Glossary of Bonfire Exercise Terms

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Bonfire Move Glossary

What is “functional training?”
Functional training is any type of exercise that has a direct relationship to the activities you perform in your daily life.

What is the “Bonfire WOD?”
WOD stands for Workout Of the Day.  This is your daily workout for you to do today.

What is a “rep scheme?”
A rep scheme is a prescribed number of repetitions of an exercise (or exercises) during your workout.

For example: The workout calls for a rep-scheme of 20-15-10 deadlifts and pushups.  This means you must perform 20 deadlifts, then 20 pushups, 15 deadlifts, then 15 pushups, and finally 10 deadlifts, then 10 pushups.

What does it mean when it says the workout is “for time?”
It means that the workout should be done in as little time as possible against the clock.

What does “prescribed weight” mean?
A prescribed weight will be given in your workout for specific exercises in both male and female quantities.  This is a recommended weight, however – if the weight is too heavy, then scale down to an appropriate weight.

What is Tabata?
For twenty seconds, do as many reps of the assigned exercise as you can – then rest 10 seconds.   Repeat this seven more times for a total of 8 intervals and 4 minutes total exercise.  Your score is the least number of reps for any of the eight intervals.  This means that it is an all-out effort for each interval.  Don’t hold back!

Types of Movements in the Bonfire Health Program:

  • Monostructural:  Run, bike, swim, row, jump rope
  • Gymnastics:  Air Squat, Pull-up, Push-up, Dip, Handstand Push-up, Rope Climb, Muscle-Up, Press to Handstand, Sit-up, Jumps, Lunges
  • Weight Lifting:  Deadlifts, Cleans, Presses, Snatch, Clean and Jerk, Medicine Ball Exercises, Kettlebell Swing

Types of Equipment Utilized: Most of all the Bonfire Workouts can be done at home if you do not belong to a gym.  Here is some of the equipment you may wish to purchase.:

Equipment Shopping Checklist

  • Mats
  • Olympic Bar
  • Bumper plates
  • Dumbbells
  • Pull-up Bar
  • Dip Station
  • Flat Bench
  • Portable Power Racks
  • Parallettes
  • Still Rings
  • Ab Mat
  • Plyometrics Boxes
  • Kettlebells
  • Jump Rope
  • Medicine Balls
  • Stop Watch

Most, if not all of it, can be purchased at a local sporting store.  Soon we will also offer most of the equipment you need directly through the website.

What if I can’t do the recommended weight?
Use a weight that’s manageable to you, or use a percentage of the weight prescribed.  Assume the average male weighs 175 lbs and the prescribed weight is 95 lbs.  Thus, you’d pick a weight that’s approximately 55% of your bodyweight.

What is a substitute for running?
To substitute a different aerobic exercise, pick a comparable time interval.  For example, if you run 400m in 90 seconds, then row or bike or jump rope or run stairs, etc. for 90 seconds.  Other suggestions:  box jumps, cross-country skiing, heavy bag work, kettlebell or dumbbell swings, weighted stair-climbing or box-stepping.

I don’t have a box to do box squats, box step ups, or box jumps.
Use stairs or a stable structure such as a bench of the appropriate height.

What is a substitute for Wall Ball throws?
The “standard” substitute for Wall Ball is either dumbbell or barbell thrusters.  Since you can’t (or shouldn’t, anyway) actually throw the dumbbells in the air, use about twice the specified ball weight (40 lbs. or so instead of 20), and do them as explosively as possible.

Here are some directions if you choose to make a homemade medicine ball:

  • Take an old, or cheap, basketball.
  • Cut a slit in it.
  • Stuff with sand.
  • Sew or glue the slit closed (optional), and then tape up with good ol’ duct tape.  This gives you a perfectly functional 18-22 pound ball (9 or 10 kg) for under $4.

I don’t have a kettlebell to do kettlebell swings.
Use a dumbbell.

What if I don’t have dumbbells?
Buy some.

Is there good substitute for PVC pipe?
Wooden dowel, broom handle, or a broken hockey stick.

I don’t have rings or I can’t do a ring dip.
Do 3 regular parallel bar dips, or use the edge of a bench or couch to assist your dips.

What if I can’t do pull-ups?

1.  Jumping pull-ups (use as much leg push as needed, lower slowly).
2.  Pure negatives (climb to top position using whatever means necessary, chair, bench, whatever, then lower slowly)
3.  Assisted Pull-ups:  use an Assisted Pull-up Machine (if you’re lucky enough to have access to one), or even better, a human spotter to give you a lift.  Bend your legs at the knees so that the tops of your feet are facing down, have the spotter support you there to provide some lift.
4.  Assisted pull-ups with elastic:  Get a large elastic band (surgical tubing works great), loop over the bar, and step in it to provide some lift

I can’t do Handstand Pushups (HSPU).
Most of us can’t.  Support all or most of your body while working up to HSPU.  You can place your hands on the floor, and your legs on a bench or ball or counter (bend at the waist).  You can hook your toes over a bar in the power rack or smith machine.  You can do partial reps, building up to full range of motion.  For example, stack a few books up under your head; lower to the books.  Work on removing a book from the pile every workout or so until you are going head to the floor.

You can sub standing presses for HSPU, using absolutely no leg drive, but they are not as good a sub as working toward the actual motion.

I can’t do double-unders, or I don’t have a jumprope.
Do tuck jumps: Stand with your feet slightly inside the width of your shoulders.  Bend your knees and lower your body down 8-12 inches.  Explode into the air and bring your knees up to your chest in a tucked position.  Upon landing, your feet should be in a strong, dorsi flexed or “toes up” position.  Use your whole foot to generate power, not just your toes!  Maintain good posture in your upper body.  Keep your chest and head up.  Don’t let your shoulders lean out beyond your knees.  This can stress your lower back.  Explode off the ground as quickly as possible and repeat for the required number of repetitions.

If you can’t do tuck jumps, do 5 single-unders for every double-under.

Types of Rep Schemes in the Bonfire Health Program:

As many reps as possible in a certain amount of time – AMRAPAs Many Rounds As Possible.:  This means simply that you perform as many full-range of motion repetitions of a given exercise as possible in the time allotted.

For example:  Perform as many squats as possible in 1 minute.

When the workout calls for AMRAP, this means you must complete as many rounds as possible of the workout in the time allotted.  For example if the WOD was:

AMRAP in 10 Minutes of:
5 Squats
10 Box Jumps
15 Slam Balls

For this workout you would start the clock and do all three exercises 5 squats, 10 box jumps and 15 slam balls in order.  Once you have done this, you have completed one full round.  Start again and do as many rounds of possible in 10 minutes.   Remember to keep your score so you can beat it next time.

The 10, 12, or 15 minute variety of AMRAP’s seem to promote the highest intensity.  You want to put in an all-out effort until the time has stopped.  Typically 3 movements will be the max of a WOD like this.  An example would be a heavy weightlifting movement paired with a higher skill gymnastics movement and a monostructural sprint of some sort so you get a total functionally fit workout.  So much fun!

Triplets: Usually these are comprised of a monostructural element, a gymnastic movement, and a weightlifting movement.

Couplets:  A two-exercise combination chosen from the categories of monostructural elements, gymnastic movements or weightlifting movements.  The gymnastic/weightlifting couplet is possibly the hardest WOD to do.

Monostructural WODs:  Best done in intervals in order to keep up the intensity.  For example, split up a 2k run into eight 400m runs for time.

Chippers: Chippers are usually high rep lower weight lifts and gymnastic movements that are difficult to keep up high intensity with.  These are typically longer WODs that are more aerobically challenging.

Weightlifting WODs:  There are many ways to do these, such as intervals (1 heavy clean and jerk on the minute, every minute for 20 minutes), or for repetitions (30 clean and jerks for time).

Strength specific WODs:  These workouts will call for a certain amount of sets and repetitions for a specific exercise.  Here are some common rep schemes:

5×3 (5 sets of 3 repetitions)
5×5 (5 sets of 5 repetitions)
1 rep max x 5 (5 sets of 1 repetition)

Each of these rep schemes are designed for you to be adding weight to each successive set to make it increasingly harder.  These are exercises that demand good technique, a sufficient warm-up, and a stretch afterwards.  Track your progress so you can improve your lifts each time.

Other WODs may have a higher workload, but these WODs also demand a high level of intensity and strength.