It’s the time of the year where you’ve been doing a lot of the same workouts for a while, and most likely, things are getting a bit tired…a bit stale…just a bit too mind numbing. This of course leads to the old “I’ll just wait til New Year’s” thought process…which ends up costing you a lot of the great progress you’ve made in 2013. Before you do that and pack it in for the year, give me one shot to convince you otherwise. To do so, I created an awesome countdown workout which is designed to push you to the max by using a little technique I like to call, timed max reps. If you’ve never heard of timed max reps, stick around, because I’m about to show you an insanely effective way of blasting your muscles while ALSO increasing your caloric burn, above and beyond what a standard weight training routine could deliver.
For the majority of you, strength workouts typically consist of a prescribed number of sets and reps, commonly see like this:
3 x 10 Bench Press
This is telling you to perform three sets of 10 repetitions of bench press. While these type of workouts are great, and have their place, most of us rely on them just a little too frequently. To change things up, I want to introduce the countdown workout which completely does away with reps and sets, and instead, challenges you to max out your number of repetitions in a set time interval. If you’re not following, don’t worry, things get a little more clear shortly…
The Countdown Workout
The countdown workout consists of three groups of four different exercises. Each group of four exercises has a completely different focus. Your first group is going to primarily focus on the bigger, more compound lifts to give your muscles a nice blast to start things off. The second group consists of dumbbell work, designed to target smaller muscles and bring them to near muscular fatigue. The final group in the workout relies on body weight only exercises to finish the muscles off while giving you a great cardiovascular workout and improves your fat burning potential.
So remember when I said we’re going for timed max reps today? Okay, well now we’re going to break down exactly what these timed max reps are going to look like.
Your first exercise will be completed for 4 minutes of max timed reps. That means, you’re going to complete 4 full minutes of that particular exercise. Keep in mind, this doesn’t mean start the clock and work out, with rest breaks mixed in, for 4 minutes. It means, you’re ONLY counting time that you’re actively performing this exercise. Your goal is to perform as many reps as possible within that 4 minute period while also, limiting rest breaks as much as possible. This format of working out is great for pushing you both physically and mentally, thus helping you burn more calories AND become a better, more efficient exerciser.
It’ll probably help to have a stopwatch nearby, or make sure to keep a close eye on a clock to ensure you’re actively working for the full timed interval.
- 4 minutes Smith Machine Squats
- 3 minutes Bench Press
- 2 minutes Dead Legs
- 1 minute Bent Over Barbell Row
- 4 minutes Dumbbell Hang Snatch
- 3 minutes Flat Dumbbell Flys
- 2 minutes Dumbbell Skullcrushers
- 1 minute Lateral Raises
Again, perform each exercise in order, stopping the clock (or your count) whenever you stop for a rest break. Rest breaks are completely up to you, so try to push through and limit the time you’re sitting around catching your breath. The less rest you take and the harder you push yourself, the more you’re going to boost your EPOC, which in turn will help spike your metabolism and cause you to burn even more calories both during your workout AND afterwards.
If you’ve got any questions, comments, or just need a little extra help, feel free to leave a comment below!