High Resolution

Well, folks, it’s that time of year again when we take a hard look in the mirror and evaluate how we want to improve ourselves in the upcoming year. For most of us, there are two things at the top of that list: losing weight and getting in shape. Don’t rush out there and spend money on an expensive gym membership that you’ll never use (and don’t even need).

Last month I introduced you to former Air Force Combat Air Controller turned US Special Forces trainer Mark Lauren. His area of expertise is developing strength and general fitness programs using only your body weight for resistance. This is how I stay in shape these days. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have an extra room in my house to load with thousands of dollars worth of equipment that I’ll use once and then turn into an expensive clothes rack (admit it, we’re all guilty of this).

On active duty and especially during deployments, we did what Mark teaches;  use what you have in your immediate surrounding to stay in shape. Pushups cost nothing. Put your feet on a bench or on your buddy’s back (assuming they are on all fours) if you need more resistance. As Mark reminds us, “You are your own gym.” 

I’ll be reveiwing one of his novice circuit training routines with you. Disclaimer: You’re all adults; use your best discretion before beginning any exercise plan. If you think you should talk to your doctor first, do that.

Let’s get going. Image from YouTube and Mark Lauren

Let’s Get at It

Today, we’ll be doing four exercises that will be done back to back. There will be four rotations of each exercise. Each one will be done for 20 seconds, followed by a ten-second break. But hey, reality check. If you need a longer break, take one. If you need a cup of coffee and a smoke break between sets, that’s up to you. Who am I to judge? You do you. The important thing is to get moving and get into the habit of doing something physical every day.

Mark says to do as many reps as you can with good form. “Good form” is important because it uses the muscle sets we intend to strengthen. Poor form is cheating, and cheating sucks.

Dynamic Squats

This is a mid-section and lower body exercise designed to attack the muscle groups highlighted below in red.

At a certain age, we can all use a bit of work in this area. Image from YouTube and Mark Lauren

I’m not going to write out word for word how to do these. The best way to learn is to check out the video below. Mark runs you through the dynamic squats from 0:53 seconds to about 1 minute and 28 seconds in. Stay light on your feet, and do not twist your knees while doing these.