Tag Archive: HIIT


forearm tendinitis

Woke up, ready to tear it up.  Headed to the gym in the morning before work.  Time to try out a new back routine!

Got to the gym a little after opening, decided not to do spin, I would do weights first, then get those damn HIITs out of the way.

bent over bb rows:  (60 sec rest b/w sets)  185×5, 195×5, 205×5, 215×5, 225×5

rack pulls:  225×5, 235×5, 245×5, 255×5, 265×5

assisted pullups:  rotated twice through a widegrip set, underhand grip set and hammergrip set, 6 sets total, 30 sec rest b/w sets; W12, U12, H12, W6, U6, H10

closegrip row (100s):  120 x 30 reps, rest 70 sec, 35 reps, rest 35 sec, 35 reps

closegrip pulldowns (100s):  90 x 35 reps, rest 65 sec, 28 reps, rest 37 sec, 20 reps, rest 17 sec, 11 reps, rest 6 sec, 6 reps

cardio:  elliptical HIIT style, 1 min slow, 30 sec fast, for 20 min

back notes:  the idea behind this workout was to start off with compound movements, heavier weights, longer rest, lower reps, then do a bunch of pullups from different angles and build up the reps with low rest, then do a couple of pump sets.

The bent over rows and rack pulls are pretty light weight but tbh I don’t really KNOW my weight for those exercises, I don’t do them much, and when I do them I go high rep and low rest.  So this is me trying to build up some strength instead of endurance.  As I stick with the plan, I will find the sweet spot for weight, until then I am upping the weight slowly but surely, not a race.

But I start with strength.  Then pullups (assisted ones, I am too much of a fat bastard to do a regular pullup), for 6 sets, low rest, just tire me out with lots of sets and reps, lots of angles.

The pump sets, I wonder if the rep and rest scheme makes sense.  The goal is 100 reps.  Cut your weight about in half, do as many reps as you can do and when you stop, the number of reps left out of 100 is how many seconds rest you get.  So if you start off with 35 reps of row, you have… 100 – 35 = 65… 65 reps left equals 65 seconds rest!  The net effect of it all is, as you get closer to 100, your rests get crazy short!  The rows were maybe too easy, my rep numbers are waaaayyyy too even and consistent.  The pulldowns are more like it, I was struggling by that point!

For the cardio, I did what Les asked for, and varied my speed and effort.  Got on the elliptical, went relaxed pace for 60 sec, then upped the resistance by 15% and went as fast as I could for 30 sec.  Repeat that pattern for 20 min, and you are done!

I walked away from back day feeling torched!  I went off to work for a full day of work, bleh.

At lunch, I needed to get away from work, I was getting stressed.  So I decided… time for arm day!

Lunchtime Arm workout (supersets, 60 sec rest b/w supersets)

bench dips & cable curls (120 lbs):  12/12, 12/12, 12/12

smith machine closegrip press (70+bar) & db preacher curls (35 lb DBs):  12/12, 12/12, 12/12

overhead rope tricep extension (60 lbs) & incline hammer curls (30 lb DBs):  15/12, 15/12, 15/12

rope pressdown (150 lbs) and reverse barbell curls (60 lbs):  12/10, 11/10, 10/10

reversegrip tricep extension DROPSET 150×12, 120×12, 90×12, 75×12

notes:  I could feel my forearm tendinitis flare up right away on the bicep exercises, could even see the spreading redness patch on my forearm!  Damn!  I was REALLY looking forward to arms day too.  How frustrating!  I don’t WANT to rest you arms, I want to make you grow!  Instead I gotta give them more rest.  Just listen to your body, even when it’s shitty news.

I made it through 90% of the workout, I had a dropset of cable curls at the end, but I said F it and stopped after the tricep dropset.

With the smith machine press, a trick I saw on the web, you can use a suicide grip on the smith machine with no real risk, and keep the focus much more on your triceps!  Works well!  With the preacher curls, the tendinitis was so bad I used a reduced ROM on the left arm, just the bottom half of the curl, didn’t bring it all the way up, just couldn’t, so reduced ROM to get through the reps.

For the hammer curls, those didn’t hit my tendinitis as much, so I channelled my overall forearm frustration into a decent set of incline hammers!  Decent for me, 30 lb DBs are hard for inclines for me 🙂

Reverse curls was when the pain kicked in again, and I started to stumble on finishing the sets.  Reversegrip tricep DROP went quite well, but called it a day.

Those were my 2 workouts today!  How about you?  Any good workouts?

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!

group play

Wanted to do back this morning, but woke up and wanted to go back to sleep, haha.  “I’ll just do it after work” always sounds great at 5 in the morning, but when its 5 in the afternoon and the gym is packed, you think “I am a moron”.

I actually worked at my job a little late, and got to the gym about 5 pm, and the gym was busy, so I thought, hmmm, spin class in 15 min…

So I just did some assisted chinups while I waited.

5 widegrip

7 closegrip (so close to 8!  arghhh)

4 hammergrip

I had thought hammer would be the easiest for me, but it seems not, oh well.  I intentionally went from the traditionally hardest grip to easiest, so maybe I was just tired.

My shoulder was rather faded after that.  So I headed to Spin class.  And even there I could feel my left shoulder a lot when I was leaning forward on the bars.

One hour class, I liked it.  We did some climbs, some jumps, long endurance races, some hamstring work.  All in all, it was a good flush for my tired legs from yesterday.  We even got in some “tabata” at the end, fancy Japanese word for HIIT.  It was right at the end, 1 cycle of 6 repetitions at a 2:1 ratio.

For those less familiar, that means we went all out for 20 seconds, just race it out like your butt is on fire but with tension cranked as high as you can bring it, then lower tension for 10 seconds, then all out, etc, do that 6 times.  2:1 is an aggressive ratio for first timers, I wonder what the newbies thought of it.  It was funny, at first she suggested 8 repetitions, then someone groaned really hard, so she lowered it to 6, haha.

Group classes are great when your enthusiasm is waning like mine was the past few days.  I do like working out at home, for sure, but something about group cardio just gets me going, I can feed off the energy of the guide, the energy of my neighbor, etc.  It reminds me how much I miss the yoga studio.

The spin teacher was actually teaching a yoga class right after, but my shoulder was groaning at me, so I packed it in.

Still, a good evening!  A good group class was just what I needed.