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12 Days of Christmas Workouts

12 Days of Pre-Christmas Workouts to Help You Get Fitter Than Ever

With the holidays coming up fast, it's safe to assume that you'll be eating some awesome Christmas treats — and maybe missing some workouts. And that's totally OK. But what if we told you that we have 12 workouts lined up for you that will take the age-old 12 days of Christmas to a whole new level, making you the fittest you've ever been under the mistletoe? We thought that would get your attention!

Get your workout clothes on, because instead of writing a letter to Santa, we sent our holiday wish list to Sarah Chadwell, CPT and bikini competitor, asking her to give us a few Christmas miracle workouts that will save you time.

According to Sarah, "You have to be selective about what you spend your time doing. Not all exercises are created equal! Use workout routines that include bouts of higher intensity types of cardio and high-intensity circuit strength training. These two types of exercise will be highly effective for the biggest burn in just 20 to 30 short minutes."

Here are her 12 favourite high-intensity workout circuits. Each workout is short but intense, so you'll be in and out of the gym and right back to spreading Christmas cheer.

Day 1

30-minute workout, 10 minutes each of the following:

  • Incline interval treadmill sprints: Use the "hill" setting so you only have to adjust speed. Sprint the inclines and walk or jog the flat portions.
  • Row sprints: Row as hard as you can for one minute, then row at a slower constant pace for two minutes. Repeat until the 10 minutes are over.
  • Stationary bike sprints: Pedal as hard as you can on a moderate to high resistance, then pedal at a slower steady pace for two minutes. Repeat until the 10 minutes are over.

Day 2

20- to 30-minute circuit, as many rounds as you can of the following:

Day 3

20- to 30-minute circuit, as many rounds as you can of the following:

Day 4

10 minutes of each:

  • Interval StairMaster sprints: Almost jog on the StairMaster for one minute, then slow the pace for two minutes. Use one minute of the slow pace to add in alternating glute kickbacks during the slow pace for an extra booty burn. Repeat.
  • Row machine sprints: Row as fast as you can for one minute, then row at a more leisurely pace for two minutes. Repeat.
  • Air bike sprints: Bike as fast as you can for one minute, then ride normally for two minutes. Repeat.

Day 5

20- to 30-minute circuit, as many rounds as you can of the following:

  • Burpees: 12 reps
  • Farmer's walk: Walk with heavy dumbbells or kettlebells at your sides down a long path and back
  • Jumping jacks: 30 reps
  • Push-ups: 10 reps
  • Crunches: 20 reps
  • Repeat.

Day 6

Make those kettlebells ring! Do each exercise for one minute for a total of five rounds.

Day 7

20- to 30-minute circuit, as many rounds as you can of the following:

Day 8

10 minutes each of the following:

  • Incline interval treadmill sprints: Use the "hill" setting so you only have to adjust speed. Sprint the inclines and walk or jog the flat portions.
  • Row sprints: Row as hard as you can for one minute, then row at a slower constant pace for two minutes. Repeat until the 10 minutes are over.
  • Stationary bike sprints: Pedal as hard as you can on a moderate to high resistance, then pedal at a slower steady pace for two minutes. Repeat until the 10 minutes are over.

Day 9

20- to 30-minute circuit, as many rounds as you can of the following:

Day 10

20 to 30 minutes of varied cardio:

  • Go to your local track field and just run up and down the bleachers a few times.
  • Get on a stationary bike and pedal at a level 9 resistance for two minutes.
  • Get off the bike and complete walking lunges down a path and back to the bike. Make it harder by lunging with a 25-pound plate overhead.
  • Repeat circuit until time is up.

Day 11

20-minute stationary bike routine:

  • Get on a stationary bike on the end of the row near an open path. Pedal at a level 9 resistance for two minutes.
  • Get off the bike and complete walking lunges down the path and back to the bike. Make it harder by lunging with a 25-pound plate overhead.
  • Repeat for 20 minutes.

Day 12

Your choice! Do any of the 12 previous workouts and give yourself the gift of working hard all 12 days, because you don't need to wait for a New Year's resolution in order to crush your fitness goals! Doing these workouts will give you plenty of time for all the holiday festivities you've crammed into your schedule. Bonus: you can interchange these workouts to match your time and the weather — just be sure to get the job done each day, and you'll be feeling your fittest when Santa comes to town!

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Diggy Lloyd
Product Credit: Model on left: Nike top and pants, APL sneakers. Model on right: PE Nation top and pants, Adidas sneakers
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