It’s still cold and it’s getting pretty old (ha, I rhymed!) but at least it’s Friday!
It’s becoming more and more difficult to get to the gym and it seems as if I’m only making it there for Body Pump on Mondays and Wednesdays because I just can’t get enough of the Pump! Luckily, I am getting better about doing my at-home workouts and came up with a pretty awesome full-body circuit yesterday.
The circuit is done tabata style, which is an exercise protocol developed by Izumi Tabata of Japan. He conducted a study involving a series of tests on two groups of athletes which compared moderate high intensity training with high intensity interval training (HIIT).
In group one, the athletes trained at moderate intensity (70% intensity) for one hour, five days a week, for a total of six weeks.
Group two trained at high intensity (170%) for four minutes, four days a week, for a total of six weeks. The 4 minute session consisted of eight rounds of 20 seconds of intense training (170% intensity) followed by 10 seconds of rest.
Group 1 had a significant increase in the aerobic system (cardiovascular system). However, the anaerobic system (muscles) gained little or no results at all.
Group 2 showed significant increase in their aerobic systems and their anaerobic systems increased by 28%.
Conclusion? According to the study, “adequate high-intensity intermittent training may improve both anaerobic and aerobic energy supplying systems significantly, probably through imposing intensive stimuli on both systems.”
Basic Tabata Design
Any exercise can be incorporated into the Tabata training, but the protocol for the basic Tabata method is:
• 4 minutes long
• 20 seconds of intense, as hard as you can go training
• 10 seconds of rest
• 8 rounds
When I say I did this “Tabata-style”, it means I incorporated the idea of rounds of intense exercise with brief rest periods, but this particular workout was 24 rounds, meaning four rounds of each of the six exercises.
If you have a Smartphone, there is a great app that helps with this style of training. It’s the GymBoss app and it’s free! When you open the app, it looks a little something like this:
As you can see, the timer in purple is set for my 24 rounds, with 30 seconds on and 10 seconds off.
You can change the background colors so it is easy to tell when your 30 seconds is up and you can rest. I make it super easy for myself by making the 30-second “on” period in green and the 10 seconds of rest in red.
Green means go and red means stop! If you look near the bottom, you will see how many rounds you have left to complete, as well. The timer can be set for any number of intervals, for any period of time. It’s like a stopwatch on steroids.
Exercise demonstrations and modifications
I did the side lunges and tricep kickbacks with a 10-pound weight, but if you want it to be equipment free, you could always substitute the kickbacks for some tricep dips. For those who are not familiar, here is a link for a dive bomber push-up video tutorial. I definitely feeling those near the end and had to go down on my knees.
I added a flutter kick to the Superman, so it look a little something like this:
[ source ]
[ source ]
[ source ]
The nice thing about training at home is you can eat and shower right after your workout. I made myself a heaping bowl of roasted butternut squash and brussels sprouts, sprinkled with some grated mozzarella cheese. On the side was a big smoothie with frozen berries, a banana, plain Greek yogurt, chia seeds, and some vanilla soy milk to get everything moving.
Post-workout, I crashed on the couch and watched American Idol with my roommates. This was the first time I had seen the show since Kelly Clarkson was on it in the first season! I can’t believe that Ryan Seacrest is still doing it. One of the background songs in the show was ‘Locked Out of Heaven’ by Bruno Mars and none of us could get it out of our heads for the rest of the night! An impromptu dance session in the kitchen may or may not have happened…
My goal this weekend is to make it to the gym for at least one yoga session. The more strength training I do, the more I find my muscles feeling tight and cramped. A good stretching sesh is much needed!
Food For Thought: Are your workouts short and sweet or is quantity > quality?
It is still taking some time for me to get used to the idea of short workouts being equally as effective, but I sure do appreciate the extra time in the day!
Wishing you all a very happy weekend <3