Build Your Personal Fitness Fortress
It is halfway awesomeness and halfway pressure-cooker to come up with a workout for the 30th Anniversary of an industry icon like IMPACT Magazine, but I am so ready. Hundreds of the wisest trainers have, over 30 years, contributed their very best to keeping you on track with your exercise programming. I looked back over the years of work from the best of the best with an eye to which exercises have stood the test of time and with the intent to — in one workout — create those combinations of exercises with the biggest impact on your fitness, whether that’s today, 30 years ago, or 30 years into the future. We are targetting the fundamentals of fitness.
Increased Muscle Mass and Strength: Provides a solid base for everyday life, while increasing ligament, tendon and bone strength. Increased muscle mass enhances metabolism and protects you from falls, sprawls and mishaps. Squats, deadlifts, pulls, presses and full-body resistance training are key. Strength is the domain of heavier weights, fewer repetitions, more rest. Try compound movements involving multiple joints and muscles.
Decreased Fat Mass: Excess fat mass is linked to increased mortality risk. A combination of resistance training, interval training and moderate intensity continuous training is your ticket to better health.
Improved Cardiovascular Capability: Cardiovascular fitness reduces heart and circulatory trauma. Include activities that involve the large muscles, are rhythmic and challenge your heart and lungs to work harder. Running, cycling, swimming, and skipping are but few of your options in this category.
Agility: This is the ability to move at an accelerated pace in one direction, decelerate and shift positions. Any number of jumps, multi-directional movements fit that bill, including hops, skipping, speed ladders and plyometrics.
Flexibility: The ability to move both larger and smaller joints through a full and unrestricted, pain-free range of motion. Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, yoga, Pilates and or Tai Chi are all pathways to improvement on this pillar.
These building blocks are foundational pieces of your personal fitness fortress. The only way you’ll age gracelessly, be an outlier, shake the status quo is to regularly explore this kingdom. Take classes, find a trainer or gently immerse yourself in self-study. It is never too late to start and always too early to quit. 30-plus years in the sweat trenches has taught me that the best exercises are the ones you get to do, not have to do. To that end, my regular workout this month is a blast of fitness that lights me up on a regular basis. Let’s do this!
Warm up: 5 x 2-minute skipping
Workout: Five sets of 20 reps
1. Vasa Overhead
Vasa trainer or bench with fixed resistance tubing
Lie on back, core solid, arms extended to handles, legs bent or piked.
Maintain supported core, draw arms from overhead to hips in dynamic fashion.
Control release to position — repeat.
2. Samson Pillar Pull
Kneeling, grip wide cables or fixed resistance tubing.
Grab handles higher than shoulder height, stabilize core, pull elbows tight to ribs.
Release to start position — repeat.
3. Fit Ball Push-up and Tuck
Plank position, ankles on fit ball, hands under shoulders on floor.
Draw knees to chest, elevate hips, toes on fit ball.
Extend to plank position.
Perform a perfect push-up — repeat.
4. Cable Chop
Use an overhand grip on rope facing high cable.
Step right foot diagonally back. Rotate torso with straight arms. Swing cable over left shoulder.
Step back to start position.
Repeat stepping left foot back, swing cable over right shoulder — repeat.
5. Indo Board Squat + Alternating Shoulder Press
Stand on an Indo Board or balance device of your choosing holding two dumbbells, palms facing shoulders.
Squat low. As you stand. push one dumbbell high overhead rotating palm forward.
Return hand to start position.
Repeat on opposite side then repeat both sides — repeat.
6. Bench Walk
Assume high plank position, perfect body alignment, hands under shoulders on bench.
Take right hand to floor then left, right hand up, then touch bench with left hand.
Take left hand to floor then left, left hand up, then touch bench with right hand — repeat.
Read This Story in Our 30th Anniversary Digital Edition
Celebrate 30 years of Canada’s best health and fitness publication!
Explore future trends in health, fitness and food in this special 30th anniversary edition. Find our favourite tech and kitchen must-haves, then work out before making one of our delicious plant-based recipes – all inside this issue!