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When only a tough workout will do

There are some days when you just want to push yourself as hard as you possibly can. You are feeling fit, healthy and only a tough workout will do.

The Overload principle

Undertaking a tough workout, that is above and beyond what you normally do, makes sense from a fitness perspective. It is known as the OVERLOAD principle and is a basic sports fitness training concept. It means in order to improve you must push your body to work harder. If you continually work at the same intensity, your body learns to adjust and so any improvement to your fitness is halted. By pushing your body beyond its normal limits, you shock your body’s muscular and cardio vascular system into working harder. This paves the way for rapid improvements in fitness.

Three ways to get a tough workout

Here are three workouts that we think will satiate the most insane gym nuts among you and push your body harder than it has worked before. Each one provides a tough workout using minimum equipment. While your body might scream at you while you are undertaking the challenge, the sense of satisfaction you will feel afterwards is well worth the pain.

women weight lifting

The Crossfit Filthy 50

This crossfire workout provides a really tough workout. It involves performing 50 repetitions of 10 different exercises without taking a break between. It is a really great way of improving fitness and muscular endurance.

Here is a suggested list of exercises, although you can adapt the programme to suit the equipment you have available.

50 box jumps
50 jumping pull-ups
50 kettlebell swings
50 jumping lunges
50 knees to elbow
50 push ups
50 back extensions
50 tricep dips
50 burpees
50 deep squats

Equipment needed: a solid box or bench; a kettlebell.

German Volume Training

This is a tough workout that should not be undertaken unless you have a high level of experience with free weights. For any guidance on this exercise programme, speak to the instructors in the Free Weights Gym.

This workout aim to help gain muscle mass and relies on progressive loading, so each time you successfully meet the repetition range, you raise the weight for the following workout.

The programme involves three training days of two different exercises. You perform 10 sets of 10 reps, plus an isolation exercise per body part, but using much less volume.

The workouts place a high level of strain on the central nervous system so make sure you have adequate rest between training sessions and do not follow the programme for more than six weeks at a time.

A typical week of German Volume Training might look like this:

Day 1: Chest & Back

Barbell bench press 10 x 10
Bent over row 10 x 10
Chest fly 3 x 10
Lat Pull Down 3 x 10

Day 2: Legs & Abs

Forward lunge 10 x 10
Romanian deadlift 10 x 10
Calf raises 3 x 10
Weighted sit up 3 x 10

Day 3: Shoulder, Traps & Arms

Military Press 10 x 10
Upright Row 10 x 10
Barbell Curl 3 x 10
Tricep Pull Down 3 x 10

You will find all the equipment you need for the GVT workout in either Outlooks Gym or the  Free Weights Gym at Kelsey Kerridge.

Crossfit’s Murph Workout

The Crossfit’s Murph Workout was name after an US military officer who was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2005. Lieutenant Michael Murphy was a devotee of Crossfit workouts and this was his signature session. It is now a favourite among gym goers around the world, but particularly with military personnel.

The workout is excellent for developing overall fitness conditioning and needs no equipment, so it can be done anywhere.

The Workout:

A one-mile run
100 pull-ups
200 push-ups
300 squats
A one mile run

The aim is to shave time off each time you train.

Equipment needed: A pull-up bar or substitute.

With all of these sessions, if you have underlying health concerns, it is recommended you visit a doctor before commencing exercises.