Friday, October 31, 2014

Scary Workouts: A Frighteningly Fit Halloween

The sky was pitch black save for charcoal clouds gathering. The stars were hard to see through them much less through the ceiling to floor windows in the aerobics studio.

It was 6:30 p.m. and time for boot camp class at the Y. The only problem? No one was there.

Class size can be hit or miss but I almost always have a handful of regulars. Parent-teacher conferences in the school district and Halloween events had kept them away, I reasoned. As did the chilly, unwelcoming weather I ventured further.

Regardless, I started the music — a Halloween mix for group fitness instructors from Steady 130 — and began the workout. It was full of appropriately named exercises — Frankenstein Walk and Creepy Crawlers. Before you think that I'm amazingly creative, I didn't come up with it on my own. I had help — help from an accredited, reliable source.

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When I first began programming the workout for the Oct. 30 class, I did an Internet search for "Halloween Workout" and "Halloween Exercises." Most of the results were from bloggers who had created spooktacular circuits to be pinned by readers and repinned by more readers and repinned by complete strangers who follow those readers on Pinterest. These workouts are a pet peeve of mine, which I'm sure I've said before, as many of the people are not qualified to give anyone a workout, much less a wider audience. Also, these workouts often do not include modifications nor do they factor injuries, fitness levels and special needs.

I digress ... I was beginning to get frustrated because most of the workouts were just scary hard (read: lots of burpees) and didn't have the cute factor I wanted. That's when I got a message in my inbox from ACE, the organization through which I received my personal training certification. There, in all its glory, was a Halloween-inspired circuit workout that used supersets. Supersets include two exercises that are completed one right after another without rest. This workout style allows an exerciser to save time, increase intensity and overload muscles to produce results.

The exercises in the Spooky Superset Workout were great. Not only did they have the creepy names but they were easily modified for different fitness levels and not so complicated that I needed to be an acrobat to demonstrate them. And demonstrate them I did as I had a handful of girls show up just a bit late.

I did change up the workout — ahead of time and on the fly — to accommodate the participants strengths and weaknesses and the class schedule.

Here's what we did:

Four supersets with two exercises each. Each exercise was performed for 30 seconds and four rounds of each superset were completed. Participants rested for about a minute while I demonstrated the exercises in the next superset. A warm up of dynamic movements and stretches was performed before beginning the circuits.

Superset 1
Frankenstein Walk
Mummy Sit-ups

Superset 2
Full Moon
Ghost Fliers

Superset 3
Skeleton jacks (most of us modified the exercise, performing a traditional jumping jack)
Scaredy Cat (I chose this instead of the Count Dracula as achieving the supine plank could be difficult for those with wrist weakness or injury.)

Superset 4
Zombie Walk (Since I took out the spider push-ups, I wanted an exercise that targeted the shoulders. This one is a favorite from my days teaching Bodypump.)
Monster Walk (I wanted something that targeted the glutes and also incorporated some lateral movement.)

Disclaimer: Although I am an ACE certified personal trainer and certified Bodypump instructor, you should consult a physician before starting any exercise program. I am not recommending these exercises to you but merely sharing them. If you choose to do any of the exercises featured on this website, you do so at your own risk.

1 comment:

  1. I have to say, if I we were members at the Y, we would have been all about that workout! I told my husband, Kyle, about it and he thought it was the coolest thing ever! Also wanted to say, your posts about a healthy pregnancy are helping inspire me to be more healthy in my pregnancy as well!