yourself up.

The next handful of blogs will be more sequences to try, but feel free to experiment with new stuff on your own! Play with stuff. Get creative. Have fun. Empower yourself. There are no rules! (You could very easily add shoulder taps and reverse lunges to this one, just to name a couple things we’ve already gone over on these blogs in the past.)

In closing, Slipknot dropped a new song as I was writing this. So listen to that too. I did 7 rounds of this sequence to it. That’s going realllllllllll slow, as you’ll find out if you attempt to too. (I was aiming for 6 obviously, haha! Slipknot rules.)

If you have any questions, success stories, or struggles, feel free to join the private Down With The Fitness Facebook group.

Have fun and do your best with this one!

Take Great Care,

Matt Koch