“My body is an instrument, not an ornament”. YUP.
Work smarter, not longer — These 4 words are the keys to cranking your fitness to the next level. There are so many people out there slogging mile after mile on the elliptical, wondering why they’re not seeing any improvements. DON’T BE THAT PERSON!!! Whether you’re a workout newbie or you’ve been pumping iron for years, I’m listing three things that will help kick up your workouts to get you stronger, faster, leaner, and just generally more badass all around. LEGGO!!
*Disclaimer: Check with your doctor before beginning any new exercise program. If you have cardiovascular problems or other health concerns, these exercises may not be for you*
Exercise # 1: Tabata Intervals. Chances are, you’ve heard about the excellence of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). The basic premise is you work out at 85-90% of your max heart rate (i.e. HARD) for a period of time, with certain windows of recovery time (60-75% of max HR). A standard example of this type of workout is to do repeats of 30 seconds max effort (sprinting, jumping, whatever), and then 60 seconds of recovery (normal jog, etc). It’s extremely efficient for not only burning fat, but also increasing your speed and athletic endurance. Tabata is a variation of HIIT. This type of training requires 20 seconds of max effort followed by 10 seconds of rest, then repeat. These workouts get pretty tough once you realize how fast 10 seconds of rest goes by. The benefit? You’re done in 15-20 minutes, and you’ll KEEP burning fat and calories once you stop exercising. Pretty rad, right? Do some type of HIIT training 3 times a week, and you’ll see improvements pretty quickly. *Note: If you have an iPhone, you can download “Seconds Free”– it’s a free interval timer app that rules* For your convenience, here is an example of a 16 minute Tabata Interval session:
- 20 seconds of sprinting, 10 seconds of rest (Do this 8 times for a total of 4 minutes)
- 20 seconds squats, 10 seconds rest (Do this 8 times for a total of 4 minutes)
- 20 seconds burpees, 10 seconds rest (Do this 8 times for a total of 4 minutes)
- 20 seconds pushups, 10 seconds rest (Do this 8 times for a total of 4 minutes)
- Lunge with shoulder press (*Note: Use weights that provide a challenge. A 2 pound weight like this girl uses probably won’t do much for you.)
- Bent over Row
Repeat x 2
Exercise # 3: BRICKS (or any other type of additional weight).
I’d like to preface this one by explaining that I’m currently training for a GORUCK challenge. (Official site: www.goruckchallenge.com) Among many, many, many other things, this event requires participants to wear backpacks filled with bricks for 12-ish hours. Since I started this training, I’ve gained a surprising amount of strength and speed in a short time, not to mention it makes unweighted workouts feel feather-light. You could also purchase a weight-vest if you’d prefer weight to be more evenly distributed. The point is, if you add weight to your regular workouts, it significantly increases the difficulty level. Translation: Burn more calories, increase strength and endurance, win at life. If you choose to go the bricks route, wrap them together in duct tape or bubble wrap, or something so they lie flat like a book against your back. Here’s an idea of an outdoor workout you could do with your additional weight:
- Hike uphill 10 minutes
- Do 20 pushups
- Jog 10 minutes
- Do 30 incline lunges
- Hike uphill 10 minutes
- 20 Squat jumps
- Jog 10 minutes
- 10 Burpees
Use your imagination. Create circuits for yourself. The possibilities are endless. Do Work!!
I’ll end this here by saying that you get out what you put in. Give 110% to your workouts. Work your tail off, dig deep, and you will get where you need to go. Got questions, opinions, or want some ideas for things to add to your routine? Post a comment or email me!
P.s. in case you were wondering: This is what training for GORUCK, Tough Mudder, and a half marathon at the same time looks like:
And as always: Remember to Breathe.