Tag Archives: #HIIT

How To Keep Moving Through A Busy Holiday Season

The holiday season is officially here.  The month of December seems to fly by as we countdown the days to our winter break.  This time of year is filled with busy plans, traveling around and of course delicious foods.  You might be visiting family one weekend, then traveling somewhere tropical the next.  Maybe one weekend is booked for your office christmas party, and the next is dedicated towards battling mall traffic.  Whatever it may be, it is clear that this time of year disrupts any daily schedule.

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When we are out of our routine, we are out of balance.  Instead of some carefully thought out healthy meals for the week, we may be ordering take-out.  The normal hour gym session may be skipped due to the massive list of errands that need to be completed.  It’s very easy to fall into the holiday trap and ‘pause’ any wellness we practice for our bodies.

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It is imperative not to let this happen.  When we are out of balance, it becomes increasingly harder to get back into good habits.  The supposed one week off from training can easily turn into a month.  After just three days of non activity aerobic fitness begins declining, followed soon after by strength conditioning.  Our bodies need to be moving and our hearts pumping. 

If you find yourself short for time, consider doing some quick 10 to 20 minute body weight exercises.  These can be done at home, in a hotel room, or at the park next to your cousins house. These types of exercises require little to no equipment, will get your heart rate beating and will maintain your physique.  A perfect pick me up for when your in a pinch.

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Body weight exercises are things like push-ups, squats, pull-ups, jumping jacks etc.  When paired with HIIT, or circuit training, they can boost endurance and build muscle strength.  The idea is to have short bursts of energy, followed by a short resting period.  Think of it as a 1:2 ratio between exercise and rest.  For example, if you jump rope for 20 seconds at max effort, then you would rest for 40 seconds.  Because of afterburn, workouts like these require less time to reach a ‘fat-burning’ state.  This makes for a perfect at home substitute for when you can’t make it to the gym.

Here are a couple example circuits to get you started:

Circuit 1:

  • 50 jumping jacks
  • 50 High Knees
  • 50 Mountain Climbers
  • 20 Squats
  • 10 Burpees
  • 25 Full Sit-ups
  • 30 Second Plank

Rest 1 minute

  • 50 Jumping Jacks
  • 20 Lunges
  • 15 Pushups
  • 20 Squats
  • 15 Tricep Dips
  • 25 Crunches
  • 30 Second Plank

Rest 1 Minute

  • 50 Jumping Jacks
  • 20 Cross Body Punches
  • 20 Donkey Kicks (10 per side)
  • 20 Squats
  • 25 Russian Twists
  • 25 Bicycle Crunches
  • 30 Second plank

Circuit 2:

  • 50 Jump Rope
  • 250 Meter sprint
  • 20 Walking Lunges (10 per leg)
  • 20 Squats
  • 15 Push-ups
  • 15 Sit-ups

Rest 1 minute between sets

Repeat 2-3 times

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What To Do Post-ThanksGiving

Thanksgiving has come and gone. What a wonderful holiday it was to have spent time with loved ones.  Of course the best part being the never-ending dishes that fill our tables with delicious thanksgiving foods.

This battlefield is where the true champion arises between family members to see who can refill their plate the most.  Then you get the personal battle of cramming in as much leftovers as possible, while suppressing the feeling to throw it all up. 

So after a long weekend of stuffing filled stomachs, we may be left feeling a bit heavier around the waist. We might be moving a bit slower and our belts might need to be hitched a little looser.  This is because we just consumed between 2,500-4,500 calories in our single feast. 

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However, no need to feel guilty about consuming 2-3 times your daily caloric intake.  This time is meant to be joyous and glutenous.  It’s one of the few times a year we are allowed to let loose and celebrate with our universal language, food.

Now it’s back to the everyday grind where we need to bring our bodies back to balance.  What we need is something that will shock our metabolism and lower insulin resistance.  Something that will decrease our blood glucose levels and promote weight loss.  What we need is some high-intensity interval training (HIIT).

HIIT is an exercise strategy where you alternate between short periods of intense anaerobic exercise with less-intense recovery periods. Usually HIIT exercises will range between 4-30 minutes of hard cardiovascular work.  This type of training will utilize something called “afterburn“.   

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Afterburn essentially takes the significant rise in oxygen intake after strenuous activity and erases the body’s ‘oxygen deficit’.  After a workout, our body’s will use oxygen to recover and adapt to the exercise we just performed.  Post-exercise oxygen consumption directly replenishes the phosphagen system and fuel stores, while promoting cellular repair and anabolism.  What all of this means is an increase in metabolic function, which leads fat burning.

To put into simple turns, afterburn allows your body to burn calories even after you’ve finished working out.  Low intensity steady state cardio (LISS) exercises, like running on the treadmill, will only only burn calories while your working out and won’t induce afterburn. 

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There are many variations and training regimens that will use HIIT workouts.  One of the more popular ones today is Crossfit.  Below I will provide a few examples that you can do yourself to work off the thanksgiving meals.  Remember that HIIT can be very strenuous and it is easy to injure yourself if not done correctly.  So train within your limits and always use correct form.

AMRAP – As Many Rounds As Possible

20 minutes:

250 meter run

20 lunge jumps

15 v-ups

10 pull ups

250 meter run

20 squats with weight

6 burpees

10 chin ups

Aim for at least 4 sets in 20 minutes

EMOM – Every Minute On The Minute

10 Minutes:

Even Minutes: 7 chest-to-bar pull ups

Odd Minutes: 10 unbroken wall balls

TABATA– 20 seconds max effort | rest 10 seconds | then move to next move

4 Rounds, 20 Minutes: Rest 1 minute between rounds.

Squats- 20 seconds | rest 10 seconds

High Knees – 20 seconds | rest 10 seconds

Froggers – 20 seconds | rest 10 seconds

Speed Skaters – 20 seconds | rest 10 seconds

Plank Jack + Knee Tuck – 20 seconds | rest 10 seconds

Tuck Jumps – 20 seconds | rest 10 seconds

Mountain Climbers – 20 seconds | rest 10 seconds

Squat Jump Turns – 20 seconds | rest 10 seconds

Burprees – 20 seconds | rest 10 seconds