The 12 Days of “Fitmas”

Nov 29, 2023 | by Steve Irwin

It’s Christmas time!

Yes, it’s that time of the year when we all get to eat, drink, and be merry! I’ve always been a great supporter of working hard on your health and fitness throughout the year but making sure you take the time during the holiday period to enjoy yourself and indulge… we’ll take care of those extra kilos when we return to the gym in the New Year!

But for some of us “fitness fanatics” out there, we can’t go without our daily dose of Endorphins or Muscle Pump… so here is my Xmas gift to you!

Below are 12 “Finisher Workouts” that you can add to the end of your workout where you get to “empty the tank” and finish the workout on a high knowing you’ve done that little bit extra! 

Note: Time poor due to the hectic pace of the holiday period…? Then these Finisher Workouts can also work as a “micro workout” so that if you miss your usual planned workout at least you’re getting something done! Also, if you see an exercise that you’re not sure of then feel free to replace it with an exercise you’re familiar with.

So Merry Xmas to everyone… I wish the best of health for you and your families… and enjoy The 12 Days of “Fitmas”.

Day 12: A.M.R.A.P Circuit

A.M.R.A.P (As Many Rounds as Possible)

10 x Push Ups

5 x Burpees

10 x Frog Squats

5 x Jump Squats

= 1 Round

Set your timer for 4mins. Complete as many rounds of the circuit as possible during the 4-minute time period. Rest for 1 min (recovery time). Repeat for another 4mins (for those wanting a challenge, try to match or beat the number of rounds from the 1st effort) 

FINISH!

Day 11: Leg Crank Circuit

24 x Static Lunge (12 each leg)

12 x BW Squats

10 x Jump Lunges

10 x Jump Squats

12 x Curtsy Lunge

24 x Frog Squats

Complete the set amount of reps for each of the 6 exercises. When completed, rest for 30 secs then repeat the circuit… enjoy the burn!

FINISH!

Day 10: A.F.A.P

50 x Ice Skaters

40 x Squat Pulses

30 x Side Lunge (skip)

20 x Frog Sit Ups

10 x Up Down Plank

This one is short and sweet. Complete the amount of reps for each exercise A.F.A.P (as fast as possible)… if you need to take a quick break / breather as you work your way through each exercise then do so… especially if the muscles are beginning to fail, make sure you stay safe!

FINISH!

Day 9: The Heart Rate Spike!

1 min – High Knees

30 sec – Push Ups

1 min – Jumping Jacks

30 sec – Up Down Plank

1 min – Ski Jumps

1 min – Jump Squats / Knee Tucks

You’ll need an interval timer for this one. Each of the 1 min exercises / efforts needs to be completed at the highest intensity you’re capable of… so you get that heart rate spike! Use the 30 sec exercises / efforts as an “active recovery” (just keep the body moving during these efforts)… then hold on for the final 2  mins and push as hard as you can! 

FINISH!

Day 8: The Chest Pump!

Superset – Chest / Bench Press

3 x 8 reps @ 80% max on the Bench Press (seated chest press as an alternate option)

Superset each set with push-ups to failure (start on toes and finish on knees) 

Note: spotting is compulsory for this one… if you don’t have a gym buddy / partner then ask a staff member / PT to assist

FINISH!

Day 7: Cardio Intervals

For this one, it’s “Your Choice” when it comes to the piece of cardio equipment you want to use: Rower, Spin Bike, Stair Climber, Cross Trainer, Ski Erg, Treadmill, or my personal favourite… The Assault Bike!

Total Time – 3 minutes using the piece of cardio equipment you choose

30 sec Hard

15 sec Slow

15 sec Med

30 sec Hard

30 sec Slow

30 sec Med

30 sec Hard

Hard = This is your max effort

Med = This is about 60%

Slow = This is about 40% (use this effort as your “active recovery”)

You start off with your maximum effort then you hit your active recovery period then build in the next effort to once again hit your max effort. For an extra challenge, make your “Slow” effort a “Med” effort which reduces your recovery time and will maximise your results!

FINISH!

Day 6: The Blood Rush

Please note: This workout elicits a blood shunting response (Peripheral Heart Action Training) [1] in your body so avoid if you have any issues with blood pressure, dizziness, or other ailments that may be affected (if need be, speak with your fitness professional for further advice) 

15 x KB Goblet Squats (choose a weight that challenges 15 reps)

15 x Push Ups (for an extra challenge do clap push-ups)

20 x Jump Lunges Each Leg = Total 40 (alternate is static lunge if needed)

20 x Mountain Climbers Each Leg = Total 40 (for an extra challenge make them explosive)

15 x KB Goblet Squats (choose a weight that challenges 15 reps)

15 x Push Ups (for an extra challenge do clap push-ups)

The goal is to finish each exercise for the required reps without stopping. As mentioned, due to the sequence of exercises moving from upper body to lower body you will experience a blood shunting response so your heart rate will spike rapidly and you can potentially feel a bit queasy… so proceed with caution.

FINISH!

Day 5: Bicep 21’s

It’s an oldie but a goodie…

7 x Reps from bottom to mid-range

7 x Reps from mid to top range 

7 x Full Reps from bottom to top

This Finisher works best with an ezy curl bar but a straight bar or dumbbells will suffice. Choose a weight that will challenge the 21 reps. For those wanting a little bit extra… When you complete the 21 reps, take the bar to the mid-range and stop for an isometric hold and count to 21… it’s bicep burn time!! 

FINISH!

Day 4: Leg A.M.R.A.P

A.M.R.A.P (As Many Rounds as Possible)

15 x Hip Thrusts

20 x Squat Pulses

15 x Side / Lateral Lunges (each leg)

20 x Sumo Squats

= 1 Round

This one is all about the legs. Set your timer for 5 mins. Complete as many rounds of the circuit as possible during the 5 min time period. Rest for 30 secs (recovery time). Repeat for another 5 mins (for those wanting a challenge, try to match or beat the number of rounds from the 1st effort) 

FINISH!

Day 3: Beat the Clock!

You’ll need a rower for this one. You have 500m to row on the rower and below are the “levels” with a time to beat… good luck! [2]

Male

Level 1 – Beginner: Time to beat is 1 min 53 secs

Level 2 – Novice: Time to beat is 1 min 44 secs

Level 3 – Intermediate: Time to beat is 1 min 36 secs

Level 4 – Advanced: Time to beat is 1 min 28 secs

Level 5 – Elite: Time to beat is 1 min 21 secs

Note: if you can row 500m under 1 min 21 secs then please contact your nearest rowing club and join immediately… you are at olympic level.

Female

Level 1 – Beginner: Time to beat is 2 min 25 secs

Level 2 – Novice: Time to beat is 2 min 12 secs

Level 3 – Intermediate: Time to beat is 1 min 58 secs

Level 4 – Advanced: Time to beat is 1 min 47 secs

Level 5 – Elite: Time to beat is 1 min 36 secs

Note: if you can row 500m under 1 min 36 secs then please contact your nearest rowing club and join immediately… you are at olympic level.

FINISH!

Day 2: The Battlerope Challenge

This is a tough one! The challenge is to complete all 10 exercises A.F.A.P (as fast as possible) without stopping… yep, no pausing or rest, you must be moving the entire time. My advice, pace yourself!!

10 x Battlerope Whips

10 x Battlerope Burpees

10 x Battlerope Slams

10 x Battlerope Waves

10 x Battlerope Jump Slams

10 x Battlerope Whips

10 x Battlerope Burpees

10 x Battlerope Slams

10 x Battlerope Waves

10 x Battlerope Jump Slams

Not much else to say about this one… just try to survive!!

FINISH!

Day 1: Take a Breath!

It’s not always all about sweat and muscle soreness… Using this breathing technique (daily if needed)[3] is a great way to finish your workout (or your day just before bedtime).

Box Breathing

Step 1: Take 4 secs to inhale a nice big diaphragmatic breath

Step 2: Hold that breath for 4 secs

Step 3: Exhale that breath for 4 secs

Then repeat this process 5 more times.

And there you have it, Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

FINISH!

Please Note: The information provided in this article are the opinions and professional experience of the author and not all activities are recommended for the beginner or participants with underlying health conditions. Before following any advice or starting any fitness, health and wellbeing journey please consult with an Allied Health Professional and / or General Practitioner.

REFERENCES

  1. Peripheral Heart Action Training
  2. 500m Row Times
  3. What Is Box Breathing?
Steve Irwin

Steve Irwin

Steve has spent the last 19 years in the Australian Fitness Industry as a Group Fitness Instructor, 1-1 Coach, State Manager, Business Owner and is currently an Educator for the Australian Institute of Fitness. A lifelong fitness enthusiast he started his working life in the Military which guided him into the fitness industry where his passion for helping others on their health and fitness journey has been realised. Steve believes that for anyone thinking about getting fit or healthy they should “just get started” as “doing something is better than doing nothing”.

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