Those who have been working out for a long time, perhaps not always with the most funds or equipment, will know that in reality you can get a great workout with any kind of equipment. In fact, you can get a great workout with no equipment.
At the same time, by thinking outside the box and looking for some less obvious things to train with, you can find that you actually often end up getting a better burn on your muscles than you normally would.
This workout is the perfect example of that. Using nothing but a backpack with something a little heavy in it (from a jug of milk to a medicine ball – anything will do) you can turn a regular fat burning circuit into something absolutely brutal.
So go and get your backpack, make sure that the weight is distrusted across your back as evenly as possible and avoid anything sharp or uncomfortable that will dig in. Additionally, you should make sure that you don’t have anything too heavy in there to begin with. Try with 5-10kg and then increase the weight as you get more confident.
The following routine is fairly simple but when you add the weighted backpack, things get a little more crazy.
The exercises should be performed in order with a thirty second break between each round. Go for 4 rounds total.
The circuit is:
Again, these are not unusual exercises in themselves but as you increase the weight you’ll find they get more and more difficult.
A Note on Using Weighted Vests and Backpacks
The weighted backpack has another trick up its sleeve. If you really want to get inventive with your training then you can perform a ‘drop-set circuit’. This basically means that each time you go around the circuit, you will make it a little easier so that you can do more repetitions.
So how might you do that? Simple: by lightening the load in the backpack on each round – by taking things out for instance.
This is a great trick because it lets you push past failure and really keep intensity high.
If you want to upgrade this workout, then of course you can try using a weighted vest which will more evenly and comfortable distribute the weight. What’s more, often individual weights will slot into pockets, allowing you to remove the weights as you go quickly and easily.
But there are a few caveats here too. The first is to bear in mind that weighted vests get very hot and sweaty while you train and this can also be quite uncomfortable if they rub. At the same time, the pressure is still going to be primarily on the shoulders and so it’s still not all that good for you over a long period.
Another thing to bear in mind is that when you train with a weighted vest, backpack or even wrist weights, you are changing your center of gravity and this can ultimately impact on your ability to balance. This isn’t a problem for a workout but if you thought you could spend all day with a weighted vest on… well think again.