Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday that revolves around eating delicious food. It is safe to say that over the weekend (or week..) you probably indulged a little more than you should have…
But with this Post-Thanksgiving Workout, you can put all those extra calories to use and enjoy the pumpkin and pecan pies that are on offer!
Your classic Thanksgiving usually consist of quite a heavily carbohydrate based meal. With all those extra carbs and calories, you need an intense post thanksgiving workout in place.
Your post Thanksgiving workout should include both weight training and cardio. Due to the extra calories and carbohydrates you consumed the day before, if the energy is not used during exercise, your body will store it as fat. The best way to get rid of excess calories is to combine heavy lifting with HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training.)
1) Don’t be too hard on yourself. The damage is already done and there is no point in feeling guilty about it!
2) Clear out the leftovers. If the thanksgiving leftovers stay in your fridge, you will eat them and over indulge again.
3) Start your workout session with a quick warm up. A brisk incline walk for about 5 – 10 minutes will be sufficient to warm up your muscles and get them ready for weightlifting.
4) Before lifting any heavy weights, it is important to work on your mobility. Carefully stretch out all of your muscles (be cautious not to overstretch as it could result in injury) focusing mainly on the muscle you specifically intend to train that day. I suggest, if you want to put all of the extra calories to work, train the muscle group that you feel takes you the most energy or is the “toughest” session to complete.
For most people, this would be legs. For those of you who are new to working out, a full body workout might be more suitable for you. Read both options below and choose what is right for you.
5) Now, it is time to begin your leg workout…
Begin your workout with squats. Depending on your fitness level, this could be dumbbell, kettlebell or barbell squats.
Begin with a light weight and high repetitions to warm up.
Add weight to your squats and complete 6 sets, increasing the weight for each set.
Take a minimal rest time between early sets (30 seconds -1 minute) and take more rest when squatting with heavier weight (1 -2 minutes)
Perform your squats so that you can only complete 4 repetitions in the last set due to weight increase.
Lunges are a great exercise for engaging all leg muscles and especially your glutes.
Warm up and find your balance with basic walking lunges
Then add a weight that is both challenging but comfortable, either with barbell on your shoulders or holding dumbbells.
Do 20 walking lunges (10 for each leg) per set.
Complete 4 sets
Calf Raise (http://watchfit.com/workout/leg/standing-dumbbell-calf-raise/)
You can complete this exercise in many ways, with or without using a machine
Add as much weight as you can manage for 10 repetitions.
Remember with calf raises, you can usually do more weight than you think.
Complete 6 sets taking minimal rest time (30 seconds – 1 minute) in between.
Stiff-Legged Deadlift/Romanian Deadlift
This exercise is great for strengthening your hamstrings and glutes.
Lift heavy for this exercise
Do 4 sets of 6 repetitions
This last exercise should burn out your legs.
Try and do as many reps in one set, until muscle failure.
Take a rest and repeat this for 4 sets.
Step 6) Now, it is time to begin your full body workout.
Squats 4 sets of 10 repetitions – start with some weighted squats to get all of your leg muscles activated.
Push ups, 4 sets of 10 repetitions – this will strengthen your upper body (arms, chest and back.)
Lunges, 4 sets 20 repetitions (10 each leg) – weighted lunges will also work out all of your leg muscles, with focus on your glutes.
Pull ups, 1 set until failure – traditional or assisted wide grip pull ups will work out your upper body, especially your back.
Shoulder Press, 4 sets of 10 repetitions – get a shoulder pump with this simple but effective exercise.
Bicep Curl, 4 sets of 10 repetitions – these will strengthen your bicep and improve your ‘gun show.’
Tricep Dip, 4 sets of 10 repetitions – use body weight or add extra weight to your tricep dips.
Crunches, 4 sets of 10 repetitions – you can’t go wrong to get those abs working with classic crunches.
Leg Raise, 4 sets of 10 repetitions – engage your core with slow, controlled straight leg raises.
7) After you’ve completed your weight training, it’s time for cardio.
There are many different forms of cardio to choose from, but if you want to work off your thanksgiving meal, then the intensity should be quite high. You can complete HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) in many different ways.
To end your post Thanksgiving workout I suggest doing sprints. You use a lot more energy in a shorter period of time.
Either sprint on the treadmill, or outside wherever there is space
Sprint at full capacity for 30 seconds, and rest for 30 seconds.
Repeat this 5 times
Congratulations! Your post Thanksgiving workout is complete. These routines is guaranteed to use up every last one of those extra thanksgiving calories!