Full Body Workout: Pilates Strength Fusion

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I like to say that my workouts are as mixed as I am ethnically, and in regards to my DNA, I’m quite the mutt: I am born to a Filipino father with descendants from China, and to a caucasian mother who’s lineage originates in Wales, England, Hungary, and Crotia.

If I was a dog on Petfinder, I’d probably look like this guy here.  (What the hell is it?)

A little funky looking on the outside, but I bet he’s a wonder-dog mutt: a healthy-lean-intelligent-superpowered canine. One that doesn’t hump your leg, takes itself out for walks and pee-breaks, and cooks you dinner.

Basically, the best dog ever.

Anyways, somehow this is suppose to tie into a workout, so let’s get to that shall we?

Like my mutt DNA, so too, are my workouts.  They are a weird-hybrid combination of my years playing sports, my love of Pilates and yoga, and my understanding of the chakra system.

For today’s workout I’m offering a full body workout that will pair a strength-based exercise with a Pilates or yoga-inspired mobility or core exercise in a superset fashion.

Traditional supersets pair antagonist muscle groups together that are done back to back, i.e. a chest exercise (like a push-up) followed by a back exercise (like a DB row).

I am quite the fan of supersetting, and I’ve modified that same concept into these workouts, except each strength exercise is paired with, like I said earlier, a complimentary Pilates or yoga move. However, instead of focusing the pairing on antagonist muscle groups, I actually prefer to split it up between upper body and lower body, or basing it off of movement patterns.  Which means it pretty much doesn’t fit into the definition of a “superset” anymore, but I’ll explain why I do it below.

I find that pairing the exercises this ways accomplishes a couple of things:

1. Spares your energy to kick-butt at the strength exercises where you’ll need most of your umph.  I find that doing 2 strength-based exercises back to back can be a bit fatiguing for most clients.

2. Increase your body’s range of motion by including mobility based movements, like I find very useful with pilates and yoga. By sprinkling in your mobility exercises within the workout, you avoid not doing them if you had a separate section in your workout soley dedicated for mobility.

For instance, an example of this would be:

A1) Push-up with rotation

A2) Intermediate Shoulder Bridges

The Push-up exercise would be considered your strength exercise, which would immediately be followed up with A2, your Pilates or yoga-based exercise, and in this example, I break it up into upper body, Push-up, and lower body, bridges.

I would assign a rep and set range depending on the client, usually 2-4 sets, 6-12 reps.

These are the same style workouts that my clients, like my girl Samantha, followed with the Lean Body Challenge and lost 20 lbs. and 18 inches, safely and without dieting or doing any cardio (yes, she did no cardio) over the course of 4 months.  She has a great success story that I will share with you within the next week.

The full body workout today is based on these ideas, and I set it up so that you can do this at your gym.  Each exercise will take you to a video demonstration on YouTube.

Pilates-Strength Fusion Workout

Warm-up: Dynamic Warm-up Drills

Pilates-Strength Circuit:

A1) Push-up with rotation – 3 sets; 6-12 reps

A2) Intermediate Bridge– 2 sets; 3-4 leg lifts/leg

B1) Step-Ups – 3 sets; 8-10 reps

B2) Swan Dives – 2 sets; 6-8 reps

C1) Ice Skaters – 2 sets; 30-60 seconds

C2) Runner’s Lunges – 2 sets; 3-5/leg

D) TRX Row or Stretch Band Rows** – 2 sets; 8-12 reps

Cool-down: Foam Rolling Routine

**(Because we all need more pulling in our workouts)

This whole workout should take you no more than 45 minutes to do from start to finish, and with the nature of the supersetting, and strength training exercises, this should get your HR up a bit as well.

Now of course, this would be modified for each client, but it at least gives you a new idea of how you can pair exercises, and how you can incorporate your Pilates and yoga practices into your strength training.

These are the same workouts that we’ll be using for the January Lean Body Challenge. And, like Samantha, you can relax a bit, because you will not be doing any running or boring cardio.  Yep, one of the main components of the program is not doing cardio.  Which, may sound counterintuitive to what you currently know about losing weight, thus making it all the more appealing.

If these workouts sound like something you can do, and if you’re interested in losing weight, increasing your energy and feeling better about your body, the next Lean Body Challenge starts January 14th, 2013.  So, be sure to get on the Early Bird List below to save $50 off the program, yippee!

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