The One Where You Do A Full Body Workout in One Place
There is this very complicated machine that can be found in most gyms. It has a lot of options and can be very intimidating to a person who has never used it. I’m talking about the assisted pull up machine. If you read the diagram of the machine, it will show that you can easily work your lats by reaching up to the overhead bars and your chest by utilizing the dip bars located at hip level. With a little creativity, you can do a full body workout staying in one place and using every part of this machine.
The weights on this machine are a little different than the others. Other machines you would add weight to make the exercise more difficult, thats not the case here. It’s opposite on this machine. The weight is helping you to execute the exercise.To make your pull ups and dips more difficult you will take away weight, not add.
I often times like to write up workouts that don’t include a lot of walking around to different areas of the gym. I prefer to minimize rest time between sets and exercises. Everyone is on a time crunch and staying in one spot to do a workout is a good way of using your time efficiently.
The way i designed this workout is so that a more focused, tension building exercise is followed by a more intense exercise to increase your heart rate. The next thing I did is alternating upper body and lower body exercises in a way that allows you to have a full body workout. Please do the exercises in order that is specified. Complete each exercise back to back with minimal rest (under 30 seconds). Once you’ve completed all of the exercises repeat as many times as desired. A circuit like this can either be done for time or rounds.
Set a timer for 30, 45, or 60 minutes, complete as many rounds as possible by the time you set. Doing a time specified workout is really great for the days that your schedule is jam packed. I also find that it motivates me to keep the intensity super high. I race the clock and try to get as many round in as I possibly can.
Choose to do the exercises a specified number of times. This will workout if you feel that you’ll get the most out of your full body workout. You’ll be working just as hard but time is a non factor here. I generally suggest completing this workout no less than 3 times but no more than 5.
The only additional equipment needed is a set to dumbbells.
Dissecting Each Exercise
- The first is the assisted pull up. Be sure to give a full stretch at the bottom. Keep your shoulder blades pulled back & down to utilize your lat muscle. Take notice, it is very easy to begin to use your bicep to do this exercise specially as you start to get tired. My other warning is to be aware if you are swinging your body back. Don’t do this. Pull your body straight up and squeeze your wings like cray.
- Following this exercise lets get that heart rate up by integrating some plyometrics. I love putting a squat jump here. Sink your butt down and back as low as you can, push all of your weight through your toes and squeeze your quads. As you land, your foot should find the ground in this order: toe, ball of the foot, heel. Once your heel is grounded, push your weight into it for a nice, deep squat. Continue repeating this motion.
- Moving forward an exercise to work the chest and triceps. The two bars on either side of your hips is the dip bars. I’m usually pretty conservative when taking away assisting weight on this one. I prefer instead to focus on dipping fairly low and giving a larger squeeze. It is important when dipping to be in complete control of the exercise. Avoid dipping so low that you hyperextend your shoulder. You should feel this exercise in the front of your armpit not in the front or top of your shoulder.
- Let’s get your heart pumping again! Take one foot off of the foot platform and tap it on the ground. Bring it back up and tap it on the platform again. Repeat at a speedy pace staying on the same leg. As you’re tapping your foot be sure to push through your other heel to contract the glute and hamstrings of that leg. Make sure you’re not locking your knee when you stand up but instead taking a moment to manually squeeze your quad. Immediately switch legs when you’re done with that one.
- Grab the dumbbells. Make a goal post motion around your head. Your elbows should line up with your shoulders and your hands hover over your elbows. Push the weights over head to a point where you can feel the caps of your shoulders tighten. Something about this exercise that bothers me is the need for people to clink the weights together at the top of this motion. Save the clinking for champagne glasses. Instead, push your arms straight up so they are right next to each other like two train tracks.
- Place your hands on the foot platform, place your shoulders directly over your hands and put your body into an upper elevated plank position. Bring one knee up to your chest, then switch, switch again, and again. Do this very very fast and you’ll be doing mountain climbers. Make your foot to land exactly the same spot it leaves from. The most important thing here is to drive your knee up, like you’re trying to knee yourself in the nose. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the speed of this exercise that you end up kicking your feet up towards your butt like a donkey. Avoid looking like a donkey. Its not a good look and you’ll miss out on the core benefits that are essentially the point of the exercise.
- Grab your dumbbells again. Place the dumbbells up in front of your shoulders. This position will make it a challenge for you to maintain proper posture because of the added weight on the front of your body. Now that you know this, be very mindful about keeping your core tight and chest upright. Pull your shoulders back. We are about to do a lateral lunge. Stand with feet together. Step your right foot far out to the side. Sit back like you’re trying to sit on a chair covered in gum or grime, like you want to sit but not really. Keep your knee lined up with your toe and don’t push it out. You want to feel this in your outer hip. To do this you must sit back. Your left leg will stay straight like it is completely dead.
I hope you enjoy this full body workout on the assisted pull up machine!