Doesn’t that sound like the tag line on the cover of a magazine?
That’s exactly what I was thinking when I wrote it! But I decided, as I was running on the treadmill this morning, that since I haven’t done an exercise post in awhile, I was due for one. And since this is an exercise post, it’s a good time to share the results of my Push Up Challenge. I wanted show up in the Caribbean this month with strong, toned arms, and get motivated to strength train throughout the winter, so I set out to do 50-60 pushups in a row. I accomplished 45 plank style pushups, no rest, and felt confident wearing all of my sleeveless tops on vacation. To show you, I made the BOY take these goofy pictures of me (in the comfort of our room away from the public eye).
Although we’re in the midst of a winter ‘heat wave’ here in Chicago, it is still too dark in the mornings to go running (trust me on this one…I check the sunrise times on Google every week).
7:10am Friday (CST) – Sunrise IL
10 hours 12 minutes from now
And so despite my dislike of indoor running, I set out my workout clothes, pack a bag, and head out to the gym well before the sunrise two mornings a week. I wasn’t always so bored with indoor running. There was a long time in college where a steady 60 minute run on the treadmill was my favorite workout. I would even head to the gym instead of running outside. Back when I was in grad school, I had rabbit ears and no cable TV. I used to plan my workouts around
good quality cable shows, like Real World and Road Rules, to motivate myself to get to the gym. I’m not exactly sure when I made the switch, bought some warmer clothes, and began to brave the elements, but these days, it is TOUGH to motivate myself to go indoors for a run. One of the things that I have learned is that if I have to get in a treadmill run and don’t have an individual TV, which I currently do not, then intervals are the way to go! Making changes to the speed or incline every few minutes keeps me focused on the moment and breaks up a long and sometimes daunting run. On Tuesday, my 40 minute run looked something like this…
|6-10||7.0||2-6% increasing each minute|
|11-15||7.0||6-2% decreasing each minute|
|Repeat each interval 3 times|
I burned tons of calories and got in a good workout in a short amount of time. Last night, I was flipping through February’s Oxygen Magazine. This is not a magazine that I typically read, but someone had given it to me. Once you get past all of the protein supplement ads and bodybuilder models, it actually has some interesting information for beginners as well as advanced athletes.
I found this great article on High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT. The idea behind HIIT is pairing brief bursts of high energy cardio with a recovery in order to burn more calories in a shorter amount of time. Who wouldn’t want that?! One of my favorite quotes:
And the benefits aren’t all physical, either. HIIT can help you dodge de-motivating workout ruts. “There are only so many ways to run for an hour on a treadmill,” says Gibala. “Interval training provides infinite variety, and it’s fun.” (Source)
The magazine also had some interval plans for your next treadmill workout.
I have to admit, that I usually do a 1:3 ratio of burst/recovery and was shocked to see that they recommend the opposite. I chose the workout below for this morning’s run and didn’t even realize it was for beginners until I just snapped this picture. I alternated between 7.0/8.0-8.2mph aiming to keep my heart rate in the high 150’s during my recovery and above 170 during my burst. The run was quick, leaving me enough time to get in some abs before work. But the best part was that 36 minutes whizzed by. Before I knew it, my workout was over!
How do you beat workout boredom?
Tonight’s Take Home Message
HIIT is known to fry calories in a shorter amount of time, improve your cardiovascular health, and prevent workout boredom, so give it a try. You can use any piece of cardio equipment. Start with one of these ideas or create your own, making sure that you push yourself into zone 3 (if you have a heart rate monitor) or to the point where it is difficult to speak more than 2 words without taking a breath. Enjoy! Spring will be here before we know it!
There are a few different sciencey kind of theories at work here. Are you looking for more information and advice about exercise and exercise science? Can you find your Target Heart Rate? Do you want to know how? I have found that a little bit of knowledge and a heart rate monitor will change the way you train, making you more efficient and help you reach your goals. So if you’re interested, I’m happy to share what I’ve learned! Just let me know in the comments below!