We’re gonna vent our frustration

You want to make the time but you can’t. If you have read my posts you may have read one that talks about prioritizing the things that are important to you in your life and to make the time to do those things. It looks great on paper but not easily done.

I’d like to think I have all the answers.

 

You want to make the time but you can’t. If you have read my posts you may have read one that talks about prioritizing the things that are important to you in your life and to make the time to do those things. It looks great on paper but not easily done. It can take some time to change your habits and have the new things you do become your habits. But lets not get too deep into that and instead here is a post on how to maximize the time you do have so you aren’t taking a hit physically.

 

The workout

Let’s start by warming up. PRO TIP: Never start exercising without warming up the body. Not warming up can lead to immediate injury or incurring an injury later. To warm up you can do things like jumping jacks, mountain climbers (at a bit of a slower pace), rotating your arms backwards/forwards, leg swings, etc. The goal is to keep everything moving and to also get your heart rate up to about 120 bpm’s (beats per minute). Here is a simple warm up to do that.

*WARNING* The following is a high intense workout. Consult with your doctor before starting any physical program and also before changing your workout to something more intense.

The warm up

Exercise: Jumping Jacks. Duration: 30 seconds. If you don’t know how to do Jumping Jacks then google it. Doesn’t everyone know how to do these?

Exercise: Arm Crosses. Duration: 60 seconds. Cross your arms like you are giving someone a hug then swing back to open up your arms. Alternate each time which arm is the upper arm. Gradually let your arms open up a bit more each time, dynamically stretching the front of your shoulders.

Exercise: Leg Swing. Duration 60 seconds. Starting with the left leg, bring it as far back behind you then swing forward trying to touch your outstretched right hand. Then do the other side. The goal is to increase gently the backwards and forwards motion of your leg swings. Keep switching from one leg to the other.

Exercise: High Knees: Duration: 60 seconds. Using your core and leg muscles, raise a knee up as high as it will go keeping that foot under the knee, not behind close to your bum. Then do the other leg. The objective here is to do this in a controlled fashion, using the muscles to raise the knee, and not bending forward crunching up. Change back and forth from one leg to the other at a pace that isn’t too quick as again we want to maintain control and also keep our heart rate at 120 bpm as we are warming up.

Exercise: Arm Rotations: Duration 60 seconds. You can do this using both arms at the same time or alternate back and forth. Swing arms up and behind you like you are making big circles. Don’t go too fast as you don’t want centrifugal force to take over possibly causing an injury. You can change direction to a forward rotation half way through.

Exercise: Mountain Climbers. Duration: 30 seconds. Position yourself like you are in the starting blocks for a 100 meter dash, weight on your hands, one foot forward, one back. Now alternate quickly which foot is forward and which one is back. Keep this alternating, back and forth motion going like you are running nowhere. Think of your knees driving forward and backwards. Keep the pace at a rate that keeps your heart rate around 120 bpm.

Summary

Here’s what the warm up looks like:

Jumping Jacks:  30 seconds

Arm Crosses: 60 seconds

Leg Swings: 60 seconds

*Mountain Climbers: 30 seconds

Arm Rotations: 60 seconds

High Knees: 60 seconds

* You can substitute Jumping Jacks for Mountain climbers if you find the load too much on your wrists or shoulders.

Workout

Now that our body is warm let’s get into it.

*WARNING* The following is a high intense workout. Consult with your doctor before starting any physical program and also before changing your workout to something more intense.

The following workout is a high intensity interval training workout. Specifically because this is meant to be done with little time this is a Tabata workout. As with any workout, it is very important to follow the spirit of the workout, of Tabata. 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest for a period of 4 minutes. The 20 seconds is 100% effort while the 10 seconds is 0% effort. Basically the 10 second rest period should be spent trying to get your heart rate back down quickly by focusing on deep breathing and quieting the mind.

One more time. Tabata: 20 seconds 100% effort, followed by 10 seconds 0% effort intervals for a duration of 4 minutes. There are plenty of free Tabata apps for smartphones. I would recommend using one of these.

You will know if you truly adhered to what a Tabata workout is if when you were done you were a big pile of goop. Really. Although a short period to exercise (4 minutes) you should be exhausted because during the work phase of Tabata you really did give it 100% effort. Read here to find out the benefits of this type of exercising.

Exercises

Burpees. That’s it. You really need only one exercise for a good Tabata workout. And the great thing is you can do burpees pretty much anywhere. No special equipment, no large space needed. I like to use burpees for this because it’s an exercise that increases our heart rate to max as quickly as possible and also keeping in mind constraints like space, equipment. Be sure to always use full range of motion, lowering yourself down into the squat all the way before kicking your feet out behind you, to almost the same position as a plank.

Can you do other things? Sure. You can sprint for 20 seconds. You can do alternating lunges with a really quick foot change. It has to be quick. If you do your lunges without the quickness your heart rate is taking longer to get to max. And again, you have only 20 seconds. High Knees at a fast pace? Maybe, if you really push it. I’m not a fan of this because high knees end up being middle knees then lower knees. It’s too easy for the intensity to slip. It’s hard to do that with burpees if you keep moving. You are forced to move your whole body. It’s excruciating. That’s why everyone hates burpees.

Done

Now that you have completed your Tabata and you are dead, don’t just stand there. Jog lightly or just shuffle the feet so you are still moving and focus on breathing. Stay loose, let the arms move. Deep breaths (and I mean deep) in through the nose and then force the air out via your mouth. This has to be active breathing, not passive. Forcefully breathing in and out using the full capacity of your lungs will get rid of the residual air in your lungs and replace it with fresh oxygen full air thus bringing your heart rate down to a lower level quicker. Also by moving your body around you prevent blood from pooling. Keep this up for whatever time it takes you to get your heart rate back to about 120 bpms. You can then let your heart rate come down to about resting rate as you spend 5 minutes for stretching. Don’t want to stretch? Read this and maybe you’ll change your mind.

Stretching

I’ve done many posts on stretching and hopefully you have read them and are an avid stretcher. Because of this I’m not going to spend much time on this. Try to spend at least 5 minutes stretching. The payoff will be huge with benefits such as injury prevention, better quality of life due to increase in mobility. One thing I will say is don’t stretch the muscles that don’t need it. Spend time on your weak areas. Not sure what those are? Hire a personal trainer.

Lastly

That’s it. 5 minutes to warm up, 4 minutes of work, 2 minutes to cool down, and 5 minutes to stretch. 16 minutes of your day, ahh, let’s round up to 20 minutes. And this isn’t some crappy thrown together work out that you won’t see results from. THIS GETS YOU RESULTS.

It’s intense and demands a lot of you. Because of that be sure to get your rest. And because of the intensity you cannot do this every day. How often you can do Tabata is based on things such as your current level of fitness, age, injuries, health issues, etc. If you are not sure hire a personal trainer. But be sure to understand these things to help prevent injury or health issues.  And again:

*WARNING* This is a high intense workout. Consult with your doctor before starting any physical program and also before changing your workout to something more intense.

Yours in health,

Darryl

 

Author: darryl bennett

A certified Canfitpro personal trainer specialist, and a Sandan (3rd Degree) black belt in Shorin-Ryu Karate, training at Ferraro Karate under Sensei Stephen Ferraro. Soon to be certified whole foods plant based nutritionist. Fitness and health have been a big part of my life, and always will be.

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