3dalia for Getty Images
3dalia for Getty Images

The salon industry’s famed “ClipperGuy” Ivan Zoot is also a workout warrior, and this time of year he’s doing a form of circuit training inspired by the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” which counts down from 12 drummers drumming to just a partridge in a pear tree. The workout goes like this:

  • 12 repetitions of exercise A
  • 12 reps of exercise A + 11 reps of exercise B
  • 12 reps of exercise A + 11 reps of exercise B + 10 reps of exercise C


You keep adding exercises all the way down until you’re doing just one repetition of the last exercise. You get to choose the different exercises. Use hand weights, stretch bands, machines or just your body weight. Between sets, you don’t rest—you do situps or crunches or, if you’re as fit as Zoot, you jump rope between sets. He also likes to add more weight to each exercise as the reps count down.

Although you can develop a 12-set that focuses on building a specific muscle or area of the body, Zoot prefers to mix it up with exercises that, together, build the total body, or just do targeted whole-body exercises like burpees, squat-curl-press and deadlifts.

If you like this workout, you’re allowed to do it year-round! “This has fast become my favorite way to go big, go heavy and go hard every third day in my workout routine,” Zoot says.

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