As always, listen to your body and take it easy! Good luck - you can find the programme file below!
When I posted about "getting fit and staying there" I totally intended on dragging all of you guys with me on the journey. So this week I've been thinking about my favourite, quick, easy, no equipment exercise that will kick bottom.
This happens to be something known as a "HIIT pyramid" and I last attempted one during the "snailstalker challenge" saga (you can see me suffering here).
HIIT is one of my favourite forms of cardio - I'm not much of a steady state sort of gal, given my attention span is approximately that of a large, well fed, well homed fish.
There are also lots of benefits to HIIT. My first 20Ibs lost was due to a HIIT style programme and I've not looked back since.
What is HIIT? (baby don't hurt me....don't hurt me no more...)
HIIT is High Intensity Interval training. It is different from steady state cardio (such as running, or walking) because it periodically forces your heart rate high (above 80% max heart rate for those of you who use a HRM) followed by a quick drop in heart rate (to below 40% max heart rate); steady state cardio, as the name implies keeps the heart rate at a constant - usually a moderate 60-70% max heart rate.
What are the benefits of HIIT VS steady state cardio?
1. HIIT is especially good at promoting the loss of body fat - steady state is brilliant for endurance, but studies have shown that HIIT outperforms in terms of fat burning capacity.
2. It's efficient - you only need short HIIT workouts to achieve good results (anything from 10-30 minutes). HIIT is great for a quick workout that revs up your fat burning-ness (yes, it's a word). By spiking your heart rate you're basically making your heart work hard, this burns up available glucose and glycogen stores quickly. It also exerts everything in your body, which makes you burn fuel to repair yourself. Excellent.
3. Challenges your heart - which makes the muscle stronger.
4. It's fun. You get to do a short, effective workout, that pushes your body and makes you burn fat. Win/Win!
Why should I do this?
Because it's really good for you. Honest.
If you're new to working out, have a heart condition or anything else you should check with a doctor.
Never start a new exercise programme without consulting a doctor.
I'm not a doctor, or a fitness professional so it's on your head :p
I even made a picture for ease of use.
Complete one of these cycles. If you're still standing, do it again :p
References (yes, I actually read stuff for you...)
Andersen, Charlotte (2013) "8 Benefits of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)" (http://www.shape.com/fitness/workouts/8-benefits-high-intensity-interval-training-hiit)
Bryant, Josh (2014) High Intensity Interval Training, Bodybuilding.com (http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/high-intensity-interval-training-the-ultimate-guide.html)
Heffernan, Andrew (2007) "Steady-State Cardio Vs. High-Intensity Interval Training" (https://experiencelife.com/article/steady-state-cardio-vs-high-intensity-interval-training/
Perry, Christopher G.R.; Heigenhauser, George J.F.; Bonen, Arend; Spriet, Lawrence L. (2008). "High-intensity aerobic interval training increases fat and carbohydrate metabolic capacities in human skeletal muscle". Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism 33 (6): 1112 (http://www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/abs/10.1139/H08-097#.VH8BVlRFDIU)
Schober, Tony (2012) "HIIT - High Intensity Interval Training For Maximum Fat Loss" (http://www.coachcalorie.com/hiit-training/)
Smith, Timothy P.; Coombes, Jeff S.; Geraghty, Dominic P. (2003). "Optimising high-intensity treadmill training using the running speed at maximal O2 uptake and the time for which this can be maintained". European Journal of Applied Physiology 89 (3): 337. (http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00421-003-0806-6)
Various Authors: HIIT, Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-intensity_interval_training)
So, who feels good this Friday?
Me me me me!
Oh Friday, How Do I Love Thee? Let me count the ways....
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My flexibility can reach, when feeling out of shape,
For the ends of pointing my toes for ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet free-period, by laptop screen light.
I love thee freely, as women strive for that extra mile;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Practice.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old back pains, and with those packets of Oreo cookies.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost cheesecakes – I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my journey! – and, if I choose,
I shall but love thee better after I get some sleep tonight.
Ok, so I just bastardised my favourite sonnet. I somehow feel no shame in this. Only a quiet sense of pride and self-satisfaction...
It's Friday. This week has felt like a long time. Talking to Rosanna earlier it's evident we spend our lives wishing that Friday will come. I'm planning on working on appreciating my every waking moment. Right now, the celebrations are beginning - but what did the days of the week offer me?
Monday: REST DAY BABY YEAH. That was a good day!
Tuesday: Duh. Pole night pole night pole night.
Wednesday: I researched a (VERY) interesting looking Masters. Even booked onto an open day!
Thursday: I discovered Pilates!
Friday: Well. Friday is Friday. But I discovered that today I've ACTUALLY LOST A POUND IN WEIGHT! Whoo!
So, every day this week has offered its treasures, but today is sort of capped off by that scale moving for me. It's been SO long since it has! I mean, don't get me wrong - I don't judge solely on the scale - for instance my strength and flexibility are improving daily, but the scale moving is sort of a BIG thing xD
I know 1.2Ibs in 2 weeks and 3 days won't seem like a lot to most of you - but as some of you will know, I plateaued long and hard before actually gaining weight (which I'd like to think some of which was muscle mass!) so every bit of weight loss is a MASSIVELY exciting event!! xD
So, I think that's my most exciting thing this week. Although there's been loads of good stuff! What was your most exciting event this week? And what other amazing things did you encounter?
So legs day soreness has passed as predicted on day 3 - I went out for a run today to prove it.
I didn't plan on running. Just a few minutes before my decision I was moaning to my MFPeeps that I'd bought myself a (very expensive) pair of lovely Brookes running shoes with the intention of getting back into the running flow and seeing them sitting there, unused was giving me waves of guilt every time I spotted them.
Then I realised I was being a whiny b**ch and the only person I had to blame for the guilty feeling was me. If I didn't want to feel guilty about spending the money on the shoes I'd have to use them.
So I did.
It felt sort of, kind of, amazing :D
I'd been to the gym already today you see, for uppers. Tom and I managed to bench and do core mat work before the gym closed and I'd joked to him that I'd have to go for a run to finish the workout off.
After the walk, nearly three weeks ago it felt tiring just to move from one room to the other. Now I know I'm back at full power, so the 100mph day-glo girl is back in business.
I hadn't run for about 10 days, I'd gone out for a cheeky run on Simon's birthday but since then I'd avoided moving too quickly. Before the cheeky run 10 days ago I'd last run about 5 weeks before that.
As an asthmatic I fare much better with exercise I'm conditioned to - so picking up running again often leaves me gasping for breath, feeling super unfit and trying to keep going. Not now. The 100km training and my daily yoga, where I've been focusing on breathing has paid dividends. Yes, I wouldn't be able to hold a conversation but no, I wasn't about to keel over whilst sounding like the Hogwarts Express.
I'd started feeling badly towards running. It's easy to forget that actually, when you're well conditioned it's enjoyable, you get a sense of freedom that is like nothing else (not even pole - that's a whole different kettle of freedom fish xD), it has great cardiovascular benefits and the feeling after you complete.....WOW.
You see, I have a love/hate relationship with running. I love running for all of the reasons above and a few more - the feeling of being generally fit is one of the best I've ever felt, but I'm competitive and ambitious and I end up pushing to get faster times (I'd managed a 6 minute mile for a PR - I even blogged about it here) which leaves me feeling less than comfortable with the schedule. Running with other people also brings out the beast in me so I have decided to take this very slowly. I've left everything but my music and HRM watch at home (I like to know my heart isn't about to burst through my throat courtesy of being at 9 million BPM) and gone as slowly as I needed to.
I completed the 5k in 35minutes. Not too bad - I'm not breaking any records but I actually enjoyed the run!
Now I just need to remember all of the good reasons I enjoy running and avoid falling into the pitfalls of not doing it! Do any of you guys and gals have a love/hate exercise like my relationship with running? Do you try and incorporate it into your routine? How do you keep in the habit of love/hate exercise?!
Anyway, after some yoga to stretch out all those icky bits you get from running and gymming I'm now planning on some French Toast. Oh yum :D
I am planning on having LOTS of french toast tomorrow (it's my birthday :D) and then telling everyone it's because it's my birthday I should be allowed it. Honest. Everyone should have french toast on their birthday. With honey...
On that note, before my keyboard gets drooled on I'm off ;) Have a good weekend people!
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I made a grievous mistake today.
I did legs day.
I didn't know it would be a mistake, in fact, looking at the squat racks it looked like a positively great idea - and thus it remained to be until about 4 sets in.
Adding the lunges and the barbell hip thrusts was probably unnecessary, but since I was already shaking and sore I didn't see how it would cause any harm...
The thing is, I KNOW about doing legs day after a pole day. Admittedly, doing a legs day followed by a pole day is far sorer, but the principle applies either way round.
I started the session by doing a pull-up.....well, 3/4 of a pull-up :D Given my goals Sunday before last I am pretty pleased about that! (The One With The Burpees).
Anyway, the legs session went as all legs sessions do - I love legs day but given my legs are currently black and blue from poling it wasn't best advised!
Poling....ah yes, I've been poling ;)
This week started with a pull-up on the pole, which is something I've never been able to do! In fact, I did 1 and A HALF pull-ups - get me ;)
I've been building strength steadily and until last night I didn't quite realise how much stronger I had become from even a few weeks ago. I like to think it's the upper gym work, extra pole practice and increased calories that have attributed to the jump in strength.
Either way, I'm pleased as punch!
Well, as I was saying, the night got off on a good foot (as it were). I've been trying to get the "spin with no name" (aka the "post-it" spin, or "Robyn's spin") constantly for the past 5 weeks. I'm not ready to let it get me, but at the same time, I'm definitely not closer to getting it!
Karen asked what we were wanting to practise and of course, the spin with no name had to get a mention in there! Tom's been practising his flat-line scorpio, which is looking pretty good these days and I've been working on the pike (aka the hip-hold).
Then the glint came into Karen's eyes. I was naturally immediately suspicious, thinking that more arm-pit holds would be required from the lesson. That was only the first thing Karen had lined up. Upon being asked if we'd like to do something "amazing" I wasn't sure whether to be scared or excited.
The move is known as "Superman" and I felt like a million pounds doing it! Tom decided that he wanted to start working on his superman, given that it's a tricky move and can take a bit of practise I thought that was fair, however; watching our instructors show us how to do it I a) knew I was going to get roped into this and b) was very nervous about attempting it!
Tom managed to get a fairly good show of Superman on his first go, with some support - it looked incredibly hard. Like, the sort of hard I'd struggle with.
Then it was my go. There's no use protesting that it wasn't my idea, I just get the "look", so I got on with it.
Up into a knee hook and then......
"move your hips forward and drop the bottom arm Michelle"
I had NO idea how to do that, but Karen supported some of my weight as I worked it out and then all of a sudden it happened - I was in the pose.
I like to think of it like a ribbon unraveling onto the pole - you're in a knee hook and then your body sort of, unravels and in doing so turns around.
It felt AMAZING - especially when I got an "oh my God that is fantastic, that's amazing, well done!" from Karen - you KNOW you've done well when you get that sort of praise from Karen, which makes it worth working for it!
I did it another 5 or so times, only once forgetting how to actually move into it (as soon as the camera came out of course!). As someone said to me last night, the pinch as you move into it really does take some getting used to and the bruises are rather spectacular from doing it. But it's worth it, it's always worth it!
At the end of the lesson I was told I'd need to get a photo of the superman, and I am SO glad I did. Ok, so I *might* have fallen off of the pole at the end of the move having tripped over my feet whilst dismounting. And maybe ending up at your instructor's feet on your back with your feet up in the air isn't exactly the most graceful way of dismounting, but hey, I'll take it - we all know drop and roll works (thank goodness for the martial arts training is all I'll say :p).
Lucky though I wasn't hurt even a little bit (aside from my VERY damaged pride), no one got it on tape (thanks for laughing and asking if they had though Amy :p) and I got THIS photo from it.
I'm still buzzing about it.
It does go to show that you can constantly surprise yourself - when I stepped up to that pole I honestly did not think I'd be able to pull this move off. I thought I had months, if not years of work to put into it - I certainly wasn't expecting to be able to put myself into the pose first time, let alone hold it.
It does show though, that you should NEVER underestimate yourself. Apparently you're capable of things you never thought you'd be able to pull off - remember that.
As I got reminded by Tom though, people have very different strengths. Apparently a basic spin is something I'll need to work on - which both Amy (one of our pole buddies) and Tom found very amusing and given I was being a bit bossy with the both of them (DON'T GIVE UP CMON YOU'VE GOT THIS apparently doesn't go down too well sometimes...) I happen to feel they felt some satisfaction in instructing me in how to do a basic spin and then seeing me fail quite hard.
Additionally, a corkscrew spin......EVIL. I cannot get my bum in front of the pole for love nor money....
Looks so simple.....
I did request another armpit hold - they don't actually seem to hurt too much and they look pretty good, so Karen decided to give me this one. I've no idea what it's called but if you get it wrong IT HURTS LIKE HELL.
My first attempt I managed to wrap my elbow and forearm round the pole, which, when given the weight of my body burned....it burned like it was on fire and led to me (not) gracefully collapsing into a swearing mass at the bottom of the pole.
Still, second go....
Presenting armpit hold #2 :D
Yeah, I know I look a little smug.
This was after the incidences with the basic spin and the others couldn't do it (teehee). Also, it's supposed to be a smile, but given that all you're REALLY holding on with is the skin on your inner arm it's sort of hard to smile whilst you want to be crying a little bit. As I find with most pole work.
I'd also like to add (in my defence) that by now I'm actually holding my breath because I'd been in the pose for a few seconds - Karen is just out of shot telling me to put my feet down more.
So, not really smug. Ok, a little bit but they did laugh at my basic spin. And when I fell off of the pole.....honest.
So what have I learnt this week from pole? Mostly that you can completely surprise yourself - especially when you're least expecting it!
Oh, and doing my yoga before going to pole.....what a great idea xD
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