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Bodyweight Exercise for the Business Traveler

Exercise Weight change

Written by:
Ryan Murdock
When it comes to health, it truly feels like the deck is stacked against today's mobile executive. The typical business traveler is mildly to significantly overweight, bloated from an excess of restaurant food, puffy-eyed from jetlag and not enough sleep, and hardened into the shape of a chair from too much sitting in meetings and on planes. The suggested remedy for this-tiny, archaic hotel gyms, and the mind-numbing boredom of treadmills-requires an incredible tolerance for the repetitive simply to stick with it, let alone to reach optimum health. It's a pretty bleak vision, but it isn't the whole story. The business traveler does have one ace in the deck: bodyweight exercise.

Why do we tend to overlook bodyweight exercise? Because it doesn't cost anything. You don't need a gym membership or fancy equipment to do it. You don't even need a dedicated area; most hotel rooms contain enough floor space to get a solid bodyweight workout in. All you need is a little knowledge, and you carry that around with you. The sad thing is, bodyweight exercise isn't just overlooked; it's purposely ignored for the simple reason that the big gym chains fear your emancipation. By cutting out the middle man-them-you can set yourself free.

Bodyweight Exercise Also Warps Time

What's the other main trait of modern business travel? There's never enough time. Gadgets like the iphone and the Blackberry ensure that we're always available, and as a result our colleagues expect us to always be working. We're constantly forced to shave away the superfluous and to accomplish more with less. Who can afford a commute to the gym, time to change and shower, and then having to spend most of a one-hour session waiting around for equipment to free up?

For an exercise program to realistically fit into the business traveler's schedule, it must be capable of getting the job done in a very small amount of time.

Bodyweight exercise can do this. At least, it can if you train the Circular Strength Training® way.

Our approach meets this requirement by moving the body through all 6-Degrees of Freedom in a single session. Most exercise systems are linear, taking the body through only two degrees of freedom. This is inefficient, and it can lead to the overconditioning of those particular movement chains. Even "functional" fitness approaches only take the body through 3-Degrees of Freedom. It's better, but it isn't enough.

CST, on the other hand, moves you through all 6-Degrees of Freedom in a balanced fashion:

Heaving: moving up and down Swaying: moving right and left Surging: moving forward and backward Pitching: bending forward and backward Yawing: twisting right and left Rolling: turning right and left

How does that impact training time? Moving your body through all 6-Degrees of Freedom will kick your ass faster than any other bodyweight exercise method-period! You'll finish training in a fraction of the time (typically 12 to 20 minutes), and the results you'll see will be far superior to that of any other exercise modality.

That's training the CST way.

So What the Heck is CST?

CST stands for Circular Strength Training®. Created by world renowned Flow Coach Scott Sonnon and further developed by his elite Faculty Coaching Staff (of which I am one), CST is the cutting edge of health, fitness and sports performance enhancement. It's unique among fitness systems in offering a complete "health-first" approach to exercise.

What do we mean by "health-first"? Simply that optimum Health is the most important goal of all CST training. Other systems place Function (attributes like strength, endurance or speed) first, valuing those things over and often at the expense of health. Many people value Physique first and are willing to do anything, including practices like shooting steroids or crash dieting, for the instant reward of a magazine cover physique. That may work in the short term, but the short term can be shorter than you think...

Everything in CST builds off of and leads back to this health-first approach. As a result, CST will get you to the Function and Physique that you seek faster, and it'll keep you there longer-without compromising your health and longevity.

Beyond Burpees

Let's take a look at a simple bodyweight exercise, one that's a bit more sophisticated than the norm.

The traditional burpee is a linear motion: a squat, a double leg thrust to the back, followed by standing back up. We're going to take this to the side so we can hit a range of motion which isn't typically trained. We'll simply refer to it as "Leg to the Side."

Each full movement is punctuated by a squat. So the correct sequence (from standing) is:

1) squat down 2) shoot your left leg across your body to your right 3) re-centre by pulling it back in to the flat foot squat 4) shoot your right leg across your body to your left 5) return to standing

That's one rep. But I don't want you to count reps, I want you to repeat the movement for a set duration.

Try doing this simple "leg to the side" exercise for 8 sets of 20/10 (20 seconds of activity followed by brief 10 second rests, repeated 8 times). At first you'll feel like you want to coast through the movements, to spread out your reps. Don't do it. Your strategy should be to keep the fastest pace that you can manage while maintaining good technique. You want this to be intense.

Congratulations, you just completed ¼ of a CST bodyweight exercise session.

Finding Further Information

There's an entire world of bodyweight exercises waiting out there for you to explore-and I can assure you they've come a long way since the jumping jacks and pushups of your grandfather's day. You can keep yourself in shape on a business trip. You can have fun while doing it. And you can do it in much less time than you'd ever imagine.

I know this from experience-as a professional travel writer, I'm a business traveler too.

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