Today we’re gonna discuss two additional ways to finish off your workouts via optional beach work and finishers. There’s a third, and obvious, option too — just go home after you’ve completed the regularly scheduled workout. Oftentimes, that’s my preference.
Let’s begin with . . .
10 Minutes of Optional Beach Work
That appears at the end of some specialization workout programs I’ve created; specifically the Train to be Awesome Programs.
First, let’s define 10 Minutes of Optional Beach Work and explain it’s inclusion.
Beach Work implies performing additional exercises for “beach” muscles like calves, deltoids, abdominals, and arms (although you could also do extra work for the upper back, glutes, hamstrings, etc). Generally, I consider these to be primarily isolation exercises that work a single muscle group. For instance, calf raises, biceps curls, triceps extensions, lateral raises, leg curls, reverse crunches, etc.
The inclusion of the optional beach work hinges on the principal that you’ve gotta EARN your isolation exercises. For instance, the majority of your workout should consist of compound exercises like presses, chin-ups, rows, squats, deadlifts, lunges, etc. If you’re not doing those with great effort, don’t bother wasting your time with the beach work, ’cause it ain’t gonna do much for your physique.
But, there’s nothing wrong with including some arm isolation exercises if you want to improve them. That is, as long as you’re working hard at push-ups, chin-ups, inverted rows, and other pressing and pulling compound exercises.
After you complete your main workout, feel free to include 10 minutes (you can do less, but not more) of the optional beach work.
A great way to get the most “bang for your buck” is to use supersets and circuits. For example, let’s say you want to add in direct arm and calf work. Here’s a sample circuit:
- 1a) DB curls
- 1b) Lying DB extensions
- 1c) Single leg standing calf raise
Go through that circuit 2-4 times, or do as many as possible in a 5-10 minute period. Easy peezy.
These circuits are great for sculpting some extra muscle and bringing up lagging body parts.
Maybe you’re not interested in isolation exercises and sculpting extra muscle. Perhaps the mere thought of doing isolation exercises bores you to tears.
Maybe you’re craving a challenge; something that will test you mentally and physically, instead.
If that sounds like you, then perform a finisher at the end of your workout(s) for an extra fat burning burst or conditioning challenge. Finishers come in many forms, all depending on the equipment you have available and personal preferences.
A few options include pushing a prowler, running hill sprints (a personal favorite), kettlebell swings, barbell complexes, and bodyweight circuits, just to name a few. (Please note, that’s an affiliate link for my friend Mike’s bodyweight finishers. If you make a purchase I’ll receive a commission).
Aside from hill sprints, when I want a tough finisher that tests my mental and physical strength, I’ll set a timer for 5 minutes and perform as many advanced burpees as possible in that time frame.
Here’s an “advanced burpee”, in case you’re wondering:
Truly a brutal finisher that provides maximum bang for your buck.
You can even mix and match beach work and finishers. For example, you can alternate them each workout. One workout do 10 minutes of optional beach work, and then the next workout do a challenging finisher. You’ll get best of both worlds and more variety that way.
Give those a shot after your next workout and let me know what you think.