The BeWOW Breakdown: This Long-and-Lean Workout Sneaks Up On You 


This Week’s Workout: Your Ticket to Long, Lean Muscles

The Breakdown
Total time commitment: 30-35 minutes
Difficulty (out of five): 3
Soreness factor: We strolled out of the gym like we hadn’t done a thing and woke up the next day with all sorts of soreness.
Overall grade (out of 5): 4. This one is sneaky. There’s probably nothing that will kill you here, but it all adds up.

Our first impressions:  
Honestly, Rebecca and Alon looked at this workout on Sunday night and let out a collective grumble. 40 + 30 + 20 + 10 reps is a lot of damn reps. And on top of that, some of these exercises looked like they were going to be impossible to do 100 times. We then both decided to just grit our teeth and show up at the gym and knock this out. We figured we could probably just crawl back back to our beds afterward and call it a sick day if it was as bad as expected

How we felt afterward:
Lo and behold, we started cranking out this workout and realized it was no big deal. We followed Coach Audrey’s advice and worked with low weights.Everything felt totally doable, but we could feel the impact of the high reps, especially during the first set of 40 reps. The squats, which were our biggest concern, turned out to be a really cool hip workout once we realized that they were simply pumps, not full squats. Same goes for the bridges, though Alon could not manage to balance while holding weights in the air. Rebecca, typically the uncoordinated one proved to have a core of steel and made the bridges look easy. (What do you expect from a woman that wins 100-mile races?) We actually did walk out of the gym wondering whether we actually got anything out of the workout, because the impact was so low. Then we both got up the next morning with sore arms, shoulders, and legs. So stick with the script on this one and let the reps do their thing.

About our testers: 

Rebecca Barber is the founder of the Rocky 50K Fat Ass Run, a just-for-fun 50K run that follows Rocky Balboa’s footsteps in Rocky II. She’s a 16x marathoner and 14x ultra marathoner, having started running when she was a kid. She’s an active volunteer with Back on My Feet Philadelphia, where she works to help the homeless community use running as a means to better their lives and find stable employment and housing. When not running all the miles, she is the social media coordinator for The Wharton School.

Alon Abramson is the founder of the West Philly Runners, the creator of – a web resource for running in Philadelphia – and the organizer of a number of running events in Philly, including the annual 26×1 Mile Team Marathon Relay, Beat the Bus, and Beat the Commute. Running since high school, Alon is an on-again, off-again runner with ebbs and flows to his mileage and commitment. More recently however, he’s taken a new approach to training, emphasizing cross-training and speed work as much as building up mileage and this has dramatically improved his running performance. When he’s not organizing and running, Alon works as a research project manager at Penn’s Institute for Urban Research, studying energy efficiency best practices. He’s on a number of non-profit boards and works on his whole-home retrofit project whenever there’s free time.

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