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New year, new me with the October 2010 Trainer of the Month Andy Berman

When I first introduced Andy Berman it was to highlight his gym, Fitness Factory, as a new personal training facility to check out. I recently have started training with him, and wanted to showcase some new exercises that you can use at home to keep yourself in shape.

The squat is an exercise that Andy favors because of the benefits it offers. No weights involved, Andy uses a different type of training that keeps your heart rate up at the fat burning level so you can trim down quickly with good results.

The Bench Squat

What you will need: a stop watch and either a weight lifting bench or coffee table (for all the home exercisers). Using two 30 second intervals per set, you will notice the difference from the traditional weighted squat.

Note: This is a good exercise if you have a bad back or knees. Just remember to modify when necessary

  1. Stand a bit wider than shoulder width apart, toes pointed forward with your rear just over the bench or coffee table.
  2. Start your stop watch to either count down from 30 seconds to zero, or vice versa.
  3. Lower all the way down until you touch the bench or table with your behind, then stand back up to start.
  4. Repeat step three for 30 seconds.
  5. Rest for 30 to 60 seconds, and get ready for the speed round.
  6. Reset the time for 30 seconds, and repeat step three but with speed squats - as many as you can in 30 seconds!
  7. Rest for one minute, then repeat both sets, first at your pace, then speed squats.

Why this works

Instead of using weights and bulking up your legs, this works differently by fatiguing your legs and building lean muscle mass. You will notice your strength increasing weekly when done properly. Always make sure you are using proper form for the squat: keep your knees from going over your toes, and push your butt out slightly backwards to preserve your spine.

Want to know more? Check out Andy at Fitness Factory in Westport on Post Road behind Crate & Barrel.

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