Apr 1, 2013

Trying New Things (#TNT): HIIT Edition

Hi darlins'! Lately I've been beyond busy with exams and family visits, and it's great to see ya back here! I hope you had a wonderful Easter.

I was able to wrap my Easter weekend up with the remaining sets of #6packMarch, a Tabata HIIT interval workout and a glorious HBO season premiere of Game of Thrones. All in all, I'd say a highly successful weekend on the goals and television addiction fronts :)

Goal Update:

  • HIIT Workouts: Ta Da! I finished three different HIIT workouts over the last week, and I'm so happy I stuck to my goal!! (See below for more detail on how I feel about each type of HIIT workout I've attempted)
  • Daily Fitness Habits: Unfortunately, I've been none too impressed with myself over the last few weeks when it comes to forming (and keeping) great daily fitness habits (you can see in the line graph below I only planked about 2/3 of the days in March, so lame). All that's needed to fix this issue is a little more planning in advance paired with a concerted effort to hold myself accountable for the goals I set (i.e., writing down what I'd like to accomplish and noting how I did), and that's exactly what I intend to do asap!  
  • Drinking More Water: I'm all over this goal, all day, every day!
  • #6packMarch Challenge: As of last night, I'm done, and I didn't even miss 1 sit-up! It wasn't always pretty, but I'm so happy I stuck with this challenge :)
My #6packMarch Challenge Victory Beast Pose :)

Switching gears, let's get into my experience with HIIT thus far...

Types of HIIT Workouts Completed
  1. Tabata Method - A running and walking workout. Starts with ~3 minutes of warm up, followed by 8 sets of 20 seconds sprinting/10 seconds walking. Total workout time ~7 minutes.
  2. Little Method - A cycling workout. Start with 3 minutes of warm up, followed by 12 sets of 60 seconds fast cycling @ max resistance/75 seconds slow cycling @ low resistance. Total workout time ~30 minutes.
  3. Turbulence Method - A combination of strength training and cardio. Starts with a 5 minute warm up, followed by alternating 8 reps of various weight exercises and 1 minute of mountain climbers for ~45 minutes (see here for a demo video that I found extremely helpful). Total workout time ~50 minutes.

Tabata Pros:
  • Quick, but definitely challenging
  • Great outdoor workout
  • There are a lot of really great (and free) apps you can use (I use "A HIIT Interval Timer" for Android)
Tabata Cons:
  • Hard to do on a treadmill
  • When it rains, the sprints can be somewhat dangerous outside
  • I need a fairly flat surface to run on (maybe it's just my clumsy self, but sprinting on sidewalks in hilly/old neighborhoods terrifies me)
Little Pros:
  • Great to do with a buddy if you're using stationary bikes
  • Fairly quick workout, but still challenging
  • Nice change up for those with a running-centric workout style
Little Cons:
  • Bike seats can be sooo uncomfortable
  • If you don't have an actual bike (like me, thanks to some clepto 10 year olds) then you'll be confined to the indoors
  • Piggy-backing off of the previous con, cycling equipment in gyms is usually packed in pretty tight. Chances are, if you're cycling next to someone for an extended period of time, the smells won't be very pleasant.
Turbulence Pros:
  • Incorporates strength training
  • Challenging and an incredibly different workout for those who mostly just run (like me)
  • Doesn't get boring because of all the variety
Turbulence Cons:
  • It's naturally harder to fit a 50-minute workout into a busy schedule
  • Requires that you have access to strength training equipment (i.e., a gym or free weights)
  • When it's packed at the gym, maneuvering around other gym go-ers could be really annoying (if your gym is set up anything like mine)

Overall Thought: While Turbulence and Little HIIT are fantastic ways to mix it up at the gym, my schedule is always jam-packed and I love the idea of shorter Tabata interval workouts that give my fitness schedule more flexibility but don't lack for intensity!

That's about all I have to say for now on HIIT, and it's Monday... so let's Meraki!

My love for running compels me to take a stroll down memory lane for this Monday Meraki... Exactly 1-year ago from yesterday I finished my 1st half marathon!!

I don't know where I would be without running, and I'm so thankful for everyone who inspired (and who continues to inspire) me to keep on moving on!!

Have a great week y'all!

Quick Question: After reading my thoughts above, are you thinking about trying any of these HIIT workouts? Have you already? Which one do you think you would/do prefer??

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