HIIT Day One: It feels like the first time…..

There are so many things going on in the world today that writing about HIIT seems so little in the grand scheme of things, but big in my world. I did a HIIT workout for the first time a few weeks back to sample it for a workshop I was helping with. My sampling of the styles is far more different than the route I chose to go for my first workout with HIIT….before I travel for the weekend. Without further ado: Happy Siblings Day and HIIT IT!

I started my warm-up for my workout on the physio ball. I was lucky in that I turned on my radio to my local station 98.7 modern rock and what was playing? This song down here.

Oh it was like heaven dancing on my ball to that and the second song. Tell me you can’t totally get down to that! Then it was time to get moving and HIITing.

I chose to do Rest Based Training for my first HIIT session. Rest Based Training (RBT) is a way of learning how to push all out and take the rest when you need it. It’s kind of like a method we used to use when I coached swimming where we said, “Practice doesn’t make perfect; perfect practice makes perfect.” Therefore, when kids were swimming butterfly sets we only had them do as many strokes as they could do correctly and then finish out the length of the pool in whatever other stroke they felt confident in.

So in RBT you push as hard as you can until you can’t and then you rest and then you jump back in where you left off and keep going until you can’t again. The cycle keeps repeating itself and gives you the control instead of some drill sergeant instructor who wants you to go with poor form until you die. Here is a great article from IDEAfit about RBT and some videos to go with.

The Workout
As I said, I warmed up on the physio ball for a good 5-6 minutes. It was probably overkill, but I felt like a highschooler dancing in my room in a 1980’s brat pack movie as I prepared for the party of the century. It was a good time to say the least. Then I got up and got started. I set a timer on my phone for 10 minutes. That was meant to be my first round. Sadly I only made it through one round due to my extreme exhaustion from this week and my kids getting into everything around me while trying to workout. Normally I save these sessions for nap time, but I will be driving to Statesville, NC today during nap time to teach a workshop this weekend. Come join me if you like!

I digress….what did I do for those ten minutes? I alternated between three exercises:

  • High knees (where my knees had to hit my hands)
  • Xcountry ski/jumping lunges (whichever my body could handle)
  • Mountain climbers (you know, those things from PE class that made you feel like your legs were too long? Is that just me?)

I did each item for 10 repetitions and then kept cycling through. When I noticed that I wasn’t pushing as hard as I was at the beginning, I stopped and rested until my breathing slowed enough that I felt I could do it again just as hard. I rested a surprising total of 4 times during this workout. I was shocked, but also grateful that it wasn’t more. I had planned a short rest at the end and then another 10 minutes using:

  • High knees (because these were the easiest thing I did)
  • Burpees (because I want to get better at them)
  • Squat jumps (because it’s kind of part of the burpee)

As I said, I bailed on the second set for the reasons stated above.

Stretching! Lots of stretching! I spent a good 5 minutes stretching out and trying to corral my kids from the destruction they’d caused in my upstairs space in those first 15 minutes. Cooling down is essential and I don’t want to let my muscles cramp up later during my car ride.

Lessons Learned
I learned that I’m not pushing myself hard enough in my every day workouts and that this type of training will be fun for me to incorporate once in awhile. I’m really looking forward to doing it again in 10 days and seeing what has happened to me and my other workouts in that time frame. I’m going to try a different format for that day and will definitely come back to RBT in the future. Other things I learned:

  • Don’t exercise with the kids around or have them do it with you
  • Remember to bring your water upstairs
  • Don’t focus on the time; focus on the effort
  • Enjoy the rest
  • Wear shoes (yeah, I did this one barefoot…not a great idea)
Have you been HIITing it yet?
Have you ever tried RBT?
What song are you getting down to right now?