Your Physical Fitness Program – Is it Working For You?

There are so many fitness systems, routines, and plain physical activities prescribed by everyone from fitness practitioners to some unknown person on the internet. You search, study, inquire and finally settle on a program and stay with it for a year. Now what? Can you quantify the benefits? That is, what metrics or measurements do you have at your finger tips that clearly say your cardiorespiratory endurance, muscle endurance, muscle strength, and joint flexibility has improved? Well, if you can’t answer the above questions, what does that say about your fitness program?

I would like to introduce you to a different concept for getting physically fit. A physical fitness program that is measurable, reveals your weaknesses and strengths, and will get you physically fit. I am talking about compact functional body weight exercises by themselves or with the addition of functional weightlifting. We have many more Workout Routine Articles Now Available.

Now is not the time to overwhelm you with the details or specifics about the power of functional body weight exercises, however, it is well worth your time to give them some attention. What is a compact exercise routine? These routines are characterized by functional movements, no rest, and generally two to three exercises that are repeated in a circuit format, or a string of several exercises performed in succession one time. They are high-intensity and generally hit on all components of physical fitness. What is interesting about these routines is how well they define your true physical fitness. I personally thought I was in “pretty good shape,” until I performed the following:

For 20 minutes, complete as many rounds as you can of the following:

10 push-ups followed by

15 squats (full) followed by

5 dead hang pull ups equal one round.

Okay, I set the timer and off I went. Holy cow! Ten rounds! That’s it. And I wanted to quit with a modest amount of time left, thinking to myself, “what’s the point, I’m gassed.” This compact routine reveals your upper and lower body strength and endurance, along with your cardiorespiratory endurance. I’d say 10 rounds is “not in pretty good shape.” It is more like average shape. What a revelation. All along, I thought I was in good physical condition. I am happy to report that today I am approaching 20 rounds. Not a bad improvement. What a cool concept. Now I can actually see my physical fitness improvement.

With the help of a professional fitness practitioner, I put together several compact routines that address all facets of physical fitness that are either measured by the number of rounds over a specified time, or, the amount of time to achieve a specified number of rounds. Here is an example of an upper body endurance compact routine:

Perform 6 rounds for time of the following with each push-up at a different angle:


decline 17″, 13″, 9″

incline 9″, 13″, 17″ — 10 reps

Bar bell push press 40% body weight –10 reps

Bar dip — 10 reps

Although this appears very chest, shoulder and triceps centric, you work many other muscles as well which can give you a metabolic effect. My first attempt took over 22 minutes. The last time was just over 18 minutes. That’s a 4 minute improvement. My goal is to get through this routine with all sets unbroken. I’m well on my way!

You may be thinking that such a program would get boring. Not really. Each workout is unique. You do not perform the same routine again for the next thirty or more days. That’s a ton of variety that keeps your body guessing. When you do perform the workout again, you have a benchmark, or a number to beat. A new record to set indicating your physical fitness improvement.

So, if you have been in a program for a while, and have come to realize that you cannot quantify the physical fitness improvement, you may want to consider compact functional body weight programs that are intense, measurable on each work out, and highly effective at getting you physically fit. We have many more Workout Routine Articles Now Available.