Training Tools for Fitness Fast

Many think they don’t have time to exercise…well I’m here to say THINK AGAIN! With minimal resources there is always a way.  Recently I did a “Fitness Fast” workshop featuring resistance tubing, TRX, and dumbbells.  I love all three of these fitness tools for a few reason.  One, they are convenient.  Two, they are easy to use.  And three, they are great for functional training.

Here is a brief overview of all three with a sample circuit with each.  Perform any of the circuits for a quick 10-15 minute workout or perform all three for a longer, more challenging workout.


Resistance Tubing: is a simple and effective way to get a complete workout and comes with many benefits.  It’s portable and can be taken anywhere, whether you’re traveling, looking for an alternative to the gym or just want to add another element to your training.  In addition to the convenience, resistance tubing can also create some unique training challenges as well.  Tubing adds a progressive increase in resistance, it can be used at different speeds, and provides a horizontal load similar to the cable cross over machines you see at the gym. Simply hook one to a solid anchor point and now you can perform rowing, pressing, rotations and leg movements.  Great for training variety and preparing for recreational activities year round!

Sample Resistance Tubing Circuit:  1-3 sets x 1 minute each

  • Squat Row
  • Rotational Chest Press
  • Resisted Lunge
  • Torso Rotations

TRX Suspension Trainer: is a body weight training tool made from suspension straps. Attach the TRX to an overhead anchor point or door attachment and adjust the angle of your body to make exercises easier or more challenging. This training tool also creates more demand on the core muscles and helps increase joint stability because the straps need to be controlled by the body. You can easily perform hundreds of exercises using the TRX!

Sample TRX Circuit: 1-3 sets x 1 minute each

  • Pushup
  • Single Leg Lunge
  • Pull ups
  • Ice Skaters

Dumbbell Training: is one of the oldest yet most effective training tools around.  Dumbbells allow for every movement essential for human function and can be used virtually anywhere.  With a single pair of dumbbells, you can easily perform a total body circuit that will get your heart pumping and muscles burning.  Dumbbells are a great accessory to add to your home gym.

Sample Dumbbell Circuit: 1-3 sets x 1 minute each

  • Lunge to Bicep Curl & Press
  • Plank/Dumbbell Row Combo
  • Squat to Dumbbell Upper Cut
  • Standing Dumbbell Paddle

Fitness Fast with the TRX

When I want to bang out a fast workout, more times than not I go to the TRX Suspension Trainer.   In a nutshell, the TRX is a set of suspension straps that you hang from a stable overhead anchor point and perform exercises by leveraging your body at various angles relative to your strength/skill level.

It’s popularity surged mostly because of it’s versatility, economic appeal, and convenience.   The TRX can be used both indoors and outdoors with the capacity to perform over a hundred exercises!  You can easily knock out a 10-15 minute workout, anywhere…anytime.

Don’t believe me?  Try to the workout in the clip above for 10 minutes…you always have time!

TRX Circuit – Workout Time 10 minutes

Set a timer for 10 minutes.  Perform 10 reps of each exercise completing as many rounds as possible within 10 minutes.  Enjoy!

1. Atomic Pushups x 10
2. Ice Skaters x 10/leg
3. Wide Row x 10

To learn more about the TRX, please checkout their website.

Fitness Fast – Burpee Combination

This is the first of many posts to come with a “Fitness Fast” theme. Many think they don’t have time to exercise…well I’m here to say THINK AGAIN! With minimal resources there is always a way and it will be my pleasure to serve as your guide.

And now we are going to start this series off with one of my favorites, the burpee combination. There are many ways you can approach this sequence for a fast and challenging workout. All you need is a pair of dumbbells and a pull up bar (optional). Weight selection is the same weight you would use for an overhead press for a 10-15 rep set (60-70% or your 1 rep max). Essentially when you break the sequence down there are five primary movements:

1. Burpee
2. Prone Dumbbell Row to Pushup
3. Dumbbell Bicep Curl to Overhead Press
4. Reverse Lunge
5. Pullup.

I love this sequence because it involves the four pillars of movement: a push, pull, raising/lower the center of mass, and rotation. Also, a the burpee combo comes with a high metabolic demand. Not only will it challenge your strength and endurance, it will tax your cardiovascular system tremendously as well.

There are two approaches I recommend for the burpee combination, flow or repetitions. By flow, I simply mean moving through the sequence exactly as its drawn up, 1 repetition for each movement. You can either do the sequence for time, in other words “flow” for one minute followed by a one minute recovery. Or you can flow through the sequence five consecutive times followed by a one minute recovery. The workout looks like this:

Burpee Combination – Flow
5 sets @ 1 minute each
1 minute rest between sets
Circuit Time: 10 minutes

This is a great circuit if you need to get in a workout fast. But, if you have more time you can easily add a second circuit of your choosing. However, I highly recommend a full 3-5 minute recovery before starting the second circuit.

Your second option is the repetition approach. Rather than flowing from one movement to the next, you perform 5-10 reps of each individual movement before moving to the next. In other words, a clusterf#$!:

Burpee Combination – Repetitions
2-3 Sets
5-10 reps/movement
Rest 2-3 minutes between sets

1. Burpees x 5-10 reps
2. Prone Dumbbell Row to Pushup x 5-10 reps
3. Dumbbell Curl to Press x 5-10 reps
4. Reverse Lunges x 5-10 reps/leg
5. Pullups x 5-10 reps

Because this approach had a high volume for each movement, I recommend only 2-3 sets. Plus you’ll need a little more recovery between sets, 2-3 minutes ideally since this option will take a little longer per set and will tax the muscles a more due to the compartmentalized approach. This option still will only take around 15-20 minutes. Still a pretty quick hit.

There you have it! The first of many “Fitness Fast” segments to come. You always have time now get after it!

Have Fun. Get Fit.