The 8 Best at Home Workouts (No-Equipment!)

The 8 Best at Home Workouts (No-Equipment!)


Wonder Woman vacuuming at home

So you want to start working out, but you don’t want to leave the house?

No problem! 

Our online coaches specialize in helping people get fit from home.

Let’s go over the 8 Best At-Home Workouts so you can start training today: no gym or equipment required!

Before we jump in…

You’re reading this guide at the perfect time because Nerd Fitness is currently hosting a special event, LET’S START TOGETHER: A 5-DAY WALKING CHALLENGE FOR HOBBITSNERDS!

A graph explaining the Nerd Fitness Walking Challenge

Walking around your neighborhood is a great way to start training from home! It’s one of the ways I choose to stay active.

Learn more right here!

At Home Warm-ups and stretching routines

A LEGO and his dog

No matter which at-home workout you pick, I want you to start with one important thing:

Warm-up!

I cover why you should always warm up in an article found right here. It doesn’t have to be much though, give it about five minutes to get your muscles active and your heart rate up.

Arm circles are a great way to warm-up for your at-home workout.

This will help you do exercises properly and help prevent injury. You can run in place, do air punches and kicks, or some jumping jacks.

Here is NF Senior Coach Staci (you might know her incredible story) showing you many beginner options you can use to warm up as well:

If you’re curious, here’s my personal (advanced) warm-up:

Advanced Warm-up Routine:

  • Jump rope: 2-3 minutes 
  • Jumping jacks: 25 reps
  • Bodyweight squats: 20 reps
  • Lunges: 5 reps each leg.
  • Hip extensions: 10 reps each side
  • Hip rotations: 5 each leg
  • Forward leg swings: 10 each leg
  • Side leg swings: 10 each leg
  • Push-ups: 10-20 reps
  • Spider-man steps: 10 reps

Our goal isn’t to tire you out, instead we want to warm you up.

That’s step one.

Completing your chosen at-home workout would be step two.

The Count proclaiming the number "2"

Below, you’ll find 8 sequences you can follow along with!

Home Workout #1: Beginner Bodyweight

This at-home routine, as we lay out in our Beginner Bodyweight Workout article, is as follows:

We also turned it into a fun infographic with superheroes, because that’s how we roll:

This infographic will show you the 6 exercises needed to complete our Beginner Bodyweight Workout.

The above is what we call “circuit training,” with the objective being to run through the workout sequence once, then again, then again.

Note: Not a milk drinker?

GOMAD will for sure help you gain weight, as this kid can attest to.

If you don’t have milk in the house for the rows, find something of roughly the same weight with a good handle.

Also, if you want to download this Beginner Bodyweight Workout as a worksheet, you can do so when you sign up in the box below:

It’ll help you track your progress as you begin your training.

Home Workout #2: Advanced Bodyweight 

If the beginner at-home workout above is too easy for you, move on to our Advanced Bodyweight Workout

The Advanced Bodyweight Workout:

  • One-legged squats – 10 each side [warning: super-difficult, only attempt if you’re in good enough shape]
  • Bodyweight squats: 20 reps
  • Walking lunges: 20 reps (10 each leg)
  • Jump step-ups: 20 reps (10 each leg)
  • Pull-ups: 10 reps [or inverted bodyweight rows]
  • Dips (between bar stools): 10 reps
  • Chin-ups: 10 reps [or inverted bodyweight rows with underhand grip]
  • Push-ups: 10 reps
  • Plank: 30 seconds

Not familiar with these moves? Check out the 21 Best Advanced Bodyweight Exercises for a full breakdown.

I warn you, the above sequence will hurt… in a good way. You should be proud if you can get through this three times.

Do you want to get as strong as possible so this workout ain’t no thang? 

Sign up in the box below to grab our guide, Strength Training 101: Everything You Need to Know. It’ll teach you all of these advanced bodyweight exercises!

Home Workout #3: The 20-Min Hotel Routine

Is there anyway to work out in this hotel room?

Sometimes, you just plain find yourself stuck in a hotel room. Maybe you can find the hotel gym, but I bet it’s terrible! It probably has 2 machines, a broken treadmill, and no free weights. 

Ugh.

Instead, how about a 20-min workout you can do in the room itself! Utilize the furniture to its full potential.

You can work out in your hotel room like these two people are doing!

Hotel Workout Level 1:

Hotel Workout Level 2:

Set the alarm clock to 15 minutes from now and see how many circuits you can do!

Check out our full post on hotel circuits if you want Level 3!

We have a LOT of business travelers throughout the Rebellion! Learn how they stay fit on the road with the Nerd Fitness Starter Kit!

Home Workout #4: High-Intensity Interval Training 

A LEGO Wizard

You don’t have to head to the gym to do High-Intensity Interval Training. You can do a complete routine right in your own home!

HIIT is just following a specific regimen where you vary your speeds and intensity throughout a shorter run, swim, bike, or row.

Unless you have a giant backyard, running at home might be tough.

But you know what doesn’t require a lot of room?

The infamous burpee bodyweight exercise!

Burpees!

To complete a burpee:

  • Start standing up, then squat down and kick your legs out.
  • Do a push-up, bring your legs back in, and explode up into a jump.
  • For a HIIT workout, try to do 20 repetitions, then rest for two minutes.
  • Repeat until you hate yourself.

Check out our full guide on How to Start Interval Training for some more ideas on HIIT workouts.

You can also check out our post “The 20-Min HIIT Workout for Home” for another living-room-friendly interval routine!

Home Workout #5: Attack of the Angry Birds

Little Cute Birds in a row

The Angry Birds Workout is designed to be done when you have 5 or 10 minutes to kill.

Sort of like playing Angry Birds…

If you have time for Angry Birds, you have time for an at home workout.

Here’s how The Angry Birds Workout Plan works: it’s deceptively simple – only four major movements.

If you don’t have time to run through the whole sequence, no problem!

Depending on how much time you have during the day, you can do your whole workout at once, or break up your training into four different sessions throughout the day (with each session being ONE of the exercises).

Here’s a sample day for your No-Equipment Workout:

  • Wake up, do 40 jumping jacks to warm up, and then do bodyweight squats.
  • At lunch, you grab your suitcase (if you’re at work, milk jug if you’re at home) and do inverted rows.
  • After work, you do another 50 jumping jacks and then do your push-ups.
  • After dinner, you do your planks while watching TV.

You could even split it up over two days if needed, but the goal would be to do it the whole sequence at once.

The main Angry Birds Workout article describes in detail Levels 1-6, but here’s Level 3 for you:

Once you’ve done the complete routine, you have my permission to whip out your phone and play the actual game!

Home Workout #6: Train like Batman

Lego minifigures standing in rows. In first row - Batman, The Jo

We love the Caped Crusader here at Nerd Fitness, so naturally we have The Batman Bodyweight Workout for you to try!

Bonus points if you somehow do this no-equipment workout in a cave, as that’s how Bruce Wayne would roll.[1]

This workout is separated into two days for you.

Here’s a video for the first day:

Batman No-Equipment Workout Day 1:

  • Rolling squat tuck-up jumps: 5 reps
  • Side to side push-ups: 5 reps
  • Modified headstand push-ups: 5 reps
  • Jump pull-up with tuck / Pull-up with Tuck-up: 5 reps
  • Handstands against wall: 8 seconds

Here’s a video for the second day:

Batman No-Equipment Workout Day 2:

  • ‘180 Degree’ jump turns: 5 reps
  • Tuck front lever hold: 8 seconds
  • Tuck back lever hold: 8 seconds
  • Low frog hold: 8 seconds

This is a relatively advanced workout already, but if you want to progress to the next level, check out the main Batman Bodyweight Workout for tips on how to do just that.

Batman is stoked you want to do an at-home workout.




Home Workout #7: The PLP Progression

At Nerd Fitness we encourage everyone to get to their first pull-up!

The PLP is a progressive program in which you complete one additional rep of three exercises – Pull-Ups, Lunges, and Push-Ups – every day, for two months.

NOTE: This is NOT a beginner program, and should not be attempted unless you have been training consistently and can do multiple repetitions of pull-ups and push-ups with great form.

Like this perfect push-up:

This gif shows Staci doing a push-up in perfect form.

And this perfect pull-up:

The classic pull-up

Here’s how the PLP Progression works:

Day 1:

  • Pull-ups: 10 reps
  • Push-ups: 10 reps
  • Lunges: 10 reps (each leg)

Day 2:

  • Pull-ups: 11 reps
  • Push-ups: 11 reps
  • Lunges: 11 reps (each leg)

Day 3:

  • Pull-ups: 12 reps
  • Push-ups: 12 reps
  • Lunges: 12 reps (each leg)

How long do you keep doing this?

As originally envisioned by Chad Waterbury, the PLP Workout lasts 60 days.[3]

A man realizing how difficult this at-home workout will be.

Yeah…by the end of it you’ll be doing more than 50 pull-ups.

There are two versions:

  • If you can do 10 straight pull-ups: Start day 1 with 10 reps of each.
  • If you cannot do 10 straight pull-ups: Start day 1 with 1 rep of each.

Complete your required reps each day in as many sets as you need, whenever you need to. The goal is to do it in as few sets as possible, but enough so that you can complete each rep with proper form.

Want to learn more? Check out my results on the PLP Workout.

Home Workout #8: The Star Wars Workout!

Ackbar dressed as a rapper

Do you have access to a hallway that you can commandeer for a bit?

Then you can do our Star Wars Workout!

It’s designed to be done in a very small space, like your home’s hallway…or an escape pod.

The “Padawan” Level of this workout is:

  • 30-second knee or feet front plank (3 Sets)
  • 10 assisted squats or squats (3 Sets)
  • 10 doorway rows (3 Sets)
  • A 60-second Farmer-carry (Farmer’s Walk) dumbbells (or milk jugs) (2 sets)
  • March in place for 3 minutes of intervals (6 sets of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off)
  • 8 elevated or knee push-ups (4 sets)
  • 60-second Doorway Leans (2 sets)

If you want to advance to the Jedi Knight or Master Levels, check out The Star Wars Workout, which will also offer you a full description of each move.

Bonus No-Equipment Workout: The Playground Circuit

Do you have a nearby playground? Why not work out there! If you have kids, you can do it together. Or let them ignore you.

I’ll give you a Level One workout, and a Level Two. Check out The 20-Minute Playground Workout for some Level Three exercises.

Playground Workout Level One:

  • Alternating step-ups: 20 reps (10 each leg)
  • Elevated push-ups: 10 reps
  • Swing rows: 10 reps
  • Assisted lunges: 8 reps each leg
  • Bent leg reverse crunches: 10 reps

Playground Workout Level Two:

  • Bench jumps: 10 reps
  • Lower incline push-ups: 10 reps
  • Body rows: 10 reps
  • Lunges: 8 reps each leg
  • Straight leg reverse crunches: 10 reps

After you’ve gone through a complete set three times, go down the slide!



Can Home Workouts Build Muscle or Help With Weight Loss?

A LEGO penguin

Throughout our Online Coaching Program, we get two common questions for those wanting to train at home:

  1. Can working out at home help me build muscle?
  2. Can working out at home help me lose weight?

The answer to both of these: yep!

Let’s tackle them one by one.

#1) Can working out at home help me build muscle?

You can 100% build muscle mass at home.

Just ask out friend Jimmy here:

Jimmy before and after he did bodyweight training

Read more on how Jimmy turned into Spider-Man from home!

The trick is to follow a progressive overload strategy, as Coach Jim outlines in this video:

With progressive overload, we want to make our workouts more and more challenging, thus putting additional strain on our muscles.

So to build muscle with home workouts, focus on:

  • Increasing your repetitions.
  • Decreasing your rest periods between exercises.
  • Performing more difficult variations (knee push-ups to push-ups).
  • Increasing your time under tension (by going slower).

That will help you build strength and muscle from your casa.

Next up:

#2) Can working out at home help me lose weight?

You can totally train at home for a successful weight loss strategy.

Again, we have a great example with one of our Online Coaching Clients, Sarah the Supermom:

This picture shows Sarah's transformation

The trick here is to couple your home workouts with adjustments to your nutrition.

We’re big believers that you can’t outrun your fork, so any successful weight loss plan will include a focus on building a healthy plate.

That will look something like this:

If your meal plate looks like this, you're doing a lot of the heavy lifting for weight loss.

If you want some help on adjusting your nutrition, I’ve got two great resources for you:

  • The Nerd Fitness Guide to Healthy Eating. This massive resource will help you slowly adjust your nutrition, without forcing you to give up the food you love (yes, you can still eat pizza here and there). No more diets, instead we’ll work on building habits together.
  • Nerd Fitness Coaching. If you want to take it to the next level, one of our trained professionals can help you adjust your way of eating to help you reach your goals. No shame. No judgment. Just a like-minded nerd who will show you the way.




How to Build Your Own At-Home Workout

You can workout in a home just like this!

We just went over 8 workouts you can do at home (plus a workout you can do in a park).

You don’t have to stick to these though!

I have two resources to help you design your own no-equipment workout:

  1. The 42 Best Bodyweight Exercises: This guide will teach you how to perform the best bodyweight exercises – no equipment required! Check it out if you are unfamiliar with any of the movements referenced in today’s guide.
  2. How To Build Your Own Workout Routine: Once you’re comfortable with a handful of bodyweight exercises, use this guide to pull them all together into a full-body workout!

That should get you going on building a workout you can do in the comfort of your own home.

Want more? Alright, eager beaver, I got you.

This beaver is ready to start his at home training.

We built THREE options for people just like you:

1) If you want step-by-step guidance, a custom workout program that levels up as you get stronger, and a coach to keep you accountable, check out our killer 1-on-1 coaching program:

Your NF Coach can help you lose weight and get healthy!

2) If you want a daily prompt for doing workouts at home, check out NF Journey. Our fun habit-building app helps you exercise more frequently, eat healthier, and level up your life (literally).

Try your free trial right here:

3) Join the Rebellion! We need good people like you in our community, the Nerd Fitness Rebellion. 

Sign up in the box below to enlist and get our guide, Strength Training 101: Everything You Need to Know. It’ll help you start incorporating these bodyweight moves into your training.

Alright, your turn: I’d love to hear how your home training is going!

Which workout above did you try? Did you make one of your own?

Leave a comment below with your results or any questions you have on working out at home.

For the Rebellion!

-Steve

PS: If you were going to buy one piece of equipment to utilize in your home, a kettlebell would offer you a lot of versatility:

Coach Matt showing you how to rock the kettlebell swing.

###

Photo Sources: Home Sweet Home 2, good dog, The minifigures of this series are really beautiful, it’s a rap, my friend:), Ekaterina Minaeva © 123RF.com, Hotel Room, af8images © 123RF.com, Tithi Luadthong © 123RF.com, Vintage House Bicycle,



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How to Build Muscle as a Woman (5 Workouts)

How to Build Muscle as a Woman (5 Workouts)


Staci's life has been transformed by her quest to growth muscle.


If you are interested in learning how to gain weight the right way, you have come to the right place! 

My name is Staci Ardison.

I overcame an eating disorder, discovered a love for heavy strength training, and now I help women like you get stronger for a living.

Believe it or not, I’m 50 pounds heavier in the photo on the right (and WAY stronger, and healthier, and happier!).

I’m currently a lead coach here in the Nerd Fitness Coaching Program, where we train women to pick up heavy weights, get strong, and build confidence.



Speaking of picking up heavy weights, here I am deadlifting 455 pounds:

Staci showing you how to deadlift 455 pouds.

This is what I LOVE to do.

In this Ultimate Guide to Building Muscle as a Woman, I’m going to be covering:

Alright, let’s do this.

Why Building Muscle is Difficult for Some Women

A group of different LEGO women ready to build muscle.

As Steve covered in “How to build muscle” and “How to bulk up for men,” the principles of weight gain are all the same regardless of your sex or gender:

“If you want to gain weight, eat more calories than you burn regularly. Want to put on the right KIND of weight? Exercise and eat the right way too.”

Now, there’s plenty of nuance to this when comparing men and women:

  • Due to our natural hormones, it’s generally more difficult for people with typical female anatomy to gain muscle than people with typical male anatomy.[1]
  • We have a lot of factors (such as hormonal birth control) that have been proven to make it even harder as well.[2]

But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible!

It just means we have to work harder for it.

Mary isn't happy, but will build muscle anyway.

Ugh, I know.

Now, one thing I want to touch on quick: if you see a woman who is absolutely jacked and at an extremely low body fat percentage, I guarantee she has been working her butt off for a very long time with the goal of building muscle.

It’s not something that happens overnight, or by mistake.

In addition, some women with larger amounts of muscle mass choose to take steroids to help assist them in gaining muscle, because we simply don’t have the hormones naturally to get to that size.

So if you’d like to build muscle, but not as much as a professional bodybuilder – don’t worry, it’s not something that happens by accident.

With that out of the way, let’s talk about body fat and body types:

As we point out in that body fat percentage guide, we women can look very different at any weight depending on our body shape and how much muscle we have. It comes down to our own personal goals!

This picture shows different body fat % of women.

This guide is going to primarily focus on two things:

  1. How to eat to gain weight and build muscle.
  2. How to strength train to build muscle.

We’ve helped thousands of women with our online coaching program, many of whom are trying to gain weight and strength train for the first time in their lives.



Everybody is on their own journey, at their own pace, and everybody will end up with different results too!

Should Women Build Muscle? (7 Reasons Women Should Grow Muscle)

This woman built lots of muscle on her journey to became an astronaut.

If it can be harder for women to gain muscle (compared to men), why go through the trouble?

I’m glad you asked!

Here are the top 7 reasons why women should strength train:

#1) When you’re stronger – everyday life is easier. No need to call for help to get that 50lb bag of dog food off the top shelf, or carrying an air conditioner unit up a flight of stairs. LIFE is easier when you’re stronger. 

#2) Less injury risk – when you build strong muscles, you’re also building stronger bones, ligaments, and tendons, making you less prone to injury doing things you love (like playing in a quidditch league).[3]

#3) Helps combat age-related muscle loss,[4] allowing us to remain independent longer as we age:

#4) Muscle is harder to maintain, which means you need to eat more just to hold on to it.[5]

#5) Reduce pain – having a strong body makes living easier on your joints, as well as allows you to hold a better posture, and reduce back / hip pain.[6]

#6) Appearance – this is a personal preference! Some women like to have a lot of muscle, and some don’t. While you can’t spot reduce fat, you can choose to build more muscle in specific areas, changing your body shape. Growing up, I was an extreme pear shape, but due to strength training, I now have more of an hourglass shape. 

You can see that Staci has changed the way she looks from strength training!

#7) Live longer – want to spend more time on Earth? Strength training and growing muscle will help you do just that.[7]



How to Eat to Gain Muscle as a Woman

This woman knows gaining muscle relies on a proper diet...like seafood!

As we said above, gaining weight comes down to thermodynamics and science.

Every day, we burn a certain number of calories just existing, which is called our BMR (basal metabolic rate). We then factor in our daily activity level, and get a number that is called our “total daily energy expenditure.” You can calculate yours below.

The Nerd Fitness Calorie Calculator:

(Click here for our Metric calculator).

(Note: we have used The Mifflin-St Jeor Equation to create this calculator! [8]).

Since we want to gain weight, we want to take our TDEE and add 250 calories to it to get our daily goal. This should result in gaining about half a pound per week.

Now, although eating ANY EXTRA calories from any source will result in weight gain, our goal is to gain the RIGHT kind of weight, in a healthy way.

And thus, we’ll be focusing our efforts on a “healthy muscle building” strategy.

We could easily add more calories each day, and gain weight quicker, however, the slow method gives you the best chances at gaining mostly muscle, with minimal fat. The faster you try to gain weight, the higher the percentage that will likely be fat – so starting off at half a pound per week is a great place to start!

A small addition of calories, will help you gain muscle with minimal fat gain as well. So slow and steady is the ticket.

In addition to the number of calories we’ll be adding, we also want to pay attention to the type of foods we’re eating.

As we cover in our “Healthy Eating Guide,” we’re going to build muscle by consuming the three big macros in the correct quantities:

  • Protein: rebuilds muscle after you break it down.
  • Carbohydrates: provides your muscle with fuel and body with energy.
  • Fat: helps your bodily functions and can also be burned as fuel in the absence of carbs.

Let’s look at each of these individually:

PRIORITY #1: PROTEIN

Protein can come from any number of sources, including:

  • Meat (steak, bison, pork).
  • Fowl (chicken, turkey, duck).
  • Eggs![9]
  • Cheese and dairy.
  • Fish and shellfish (salmon, tuna, shrimp).
  • Legumes (black beans, chickpeas).
  • Other vegetarian protein sources here.

As we cover in our “How much Protein do I need?”, claims for the amount of protein required for muscle growth vary wildly from source to source (and athlete to athlete).

While meat sticks do have protein, try and stick to something less processed.

Here is our recommendation:

  • If you’re of healthy weight, active, and wish to build muscle, aim for 1 g per pound of body weight (2.2 g/kg).
  • If you’re an experienced lifter on a bulk, intakes up to 1.50 g/lb (3.3 g/kg) may help you minimize fat gain.

Let me simplify it for you:

“To build muscle, target at least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight (2.2 grams per kg).”

If you’re curious, from our healthy eating article, this is what a portion of protein looks like:

A serving of protein should be about the size of your palm, like so.

Here’s how much protein is in a serving of food:

  • 4 oz (113 g) of chicken has around 30 g of protein.
  • 4 oz (113 g) of salmon has 23 g of protein
  • 4 oz (113 g) of steak has 28 g of protein.

Want to get more protein? Consider protein shakes.

PRIORITY #2: CARBS

After protein, we’ll be filling up our plate with calories from carbs (and fats).

Here are foods full of carbohydrates you can prioritize:

  • Rice
  • Quinoa
  • Oats
  • Legumes and lentils
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Yams
  • Regular potatoes
  • Whole grain pasta
  • Whole grain bread

To help you get better at serving sizes:

Showing you a serving of carbs

1 serving of a starchy carbohydrate is 1 cupped hand (uncooked), or your two hands forming a cup (cooked).

Here are some images to help you learn proper portion sizes (thanks to SafeFood):

This picture will help you determine proper serving sizes for carbs!

In addition to consuming carbohydrates from these sources, it’s okay to consume plenty of fruit while trying to build muscle!

For reference, here is roughly 200 calories worth of an apple (thanks to WiseGEEK):

This is about 200 calories of apple.

You can read our full “Is fruit healthy?” guide to learn more.

PRIORITY #3: FAT! 

Fat is a macronutrient that can help you reach your calorie goals (in the right quantity), as fat can be high in calories. Plus, you can eat lots of it without feeling full. Helpful if you’re trying to put on weight.

Healthy fat can be found in foods like:

  • Avocado
  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Olive oil
  • Almond butter
  • Peanut butter

Science has recently come around on saturated fat too.[10] Once completely vilified, but now considered okay for moderate consumption.

Saturated fats can come from things like:

  • Whole milk
  • Full fat dairy
  • Coconut oil
  • Grass-fed butter
  • Fatty cuts of meat
  • Lard

To help you gauge: a serving size of fat is roughly the size of your thumb!

A serving of fat should be about your thumb!

For reference, this is a single serving of almonds (162 calories):

Knowing the correct amount of almonds to eat can help you with your calorie goals.

THIS is a serving of olive oil (119 calories):

This shows the serving size of olive oil, which is very dense calorie wise.

As you can see, you can eat an extra 500 calories of “healthy fats” by eating lots of “heart-healthy” fats like nuts or adding more olive oil to your meals.

PRIORITY #4: VEGETABLES!

Last but not least, you need vegetables in your diet.

As you start to eat more food, your stomach, intestines, and other bodily functions will thank you for consuming more high-fiber vegetables! 

A serving of veggies is about the size of your fist.

A serving of veggies should be the size of your first (or greater).

Here’s a quick, non-complete list of high-fiber veggies that can fill your plate:

  • Broccoli
  • Broccolini
  • Cauliflower
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Spaghetti squash[11]
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Zucchini
  • Cucumber
  • Carrots
  • Onion
  • Asparagus

BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER: A HEALTHY MUSCLE-BUILDING PLATE

If your meal plate looks like this, you're doing a lot of the heavy lifting for weight loss.

This plate and serving size stuff above is just to help you get started thinking about healthy food differently and in proper portion sizes.

TO RECAP, HERE’S HOW TO EAT TO BUILD MUSCLE:

  • Calculate your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) and add 250 calories over your number.
  • Consume 1-1.5g per pound (2.2-3.3g per kg) of body weight in protein every day.
  • Consume the rest of your calories from foods composed of carbs and fats.
  • Always eat vegetables so that your body can actually PROCESS all this extra food. I like to aim for half of my plate of vegetables.
  • If you are not gaining weight, (and you’re hitting your protein goals), add more carbs and/or fats to your meal.

It really does come down to the following:

If you are not gaining weight fast enough, you’re not eating enough. Increase your portions of carbs and fats!

Whenever we work with coaching clients who struggle to build muscle, this is the area we target: adding more carbs and fats to each meal.



8 Strength Training Exercises For Women to Build Muscle

This woman knows exactly how to build muscle...she does it by lifting that sword and shield!

Years from now, you’ll look back and thank “Past You” for starting strength training today.

And don’t worry, I’m going to tell you exactly what to do so you can start strength training TODAY!

Here’s why strength training is so important: when you eat a caloric surplus (more calories than your body needs each day), the extra calories have to go somewhere.

  • If you don’t do any exercise, your body will choose to store the extra calories as fat for later.
  • However, when you strength train, your muscles are broken down. Then they’ll use the extra calories to rebuild themselves bigger and stronger over the next 48 hours!

“Staci that sounds great, but I’ve never strength trained before, and I don’t know what I’m doing…Halp!” You might be saying into your computer or phone.

Fear not! I’ll help. Strength training doesn’t need to be scary or overly complicated.

Gonzo knows he has to eat protein to match his strength training goals, but he doesn't eat chicken, for obvious reasons.

Simply put, “strength training” means two things:

#1) “Movement of any weight against “resistance” (including your body weight) – Doing ANY exercise that pushes your muscles outside of their comfort zone, forcing them to rebuild stronger to prepare for the next challenge.

#2) Progressive overload: doing slightly more than last time (lift a heavier weight or do 1 more rep) consistently. Your muscles will have to constantly adapt and rebuild themselves stronger. This is called “progressive overload.”

Coach Jim breaks down different strategies for progressive overload in this video:

This means if you drop down and do ONE push-up or knee push-up right now…

Knee push-ups like this are a great way to progress to a regular push-up!

Technically, you’ve strength trained.

Now do that and then do a bodyweight squat…

Do a proper bodyweight squat to work out your legs

Boom, you just did a strength training workout.

Here’s what you need to know about strength training:

  1. Strength training is one of the BEST things you can do for yourself.
  2. Strength training will help you put on muscle while eating in a surplus.
  3. While you can’t spot reduce fat, you can focus on building more muscle in specific areas, which can help you attain a specific look you’re going for.
  4. If you don’t like the gym, you don’t need to go, ever. But I hope you do. Because that’s the easiest way to start training with weights.
  5. Regardless of your fitness level, body fat percentage, strength level, or biological sex, you have every right to be in the free weights section in the gym, training with heavy weights, with everybody else. The people in the gym who are very strong with a lot of muscle started somewhere, too!

I used to be a CrossFit instructor, and my favorite thing about CrossFit was that it destigmatized barbell training and heavy lifting for many women.

Crossfit is great in that in shows it's okay for women to lift heavy weights.

In order for us to strength train and build muscle, we’re going to approach this intelligently. 

We’re not going to pick up small dumbbells and do lots of reps.

We’re not going to sit down at various machines and scroll through our phones while doing leg curls.

Instead, we’re going to:

  • Get very strong with compound movements that recruit LOTS of muscles to work together.
  • Do our workouts quickly and get out of there. The workout should take no longer than 45-60 minutes.

This is how we efficiently build muscle in the minimum amount of time. What are the exercises that we’re going to target?

1) The Push-Up: The best exercise you could ever do for yourself when it comes to using your bodyweight for push muscles (your chest, shoulders, and triceps):

2The Bodyweight Squat: This exercise serves a dual purpose: it is the foundation for building strength AND helps build proper mobility. If you are going to ever do barbell squats, you need to work on hitting proper depth with a bodyweight squat first!

3The Inverted Bodyweight RowUntil you can get your first pull-up or chin-up, these exercises are GREAT to start building your pull-muscle strength (your back, biceps, and forearms).

4) The Pull-Up and Chin-UpOnce you can support your body’s weight above the bar, the world becomes your playground. No strength training routine should be without pull-up or chin-up work! (Click here if you can’t do a pull-up or chin-up yet):

And now we’re into the best weight training exercises:

5) The Barbell SquatProbably the best exercise when it comes to building strength and muscle throughout your whole body. It also burns crazy calories and makes life better. This is a MUST:

6) The Barbell DeadliftMaybe the best exercise of all time. Actually no, it IS the best exercise of all time. It’s certainly the most primal: “pick the weight up off the ground. Done.”

This is a very technical lift, so make sure you read our article on how to deadlift with proper form:

7) The Barbell Bench PressLie on a bench, squeeze your shoulder blades to keep your back tight, and then lower a barbell until it almost touches your chest. Pause, and then press it back up towards the sky. Repeat! And get strong.

8) Barbell Overhead Press: Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart and lean back by pushing your hips forward. While keeping your entire body tight, press the bar overhead.

Once the bar passes your forehead, move your body back under the bar by driving your torso forward and back into a standing position. At the top of the lift shrug your shoulders slightly and lock your elbows.

These are some of the best compound exercises you can complete in order to build muscle. Want more muscle? Great! Get stronger at these movements!

One quick note: when I first started lifting, it took a while to build up the strength to be able to bench press or overhead press with the 45-lb bar. If your gym doesn’t have a lighter bar, dumbbells are a great option!

Your mission, should you choose to accept it:

Commit to trying ONE of these movements in the next week. Use 20 seconds of courage, recruit a friend who has lifted or trained before, and try your best.

We know you can use this guide to start building muscle...you got this!

I have three options for you next:

  1. Select one of the muscle-building routines for women in the next section.
  2. Build your own workout routine using these exercises!
  3. Work with me and our coaching program to follow a custom strength training routine for your goals.



5 Muscle Building Workout Routines For Women

No matter which version of wonder woman it is, she always knows the fastest way to build muscle (fight for justice).

I’m going to walk you through three different levels of strength training, and by the end of today, you’re going to know exactly how to get started.

My advice: do 2-3 strength training routines per week, with 1-2 days off in between. As the saying goes: “muscle isn’t built in the gym, it’s built in the kitchen!”

The Swedish Chef knows how to eat to build muscle (lots of food), which is why he's always cooking.

So your goal should be to do a strength training routine, and then make sure you eat a caloric surplus so that your body has enough calories to rebuild your muscles bigger and stronger!

LEVEL 1: BODYWEIGHT TRAINING

Here’s a beginner bodyweight training routine you can do in the comfort of your own home:

  • 20 Bodyweight squats.
  • 10 Push-ups.
  • 10 Walking lunges (each leg).
  • 10 Dumbbell rows (use a milk jug or other weight).
  • 15 Second Plank.
  • 30 Jumping jacks.

We also have a downloadable worksheet of this beginner’s workout that you can print out and hang on your fridge to track your progress! Get it when you sign up below:

LEVEL 2: DUMBBELL WORKOUT

If you have dumbbells at home or access to a gym, you can pick our Level 4 workout from our 6-Level Gym Workout Routine.

So your Dumbbell Workout is 3 circuits of the following:

  • 10 goblet squats (holding the dumbbell like a goblet with 2 hands):

The goblet squat is a great way to build muscle for women.

  • 10 push-ups (or knee push-ups):

This gif shows Staci doing a push-up in perfect form.

As you get lower, like this, the row will be harder to do. Great way to progress into a pull-up.

(By the way, these are two GREAT exercises towards getting your first pull-up)

LEVEL 2: BEGINNER KETTLEBELL WORKOUT

If you have a Kettlebell at home, here’s a 20-Minute Beginner Kettlebell Workout you can do:

Do 3 circuits of this Kettlebell Workout: 

  • 8 Halos (each side)
  • 10 Goblet Squats
  • 8 Overhead Presses (each side)
  • 15 Kettlebell Swings
  • 8 Bent Over Rows (each side)
  • 6 Front Rack Reverse Lunge (per side)

If you like this Kettlebell workout and want to follow along on a worksheet, simply print out our Kettlebell Workout and bring it with you:

LEVEL 3: BARBELL GYM WORKOUT

Here’s a Barbell workout you can follow from our Level 5 Gym Workout Routine.

BARBELL BATALLION WORKOUT A:

  • 3 sets of 10 barbell squats

This gif shows Staci doing a push-up in perfect form.

  • 3 sets of 10 bodyweight rows:

Start with inclined inverted rows for your pull-up workout. Then drop lower for more required effort.

BARBELL BATALLION WORKOUT B:

  • 3 sets of 5 barbell Romanian deadlifts (video pulled from our courses in Nerd Fitness Prime)

  • 3 sets of 10 bench presses:

  • 3 sets of 5 pull-ups, assisted pull-ups, or negative pull-ups:

A box can be used instead of a chair for a pull-up.

PICK A WORKOUT, GET STARTED!

The whole point is to do challenging movements that really make your muscles work, and then try to do ONE more rep, or lift a SLIGHTLY heavier weight next time! 

Don’t sweat the small details and instead use 20 seconds of courage to get started!

Track your workouts by writing down what you did, and then do what you can next time.

If you really want to level up quickly, LEARN HOW TO DO SQUATS AND HOW TO DO DEADLIFTS. These two exercises changed my life!

Squats and deadlifts helped me build muscle and changed my life.

“Staci, that’s still too many choices! Can you just tell me what workout routine to follow?”

Okay fine! Here’s what I would do if I was you.

Still overwhelmed? Check out our coaching program. We get to learn your story, and then build a program and strategy around your goals that you CAN do.

Christina learned to do pull-ups with NF Coaching

10 Tips for Building Muscle as a Woman

This woman is on her way to build muscle and to find water.

I interviewed multiple other coaches on our team and asked for their best advice on how to build muscle as a woman.

Here’s what they said:

Susy (Coach, BS in Psychology, Certificate III & IV in Fitness, 5+ years of experience)

Tip #1: Food is your friend when you are looking to build muscle and get stronger – your body will need fuel, so you may need to eat more on the days that you work out!

Tip #2: Strength and muscle building requires structure to your workouts – you progress through getting better at specific movements, so make sure that you enjoy the style and structure of your workouts so that you can be as consistent as possible.

Tip #3: Your progress will always be fastest if you avoid injury, so correct form and listening to your body is super important. Your muscles will fatigue and feel sore, but joint pain and sharp, stabby pain means something isn’t moving quite right.

Kerry (Coach, NASM-CPT, 6+ years of experience)

Kerry is one of our great female coaches here at Nerd Fitness.

Tip #4: Fall in love with the process. Getting stronger is a journey, one that is both rewarding and challenging. So no matter where you are starting from, take the time to celebrate each small step along the way towards a more badass version of yourself!

Christy (Coach, BS in Applied Health/Fitness, National Personal Training Institute Graduate, Precision Nutrition Certification, 6+ years of experience)

Christy is one of our great coaches and loves everything Star Wars, as shown here.

Tip #5: To get strong, you gotta lift weights. When lifting weights to get strong, you gotta be okay with testing your boundaries every now and then.

After exercising with your current weight, for the next training session…stop…and try a few reps with the next weight UP to test it out! It might surprise you how much more weight you can lift!

Here are some other tips to help you build muscle.

Tip #6: Boost your testosterone naturally: Consume enough saturated and monounsaturated fats, keep your sugar intake low, and make sure you’re getting enough Vitamin D and Zinc.

These are items linked with boosting your testosterone naturally.[12]

Speaking of testosterone – I know you may think of this as a “male” hormone, but it plays a huge part in women muscle building,[13] fat loss,[14] increase bone mass,[15] and many other health-related issues[16](remember: estrogen is made from testosterone).

Yes, women need plenty of testosterone too.

Men make about ten to fifteen times what we make naturally,[17] but it doesn’t mean we don’t need it too.

Another way we can help our testosterone levels is to watch our cortisol levels.

Cortisol is a hormone that is promoted by stress and reduces free testosterone levels (in addition to signaling for your body to store fat).[18]

Want a way to naturally lower your cortisol levels? Try meditation.[19]

Tip #7: Not getting bigger? Eat more food.

Focus on more fats and carbs. They are the easiest ways to increase your total calories.

You can check out our Guide to Build Muscle for more specific tips on how to eat more food.

If you're not bulking up, eat more, like Kirby here!

Tip #8: Make sure every meal has a solid protein source.

Protein is needed for building muscle, so prioritize this above all else when you sit down to eat.

Having trouble getting it all down? Buy a blender!

A blender can help you obtain more calories for weight gain.

Steve drinks two smoothies a day to reach his protein goals and you can check out our Guide to Protein Shakes for his personal recipe.

On the go with no blender? I like to keep protein powder with me in a small Ziploc bag – that way I can grab a bottle of water, rip off the corner of the Ziploc bag, and use that as a funnel to get the powder into the water bottle. Then, just replace the cap and shake and you’ve got a protein-filled snack!

Tip #9: Get more sleep! When you build muscle, your body is working overtime, burning extra calories. It’s going to need some time to recover. Remember, muscle is built when you rest, not when you actually lift.

Go to bed!

Tip #10: Start today!

Gaining muscle comes down to eating right and strength training. Let’s get you lifting today!

Try some push-ups and squats as we discussed in our strength training section. Tomorrow we can work on eating right and lifting more.

The most important step you can take today is to begin.

Like Bugs here, we want you to start! No matter what you do, take one small step today!

Let’s give you some more tips to get you going.

Building Muscle: Next Steps!

Climbing mountains is a great way to build muscle (man or woman).

If I can narrow down building muscle for women, it would be three main points:

  1. Get stronger by picking up heavy stuff or doing more challenging bodyweight movements.
  2. Get bigger by eating lots of food.
  3. Recover faster by sleeping enough and giving your muscles days off to rebuild.

That’s it. You can do this.

We know that you are ready to start your muscle building practice today!

If you made it this far, and you want more specific instruction and guidance, we have a few options for you:

1) If you are somebody that wants to follow a tailor-made program designed around their life and goals, check out our popular 1-on-1 Online Coaching Program.

You’ll work with our certified NF instructors who will get to know you better than you know yourself, check your form, and program your workouts and nutrition for you.

Nerd Fitness Coaching Banner

2) If you want an exact blueprint for growing strong, check out NF Journey. Our fun habit-building app helps you exercise more frequently, eat healthier, and level up your life (literally).

Try your free trial right here:

3) Join the Rebellion! We need good people like you in our community, the Nerd Fitness Rebellion.

Sign up in the box below to enlist and get our guide, Strength Training 101: Everything You Need to Know. It’ll help you begin your journey on building muscle.

Lastly, I’d love to hear from you!

PLEASE leave your questions, eating or strength or otherwise below so we can answer them and become best friends and practice karate kicks in the garage:

How can I help you get bigger and stronger?

What part of this journey are you still struggling the most with?

What are your favorite bulking up foods!?

Share with your friends in the comments so we can all go buy it in bulk at Costco.

-Staci

PS: Make sure you check out the rest of our Strength Building Articles!

###

Photo sources: Women’s Day 2015, Sea spray, The Viking, The Evolution of LEGO Wonder Woman, Apocalyptic Motorcycle, Person Mountain,



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15 Circuit Training Workouts (Home & Gym)

15 Circuit Training Workouts (Home & Gym)


circuit training is awesome, even dinosaurs love it

This circuit training guide is gonna give you EVERYTHING you need to do your first kickass circuit training workout today.

I mean come on, it has dinosaurs in it.

These workouts are similar to the custom programs we build for our Online Coaching Clients who work out at home, on the road, and in outer space.

Okay, FINE we don’t have any clients in space (yet). But we do have clients in Antarctica, and multiple aerospace engineers. Close enough?



If you’re hoping circuit training will maximize your results in a minimum amount of time, one of the 15 circuits below will do the trick:

Let’s jump right in.

What is Circuit Training?

As Coach Lauren mentions above, the “circuit” in circuit training comes from the fact that you do a sequence of exercises back to back to back, and then you repeat the sequence.

And then again.

You cycle through the planned sequence of exercises, or circuit, multiple times.

That’s circuit training.

Generally, you hit each major muscle group during one full circuit. You may do a lower body for one exercise. Then the upper body the next.

You’ll find all sorts of different circuit training sequences. Here are some things most will have in common:

  • Several different exercises. A normal circuit will have five to ten different movements per circuit. You’ll often hear these referred to as “stations.” Overhead press station, squat station, etc.
  • Little to no rest in between. The goal of circuit training is to keep your heart rate up. Ideally, if you’re physically able, you go from one exercise to another without stopping. Maybe you rest after the whole circuit. Maybe.
  • Rinse and repeat. Generally, you’ll run through your circuit a few times. Three rounds are common.

Make sense?

The Tick is stoked you are putting on weight, muscle or fat, it means our strategy is working.

The point here is to work different parts of your body with different exercises, and then while those parts are recovering, you’re working on your other movements! This helps build cardiovascular health, while also improving muscular endurance and strength.

Plus you’ll burn calories!

As we lay out in our article, Cardio vs Interval Training vs. Weight Training, research supports that doing strength training circuits is great for weight loss and overall health.

More importantly, for somebody with limited time, doing a strength training circuit is more effective at building strength and burning fat than an equivalent amount of cardio.

In other words, if you are trying to lose weight, you should be doing circuit training.

Our Beginner Bodyweight Circuit would be a great place to begin, and you can download a worksheet to help you get started right here:

Why Should I do circuit training?

This runner definitely has a strong core!

Generally, you’ll hear exercise divided into strength training or aerobic exercise (cardio).

What’s the difference, you wonder?

  • Strength training. Strength training is also referred to as anaerobic exercise, which would be a short burst of energy for movement. Think of a push-up or pull-up. These exercises help build and tone muscle.
  • Aerobic Exercise. “Aerobic” means “needs oxygen.” Your heart rate increases to get oxygen where your body needs it, thus the word “cardio.” Running, biking, or jumping jacks would be examples of aerobic exercise.

The thing about a circuit is, you actually do both categories. Presses and lunges fall into strength training. Jumping jacks are cardio.

And since you aren’t stopping much in between stations, you’ll need more oxygen, and voila. Even more cardio.

With circuit training, you build muscle and burn fat WHILE building stamina.

As Michael Scott would say, “that’s a win, win, win.”

circuit training is a win win win

There’s some debate on what kind of exercise is better for weight loss: aerobic or anaerobic.

My thoughts?

If you’re limited on time and only can pick one, I would pick strength training: when you strength train, you break your muscles down, and your body needs to work extra hard over the next 24-48 hours to rebuild those muscles (with increased calories burned).

We work with our 1-on-1 Coaching Clients to create programs that combine both strength and cardio in a fun way – it really comes down to a program that you actually WANT to do.



Before and after your circuit training: Warm up and stretch

Some stretching a rubber band

No matter which circuit you pick, I want you to start with one important thing:

Warm-up!

I cover why you should always warm up in an article found right here. It doesn’t have to be much though, give it about five minutes to get your muscles active and your heart rate up.

This will help you do exercises properly and help prevent injury. You can run in place, do air punches and kicks, or some jumping jacks.

Here is NF Senior Coach Staci (you might know her incredible story) showing you many beginner options you can use to warm up as well:

Did I just tell you to prepare for circuit training, with a circuit?!

If you’re curious, here’s my personal (advanced) warm-up:

THE NERD FITNESS ADVANCED WARM-UP:

  • Jump rope: 2-3 minutes 
  • Jumping jacks: 25 reps
  • Bodyweight squats: 20 reps
  • Lunges: 5 reps each leg.
  • Hip extensions: 10 reps each side
  • Hip rotations: 5 each leg
  • Forward leg swings: 10 each leg
  • Side leg swings: 10 each leg
  • Push-ups: 10-20 reps
  • Spider-man steps: 10 reps

Our goal isn’t to tire you out. Instead, we want to warm you up.

That’s step one.

Completing your chosen circuit training routine would be step two.

Below, you’ll find 15 workouts you can follow along with! And if you like our style of workouts, you might like our new app, Nerd Fitness Journey!

Our fun habit-building app helps you exercise more frequently, eat healthier, and level up your life (literally).

Right now, you can try it for free for a full week (no credit card required). Jump in below:

Beginner Bodyweight Workout Circuit

This workout circuit, as we lay out in our Beginner Bodyweight Workout article, is as follows:

  • Bodyweight squats: 20 reps
  • Push-ups: 10 reps
  • Walking lunges – 10 each leg
  • Dumbbell rows (using a gallon milk jug or another weight): 10 each arm.
  • Plank: 15 seconds
  • Jumping jacks: 30 reps

Run through this circuit three times. If you don’t have milk in the house for the rows, find something of roughly the same weight with a good handle.

We also turned this workout into a fun infographic with superheroes, because that’s how we roll:

An infographic of the Beginner Bodyweight Workout

If you want to download this Beginner Bodyweight Workout as a worksheet, you can do so when you sign up in the box below:



Advanced Bodyweight Exercises Circuit

If the beginner circuit above is too easy for you, move on to our Advanced Bodyweight Workout Circuit. The workout looks like this:

  • One-legged squats – 10 each side [warning super-difficult, only attempt if you’re in good enough shape]
  • Bodyweight squats: 20 reps
  • Walking lunges: 20 reps (10 each leg)
  • Jump step-ups: 20 reps (10 each leg)
  • Pull-ups: 10 reps [or inverted bodyweight rows]
  • Dips (between bar stools): 10 reps
  • Chin-ups: 10 reps [or inverted bodyweight rows with underhand grip]
  • Push-ups: 10 reps
  • Plank: 30 seconds

I warn you, the above circuit will hurt… in a good way. You should be proud if you can get through this three times.



Playground Workout Circuit

Do you have a nearby playground? Why not work out there! If you have kids, you can do it together. Or let them ignore you.

I’ll give you a Level One workout, and a Level Two. Check out the main playground article for some Level Three exercises.

Level One:

  • Alternating step-ups: 20 reps (10 each leg)
  • Elevated push-ups: 10 reps
  • Swing rows: 10 reps
  • Assisted lunges: 8 reps each leg
  • Bent leg reverse crunches: 10 reps

Level Two:

  • Bench jumps: 10 reps
  • Lower incline push-ups: 10 reps
  • Body rows: 10 reps
  • Lunges: 8 reps each leg
  • Straight leg reverse crunches: 10 reps

After you’ve gone through a complete set three times, go down the slide!



Kettlebell Workout Circuit

Have a kettlebell lying around? Use it for a circuit!

Here’s our kettlebell workout full write-up, but you can also just watch the video and see the workout here:

  • Halos: 8 reps (each side)
  • Goblet squats: 10 reps
  • Overhead presses: 8 reps (each side)
  • Kettlebell swings: 15 reps
  • Bent Over Rows: 8 reps (each side)
  • Front rack reverse lunge: 6 reps (per side)

Once you’ve done the above three times, go ahead and put your kettlebell away for your final step: stretches.

If you want a kettlebell worksheet for this workout, grab one by signing up in the box below:

We also have a fun new adventure in our app that will allow you to train with your kettlebell right alongside Hack Morris (this will make sense more sense when start).

Jump in right now for your free trial:

Beginner Gym Circuit Training

use free weights and to do circuit training

If you have access to a gym, you have a lot of circuit options.

If it’s your first time stepping foot in a fitness facility, check out our Beginner’s Guide to the Gym. The gym can be a scary place, but we’ll give you a strategy to get comfy.

(Gym closed do to COVID? Here’s how to build a gym in your home.) 

We’ll also walk you through each movement for both Days A and B below. I would recommend picking one of our 5 Beginner Gym Workouts, going through the leveled progressions, and working your way up to the circuits below:

DAY A GYM WORKOUT:

Day B GYM WORKOUT:

  • Barbell Romanian deadlifts/regular deadlifts: 10 reps
  • Push-ups: 10 reps
  • Dumbbell rows: 10 reps per arm

Alternate your circuits on different days. Rest in between. “Day A” could be Monday. Rest Tuesday. Wednesday could be “Day B.”

We LOVE helping people get started in the gym, as we’re huge fans of barbell training and helping beginners build confidence with weight training! If that sounds like you…



And you can download our full Strength 101 guide too, which has this routine along with other circuits to help you start building strength today:

The Hotel Workout Circuit: For Travelers that Train

Is there anyway to work out in this hotel room?

Sometimes, you just plain find yourself stuck in a hotel room. Maybe you can find the hotel gym, but I bet it’s terrible! It probably has 2 machines, a broken treadmill, and no free weights. 

Ugh.

Instead, how about a workout circuit you can do in the room itself! Utilize the furniture to its full potential.

Level 1

Level 2

Set the alarm clock to 15 minutes from now and see how many circuits you can do!

Check out our full post on hotel circuits if you want Level 3!

We have a LOT of business travelers in our 1-on-1 coaching program, which is why we create workouts for both their home gym and while traveling!

If you need worldwide accountability, workouts for home and the road, and want expert guidance…



Nerdy Circuit Training Exercises

Lego minifigures standing in rows. In first row - Batman, The Jo

If those workouts above don’t tickle your fancy, we have these other nerdy circuits you can do too!

The Batman Workout Circuit

Day 1

  • Rolling squat tuck-up jumps: 5 reps
  • Side to side push-ups: 5 reps
  • Modified headstand push-ups: 5 reps
  • Jump pull-up with tuck / Pull-up with Tuck-up: 5 reps
  • Handstands against wall: 8 seconds

Day 2

  • ‘180 Degree’ jump turns: 5 reps
  • Tuck front lever hold: 8 seconds
  • Tuck back lever hold: 8 seconds
  • Low frog hold: 8 seconds



The Lord of the Rings Workout Circuit

try this lord of the rings circuit training workout

Superset 1: The Fellowship of the Ring

Superset 2: The Two Towers

  • Riders of ROWhan: 3 bodyweight rows
  • Gimli “Shall I get you a box?” jumps7 box jumps – REALLY explode
  • Helm’s Deep-Squats: 9 bodyweight squats – get your ass to the ground
  • Tower of Orthanc Holds: 1 minute (Kick up against a wall and hold a handstand for as long as you can until 1 minute is complete, in as few as sets as possible. Check out our Guide to Handstands.)

Superset 3: The Return of the King

If you can get through a superset three times, consider yourself an honorary Ranger. Nothing found in Mordor can faze you.



The 300 Workout Circuit

do the 300 circuit training workout to get strong like King Leonidas

The below circuit is no joke. Then again, neither were the Spartans.

  • Pull-ups: 25 reps
  • Deadlifts with 135lbs: 50 reps
  • Push-ups: 50 reps
  • ‘24-inch’ Box jumps: 50 reps
  • Floor wipers: 50 reps
  • Single-arm clean-and-press with 36 lbs. kettlebell: 25 each side
  • Pull-ups: 25 reps

The above sequence is designed to be completed once. If you can go through it twice, you’re ready to defend Greece.



The Wolverine Workout Circuit

  • Barbell Deadlift / Dumbbell RDL / Banded Good Morning / Regular Good Morning: 10 reps
  • Medicine Ball Slam / Quick Downwards Bodyweight Squat: 10 reps
  • Push-up to Renegade row (push-up, row left, push-up, row right, repeat): 5 Rows per side
  • Transverse Lunge and Chop: 5 reps each side

How many times do you do this circuit? AMRAP, or, As Many Rounds As Possible. I suggest setting a 12-minute timer and getting to work. Be careful though, because only Wolverine can heal automatically.

wolverine does workout circuits too

You’ll need actual rest.

Boom!

There are your nerdy circuits. Feel free to rock the soundtrack of the referenced movies during your workout. If you own a cape, now’s the time.



Complete List of Circuit Training Exercises

A picture of a LEGO Spider-man, who is interested in weight loss.

You can do any of the workouts in this article and get a great workout, but if you want to build your own workout, you can totally do that too!

Here is a list of exercises you can use to create your workout.

Simply pick a few, and do one after the other in as many circuits as you want!

Pick your exercises from this list to build your own circuit training workout, or suggest your own for us to add in the comments below!

CARDIO EXERCISES:

  1. Jump rope
  2. Jumping Jacks
  3. Walking Jacks
  4. Burpees
  5. Mountain climbers
  6. Stairs
  7. Sprints
  8. High knees
  9. Running in place
  10. Rowing machine
  11. Long-distance jumps
  12. Box jumps

UPPER BODY PUSH EXERCISES:

  1. Push-ups (any variation)
  2. Handstands.

UPPER BODY PULL EXERCISES

  1. Dumbbell rows
  2. Bodyweight rows
  3. Negative pull-ups or chin-ups
  4. Pull-ups or Chin-ups

LOWER BODY EXERCISES

  1. Bodyweight squats
  2. Lunges
  3. Kettlebell swings
  4. Farmer carries (carry dumbbells and walk around)

Coach Staci showing Farmer's Walk

CORE EXERCISES:

  1. Planks
  2. Side planks
  3. Reverse crunches

Pick 3-5 exercises, and arrange them as we discuss in our “how to build your own workout routine.” We also have The 42 Best Bodyweight Exercises for movements that you can choose from.

Do 3 circuits with 10 reps of each exercise, one after the other!

Have fun and keep things interesting. And if you don’t want to build your own workout, that’s cool too! We have 15 free workouts in this article, and we can also do all the heavy lifting for you.

(Well, not literally DO the heavy lifting, but you know what I mean.)

We create custom workout solutions for busy people just like you in our 1-on-1 Coaching Program. Let us create a workout and help you make better food choices.

It’s like having a Yoda in your pocket (again, not literally).



How to Stretch After Circuit Training

Once you finish your workout, the final step (three) would be stretching and cool down. No matter what circuit you go through, stretch after a workout. It can help a lot with muscle recovery.

Scope this video for an awesome stretching sequence to follow:

You could also do some yoga poses. For stretching, find what feels good and take your time. Let your heart rate come down while you stretch.

You could even do some foam rolling too if you’re a glutton for punishment!

For more ideas on how to make the most of your stretches, check out The Ultimate Guide for Improving Flexibility in 30 Days. It has Spider-Man in it, so you know we aren’t messing around.



Getting Started With Circuit Training

want to be a superhero like these legos? do circuit training!

There are all sorts of different ways to do circuit training. We just showed you fifteen.

YOUR MISSION: Complete one of the above circuit training workouts! If you don’t know which one to pick, start with the Beginner Bodyweight Circuit. It’ll get you used to the idea of hustling from one exercise to the next.

And you can do it in your living room!

If you’re looking for more hands-on instruction and customized guidance, check out our 1-on-1 Coaching program. You’ll work with our certified NF instructors who get to know you better than you know yourself, and then build a workout program that is specific to your exact goals.

Simply put, we tell you exactly what to do every day, and how to eat. And then, we check in with you regularly to make sure you’re doing it!



If you got this far in the article, I really want you to try one of these workouts. Right NOW. I always mention the most important step in a fitness journey is starting it. Today, start circuit training.

Once completed, I’d love for you to share your story with the community in the comments:

  • How’d it go?
  • Did you get through three full circuits?
  • Which routine did you pick?

Find a circuit you’re comfortable with, and do it.

Then do it next week. And the following. And track your progress

If you add circuit training to your fitness routine, you’ll be on a solid path for leveling up your life.

-Steve

PS: I couldn’t quite figure out how to use this gif, but it was too good not to include.

I bet short circuit likes circuit training

If someone creates the “Short Circuit Workout Circuit” you’ll be my best friend forever.

###

All Photo credits can be found right here[1].



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Beginner HIIT Workouts: 3 Running & Interval Training Routines

Beginner HIIT Workouts: 3 Running & Interval Training Routines


This biker loves interval training.

This High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) guide is probably the best interval training guide in the galaxy.

My justification for such a bold claim?

We’re really good at this stuff, AND we have dinosaurs and Muppets.

Plus, lots of great gifs:

This runner can't do interval training.

We build custom interval training programs just like the ones in this guide for our 1-on-1 Online Coaching Clients, including workouts for at home, the gym, or even while traveling.



In this Ultimate Guide to Interval Training, we’ll cover:

If you’re interested in starting a HIIT practice (which you are, ’cause you’re here), you may want to try our new app! It contains a fun adventure that will take you from sitting on your couch to a full HIIT workout – with plenty of benchmarks in between for you to find your groove. No guesswork needed, just jump into the app and follow it’s next steps.

You can sign-up for a free trial right here:

Alright, let’s do this thang.

What is Interval Training? What is HIIT?

These bikers love doing HIIT.

In 2018, High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) was ranked the number one fitness trend by American College of Sports Medicine.[1]

They wrote:

HIIT typically involves short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by a short period of rest or recovery and typically takes less than 30 minutes to perform.

Essentially, HIIT is just following a specific regimen where you vary your speeds and intensity throughout a shorter run, swim, bike, or row.

Any exercise can be a form of HIIT, but here’s a common routine:

  • Jogging lightly for three minutes.
  • Pushing yourself harder for a minute (run or sprint).
  • Repeating this cycle 4 more times.

Because everybody is busy and overwhelmed, fast results in the least amount of time is why most people discover HIIT. 

Plus, you can do HIIT with just about anything, including a jump rope:

Coach Jim showing you jump rope double unders

You may be asking, “Steve, just how short and intense are we talking about here? Also, your new haircut looks spiffy.

Thank you, you’re very kind.

So let’s explore the pros and cons of intervals.

What are the Benefits of HIIT? Why Should You Do Interval Training?

 silhouette of man running towards the sun at cloudy background

The 1996 landmark Tabata study demonstrated the benefits of extreme HIIT.[2]

Dr. Izumi Tabata, from Japan’s National Institute of Fitness and Sports, was obsessed with interval training.

The doctor sought to see exactly what kind of gains were obtained from short, intense, periods of exercise. He conducted an experiment with Olympic athletes on stationary bikes and put them through intense bouts of exercise followed by short periods of rest.

The results were fascinating.

Tabata found:

That 6 weeks of moderate-intensity endurance training did not affect anaerobic capacity, but that 6 weeks of high-intensity intermittent training (HIIT) may improve both anaerobic capacity and VO2max simultaneously.

Let’s translate that: compared to regular cardio, HIIT had a greater impact on improving BOTH:

  • Aerobic increases (endurance).
  • Anaerobic increases (power).

Even crazier?

Tabata was able to demonstrate improvements in his athletes with just FOUR-MINUTE bursts.

So what’s happening here?

Simple: your heart is a muscle.

Yes, the heart is a muscle.

If you keep your heart beating at a constant rate, never expanding it outside of its comfort zone, it will never grow stronger.

By introducing chaos and pushing your muscles outside of their comfort zone, they must adapt and grow more resilient in order to survive.

Intense interval training challenges your heart by constantly forcing it outside of its comfort zone.

In other words: progressive overload – the same concept behind building strength.

Coach Jim explains 7 different ways to achieve progressive overload in this video:

Since Tabata’s 1996 study, many other trials have shown the positive impact of interval training. 

Here are some of the benefits of High-Intensity Interval Training:

#1) HIIT can burn lots of calories in a short amount of time.

Revving up your effort requires more out of you, including calories. 

Batman has to fun whether he likes to or not...part of fighting crime means running 5Ks (ish).

One study backed this up, finding HIIT burned about 20-30% more calories than regular cardio.[3]

The researchers stated:

These data suggest that individuals can burn more calories performing an HIIT session  than spending the same amount of time performing a steady-state exercise session.

The name of the game here is “intensity.” The more intense you go, the more calories you’ll burn.

#2) HIIT for lowering blood sugar. Managing blood sugar is really important for health, not just for diabetics.

Those trying to lose fat should be aware of their blood sugar and corresponding insulin levels.

The good news for our current discussion? HIIT has been shown to help lower and manage blood sugar levels.[6]

#3) HIIT for heart health. Touching on the “antifragile” topic again, HIIT has been shown to help with overall cardiovascular health.

It does so in the same way traditional endurance training does, but at a fraction of the time (almost half).[7]

Alright, let’s chat about how to actually do some interval training.

What’s an Example of Interval Training? How to Do Interval Running

Man running in a gym on a treadmill

The key to HIIT is being able to go from “easy” to “difficult.” All sorts of different exercises can get you there:

  • Aerobic (cardio).
  • Bodyweight (strength training).
  • Resistance (weight training).

HIIT is generally associated with running (aerobic), so we’ll devote this section to just that.

The easiest way to experiment with HIIT would be to run.

Mr. Gump ran like 1,000 5Ks when he crossed America.

Here’s how to start with a basic HIIT running workout. Go to a park in your neighborhood. Warm-up with some light jogging, high knees, and mobility – leg swings, arm swings, etc,

And then begin your workout!

  • Run/jog at a brisk pace for 30 seconds.
  • Jog/walk at a slower pace for 2 minutes.
  • After your rest, shoot for another 30-second run/jog.
  • Continue until you get tired or after about ten “push/rest” intervals.

And BAM! You just did HIIT.

Don’t get disheartened if you find yourself stopping a lot during your first week of HIIT training. 

Andy Dwyer hates running, but I bet he'd like HIIT more.

You’ll be surprised how quickly you get better at this!

Also, “running” or “jogging” is subjective. Whatever walking fast means to you is great. Do that for your periods of intensity.

It should be noted, that the entire “Couch to 5K” concept rests on interval training through running.

It’s all broken down into “walking,” “jogging” and “running.”

If you’re curious, check out our in-depth Couch to 5k review. If you want to start interval training, “Couch to 5K” could be a good way to do it.

More of an indoor person?

Consider a treadmill, where it actually sets intervals for you based on your desired difficulty.

Just be careful on it…

Pay attention to your running technique or things can go wrong!

We’ll be talking about machines a lot more in the next section, but a treadmill is all you need to do a HIIT workout.

Experiment with the speed and incline to find a setting that you would consider “intense.” Many machines can be programmed to flip between this and an “easy” setting.

And you know what that means… boom! It’s built for HIIT.

When we designed NF Journey (our awesome new app), we used an “intense” and “easy” interval switch for most of the workouts.

If you want, you can sign-up for a free trial right here to see what I mean:

How do HIIT Workouts Work? (More HIIT cardio to choose from)

Biking is perfect for HIIT.

There are a lot of different aerobic exercises for HIIT cardio.

For example, you could jump on a bike, which is like HIIT running but with wheels (duh):

Kermit loves interval training on his bike.

Every spin class is based on HIIT cycling (SoulCycle, Flywheel, or even your local gym now has spin classes).

They’re popular for a reason, and you can make a friend or two!

Here are some more examples of interval training:

  1. Elliptical. If it has a dial for resistance, it can be used for interval training. For a couple of minutes, go on low resistance (0-2 level). Then crank up the resistance for one minute (up to 8-10). Repeat this process 12 times, which will give you a 20-minute workout.
  2. Stair Climber. Much like the elliptical, alternate between periods of low intensity for two minutes, then one minute for high intensity. The difference with the climber is the dial will control the speed of the stairs. Be careful.
  3. Rowing Machine. Start with a two-minute warm-up. On minute three, row like you’re being chased by the Kraken for a full 60 seconds. Then catch your breath. The rowing machine might be hard to do for a full 20 minutes, since it’s a lot of upper body. Shoot for ten minutes at first.
  4. Jumping Rope. Jumping rope is a full-body exercise. Also, it’s fun. There’s no dial here, your own body controls the pace of the jump. Follow the same two-minute easy, one-minute intense as above. Jump rope can also be done with friends!

This dino loves jump rope for HIIT.

So far we’ve just been talking about aerobic exercises.

Let’s cover our other categories, of bodyweight and resistance.

What Are the Best HIIT Exercises? (Two Other Forms of Interval Training)

The woman rower in a boat, rowing on the tranquil lake

“Steve, this all sounds great. But I hate running!”

Confession: So do I.

So I get my cardio in other forms!

Here are some bodyweight exercises to get going on HIIT:

  • Burpees. Stand up, then squat down, kick your legs out, do a push-up, bring your legs back in, and explode up into a jump. Try to do 20 repetitions, then rest for two minutes. Repeat until you hate yourself:

  • Push-ups. For 20 seconds, do as many push-ups as possible. Rest. Then do it again. If you’re worried about proper form, check out our push-up guide and watch this:

  • Pull-ups. Same idea as above, do pull-ups for 20 seconds, then rest. If you can’t do a pull-up, we got you covered in our pull-up progression guide:

Let’s now chat about some Weight Training Examples for HIIT:

  1. Kettlebell swing. For ten minutes, do 20 kettlebell swings on every minute.Coach Staci showing you the kettlebell swing
    This will be intense, and worthy of congratulations when you’re done. Check out our 20 Minute Beginner Kettlebell Workout for everything you’ve ever wanted to know about kettlebells.
  2. Battle ropes. If your gym has battle ropes, they’ll be a great tool for HIIT. For intensity, the amount of slack in the rope determines the load. The more slack on the rope the tougher, and more intense, the workout. Also, don’t get stuck in just up and down movements. Some variation will help target different muscles.
  3. Weight lifting. The critical piece will be moving from one exercise to another quickly enough. For example, hustling from the bench press to the lat bar: we call this circuit training!

To answer your next question: yes, you can also do circuit training as a form of HIIT.

Circuit training is going through a sequence of exercises, or stations, back to back.

Coach Lauren explains the ins and outs of circuit training in this video:

So in a circuit you could go from push-ups to pull-ups, back to push-ups, only resting briefly from one exercise to another.

Circuit training would be perfect to mix into a HIIT workout, since you can design your circuit to be very intense.

Check out our post for 15 Circuit Training Routines to choose from.

Plus, there’s a Batman workout hidden in there. You’re welcome.

We create custom HIIT programs for busy people like you that are ACTUALLY fun. If you’re looking for a supportive coach to guide you and tell you exactly what to do each day, we got you covered!



If you just want a beginner circuit to get started with, you can try out our Beginner Bodyweight Workout Routine. Plus you can download a free worksheet to track your progress with this circuit when you join the Rebellion below:

Oh, what’s that? You want to have even MORE fun while getting the benefits of HIIT? 

Let's get crazy with Interval Training

Sure. Let’s think outside the box:

Basketball, tennis, soccer, and Ultimate (frisbee) are AMAZING styles of exercise that use interval training (it’s all start and stop!).

Run here, catch this, and wait for the next round to start.

That’s what we’re looking for in a HIIT workout.

So pick a form of FUN exercise that gets your heart racing faster and slower throughout the activity (yes, I suppose even THAT activity would count).

Is HIIT Good for Losing Weight? Is Interval Training Good for Losing Weight?

This mermaid is interested in HIIT for weight loss.

My guess is that you’re reading this article because you’re trying to get the most efficient “bang for your buck” when it comes to getting in shape.

And HIIT is a great form of exercise and COULD help with weight loss.

I will, however, lower some of these outlandish claims that exist in the media.

For example, Time magazine calls HIIT “miraculous” in one article.[8]

That’s a little much, even for me, who writes for a living on why you should work out and likes using hyperbole for effect.

Seriously, I’m better at it than ANYBODY ON THE PLANET.

Ahem.

Cardio, strength training, and HIIT all have many benefits.

However, a meta-study reviewed HIIT compared to steady-state cardio, specially looking at fat loss.

The results?

They found no real difference.[9]

The Doctor saying "it doesn't matter"

As researchers noted:

Regular exercise is an integral component of long-term weight management. However, unless implemented in very large volumes, short-term exercise in isolation (including HIIT) is unlikely to produce clinically meaningful fat loss.

What’s that mean?

As long as your energy expenditure is the same (and you’re in a caloric deficit), steady-state cardio is equivalent to HIIT for fat loss.

In other words, if you want to lose body fat, how you eat will be responsible for 80% of your success or failure.

It doesn’t matter how many intervals you do – it’s not gonna help you lose weight if you don’t also fix your nutrition.

You can read our Beginner’s Guide to Healthy Eating if you want more information, which will help you build a plate like this:

If your meal plate looks like this, you're doing a lot of the heavy lifting for weight loss.

And if you want to download our free 10-level Nutrition Guide to help you fix your diet starting today, you can do so by signing up in the box below:

Getting Started with Interval Training

These pirates are ready to do some HIIT.

When it’s time to advance your high-intensity interval training, think about the following:

  1. Frequency. This would be the number of intervals in your workout.
  2. Intensity. How hard are you going in each interval?
  3. Time. How long are your intervals and rest periods?

Maybe you start out doing 3 intervals of intense running.

Once it becomes routine, bring it up to 4.

Maybe you crank the resistance on your stationary bike to “8” during your intense interval. When it becomes normal, bring it up to “10.”

Maybe you do pull-ups for 20 seconds. When you’ve got a good handle on that, aim for 30 seconds.

This mindset will keep you advancing in interval training.

A group of allies can help with victory

Consistency is the name of the game here. Even just doing a HIIT workout once a week will help you progress in all three categories.

For more ideas on how to improve workout consistency, check out this video from Coach Jim:

Oh, and if you want help along the way, don’t forget about our Online Coaching Program:



Mistakes to Avoid When Doing High-Intensity Interval Training

Don't anger people by doing HIIT wrong.

There’s a lot to consider when embarking on a HIIT practice.

No matter which routine you end up starting with, make sure you follow these words of wisdom:

  1. Ease into it. As the saying goes, “you must walk before you can run.” The importance is building a HIIT practice. If you need to go “less intense” before progressing to “intense,” that’s fine. It’ll help build your aerobic capabilities (endurance), which will be important when working on intensity. Start with walking.
  2. Keep proper form. Doing your movements correctly will help prevent injury. Here’s how to run properly. This is even more critical in your later intervals, where you may be exhausted and tired. If you find yourself breaking form, go ahead and slow down. Intense isn’t worth an injury.
  3. Get rest. Our bodies actually build muscle while we are resting. So take some “off days” from your HIIT practice. Want to stay active on these days? Do some fun exercise!

Take it easy, focus on your form, and make sure to prioritize rest.

HIIT Timer Recommendations

A timer is great for doing interval training.

HIIT centers on doing intervals.

One moment it’s intense, the next you’re onto a short rest break.

A good way to know when it’s time to go from one sequence to the next is a timer. A loud “beep” can tell you when it’s okay to catch your breath or when you have to kick it in gear.

Here are 5 HIIT timers you can try out:

  1. Runtastic. Don’t let the name fool you, this free app is for more than just running. You can customize for many different interval workouts, depending on what exercise you go with. And the interface looks slick.
  2. Seconds. It’s free and customizable to any form of HIIT. It can also integrate with your music, which is pretty sweet.
  3. Seven. If you’re new to HIIT, Seven would be a good app for you. It’s free, plus it has illustrations for exercises. You also get to customize your own virtual personal trainer, which may be the future of fitness. The bots are coming…
  4. Sworkit. First off, it’s a clever name (taken from “Simply Work It.”) Second, it’s free. Third, it can display your workout, goals, and calories burned. I like it.
  5. J&J Official Seven Minute Workout. This free app from Johnson & Johnson is actually really awesome. It has premade workouts you can choose form based on your fitness level, or tweak them to make it your own.

Also, we need to talk about interval timers. Most of the apps referenced are completely customizable.

For example, you can change the intense interval from 120 seconds to 90 seconds.

This is critical because it’s up to you to decide how long you can do intense vs. rest.

Generally, folks recommend one minute of intensity and then two for rest when doing HIIT.

However, this all depends on the individual, and exercises performed.

For example, burpees are tougher to do than jumping over a rope:

The infamous burpee bodyweight exercise!

So feel free to make changes like 30 seconds of intensity and three minutes of rest. Make it your own.

Whatever way you chose to do HIIT, is fine, as long as you actually do it. The benefits of HIIT kick in when going HARD for you.

In other words, you don’t have to be an Olympic athlete to get the benefits of HIIT.[10]

A light jog totally works. Just don’t do it in a mascot costume.

Running - just don't fall over!

As we discussed, if you’re consistent, you’ll improve.

So don’t stress about where you have to start.

For now, download an app and get going. Ours will help you train with HIIT too:

I hate multiple choice. Pick a HIIT workout for me!

This lego loves running for HIIT.

Let’s power walk as our form of HIIT. 

This is an example of a beginner HIIT workout we might prescribe for our Coaching Clients who are starting to train for their first 5K.

Let’s do seven intervals, two minutes each:

  1. Warm-up. For three minutes, walk at an easy pace.
  2. Intervals. For the first 60 seconds, power walk, like you’re trying to beat someone to the front of the line at Starbucks.
  3. For the next 60 seconds, just walk.
  4. Repeat six more times.
  5. Cool down. You can do some more light walking, or a little bit of stretching here would be great.

Total time: 20 minutes.

Wayne is stoked that he made his small change for weight loss.

I want to stress, that you can do just about any exercise in exchange for this routine. Just minus “power walk” and add “push-ups and bodyweight squats”

It’ll still be a great HIIT workout.

“But Steve, that’s still multiple choice!”

Right, right… sorry. Stick to power walking! Done!

How to Start Interval Training now

These two girls jump for their interval training.

Do our power walking routine above. It’s a great place to start.

Remember, our goal at this stage is to “build the habit.

We can work on “whoa, that was intense” later.

If you’re looking for EVEN MORE stuff to do, we have a few options for ya:

1) Check out our popular 1-on-1 coaching program. You’ll work with our certified NF instructors who will get to know you better than you know yourself and program your workouts and nutrition for you.



2) Exercising at home and need a plan to follow? Check out Nerd Fitness Journey!

Our fun habit-building app helps you exercise more frequently, eat healthier, and level up your life (literally).

Try your free trial right here:

3) Enlist in the Rebellion! We need good people like you in our community, the Nerd Fitness Rebellion. 

Sign up in the box below to enlist and get our guide, Strength Training 101: Everything You Need to Know. It’ll help you start incorporating interval training into your workouts.

There are a zillion ways to do HIIT, so don’t let the options paralyze you.

Pick one. Anyone. And get to it.

Interval training, in any form, is a solid fitness choice and a great practice to have in the workout arsenal.

Any questions?

Which HIIT workout style is your favorite?

Leave it in the comments below!

-Steve

PS: Make sure you check out the rest of our content on interval training:

  1. The HIIT Workout for Home
  2. How to Do Tabata Sprints
  3. Should You Do Couch to 5K?

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All photo credits can be found in this footnote.[11]



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The Batman Workout (No Equipment Needed)| Nerd Fitness

The Batman Workout (No Equipment Needed)| Nerd Fitness


Lego Batman on gray baseplate

Today, I’m going to share The Batman Workout!

If you plan on fighting crime in your city, you’ve come to the right place. 

We specialize in creating nerdy-themed exercise routines in our Online Coaching Program, because we like to have FUN with our training!



Here’s what we’ll cover:

Alright, grab your cape, and let’s do this.

How Would Batman Train in Real Life?

As Ryan from GMB mentions in the video above, Batman needs to train for:

Now, a gym could be useful here. However, sometimes we don’t always have access to a fitness facility.

Maybe we’ve been thrown into some sketchy prison somewhere (thanks Bane).

BUT, that doesn’t mean we can’t work out. It just means we have to focus on bodyweight exercises:

Bruce Wayne doing push-ups


As we mention in our Guide to Bodyweight Training, you really don’t need any equipment to get a full-body workout in. You just need the right plan.

Let me show you what I mean.

The Batman Workout DAY 1

 The Batman Workout Day 1:

Once you get proficient at a level, go up one level for that exercise and work on mastering that within the workout.

Don’t try and jump up to the next progression too quickly. Focus on form and performing each rep as cleanly as you can. That is what will get you strong and help you master the moves. Be sure to:

#2) How many reps should I do? How long should I perform the holds?

  • Perform no more than 5 reps per movement for up to 3 sets.
  • Work on performing holds for 5 to 8 seconds per set.
  • Perform all sets of one exercise before moving on to the next exercise.

#3) How often should I do the Batman Workout?

Give yourself at least a day of rest in between the workouts.

You can even add in sprints or intervals on your off days for extra stamina work if you would like.

#4) What if I don’t have a bar?

In the video below, Coach Jim walks you through what to do if you don’t have a pull-up bar:

For more here, check out How to Do Pull-ups Without a Bar.

#5) Can I wear a cap while doing the Batman Workout?

Yes.

Get strong without picking up a weight

Batman Action Figure

Maybe you hate gyms. Maybe you travel like crazy. Maybe you just enjoy exercising outdoors.

No matter your reason, You CAN build muscle and size or simply lose weight and get in shape with only bodyweight exercises.

Just ask Jimmy here:

Jimmy before and after he did bodyweight training

Jimmy didn’t want to leave his home to train, so we helped him build a plan to do just that.

Want some help from us too?

No problem!

Here’s how Nerd Fitness can get you ready to fight crime:

1) If you want step-by-step guidance, a custom bodyweight training program that levels up as you get stronger, and a coach to keep you accountable, check out our killer 1-on-1 coaching program:




2) If you want an exact blueprint for working out at home, check out NF Journey. Our fun habit-building app helps you exercise more frequently, eat healthier, and level up your life (literally).

Try your free trial right here:

3) Join the Rebellion! We need good people like you in our community, the Nerd Fitness Rebellion. 

Sign up in the box below to enlist and get our guide, Strength Training 101: Everything You Need to Know. It’ll help you start incorporating bodyweight moves into your training.

Alright, that about wraps it up for today.

Tune in for more next time!

Same Bat-Time, same Bat-Channel.

-Steve

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photo source: ©rosinka79/123RF.COM, batman action figure



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