I don’t know what makes you tick, but for me, you can’t beat the sense of accomplishment after completing any kind of high intensity work. Whether it’s completing a single exercise, or a gruelling circuit, that feeling you get when it’s all over and you are victorious is addictive and what motivates me to push the boundaries and see exactly what my body and mind is capable of.
A string of rubbish training sessions that serve no reason for personal reward or accomplishment can quickly demotivate us and stop our progress dead in its tracks. For this reason, it’s imperative we are constantly challenging ourselves with killer workouts. This will keep our motivational fire burning and enable us to keep progressing.
Below I have laid out my top 5 high intensity exercises that are guaranteed to get that heart racing.
Battle ropes vary in length, weight and thickness, but all serve the same purpose – providing an immense workout. Waving, slamming a whipping these heavy-duty ropes will have you feeling muscles you never knew you had. This low impact, high intensity training tool is used mainly for strength and conditioning and it will have your metabolism on fire.
Another conditioning tool used by athletes from many sports is the weighted sled, a basic but extremely effective bit of kit. Bag some weights on there, set a distance and push, pull, drag it forwards, drag it backwards until your legs and lungs feel like they are going to explode. Once your legs get tired, it gets harder, so you better give your all until you’ve reached your distance. Get inventive with how you use it – there are no rules. You can also row it, double arm and single arm to target the back or curl it towards you to target the biceps. The list of potential exercises is limited only to your imagination.
Power bag clean and press
A power bag is a well-designed bag of sand with handles. They come in a variety of sizes and weights and can be pretty much used to do any weighted exercise going. The sand moves inside making the bag uneven which gives it that extra element of discomfort and difficulty. As we are aiming for a high intensity workout, movements that use the most muscle groups at once, like the clean and press, are ideal. Quads, glutes, core, arms, shoulders and traps are all used during these exercises. Pick up a heavy power bag and go for strength or pick up a lighter one and aim for continuous exercise for a certain time period. Both methods are guaranteed to leave you with post-workout pain!
The key is to find a tyre that you can flip at about 50% of your maximum strength. This will enable you to be able to flip the tyre numerous times without sacrificing form (yes, there is a form for tyre flipping). It’s basically the same movement as a deadlift, so head up, back straight and push the floor away through your feet to get the tyre up. Then simply push it over and repeat.
Bag or pad work
No previous boxing experience is needed, just a little hand eye coordination so you don’t hit your partner in the face. It’s a bonus if you have a partner or PT who knows what they’re doing and can hold the pads while giving you various combinations and keep you moving round the ring or area. Quick bursts or punches, keeping that guard up, and constant movement for a couple of minutes per round will have your shoulders and lungs burning like mad. You could also do this on your own with a hanging bag, moving round the bag throwing flurries of punches and even some kicks if you’ve had a really bad day.