Dec 02

Bodyweight Circuits – The Efficient, Effective, And Practical Way to Condition High School Athletes

I have been coaching soccer for 25 years from the NCAA Division I level on down to youths. In recent years, my coaching has been exclusively with youths and teenagers. I’ve also trained myself with the traditional isolation style weight lifting and traditional cardio for 30 years. I made the transition to bodyweight circuits myself and as a soon to be 50 year-old, I am in the best shape of my life, benching over 300 lbs, squatting over 500, and running 1.5 miles in 10:38.

A year ago, my older son started coaching high school wrestling. As a favor to him I have taken on strength training for high school wrestlers.

I’m here to tell you, having teenage boys in a weight room is a nightmare. It’s like herding cats! First there is the matter of weight room time in a high school of 3000 with many sports teams. Next you are dealing with supervising teenage boys, teaching them form, squelching malingering and horseplay, and dealing with plain old fashion safety. And recording progress and results? Forget about it! You’re talking about kids who can’t remember to bring a pencil to class!

Enter bodyweight circuits. This method of jockeying rapid-fire bodyweight exercises is the foolproof method that the military has used to condition recruits for decades. There is little or no equipment required. A step, curb, or chair is the most you’ll ever need. Their bodies are the fitness machines that supply the resistance. That means a wrestling room, gym floor, or open field will suffice. The growing popularity of bodyweight training has fitness center directors quaking.

Exercises are easy to teach, and easy to supervise. The simpler the exercise, the better. Everybody does the same thing at the same time. Some may argue that an athlete can’t get strong using their own body weight. Explain that to an Olympic gymnast who can press his entire body weight on unstable rings. Have your 200-pound football player who normally does 150- lb military presses attempt handstand push ups against a wall and you’ll get your answer.

What about cardio? Body weight circuits replace boring cardio workouts with endless exercise combinations and interval times, not to mention that they cut exercise time. Adding reps or modifying an exercise will add difficulty. An effective circuit workout is only 10-20 minutes long. That’s it! That leaves more time for teaching the important techniques and tactics of your sport.

One further benefit is fat loss. Let’s face it. All extra fat does for a wrestler is put him in a higher weight class with a stronger opponent. It keeps soccer players and basketball players earth-bound. Even football offensive linemen need to shed excess fat that limits their mobility and most importantly, increases health risks.

Instead of distance running or wind sprints, try this at your next practice:

Have your athletes line up in concentric semi-circles so that you can see them. Use a stopwatch or a countdown timer. Have them perform the exercises below in sequence continuously for 15 minutes. Don’t have them count. You count out the reps for them. They’ll need the wind for breathing. You control the cadence of each exercise, check for form, and provide encouragement. In a few short weeks your team will reap the results.

Here’s the workout:

  • 10 Burpees
  • 15 Jumping Jacks
  • 10 Push Ups (or Hindu Push Ups for greater difficulty)
  • 10 Mountain Climbers (or cross body mountain climbers for greater difficulty
  • 15 Squats (or Hindu squats for greater difficulty).


If you want exercise advice feel free to email me at or message me on Facebook. You can also see my exercise videos there. To get the secret of achieving and maintaining a healthy weight go to

Clint Grimes, is a retired US Navy commander. He is certified by the California Interscholastic Federation and is currently the strength and conditioning coach for the boys soccer teams at El Toro High School in Lake Forest, CA.

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Nov 27

Best Leg Exercises for Fast Weight Loss


The best way to induce fast weight loss is to engage in short burst exercises using multiple major muscle groups in a series of non-opposing exercises, often called a circuit. Leg strengthening exercises using multiple muscle groups in the legs should be the foundation of any circuit training program. Two exercises that fit this criteria superbly are lying hip extensions and step ups.

Performing Lying Hip Extentions

Lay down, face up with your hands at your sides, with one leg out straight and the other bent at a 45 degree angle. Raise your torso and hips off the ground as high as possible by driving the heel of your bent leg into the ground while keeping the opposite leg straight. Lower your torso to the ground then repeat using the same leg until reaching the desired number of repetition, then repeat with the opposite leg. This exercise is excellent for the entire quadriceps, especially the hamstrings, and all of the muscles in your behind.

Performing Step Ups

Step ups is a fantastic exercise that activates the muscles in your butt, your hamstrings as well as peripheral muscles of the calves and the Achilles tendon. The exercise can also be done with dumbells for extra resistance. It’s very important that the step is high enough to provide activation of the muscles above the knee.

Start in the standing position next to the step, or chair. Step up, placing your left foot on the step, lean forward and raise your body to the standing position on the bench. You should raise your body as rapidly as possible being careful not to hyper extend your knee at the top. Step down to the starting position with your right leg first. Continue to repeat the exercise, alternating legs, until you reach the desired nuber of repetitions.

Putting It All Together

Now that you know these two exercises, its your job to put them into a circuit training wokout in such a way to maimize the effectiveness of he circuit for fast weight loss. The best way to do this would be make sure that the exercises preceding and following each of these leg exercises is a non-opposing (upper body) exercise or a total body exercise. Make sure that your circuit has between six and ten exercises. Each exercise should have between ten and thirty repetitions. Depending how many exercises are in your circuit, you should repeat the series enough times so that the total number of sets is between twenty and thirty. There is an example below to get you started.

  • Step Ups 20 (10 per leg)
  • Burpees 10
  • High Knees 50
  • Jumping Jacks 60
  • Hindu Pushups 20
  • Lunges 20
  • Lying Hip Extensions 20 (10 per leg)
  • Elevated Push Ups 20
  • Three Rounds


If you want exercise advice feel free to email me at or message me on Facebook. You can also see my exercise videos there. To get the secret of achieving and maintaining a healthy weight go to

Clint Grimes, is a retired US Navy commander. He is certified by the California Interscholastic Federation and is currently the strength and conditioning coach for the boys soccer teams at El Toro High School in Lake Forest, CA.

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Nov 13

Holiday Dieting – Don’t Stuff Yourself Like A Thanksgiving Turkey

The holidays are coming! It’s a season of goodwill, gift giving, gatherings of family and friends, and gorging ourselves with food to the extent that our scales, if they could talk, would scream, “Get him (or her) off of me!” In 2000, a study of holiday dieting was conducted by the National Institutes of Health. The co-author of the study prefaced the study by stating the following:

“Because losing weight is so difficult, it is important to learn when and why people gain weight so that effective strategies to prevent obesity can be developed, ” said study co-author Susan Z. Yanovski, M.D., Executive Director of NIDDK’s National Task Force on the Treatment and Prevention of Obesity.

Upon gathering and evaluating all of the data, they reached the following conclusion:

“Although an average holiday weight gain of less than a pound may seem unimportant, that weight was not lost over the remainder of the year,” Dr. Yanovski said. When 165 of the study volunteers were weighed a year after the study began, they had not lost the extra weight gained during the holidays, and ended the year a pound and a half heavier (1.4 lb) than they were the year before.

“This is a ‘good news/bad news’ story,” said Dr. Yanovski. “The good news is that people don’t gain as much weight as we thought during the holidays. The bad news is that weight gained over the winter holidays isn’t lost during the rest of the year.”

Further more, when coupled with the information that adults over the age of 19 gained an average of.5 to 1.8 pounds a year, it was included that the bulk (no pun intended) of that weight was gained during the 6-week interval between Thanksgiving and New Years Day.

Since an ounce of prevention is worth a pound (in this case almost 2 pounds) of cure, let me give you a few helpful hints to keep you from assuming a shape like Santa Claus due to holiday eating.

DON’T MAKE EXCUSES. I always say that excuses are like sweaty armpits. Everyone has them and they all stink! When I was stationed in the Middle East during Operation Iraqi Freedom, there was another saying; “What you tolerate becomes the standard.” How true that is! If you tell yourself, “it’s the holiday season, I’ll enjoy this now and work it off starting next year”, you are well on your way to putting on pounds that you will spend the rest of the year trying to diet and/or exercise off. Or what’s worse, you might never get it off.

DON’T STAND NEXT TO THE FOOD AT PARTIES. As obvious as this one sounds, how many of us have made this mistake. If food is within arm’s reach, we tend to snack on it, even if we aren’t hungry. Standing across the room from the food will force you to make a conscious effort to walk across the room to get it.

DEPLOY A PREEMPTIVE STRIKE. Though this is a military term (and I am a military person), we are at war with obesity, so bear with me. If you know you are going to a holiday party where a lot of food and drink will be served, fill up before you get there. Eat a snack, or even a small meal. Make yourself a sandwich with some whole grain bread, or use my favorite, eat some breakfast cereal that is high in fiber like Grape-Nuts or shredded wheat. As with the sandwich, the protein will quell the hunger and the high fiber from the bread or cereal will give your stomach a feeling of fullness to keep you from overeating. Make sure that you drink plenty of water before you leave as well. Your stomach will feel fuller and you won’t be thirsty at a party with high calorie drinks.

LIMIT YOUR CHOICES. If you go to a holiday party and are confronted with a cornucopia of food choices and you decide that you’ll just eat a little bit of every thing, you have just guaranteed a high calorie intake because a little bit of everything will add up to be a lot. Choose a reasonable amount of three different foods and eat that. Make only one of those choices a sweet food and eat that one last. Your waist line will thank you.

DON’T DRESS LIKE SANTA CLAUS. Wear your tightest clothes during the holidays so that you will be uncomfortable if you overeat. Tight clothing will provide you with an instant warning.

IT’S BETTER TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE. If you have a holiday party at your house, give ALL of the food away to the guests as they leave. If you are a guest at a party DO NOT bring any of the leftover food home.

WHEN IN DOUBT, GET OUT. If you are in a place where people are cooking and the smells are making you hungry, its time to leave the area and do something else. Just trying to think about something else won’t cut it. It’s like the joke, “Don’t think of a pink elephant.” What do you think of? That’s right, a pink elephant! A change of venue and change of activity will help quell the hunger and avoid a binge.

Last but certainly not least, DON’T STOP EXERCISING! Even though it is impossible to out exercise your diet, you must not stop exercising. Of course you can take off on a religious holiday or the normal day of the week that you take off. But that’s it. Let’s get back to point #1.

NO EXCUSES. Even if you are short on time during this busy season, you can always knock out a quick 15 minute circuit. You’ll keep your metabolism up and continue to burn fat throughout the holiday season.

Now you are ready. Enjoy the holidays. Celebrate, socialize, and spread good cheer. Eat reasonably, continue to exercise. and you will start the new year right.


If you want exercise advice feel free to email me at or message me on Facebook. You can also see my exercise videos there. To get the secret of achieving and maintaining a healthy weight go to

Clint Grimes, is a retired US Navy commander. He is certified by the California Interscholastic Federation and is currently the strength and conditioning coach for the boys soccer teams at El Toro High School in Lake Forest, CA.

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Oct 30

Bear Crawl and Crab Walk for an Equipment Free Workout Routine


On Saturdays I make it a point to take a break from my normal bodyweight circuit workout routine to perform an unconventional workout routine. There are some really funky unconventional exercises that you can use to build muscle and burn fat. Let’s talk about two of my favorites.

The Bear Crawl

The bear crawl is one of my favorite exercises for a total body workout routine. Not only does it work the entire leg, from the tips of the toes to the gluteus, since the arms are shorter and inherently weaker than the legs, bear crawls really tax the entire arm and the shoulder muscles. Additionally, since there is a huge imbalance from the weight on your hands, and a huge torque in your core because you are moving your right arm and left leg simultaneously (and visa versa), it is a fantastic core builder as well.

The Crab Walk

The crab walk is truly a unique exercise because the position used is completely unnatural for a human. People crawl on their hands and knees, face down, so the bear crawl position is natural. However, it is completely unnatural to be on your hands and feet, face up. Since the crab walk is a completely unconventional motion for the body, it both strengthens and stretches the entire body for a great total body workout.

Safety Tips

When performing bear crawls and crab walks, make sure the surface is not too rough. I perform this exercise in my backyard so I know all I have to worry about is grass. When I train my soccer players I opt for the artificial turf vice grass because the surface is smoother and more predictable. If you exercise at a park you may want to do a quick safety walk for sharp objects or doggy “surprises”. Even in my backyard I throw on some gardening gloves because my hands don’t have shoes on, but that’s just me.

Some people are hesitant to do these exercises in public because they are afraid of how they will look doing them. To those folks I can only say two things; first, when you are ripped to shreds from the great body you sculpted doing these wacky exercises; it won’t matter that much, will it? Second, these exercises are made to make the gym obsolete so they are perfect for the privacy of your backyard.


The bear crawl and the crab walk are just 2 unconventional exercises which will provide both variety, effective fat burning, and muscle building to your workout routine. Here is a circuit that I performed last weekend. Try it yourself. Believe me, it is quite an effective, equipment free workout routine:

  • 5 burpees
  • run forward 20 yds
  • run backwards 20 yds
  • side shuffle 20 yds
  • 5 burpees
  • Bear crawl 20 yds
  • Crab walk 20 yds
  • Rest 30 seconds
  • Perform 8 rounds


Get your Free Workout Routine at [].

Clint Grimes, is a retired US Navy commander. He is certified by the California Interscholastic Federation and is currently the strength and conditioning coach for the boys soccer teams at El Toro High School in Lake Forest, CA.

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