Buffet Body Fitness & Toning
by Lee-Anne Wann
Spring can be both exciting and nerve-racking. On the one hand, it’s a sign that things are turning warmer and a wonderful summer is on its way after the cold, wintery blasts. On the other hand, it’s also a very big reminder – summer means less clothing, no bulky layers to hide behind and a screech as we try on some of last summer’s clothing only to find it has shrunk while packed away in the closet. And here I was thinking it was only the dryer that shrunk my clothes!
Yes, it does mean we need to get up and get moving again but, honestly, it doesn’t have to be a chore or some horrific thing we need to put off and put off until it really is too late. Exercising with friends or family members can be the perfect way to rev your own training back into gear. Group exercising really helps foster co-operation, enhances motivation and definitely creates some workout competition – just the thing to take your mind off the actual exercise while you build back into things.
Below is a creative group circuit for you and your friends or partners to have a go at. Put some fun and enjoyment back into those workout sessions and get those summer bods rocking. Buffet Bodies is designed so you can create and plan your own sessions to fit with your goals, your needs and most importantly your time-frames. It’s just like going to a buffet and choosing your favourite foods – we are just choosing favourite exercises (and, yes, you do have some, even though I can hear you saying you don’t have any). Remember – it’s the small things that make for great changes. A little bit of exercise in Spring is going to make Summer a whole lot more fun for you.
When you’re thinking of the best way to train with your partner or friends, the key ingredient is to be imaginative and not focus on how hard or intense the session is. This is the time to spice it up a little and try something new to get you out of the same old routines or, to be frank for most of us, get you INTO some routine. An added benefit is that you’ll get better and faster results as your body must adapt to the new style of training. Now that you’re not ‘going solo’, you can get also get more out of each workout with just a little planning.
Buffet Bodies Circuit – Rev Things Up
This workout is perfect for a group of friends or a family group (including children) as different levels of fitness are easily catered for. You can have anywhere between 2-10 people. You may want to limit the number of exercises per person if there’s a large group.
Organise a meeting time and location, somewhere with open space, such as your local park or someone’s back lawn.
• Each person chooses three of their own exercises and brings a list of them along. These can be chosen randomly, perhaps from the internet or from a magazine. You could determine them by body part, so one chooses 3 leg exercises, someone else picks 3 abdominal/core exercises. That way you can be sure you’ll cover all muscle groups for a total body workout. See below for a sample program
• Each exercise is carried out for a pre-determined time, say 30 seconds, followed by an agreed rest period, say one minute.
• One group member starts by demonstrating their first exercise and then everyone executes it for 30 seconds.
• The second group member nominates and demonstrates an exercise, after which everyone follows.
• The circuit continues until everyone has completed their list or if the group is large, everyone has completed two exercises.
With this workout, the rule is that everyone works at their own pace and level. Because of the variety of exercises, no-one is likely to be strong at them all, so everybody can have fun and do well.
A motivating element of Buffet Bodies is you can always bring new and innovative exercises so the body will always get a great workout and no one will ever be bored. As with any exercise session, don’t forget to include a warm-up and cool-down with these exercise ideas, jumping jacks or marching on the spot is always quick and easy to use. You can always have a different person each week in charge of the cool-down and they could bring different ideas and stretches. The options really are endless.
By partnering up with friends or family, your workouts need never be dull and, as well as bringing additional training benefits, they’re great social opportunities – before, as you prepare for your session; during, as you motivate each other; and afterwards, as you relax.
Sample Buffet Bodies By Body Part
This is a great program for toning the entire body and is perfect if you’re short on time.
• Warm-up: 5 minutes marching on the spot
• Perform each exercise for 30 seconds followed by a 30 second rest, then start on the next exercise.
• Legs : Walking Lunges / Seated Squats / Running on spot
• Arms : Triceps Dips / Press ups / Bicep Curls
• Core / Abs : Crunches / Glute Bridge / Leg Raises
• Upper Body : Shoulder Press / Press up using a bench / Chest Press
• Cool-Down with a gentle 5-10 min group walk and stretching of any tight areas. ♥
Lee-Anne is perhaps best known for her role as the tough-talking trainer on New Zealand’s top rating health and fitness TV show “Downsize Me”. She not only delivers the workouts and programs on the show but is responsible for the creation and design of the participants’ exercise programs. Well known for her creative and effective programs, Lee-Anne believes that customising to each individual’s needs, goals and lifestyles is the only way to really get results. Lee-Anne is also a published author, fitness and nutrition editor, public speaker and motivator.