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Fitness challenge: Personal bests

Your goal with this workout is to do as many repetitions of each exercise as you possibly can until you really can’t do any more. Make sure you write the numbers of reps down, so next time you do the same workout your goal will be to beat your previous personal bests. Even if it’s just by one repetition!

Why it works

The reason this style of workout is good is because it will constantly challenge your body to go one step further than it was previously capable of doing. Your body won’t change unless you give it reason to, and this is your reason! Also, you aren’t comparing or competing against anyone else other than yourself so your goals of beating your previous scores will be realistic.

Of course, if you thrive on challenge, get a workout partner to do it with you (either at the same time as you, or you can do it separately and compare notes).

Personal Bests Fitness Challenge!

Complete as many repetitions of the following exercises as possible and make sure you write your numbers. If you’re using weights or modifying the exercises in any way, make sure you note it down so you can do it the same again next time:

  • Seat touch squats (LEGS)
    With a chair behind you, squat until your butt touches the chair, then stand back up. Keep your chest up and make sure your knees bend straight over the top of your toes when you squat so they stay in line.
  • Push ups (ARMS)
    Start on your toes and drop to your knees when you absolutely have to – even if it’s only half of one – just make sure you don’t pause in between (you can write how many you do of each, i.e. Full: 2, Knees: 12 = Total: 14). Remember that full push ups are not ‘boy’ push ups! Keep your butt down and your abs braced tightly; remember elbows bend until 90 degrees like a goal post.
  • Burpeesย (CARDIO)
    From a standing position, place both hands on the ground and jump both feet straight out back to plank position. Jump them both back in, then jump straight up with your hands in the air. That’s one burpee. And yes, we know they’re horrible!
  • Knee-slide crunches (ABS)
    Start in situp position, hands flat on your thighs, exhale and slide hands up towards knees as high as you can go, then return to start position.

Repetitions must be continuous (i.e. no big gaps between reps!) and your technique must be correct. If your form start to get uber dodgy, it’s time to stop as we don’t want injury!

Some helpful tips

Don’t target yourself the round numbers to stop at (i.e. 10, 20, 30….), this doesn’t really help you push yourself to your full potential.

Keep going until you can’t do any more – most people have around five or so reps left in them when they think they feel they have to stop. This is the difference between training by yourself and training with a personal trainer – be your own PT and make yourself do those extra reps!

To mix it up, give yourself around four to six weeks to let your body develop the strength to deal with the exercises, and to try and keep improving your personal bests, then pick a new series of exercises to repeat the process.

Image / Flickr – ~ggvic~

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