Total Body Pyramid Bench Workout

Total Body Pyramid Bench Workout with RitFit

Disclosure: While I was compensated to write this post and I received this bench in exchange for my review, all opinions, images, and workouts are my own. Gotta have the disclaimer here, but I only promote the products I love. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog!

Hi friends! It’s been a good long while since I’ve posted a workout here on the blog. I’m in the home stretch of finishing my Master’s degree (MPH) and have started a new job in which I’ll transition to full time in August when I graduate (!). That plus teaching classes has kept me QUITE busy! But today, I’m pumped to bring you a new workout with a new piece of equipment: the RitFit foldable adjustable workout bench. The bench is awesome and easily adjustable, like most workout benches you see at the gym or club (you just pull the pin out and lock it in place in a matter of seconds). But I think the thing that sets this one apart from the others is its ability to fold up and be stored. It’ll fit under your bed, in a closet, in your trunk even. So, it’s a great piece of home gym equipment, especially for small spaces!

But let’s get to the workout! This one follows a pyramid structure starting with 10 reps of every exercise going down to 1. I like the pyramid format for a quick and effective sweat sesh, and you can make it more of a HIIT workout with minimal rest periods. Ready to give it a try??


Total Body Pyramid Bench Workout

What You’ll Need: The RitFit adjustable bench (or another sturdy workout bench that can adjust), and a medium dumbbell or kettlebell (optional).
What You’ll Do:
Aways warm up before beginning any workout. After your warm up, start with 10 reps of every exercise. After 10, move down to 9 reps. Keep going down to 1 rep each. Aim for minimal rest. (View a video of the exercises on RitFit’s Instagram.) Fun challenge: time yourself and see how long it takes you to complete the pyramid. Try again in a week or two and see if you can beat your time!

- Start with the bench seat and back flat -

Elevated Push Ups - start with your feet on top of the bench and hands on the ground in a pike position. Keep a neutral spine, look back at the bench, and lower yourself down, bringing the crown of your head toward the floor. Push back up through your shoulders. Trainer Tip: you should feel this one more in the tops of your shoulders rather than your chest.

Bench Hop Overs - place your hands on the seat of the bench with your body off to one side. From here, hop over the bench back and forth, bringing your heels up to your glutes.

Side Plank Adductor Lifts (each side) - get into a side plank position on your forearm. Place the inside of your top foot on the bench, other leg resting on the ground. From here, engage your abs and press through your top foot engaging your inner thigh as you lift your bottom leg to meet the bench. Do # of reps on each side.

- Adjust the back of the bench to an upright position, 2 clicks up from neutral -

Reverse Hyperextensions - trust me, this bench is sturdy and stable enough to support you here! Place your hips over the top of the bench back (shown), hold onto the seat, and lower your legs down. From here, lift your legs and drive your heels upward, squeezing your glutes and hamstrings.

- Adjust the bench back down to neutral -

Feet-Elevated Burpees - these are tough, but SO fun! I find it easier to start with your feet on the bench in a plank. Then jump your feet off to meet your hands, and jump up, exploding through the legs. Just like a burpee, place your hands back down and jump your feet back on top of the bench.

- Lower the bench back to a decline position (all the way down) and raise the seat up all the way -

Declined Sit Ups - weight is optional here. I’m using a 10lb kettlebell, but feel free to add more weight, use a dumbbell, or just your body weight. If using a weight, keep it by your chest. Lie down on the bench and hook your feet under the foot hold. Engage your abs and lift your back off the bench to a seated position, and then lower back down.

Whew! How’d it go? I hope your whole body is thanking you! Now fold up and store that bench away, but not too far - I challenge you to try this workout again and see if you can get it done in a shorter amount of time!

Readers chat with me! Do you use a bench in your workouts? What are your favorite bench exercises? Have you ever done a pyramid workout before? If so, how do you like them? If not, do you think you’ll try this one out?


Plyo Box Pyramid Lower Body Burner

Plyo Box Pyramid Lower Body Burner

HELLOOOO!!!  I'm alive!  I'm sorry for going AWOL there for a while.  I had a sudden family emergency to tend to a few weeks ago that required my full attention, but I am back (things are okay), and I'm excited to bring you guys another great workout today.  Boy how I've missed you!

Today's sweat sesh is all about the lower body.  I've been doing a lot of circuit style workouts here on the blog, so I thought I'd change it up and give you guys a pyramid workout today.  I'm excited for this one because it uses the plyo box - one of my new-found favorite pieces of exercise equipment.  If you don't have a plyo box, you can easily do this workout using a sturdy chair or bench.  Ready to get that booty burnin'?  Keep reading for the details, and make sure to pin this one, too! 

Plyo Box Pyramid Lower Body Burner

Plyo Box Pyramid Lower Body Burner

What You'll Need: a plyo box you can step onto, or a bench/chair of equal height.
What You'll Do: start with 10 reps of every exercise (on both legs).  After you finish 10, move down to 9 reps, then 8... 7... 6... until you've completed 1 rep of every move.

Split Leg Lunges (each leg) - facing away from the plyo box, prop one foot up on it and keep the other leg planted on the floor.  Lunge down as low as you can, bending both knees to 90˚, keeping your chest up.  Do all reps on one leg, then switch.

Butt Tap Squat Jumps - just like they sound, start in a squat with your rear lightly touching the plyo box, hands in front of you.  From here, propel yourself up into the air, swinging your arms down and back.  Land lightly on your feet, and tap your butt to the box again.  Keep the jumps going for the desired number of reps.

Lunge to Step Up + Knee Drive (each leg) - start in a lunge facing the plyo box with just enough room between to step up onto the box.  From the lunge position, take your back leg and plant it firmly on top of the box, stepping up as you do, driving your other knee toward your chest in a fluid motion.  Reverse the move to step down off the box and back into a lunge on the same leg you started on.  Repeat all lunges on one leg before switching to the other.

Side Plank Adductor Raises (each side) - these ones are killer for the inner thighs!  Start in a side plank on your elbow, with your top foot on the box, bottom foot touching the ground so your legs are split.  Maintaining the side plank position, raise the bottom leg up as high as you can. Do all raises on one leg before switching.  Trainer Tip: engage your abs to keep your hips from dipping.  Your body should be in one straight line from head to top foot; the only part that moves is your bottom leg.

Donkey Kicks + Pulse + Hold (each leg) - face the box and place your hands on the sides to maintain your balance.  Start with donkey kicks on one leg, bending the knee and kicking your heel upward toward the ceiling.  Once you're done with the kicks, immediately do that same number of pulses with your leg bent at 90˚.  Last, hold your leg up for that number of seconds (e.g. 10 donkey kicks, 10 pulses, 10-second hold).  Repeat on the other side.

Abductor Lifts + Pulse + Hold (each leg) - maintaining the same propped up form as the donkey kicks, now you're doing to lift your leg out to the side.  Keeping your leg straight and foot flexed, lift straight out to the side as high as you can.  Once done with the desired number of lifts, keep your leg up and pulse it up and down for the same number of reps, and finish with a hold (e.g. 9 lifts, 9 pulses, 9-second hold).  Repeat on the other leg.

Remember to keep going through the exercises until you've completed 1 rep on each leg.  Feel the burn!  And because it's Monday, we all need a laugh, and I'm finding some priceless outtakes in my stock of photos...

Squat outtake

Outfit Details: tank - Lululemon, leggings - GTS Clothing

Readers: chat with me!  What's new?!  I've missed you all!  What new exercises, classes, and/or fitness endeavors are you enjoying?  Do you use plyo boxes in your training?  What are some of your favorite ways to use them?  What are some of your favorite lower body exercises?

Do-At-Home New Year's Eve Pyramid Workout

I can't believe 2015 is almost over.  Where did this year go?  Do you have plans for New Year's Eve?  If you're staying home this year, consider trying a fun workout to keep yourself and friends/family both active and awake until the clock strikes 12:00.  This little workout is a fun one, and builds on itself throughout the night.  You'll be doing exercises on the hour starting at 1pm, and going through until midnight.  Each subsequent hour you'll do all preceding exercises plus that hour's move.  So by midnight you'll have a total body workout to ring in the new year - your first workout of 2016!  Grab your friends and family, and let's celebrate the new year with activity, health, and happiness.  Ready to get moving?!

Do-At-Home New Year's Eve Pyramid Workout

Do-At-Home New Year's Eve Pyramid Workout

Starting at 1pm (or really whenever you'd like - see below), you'll do each exercise on the hour until midnight, combining the current hour's move with all the previous hour's.  So, for example, at 1pm you'll do 1 minute of jumping jacks.  Then at 2pm you'll do 1 minute of jumping jacks + 2 push ups.  3pm = 1 minute jumping jacks + 2 push ups + 3 burpees... etc. until you reach midnight.  Note: you don't HAVE to start at 1pm, so feel free to jump in whenever, just start with that round's moves and go forward.  Have fun and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

1pm | 1 Minute Jumping Jacks - no explanation needed here.  This one is cardio-focused to get your heart rate up and warm your muscles before doing additional exercises, so feel free to switch to another cardio move if jumping jacks aren't your fave.

2pm | (1) + 2 Push Ups - do these from your feet if you can.  Keep your spine aligned, abs engaged pulled in toward your spine and butt down.  Make 'em good!

3pm | (1 + 2) + 3 Burpees - the move everyone loves to hate.  Optional push up at the bottom of the burpee if you want to add a little more to your workout!

4pm | (1 - 3) + 4 Push Ups to Side Plank Hip Dips - start with a regular push up either up on your toes or on your knees. Do the push up, then turn to a side plank on the right so your feet/knees are stacked and place your top hand on your hip.  From here, dip your hips down to the ground, then raise back up.  Turn back to a push up position, do another push up and repeat the dip on the other side.  Do 4 total (2 each side).

5pm | (1 - 4) + 5 Oblique Crunches (each side) - lie on one side, keeping your bottom arm extended out on the floor and top arm bent with your hand behind your head.  From there, crunch up to the side so your elbow meets your knees.  Continue the crunches for 5 reps on one side, then switch to the other.  Trainer Tip: if you want to make it easier, crunch up using only your top leg instead of both.  Harder = keep legs straight and "V" up.

6pm | (1 - 5) + Stutter Lunge Hops (each side) - start in a lunge position with your right leg forward, legs bent to 90˚, chest up.  From here, hop up switching feet mid air and land on your toes with your left leg in front.  Jump back down into a lunge again on the same leg.  Each lunge + stutter hop = 1 rep.  Continue for 6 reps on each side.

7pm | (1 - 6) + 7 Frog Stamp Jumps in Plank - start in a high plank and jump your feet to the outside of your hands keeping your hands on the ground the whole time (as if in a leap frog position).  Jump your feet back out into a plank, keeping your spine aligned (no bend in the back) and gaze forward.  Trainer Tip: if jumping is too much here, simply step your feet up to meet your hands.

8pm | (1 - 7) + 8 Lateral Leg Lifts (each side) - start with your feet about shoulder width apart, toes pointed forward, hinged at the waist so your finger tips touch the ground.  Keeping your finger tips on the ground the entire time, sweep them over to the right side and lift your left leg directly up to the side.  Place your foot back down and sweep your fingers over to the left side.  Now lift your right leg.  Keep alternating for 8 lifts on each side.

9pm | (1 - 8) + 9 Plyo Squats - start in a squat position as low as you can get, arms bent as if in a prayer position.  From here, propel yourself up into the air, swinging your arms down by your sides as you jump.  As you land back down, immediately lower yourself back down into a squat.  Remember, be light on your feet and keep the motion fluid.  Continue for 9 reps.  Trainer Tip: to decrease the intensity, simply squat in place without the jumps. 

10pm | (1 - 9) + 10 V-up Crunches - like a regular crunch, but keep your legs straight and bring your hands up to meet your toes.  Extend all the way back down to the floor, and repeat for 10 reps.

11pm | (1 - 10) + 11 Sphinx Push Ups - start out in a modified push up position (on your knees), forearms flat on the floor with your elbows directly under your shoulders.  From here, push through your hands so your chest comes off the floor and elbows straighten.  Lower yourself back down.  Do 11 total.

12am | (1 - 11) + 12 Left/Middle/Right Crunches + Pulse - we're finishing with a bang!  Lie on your back with your left leg crossed over your right knee, right hand behind your head, left arm out to the side.  From here, bring your left knee to meet your right elbow.  Do 12 crunches here, then 12 small pulses.  Next, go straight up to the middle for 12 crunches and 12 pulses (feet flat on the ground).  Last, cross your right leg over the left, left arm behind your head, and crunch elbow to knee for 12 reps, then 12 pulses.  

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!  Guess what?  You'll have just done your first workout of 2016!  How does it feel?!  I hope you all have a great New Year's Eve and wonderful start to 2016.  Be safe, stay healthy, and rock those workouts!

Readers: chat with me!  Do you typically stay in on New Year's or go out?  If you're staying in, have you ever thought about adding some exercise to your festivities?  What are your plans this year?  How about your goals for 2016?