KISS Workout!

No, this has nothing to do with the band or the action. And no, this isn’t a risqué workout to do with your partner (but you can totally do it with your partner!). If you’re a chef or a fitness person, the phrase KISS means… keep it simple, stupid. That is exactly the point of this workout and while we are going to give you an actual workout to do, this is more about considering an extremely different approach to your training sessions, no matter what your level of fitness is.

A handful of people in the gym will go on a piece of cardio equipment for an hour, a handful of others will perform 10-15 different exercise just for their biceps, and a handful of others will try whatever circuit they read about in a health magazine. Sure, there are tons of others as well, but here’s a different way of considering a workout.

Take some of the best exercises possible for a muscle group and focus on those few movements. Perform at least 4 working sets, which involve a high level of effort… warm-up sets don’t count towards that goal of 4. Push yourself by going heavy and hitting a high(er) rep range (8-12) and give yourself ample rest in between sets. This is a hybrid-style workout in some ways.

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Here is an example of one of my favorites from last week where I targeted the posterior (back) chain of my lower body, but also got my heart rate way up there, and forced my core to be engaged all the time.

1. Descending Rack Pulls – Yes, you’ll need a squat rack with an adjustable safety. Start with the bar somewhere around your knees and, every set, lower it one notch so that you’re increasing your range of motion every set. It will become more challenging as your range of motion increases, so don’t feel pressured to up rep range and the weight you’re lifting unless you’re really feeling up for the challenge. I would increase weight after a few warm-up sets and decrease reps, until I got to a position so low that it was nearly a deadlift.

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2. Straight Leg Deadlifts – Using dumbbells (one in each hand), keep your legs relatively straight (without locking out at the knee… ideally), maintain tension on your hamstrings/glutes, and keep the rep range higher. After a few warm-up sets with lighter dumbbells, push yourself. My final set was using the heaviest dumbbells in the gym for about 6-8 reps a set, for multiple sets.

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3. Back Extensions/GHD – Yes, they’re different, but I don’t know what equipment you have at your gym. Either way, give some love and attention to your lower back and where it ties into your glutes and where they tie into your hamstrings. Think of how that whole system works together when you’re hinging at the hip. Think of how it helps provide stable movement as you’re walking even. Lock in at your hips and hinge! Multiple sets with heavier weight for 10-12 reps.

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4. Heavy Bag Kicks – This is tricky because you might not have a bag, but if you think about it, kicking is one of the most basic and simplest exercises period. One, this is a great way to get your heart rate up at the end of the workout. Second, it is great for developing mobility and flexibility in and around the hip girdle. Three, when you learn how to really kick with some force, it is certainly a leg strengthening exercise.

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And that’s it! Not much going on, but it’s challenging and effective. I did it last week and it was one of my best workouts in a long time! Let us know what your favorite KISS workouts are! Use this workout to stay hungry and fit!

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