Tag: HIIT

Group Exercise Class Etiquette

The Seattle Athletic Clubs boasts over 50 group exercise classes a week! Have you tried one yet? As an instructor, I have a short list of suggestions that will make your and the instructor’s experience richer and safer.

  1. Introduce yourself to the instructor before class begins.
  2. Instructors will notice your presence in class, even if you sneak in and go straight to the back row! So, introduce yourself and inform him/her of any injuries you’re dealing with so he/she can be aware of your condition.
  3. Show up on time (means 5 minutes early to set up your equipment). Instructors build their class around a warm-up and a cool-down, and if you miss the warm up you may hurt yourself.
  4. Ask questions!       After class, approach the instructor to ask any questions about an exercise or concept you didn’t understand.       Instructors love to talk shop.
  5. And finally, give feedback! Whether a compliment or a suggestion, an instructor will want to know what you thought. Let his/her manager know what you thought as well because feedback (positive or negative) can only sharpen our awareness and hone our skills to make us better instructors.

We hope to see you in class!

No time for long runs? Give HIT a try!

Once believed to be another workout gimmick, high-intensity interval training, or HIT, is gaining validity in the fitness community. The idea that short bursts of 80-90% maximum effort can produce comparable results to long traditional endurance training almost seems too good to be true. Believe it or not, HIT can help you train for endurance events without hours and hours of training.

High-intensity interval training can be performed with most exercises as long as proper form is maintained throughout. Individuals move through a series of exercises at near maximum effort for a short time frame (usually 20-30 seconds) with minimal rest between exercises. This forces the body to activate numerous energy systems that are usually associated with endurance training.

New research conducted by McMaster University and the University of Melbourne has confirmed that small bouts of intense exercise not only increases your metabolism but can actually increase the skeletal muscle oxidative capacity and endurance performance. This study validates the idea that HIT can be useful when training for long endurance races such as half or full marathons. Dr. Martin Gabala and Dr. Sean McGee found that HIT also alters the metabolic control during traditional aerobic-based exercise. Since these races usually require hours of long runs, which forces the body to endure more stress, the idea of HIT is appealing to most endurance athletes or those aspiring to become one. Before you go crazy remember that those long runs provide more than endurance of the muscles of the body. Long runs prepare your mind to deal with doing the same physical movement for hours on end. The study, however, suggests possibly limiting the number of long runs by supplementing a few with HIT. After only four sessions of HIT, results showed increases in the mitochondrial enzymes which assist with traditional endurance exercises. After six weeks of training, the gains were significant.

This is also useful information for the general population! The number one excuse for not exercises is lack of time! Kick that excuse to the curb, hit the pavement and sprint!

Give this HIT workout a try!
*Perform each exercise for 30seconds with 30seconds of recovery in between each.

  • Burpee
  • Jumps from one leg to the other side to side (Skater Jumps)
  • Squat with a Shoulder Press (grab a medium/comfortable weight)
  • Plank on your hands with a Mountain Climber (knee to opposite elbow)
  • Plank on your forearms with an arm reach (don’t let your hips rock as you reach)

Repeat X3

Metabolic Adaptations to Short-term High-Intensity Interval Training

How to Supercharge a 20 Minute Workout

So, you have 20 minutes and you can’t decide if it’s worth working out. You ask, “Is 20 minutes really enough time to do anything? Is it worth me getting changed and finding my workout socks at the bottom of my bag for?” Let me tell you, it is!

Here are a few ways to make 20 minutes seem like an eternity!

  1. High cardio interval training. Sprint one lap on the track and walk a straight away. Repeat until 20 minutes is up or you die.
  2. Stairs, run them, jump them; carry a med ball over your head, etc. etc. Nothing like moving your body up through space with the biggest muscles in your body to not only burn massive amounts of calories but also increase your strength.
  3. Strength work. Pick a big full range of motion lift, preferable a lower body exercise. Do a quick 5 minute warm-up and then add weight until you get to your heavy weight (as many sets of 3-5 as you can fit in 20 minutes). Front squat (works quads, glutes, hams, and core), back squat (same as front with more emphasis on hams and glutes), single leg front squats, push press, thrusters, or deadlifts. You’ll be amazed at how fast you start sweating when you start adding “real weight” to your major lifts. Not only will you increase strength (and thus increase metabolism), but if you give your self just enough rest to make the next set you’ll also be working on your cardio!
  4. Combine 4 basic movements and do as many as you can until your time is up. Air squats, push-ups, lunges, bench dips. All very basic, all body weight, all can be done ANYWHERE. Do as many air squats as you can, when you have to break or your form becomes less than 100% move to push-ups. Move through all exercises and start all over. To make it fun you can record how many reps you did of each exercise. You’ll be smoked and wishing that you only had 10 minutes to workout!
  5. Find a happy medium. Do 2 minutes of sprinting (all out effort) on any machine, after that move to 3 or more of your favorite exercises. Again, the more weight or the more body parts involved in the exercise the better but as long as you keep moving sky is the limit. Perform 10 perfect reps of each exercise (ab roll-ups, kettlebell swings, long jumps) and then hit up the cardio again. Repeat 3-4 times and enjoy the high caloric burn!

These are just a few ways to make 20 minutes worth the effort of lacing up your gym kicks! If you need more guidance or ideas try a session or two with a personal trainer and see what else the exercise world has to offer!