Pete McCall by Pete McCall
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For kids of all ages, one of the most revered Halloween traditions is trick-or-treating. On the other 364 days of the year, we tell kids to NOT take candy from strangers, but on one special night we not only allow it, but we encourage the practice. Experienced Halloween lovers know that there are two primary ways of handing out goodies to costume-clad trick-or-treaters: be stingy and offer just one or two pieces at a time; or be awesome and place a wide variety of candy in a large bowl and allow the kids to grab whatever they can with one hand. (Not mentioned are those who give up and leave a full bowl with a sign saying, “Help yourself.”)

This year, we are borrowing from the second type of candy giver and offering a “grab bowl” format for our annual Halloween-themed workout. Burn off any excess calories that may cross your path this Halloween by using an “every minute on the minute” (EMOM) format of organizing sets combined with exercises that you select from a “goodie” bowl. Here’s how it works:

  1. Write down the exercises listed below on individual notecards (or pieces of paper) and place them in a bowl.
  2. Select two to five exercises (depending on how much time you have) and punch up a spooky playlist.
  3. Do a complete dynamic warm-up, set a timer and get ready to burn some calories!

When picking exercises, make sure you select a good balance of upper-body, lower-body and core-specific movements, along with one or two specific conditioning drills. Each exercise listed below has an assigned number of reps. When the timer hits the start of a minute, complete ALL of the assigned reps and then rest for the remainder of the minute.

If you only have a limited amount of time for a workout, select two exercises and set the timer for 10 minutes (to give you five sets of each exercise). If you have more time, feel free to take extras and add five minutes for every additional exercise you perform. Select a weight that will make the assigned number of reps for each exercise challenging. Maintain good form and try to complete the reps as fast as possible so you can rest before the next exercise. For example, if it takes you 20 seconds to complete 12 reps, you will have 40 seconds to recover and refuel before the next set.

Here is a suggested list of exercises to place in the bowl. Feel free to add some of your favorites but make sure the number of reps allow for approximately 30 seconds of rest between exercises.

  • Romanian deadlifts - 15
  • Explosive push-ups - 8
  • Goblet squats - 15
  • Row-to-triceps kick-back - 15
  • Step-throughs - 8 (each leg)
  • Squat-to-shoulder press - 12
  • Lunge jumps - 10 (5 each leg forward)
  • Rotating uppercuts - 12 (each arm)
  • Plank jacks - 20 jacks w/the legs
  • Reverse lunge with medicine ball lift - 8 (each leg)
  • Ice skaters - 10 each leg
  • Renegade rows - 10 (each arm)
  • Jumping jacks - 20
  • Mountain climbers - 15 (each leg)
  • Rotational shoulder presses - 12 (each arm)
  • Push-ups 20 (modify if necessary)

For example, if you reach into the bowl and pull out lunge jumps, rotating uppercuts. goblet squats and explosive push-ups, set a timer for twenty minutes. When the timer starts, do eight lunge jumps; at 1:00 do 12 rotating uppercuts; at 2:00 do 15 goblet squats; at 3:00 do 8 explosive push-ups, and  then start over and repeat until the timer ends.

If you teach a group fitness class like Total-body Conditioning (or a similar strength-training format), consider placing a number of exercises in a bowl and let your members select their workout for the day. No matter how you decide to enjoy the holiday this year, be safe and have fun!

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