Boredom can be a big issue whether you’re working out in a gym or at home. The science is simple: doing the same thing again and again doesn’t stimulate your brain. Getting used to an activity can even mean you get bored of the rewarding feeling a workout is supposed to give you. To alleviate this, workout formulas can be a refreshing way to approach an exercise routine. This is why people like mixing up their conventional gym plans, adding CrossFit or a sport to their lifestyle. Another excellent method to keep yourself engaged is to try out different forms of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training).
Having been in a bio-bubble over the past week, I have been scouring the internet for formulas which can make working out in the hotel room feel more rewarding than it usually does. Listed below are four basic but still challenging workouts I’ve learned which will keep you focused. With a good balance of rep and time-based systems, they will certainly leave you pumped up and sweating. While they’re all bodyweight exercises, feel free to add to or replace with equivalents of conventional lifts. For example, you can replace pull-ups with lat pull-downs. That said, let’s get to it!
This is my favourite formula of the lot, which is why it goes first. You can do this by choosing four to five exercises of your own choice. Let’s say you choose to do pushups. Each set will begin with you performing as many pushups as you can till failure. Let’s say you did 20. You will now rest for 30 seconds and then do half the number of the reps you did earlier (so, 10 pushups). Then rest for 15 seconds, and do a quarter of the reps you started off with (so, 5 pushups). Take a minute off, and repeat the cycle. Do at least two full sets of the exercise, but not more than three. Then move on to the next exercise. I have five exercises that I usually choose from: two variations of the pushup, a core exercise, an explosive leg exercise (jumping squats), and a door pullover or tricep dips. This is a great formula because you can measure how far you’ve come when you repeat it a few days later.
The seven-minute marker
This one will consist of only three exercises. I usually go with pushups, squats, and the superman. Of these three, the pushup as my marker exercise, which I will do as many times as I can over seven minutes (with as many breaks as I need to take). Let’s say you do 60 in seven minutes. This number is now your marker. Now you have to perform 60 squats and 60 supermans to match the marker you set. For these, you can take as much time as you want. You could even keep switching between them, as long as you hit 60 reps for each. If you’re feeling particularly strong and want to suffer a little, add a pull-up in there somewhere.
Death by (enter exercise of choice)
This is one of the easiest to figure out but also the most painful. It will make you want to constantly give up but will yourself and finish! You could try any exercise of your choice for this one. A popular move that people use for this is the burpee. Set a timer and do the exercise of choice for the corresponding minute on the timer. So you’ll do one burpee in the first minute and take the rest of the minute off, then two burpees in the second minute, and so on till you end up with no rest time left at all! It can be brutal, but it’s also a great way to measure your fitness.
Easy to find on the internet, and mostly fun, tabata-style workouts are high octane and consist of basic bodyweight exercises. The most common tabata-style formula you’ll come across is this: performing your exercises for 20 seconds and then taking 10 seconds to rest, continuously, till you hit the 5-minute mark. The total number of minutes can vary, but I’ve found that five minutes for each exercise is a nice sweet spot. This style can also be adapted to an existing targeted workout where you’re training just one muscle group. By incorporating this method, you can perform your usual workout in a 45 seconds on/15 seconds off style. A great example of this would be to add a five-minute tabata style abs/core routine at the end of any workout.
Pulasta Dhar is a football commentator and writer.