On Thursday the 19th of November, it will be International Men’s Day. As one of the three themes of the UK’s celebration this year is “Making a positive difference to the wellbeing and lives of men and boys” we thought we’d create the ultimate workout to celebrate.
Now, the 19th of November is slap bang in the middle of a national lockdown, meaning that you are unlikely to have access to a gym. So, this is going to be a home-based workout (with some outdoor cardio options thrown in).
Unlike International Women’s Day, the international Men’s Day is likely to go by unnoticed by many. It is much less well known, and it is much newer. There is however, evidence that International Men’s Day is becoming more well known, and its goals to increase support for men’s wellbeing and health are universally approved of.
As with most things in 2020, this year’s International Men’s Day is going to be a low-key affair, with little to no events planned due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
As stated earlier, this is going to be a gym-free workout to reflect the fact that gyms in the UK are currently closed. The aim of the workout is to:
The workout is also designed to be used by beginners, but it can also be used by men of any fitness level. Women are also encouraged to give it a go, as like all good workouts it is designed for everyone.
We’re going to start with a warm up. The point of a warm up is to increase your heart rate and prepare your muscles for vigorous exercise.
What’s great about this warm up is that it is nice and quick to do, works both the upper and lower body, and will get your heart rate raised and your body ready for the workout ahead.
Body get ups are a very simple exercise to perform. Just place a mat or something soft on the floor and stand upright. Then climb down onto the ground and lie down so that you are in a straight line with chest touching the floor. Climb back up again and you’ve done one rep. The quicker you move, the harder the exercise. While body get ups sound easy, they are surprisingly challenging.
Bodyweight squats are very easy to learn. Stand with feet shoulder width apart and toes pointing out. Keeping your heels on the floor, sit down into a squat until your thighs are at least parallel with the ground. Keep your chest pushed out throughout. Rise back up to complete the movement.
Mountain climbers can be performed with the aid of a couch, chair, or bench. Or they can be performed with your hands on the floor. Place your hands on a couch/chair/bench or on the floor so that you are in a push up position. Then raise one knee forward until it is directly under your chest. Return it back to the start while simultaneously bringing your opposing knee into your chest. Perform this faster and faster to increase the difficulty.
This form of cardio can be performed separately to the rest of the workout if you want. It can be performed either outdoors, up and down a staircase, or in your garden.
The idea is that you set up a distance, between two cones if you are outside, or just one flight of stairs if you are indoors. Walk the distance three times, then sprint the distance. Repeat this ten times.
Let’s say you are indoors and have a flight of stairs. You would down the stairs (has to be down so that you can run up later). Then turn around and walk up, then walk down again. Then you are going to run up the stairs as fast as you can. That’s one set.
Walk up and down three times again, before sprinting up the stairs for set number two. Repeat for ten sets.
Same idea if you are outdoors, set up two cones 40m or so apart. Walk the distance three times and then sprint. Repeat ten times.
This workout is based on a test of endurance, something that a lot of men enjoy doing. The main workout only contains two exercises, push ups and squats. You start off with full push ups, perform as many as you can with good form.
When you can’t perform any more reps, drop to your knees with feet raised and grind out some more. Once you can’t do any more of them, place your feet flat on the floor and perform as many box push ups as you can.
Then you do the same with squats. Start off with squat jumps, after you can’t do any more, perform regular squats, then when you can’t do any more finish off with an isometric hold (ski squat).
This workout is designed to be a one-off and is also designed to be performed during a national lockdown. So, you don’t want to be performing it every day. It’s a bit of fun, a good one-off workout, and perfect for International Men’s Day.
If you are completely new to working out, then add a lot of rest periods between the push ups and squats and reduce the number of sets for cardio.
If you are a seasoned expert, then perform the workout as described, but at a higher intensity than everyone else. Best of luck and have a great socially distanced International Men’s Day (whatever that looks like).