The 21s

The 21's
Duration: 4 weeks
Goal:  To perform an intense cardio workout using traditional calisthenic exercises in short bursts to keep the participant engaged and entertained
Frequency:  3 to 4 times a week

Prerequisite:  Some trying to do 21's is recommended to have done the 500 challenge or be able to perform push ups, sit ups, and lunges/squats with good form after performing a cardio excercise for at least 15 min.

How it works:

The 21's is not a new exciting plan.  The 21's is an abbreviated version of the Physical training employed by military almost every morning.  The plan calls for 5 excercises that raise the heart rate to the fat burning level (varies depending on age/weight) and then 2 exercises that strengthen the core while resting giving a rest between the sets of the 5 cardio exercises. This set of exercises keeps you moving and working for just over 20 minutes. 

Theory has changed over the years.  Studies have found that stretching good and then going as hard as possible in the beginning of a cardio work out actually burn more calories, than the old method of start slow and build to a target heart rate.  So hit it early and hit it hard.

You have to stretch before this workout.  Do not just jump in.  YOU WILL HURT YOURSELF. 

The Plan:  see below exercises for some info on each exercise

1 minute - Jump rope (or if no rope is available jump in place with imaginary rope)
1 minute - Mountain climbers
1 minute - High Knees
1 minute - Speed Skaters
1 Minute - Jumping Jacks
.5 Minute - left plank
.5 minute - Right plank
.5 minute - Center plank
.5 minute - crunches/leg lifts/etc.
Repeat set - No rest period

Summary - 
The set takes 7 minutes and should be done 3 times... hence the name 21's.  No rests in between.  Be ready to switch exercises and go.  The .5 min exercises serve as a resting time to get your breathing down slow and hit a water bottle. 

Jump rope - While jumping rope the paricipant should not just go up and down.  The jumper should start the first 15 seconds up and down.  Second 15 seconds should be side to side, 3rd 15 seconds should be front and back. The last 15 seconds should be back to up and down. 

Mountain climbers- If you cannot do mountain climbers all the way through.  Do not put your knee down.  stay up on your toes and your hands and stick your butt straight up... this will relieve strain but keep your muscles engaged.  You should notice over time that you have to do this less and less.  In addition try to keep your head up as this helps open your lungs better to get more oxygen to keep you goin, it feels harder, but it actually helps.

High Knees - Nothing special, they just suck

Speed Skaters - Stand on your right foot and mark that spot. Now jump as far as you can to the left.  Mark that spot.  Move your mark in 6 in to a foot.  You should be able to stand on one foot and jump to the other mark using 75% of the effort you used originally.  Now jump back and forth from foot/mark to your other foot/mark.  Each time bending the knee, pushing off, landing on the other foot, bending that knee and raising the original foot up behid you like an olympic speed skater does.  It feel strange the first few times and the balance is difficult, but the goal is to jump back and forth without pausing more than 2 seconds per foot, but also maintaining balance on one foot.   ( This exercise is not recommended for people in training for a long run, as side to side cardio motion is not recommended for marathoners)

Jumping jacks - Nothing special, just keep your heart rate up.