Today I want to share a bit about a dreaded subject... working out.
Are you working out every day? Twice a week? Or are you like 35% of the population that is stuck in a painful sedentary lifestyle?
Before I became a Certified Bulletproof Coach I was heading down that path of true illness, sitting at a desk, looking into a computer, dying! Then I became aware of the pain in my neck, the extra weight accumulating on my thighs and the brain fog that disturbed me from being ultra creative.
As my Bulletproof training progressed I learned about the many benefits of movement and exercise. I also came to accept that time is limited in my life with a six-year-old so I had to find a solution that would produce results in less time! Let me get into the article a bit more...
Have you ever noticed that everyone who’s talking about exercise is serious about the benefits of it, too?
Well, they’re absolutely right! Exercise and weight loss go hand in hand, and have always been hot topics. You’re overweight, you exercise, you’re stressed you exercise, you can’t sleep, you exercise. It (exercise) is supposed to be the absolute solution! Well, is it? From my experience, you bet! No one’s going to disagree on that. It’s so apparent how a little bit of jogging, a few stretches here and there, or a brisk walk down the street with my dog, Jackson, or simply rearranging the line of flower pots in my backyard can make me feel completely rejuvenated. There’s something about it, right?
Some exercise practices are target oriented – they have a goal. Do you have a goal in mind when you exercise?
If you want to lose 1-3 pounds in a week, you’ll most likely pick a specific exercise training program; hopefully, a doctor recommended one. If you choose to do it correctly, and you don’t have any unsorted health issues you might just lose those three pounds.
On the other hand, some people exercise regularly as a practice - to stay healthy, feel good, and keep fit, you must know someone like that, right? (She wakes up early, wears her LuluLemon workout gear and looks perfect even after the workout, ack, so not me!) These regular exercise routines are good, and in fact essential for everyone irrespective of their age or gender.
Despite the fantastic positives and widely discussed benefits out there, there’s still a large group of people who just won’t get off the couch, or out from behind their desk! Either they can’t be bothered, or they’re just downright lazy. (Are you this variety? I use to be!)
Think about this, are you constantly looking in the mirror which reveals nothing short of you being the next cover of Sports Illustrated, and you’re wishing you could lose more weight, questioning why the pudge won’t budge on your muffin top belly? Yep, that was me, well not wishing to be a cover model... Ha!
Let’s say you’ve pulled yourself together and made up your mind to start a regular practice of exercise. What’s next?
Obviously, you can jump on treadmill and start running. But that’s boring. You need a plan! Take a deep look at yourself, what do you need? What could be the best workout, for you? What kind of activity do you need right now to get you shredding that pudge?
Are you by any chance, thinking what I’m thinking? Did you say High-Intensity Interval Training? Well, I am, it’s exactly what you and I both need! This exercise practice, changed my life!
What exactly is a HIIT workout, Lane?
Easy, think back to our ancestral times… how did they live? Did they workout? No. What they did is simple, they lifted heavy objects, chased after food, ran from predators, climbed things to be safe and carried heavy loads when necessary. They had to put 100% into their efforts, which came from their innermost selves, instincts -- survival from being eaten, give it everything or go hungry, be quick or be cold… get it?
We aren’t exactly going to be copying their workout, but we are going to copy the idea of it. We need to put hundred percent into a few quick, short, high intense exercises in a row, taking short periods, very short periods of rest in between, and then you repeat.
Push yourself, go extreme in these brief bursts. You will know that you are doing it right because you’ll use up large amounts of oxygen and feel like you’re almost out of breath –your muscles will feel like they’re at a breaking point. Get it? High-Intensity Interval training. The name says it all, doesn’t it?
The best thing about this kind of workout is that you’ll be losing large amounts of fat faster because of extreme intensity and shortage of oxygen as a result of the EPOC (Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption) effect.
By putting both the aerobic and anaerobic system to work HIIT increases the endurance levels of both the systems. HIIT is usually adapted by those individuals who’ve been exposed to prolonged periods of regular training. This type of workout is quite challenging. It not only taxes your physical body, but it also taps into your mind, you have to find your inner grit, perseverance, you have to push through it to attain your optimal results.
Now, why would you opt for this type of training? Besides having a smoking hot body in less time than someone who hangs out in the gym every fricking day for hours.
Typical aerobic exercises call for some serious commitment. These types of exercises need to be performed in a repetitive pattern for longer periods to achieve optimum results. So why strain when you have a cool alternative like HIIT which allows you similar benefits in a shorter time?
HIIT increases endurance.
There’s absolutely no doubt about it! As your body gets accustomed to highly intense activities, your endurance level gradually shoots up too.
According to a study, a group of people participated in HIIT for eight weeks and doubled the time they could ride a bicycle keeping the same pace. I LOVE THIS!
Let’s just say that this type of workout is like that extra battery you always need but can’t ever find. It boosts your metabolism; it’s there working in the background for you even when you think it’s not doing anything at all. Interval workouts make you consume more oxygen which distinctively increases metabolism. A high metabolism leads to an increased calorie burning process. So what more could you ask for?
Heart Health: HIIT helps with blood circulation throughout your entire body.
The training is designed in such a way that it doesn’t make it too stressful for you to keep up with the oxygen demand. Once your heart rate shoots up and starts pounding, you switch to the rest mode which gives you time to breathe and burn, my favorite part of the workout, burning!
I don’t know about you, but I get bored easily, ask me to lift a weight everyday and I’m possibly going to throw it at you and never come back… I need variety; I need change, constant change to keep my brain active and interested. Did I mention variety to you? Oh how could I not! You don’t need to stick to a specific exercise each time you workout. Instead, you’re free to choose any kind of exercise and turn it into an interval based high-intensity workout, super easy.
For instance, you could do high-speed biking one your first day, and switch to intense jogging the next. Flexible! I heart it!
But wait, here comes the best part. HIIT workouts do not require equipment! One more reason why I love this kind of training. It’s so easy and hassle free, no weights, no gadgets, no GYMS! All you need to do is shove your furniture to the corners of your room and get started! Or if you have a nice little open space in your backyard or deck that’d be even better! A HIIT workout is all about you, with you, your body, nothing else is needed!
I know you’re ready to take on the challenge, and create a HIIT program for yourself, and I’m here to help you do it.
Preparing for HIIT:
The first thing you’re going to think about is time, how long will you be pushing yourself to the wall of fall down and die… and how many of these intervals do I need to do? Make sure you strike a proper balance between them to make your workout more effective. Also, make sure you include some kind of physical activity in your intervals that would prepare you for the next intense workout session. link Oh and lastly don’t forget to warm up a bit before you begin!
Here are a couple of 5-8-minute workout plans that might work well for you, I say 5-8 minutes depending on how physically fit you are; only you know that answer, but I don’t want you passing out and never doing this again. If at 3 minutes you are red in the face, and you can’t breathe then stop, try again the next day! Yes, you have to push yourself, and there is a mental element to this workout, so PLEASE pay attention to your body and know when to stop!
A 5-8 minute workout could include:
Air squats, Alternate lunges, Push-ups, and Burpees (which make me crazy not in a good way, but try them, you might like them!). Do each exercise for 30 seconds with super high intensity and take a 30-second break before you move to the next. Repeat the cycle again and you’d be covering 5-8 minutes of solid workout! (If at the end of it you feel like you are going to throw up, it’s okay… it’s only 5-8 minutes you’ve got this!)
If you actually make it to a gym… you could create an equipment based HIIT workout. Which could look something like this: high-speed skipping (jump rope), KettleBell swings, dumbbell thrusters, then finish up with intense running or spinning on a bike. 30 seconds of workout, and 30 seconds of rest for each exercise. Repeat to get to your full 5-8 minutes.
Get outside and do a workout: Box jumps, mountain climbing (you don’t literally climb a mountain), shuttles, and Planks – do each of them for 30 seconds followed by a 30-second break and repeat! These are some good high intense exercise that’d jump-start your system with large bursts of energy, and of course, make you feel fantastic!
Let me know how it goes. I’m rooting for you. If I can do it, so can you!
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