I asked Leslie to spend a session with me just leading me through all the basic TRX exercises – showing me the ropes, as it were.  This way I can feel confident using it at home for whatever I need at the time. (We weren’t using a TRX at the studio, that is a brand name, but same thing basically.)

This workout is a little different, we just tried out all the movements we could, some of them were easier than others.  I figured we could take pictures, I have visual aids on hand when I want to see how it should look when I am at home; Les could check my form, give me pointers.  Win win.

We did:

Chest Press (a pushup)

Clock Press (a one arm pushup, free arm sticks straight out to the side)

clock press

clock press

Flyes

IMG_1805

Low Rows (arms by waist)

High Rows (arms by shoulders, 90 degrees)

Biceps Curl (lean back, curl yourself forward)

Triceps Press  (lean forward, elbows by temples, press back up)

Y Fly (reverse fly with arms in Y shape)

Y Fly

Y Fly

Clutch Curl (pull with your biceps like you are hugging something)

Triceps Press with a reverse grip (palms facing in, much harder)

W Fly (reverse fly, arms bent)

W Fly

W Fly

Hip press (lie on back, push butt straight up, this is hard!)

Hamstring Curl (lie down, bring knees to chest)

Lunge

Squat

Single Leg Squat

Torso Rotation (hold with one hand, lean back, curl other side of body up, wasn’t a big hit with me)

Core Work

Core Work

Crunch (plank position, bring in knees)

Side Plank (hard!)

Pike (uh… gettin rather hard for me, Leslie you do it!)

Pike

Pike

Mountain Climber (alternate bringing knees in, optional hip thrust up if you wish)

Supermans (lean forward, arms straight over head, like how Superman flies)

Chest Stretch

Hip Openers

Quad stretches (I liked these)

 

One thing to remember when using the TRX, keep your core hard and your arms flexed, or else you fall forward and strangle yourself with your own bodyweight…

IMG_1866

 

OK! Now, as I promised to discuss the other day, how long should you workout? Super fit people often do HIIT (high intensity intervals), AKA XX seconds going all out, then xx seconds resting. You can get your total workout done in 15 min! Everyone should do it right?

NO. HIIT is not for everyone. People just starting out, morbidly obese people, older people, people with bad joints, out of shape people… HIIT is unnecessarily tough on you. Maybe you get through the 15 min of craziness not injuring yourself, but you wipe yourself out so hard you go home and sleep for the rest of the day! How many calories do you burn lying in a broken heap? Don’t slaughter yourself in the gym then lay comatose in your house, surrounded by junk food and burning little to no calories.

Super fit people can do HIIT, then go lead an active or at least normal day. But the unfit or the newbies can reap much greater benefit out of LISS (low intensity steady state), AKA go for a walk for a couple of hours or a bike ride for an hour or something similar. You won’t blow out your knees, and you will still be able to act normal and do normal things for the rest of your day.

Daily caloric burn is also a function of your life, not just your gym time. Look at it this way. Let’s say you are 40 years old, super heavy, let’s say 350 pounds, out of shape, bad joints. Not horrible joints, but not strong joints. Underdeveloped muscles, not able to handle a ton of exercise. You burn about 2,500 calories a day just living your life, doing your job, maintaining your house, breathing, whatever. You have 2 options:

Option A – HIIT, do some tabata interval training for 15 min

Option B – LISS – go for a walk for an hour

Option A – you do some crazy tabata, 85% max heart rate, using the formula from calories-calculator.net, in 15 min you burn … 318 calories! 15 min work, 318 calories! score! You don’t hurt yourself, but you are badly winded, your lungs burn. You go home, take a nap. You end up lazing around for the rest of the day because you have a crackle in your lungs when you inhale, your daily burn of living your life is only let’s say 2000 calories instead, you are pretty close to immobile most of the day, laying on the couch for 7 or 8 hours. Total burn for the day: 2,318 calories!

Option B – you go walk the dog, then go for a brisk walk yourself, total walk time is an hour. Not strenuous but you huff and puff a little bit, maybe break a light sweat, 50% of your max heart rate. Using the calculator from above, you burned… 927 calories! You got a much better burn rate from Option A in a much shorter time, but after the walk you feel mildly energized, you do your chores, get your work done, you hit your “living your life” burn of 2,500 calories for the day. Total burn for the day: 3,427 calories!

You get my point? HIIT only works if it doesn’t burn you out. If you are quite out of shape, HIIT often does not make sense. Everyone is different and you have to find the routine that fits for YOU.

Next time I will discuss how much anaerobic work to do (aka how much to work your muscles).  See ya!

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