Hard Work Conditioning 24/7 is the 3rd Hard Work Conditioning workout by Patrick Goudeau. Patrick is the master of metabolic strength training and this is another excellent addition to his collection. It is called 24/7 because he has it set up so you can use this workout every day in different ways. In fact, the menu is broken down that way. First you have a “play all” which is the full 63 minute workout. Monday is 7 circuits and is 42 minutes, Tuesday is 4 circuits and is 24 minutes, Wednesday is 7 circuits and is 42 minutes, Thursday is 4 circuits and is 24 minutes, Friday is 3 circuits and is 18 minutes, Saturday is 7 circuits and is 42 minutes and Sunday is 3 circuits and is 18 minutes. Also on the menu is an ab circuit, the warm up and cool down. Now, none of these daily workouts include the warm up, cool down or the abs, so you need to add that to the workout times if you choose to do them (and you should always add on the warm up and cool down). Each day that says “7 circuits” is playing all 7 of the cardio + strength circuits–but they are mixed up differently each time; the days that do 3-4 circuits use different circuits mixed up in different orders. Below is how he mixes things up:
Monday is circuits 1-7 in the order listed below
Tuesday is circuits 1, 3, 5 and 7
Wednesday is circuits 4, 3, 5, 2, 6, 1 and 7
Thursday is circuits 1, 2, 6 and 7
Friday is circuits 2, 4 and 6
Saturday is circuits 7-1, so reverse order
Sunday is circuits 3, 4 and 5
I loved this workout. It is an excellent workout and I love the 24/7 concept (with the different circuit mixes for different days). Will I ever use it that way? No, but it does work well for premixes/shorter workouts. Before I get to the break down, I have to share my first experience doing this workout. It was not a good experience. Circuit 1 has a twist on a move I have done many times before. It is similar to man-makers. Man-makers are a weighted burpee w/ renegade rows, jump feet in to a squat, do a bicep curl as you stand into an overhead press. Patrick does a weighted burpee w/ renegade rows (you do the curl press, but he sequences it differently than a traditional man-maker), but the twist is jumping your feet back on top of the step during the squat thrust. It makes this move more challenging but I wasn’t having a problem with it. It challenged me but I found it doable. Until 12 minutes into the workout–in fact the very last weighted burpee. I jumped my feet into the squat and my back seized. I couldn’t stand up! I groped for the remote to pause the workout and it took me a good 3-4 minutes to slowly rise to my feet and hobble around my workout room trying to get my back to straighten.
Now, I know a lot of people would call it a day after this but before I started working out regularly (more than 15 years ago) I suffered from severe chronic back pain that debilitated me but once I started working out every day it disappeared for a good decade. So now when I get it, it just pi$$es me off. The good thing is, when it happens now, it generally only lasts 1-2 days then is completely gone and my life (and workouts) can go back to normal. Sometimes I can even finish the workout I was doing when it goes out with some modifications. So I stretched my back a little and started the DVD again. I did have to do a few minor modifications but I did the majority of the workout as laid out until the 42 minute mark–halfway through circuit 6. It was those squat walks on and off the step. My back said Nope, not happening and spasmed big time. This time I couldn’t make the pain go away (well, actually the pain had been there the whole time, but bearable–now it was to the point where I could not stand up straight no matter how much stretching I attempted). So I called it a day at 42 minutes. I couldn’t bend over so I had to push my dumbbells out of the way with my feet.
BTW–this ended up being a bad injury. Not my usual 1-2 days of pain. Not sure if it is due entirely to the move or to my stupid attempt to finish the workout. But rather than 1-2 days this one sat me out for a week. I was reduced to yoga and some other low impact/body weight training workouts. So it took me a week to complete this workout. A full week later I returned to. The second time around when I did the man-maker-esque type move, I did it on the floor–no step involved and zero problems or pain.
Now, do I think this makes this a bad or dangerous workout? No… I actually love this workout. I honestly cannot understand what caused my back to go out. I workout every single day and, in fact, the week just before I did this workout the first time was a burpee intensive week for me. Lots of burpees and even some man-makers and renegade rows earlier in the week! No problems with any of them. The only variable this time was the step. I’ll be honest. My week of recovery was very depressing.
But I completed it the second time, loved it and will definitely return to it–with the Circuit 1 modification that is!
Hard Work Conditioning 24/7, the full workout (so “Play all”) is 62 minutes long w/ a 6 minute warm up, 6:30 minutes of abs and a 6:30 minute stretch. The warm up is very dynamic, consisting of punches, squat jumps, side lunges w/ leg abductions, uneven push ups, jogging, overhead reaches and some stretches. Each circuit is approx 6 minutes long and consists of 2 minutes of cardio and 4 minutes of strength work. There is also a tough 6 minute ab segment.
Equipment needed: a step at 8 inches and various dumbbells. At least light, medium and heavy dumbbells. I used 15, 10, 12 and 8 pound dumbbells.
Circuit 1 (6:30 minutes):
Cardio: step tap on step 4x, then jog around to other side of step and repeat; keep alternating sides. You continue this for a while then the step tap changes to three 180 jump squats w/ one foot on step, jog around to other side of step and repeat; alternate sides until the end of 2 minutes.
Strength: (heavy DBs) stand in front of step w/ legs wider than step; squat and place DBs on ground, jump feet back and on top of step so you are in plank, place right foot on floor while rowing left DB, place foot back on step and take left foot down to floor while rowing right DB, place foot back on step, jump feet back in front of step so you are in a squat then stand; do this complex 4x. Next do 4 weighted burpees, jumping feet onto step then do 4 bicep curls to overhead presses; repeat the burpee and curl press complex. Repeat entire strength segment. (I used 15# DBs)
Circuit 2 (6:30 minutes):
Cardio: Hopscotch straddling step; step and jump on to step on one foot while doing hamstring curl w/ other leg and straddle; you do this move both fast and slow
Strength: (heavy DBs) place one DB on either side of step; get behind step and into a wide-leg plank w/ one hand on step and one holding one DB; do 3 one arm rows, set DB on floor, cross hands on top of step while jumping feet, moving over to other side of step and repeat this move using other hand/DB. Do this complex 2x each side then it changes to one row each side 4x. Stay on one side and do a push up then row DB and continue raising it to ceiling while going into side plank; 4 push up/side planks each arm. Get into close feet plank w/ both hands on step; lower one hand to ground on outside of step, lower other hand to ground, put first hand back onto step, then other hand back on step; do this plank complex 4 times. Repeat entire strength sequence starting w/ other arm. (I used 15# DBs)
Circuit 3 (this one starts w/ mat placed on floor beside step) (6 minutes):
Cardio: stand behind step and shuffle tap toes to top of step; this changes to step, double knee, step down then jump on step and off step; do the knee/jump combo 4x; repeat entire cardio sequence 4x.
Strength: (medium or heavy DB) Stand in front of mat holding one DB in hand closest to step; hold DB overhead, step back w/ same side leg into lunge, lowering knee to floor, bring other knee to floor so you are kneeling, bring DB side leg forward again into lunge then stand; repeat 4x. Next step to side and squat pulse 2x, switch weight to other hand while squat pulsing once more then stand, bringing feet together and curling DB to shoulder; repeat 4x. Repeat entire strength series on same side. Move mat to other side of step and repeat entire strength series on other leg. (I used 10# DB)
Circuit 4 (6 minutes) (you should probably put a mat or towel on step to protect your knee for the strength portion):
Cardio: start standing beside step; leap over step then tap foot closest to step 3x; leap back over and tap step 3 times; keep alternating sides. This changes to lateral skaters over the step.
Strength: (heavy DBs) stand in front of step, then kneel, one knee on step, the other foot on floor in front of step; from this position do 8 overhead tricep extensions; bring DBs down to side and stand from lunge on step pulling DBs back in a back row while raising knee in front of you (balance move) then return to lunge on step lowering DBs close to ground; 7 reps. Still in lunge on step, raise knee off step and lean torso forward; do 8 bicep curls in this position. Bring back foot in a little and do 4 one leg squats, bringing DBs to ground w/ each squat. Bring leg off step so you are standing in front of step (both feet on ground) and do 8 squats w/ bicep curls. Repeat strength series on other leg. (I used 12# DBs)
Circuit 5 (6 minutes):
Cardio: start in plank beside step; do 24 mountain climbers then flip over step into crab then onto floor into plank on other side of step; repeat 3x then do 4 burpees. Repeat entire cardio series.
Strength: (heavy weights) lay on back on step and do 8 chest flys; this changes to one slow chest fly, hold DBs w/ straight arms to ceiling and sit up, do one shoulder press, slowly lower back down to step (DBs still held to ceiling) and curl knees into chest 2x; repeat this fly/sit up/shoulder press complex 4x. While still laying on step, feet on floor, raise hips into bridge. In this bridge position, bring DBs (w/ straight arms) all the way over your head then down to your thighs 4x. Repeat entire strength complex. (I used 12# DBs)
Circuit 6 (6 minutes):
Cardio: Start on top of step; shuffle lengthwise across step, tapping down on each end 4x then change directions and repeat; do this 4x. Step onto step, do a knee pull, step down and leap over step 8x. Repeat cardio series.
Strength: (medium/heavy DB) stand beside step and hold one DB in hand closest to step; holding DB overhead, reverse lunge and pulse 3x, bring back leg into squat, placing DB on ground and while still in squat, step onto step then off of step; do this complex 4x. Leaving DB on ground, do one reverse lunge and one straight leg front kick, 8 reps. 8 front straight leg kicks. Grab DB and hold like a baseball bat; swing DB like a bat 8x. Repeat entire strength series on other leg. (I used 12# DB)
Circuit 7 (6 minutes):
Cardio: “peg leg” step (step onto step w/ one foot then straddle step w/ same foot, step on step w/ same foot then straddle; keep repeating this straddle step); do this step slow then fast; repeat 2x on each side of step.
Strength: (one light/medium weight) stand beside step but not close to it and place leg closest to step on top of step (legs are far apart), hold DB in arm closest to step; lower into side lunge, bringing DB down to opposite foot, stand, bringing DB out to side of body (straight arm), then bring DB around in front of you; 8 reps of this complex. 8 curtsy lunges (on floor–no step), touching DB to ground. Step back into deep runners lunge (leg closest to step goes back and hand holding DB comes to floor), step other leg back so you are in one arm plank, bring leg forward so you are in runners lunge again then stand; 4 reps. Repeat all strength exercises on other leg.
Abdominal Circuit (6 minutes):
- Lay back on step, left foot on the floor, right leg extended straight, left hand behind head; bring right knee in to left elbow then bring straight right leg up and tap foot with left hand; 8 reps.
- Sit on end of step and hold one DB overhead w/ bent elbows, toes are pointed and touching ground; bring knees up to tap elbows and lower legs to tap toes to ground; 8 reps
- Lay on back on step holding DB w/ both hands over chest, bent elbows, and legs are bent and raised; crunch up, tap DB to knees, tap DB to ankles, tap DB to knees then extend legs and arms straight; 8 reps
- Boat pose to banana pose, done slow to count of 8 (4 each direction) while sitting on top of step w/ hands gripping step; 4 reps
Repeat 1-4 doing #1 on other side of body.
Stretch is 6:30 minutes and done sitting on step.