Could it be? Two blog posts in two days? Yes that’s right, my friends. You have just witnessed a miracle. ;)
As promised in yesterday’s post, How to Start Working Out, today I will be posting my workout routine. I wouldn’t say it’s that advanced…I’m still a newbie, after all. But I did work up to this point, and as this becomes easier for me, I suppose I’ll have to up the ante again…though I’m not sure what that will be next.
The cardio routine I do is considered a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) Workout.
What is High Intensity Interval Training?
HIIT is short bursts of anaerobic exercise, followed by less-intense recovery periods. There’s a lot longer explanation that can be found in this Wikipedia article, but the gist of it is that it gets your heart rate up in short bursts, using more energy which supposedly burns calories throughout the day as you try to recover.
How to Start HIIT Workouts
When I decided this was the method for me, I had no idea where to start. My beloved blogger, Iowa Girl Eats, does a lot of HIIT workouts, but hers were all too advanced for me to start with. So instead, I turned to Google and found this little guy:
This is about 1.25 miles. I did this workout first, but remember that I had already been running upwards of 2 miles when I started, so this wasn’t challenging enough for me.
So slowly, I began to adapt this workout to make it more difficult. I only tweaked the speed and left the incline the same, and it’s worked out quite well.
This is my HIIT Treadmill workout:
* You’ll notice I added a little something to the end of this. For the last half mile, I walk at a steep incline of 12 at a pace of 4.0, or sometimes even 4.3 (I’m working my way up). This part doesn’t take a full 10 minutes for me, probably closer to 7 minutes, but then I cool down at a slower pace and no incline until I hit (and go beyond) the 2 mile mark.
Why do I like this HIIT Workout?
As I discussed in yesterday’s post, I have workout A.D.D. I start to get bored and stare at the time. As I run, I think about all the things I need to be doing when I get home, and I drive myself nuts. However, this routine keeps me busy. The most time you’re ever doing the same thing is in the first 3 minutes and the last 3 minutes. 2 miles FLIES by, even though I’m actually on the treadmill longer than I would if I were running 2 miles.
Secondly, none of the running stints are too long. Fast running at 1 minute increments doesn’t hurt my ankles, knees or hips, at all. This makes Melissa (and Brad, who has to listen to me whine about it afterwards) very happy.
So far, I’m noticing that the incline of this workout is really working my legs, in particular my bum, calves, and hamstrings. I can see and feel the muscles starting to form there. It also forces you to use your core when you’re at an incline, or you’ll fall off. :) And finally, when I do the 12 incline, I hold on to the back of the treadmill lightly, so it engages your arms, too.
Other Workout Elements
In addition to cardio, I also use the machines to lift weights, and yoga mats to do planks, push ups, lunges, etc. And finally, I’ve started doing yoga classes twice a week, which are very challenging and great for my arms, abs, legs, and every part of my body. In fact, I actually did this back bendy thing the other day (I didn’t look nearly this graceful), but my arms and back were sore for days after!
Stay tuned..my hope is to post my smoothie recipe in the coming days, as well as some of our heart healthy eats and snacks from Healthy 2012.
Thanks for reading!