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Limitless Energy

Interval Training Part 3

How is your workout routine going? Would you like to take it up a few notches and experience quicker, more sustaining results in a shorter time? This magic pill adds another dimension to our limitless power and energy that you will want to incorporate into your weekly regimen immediately!

Let’s face it… good-looking, fit people who look great in their clothes have an extra advantage in the workplace when influencing clients and potential customers. ( I’m just sayin’…)

Many times we reach plateaus in our workout regimen because we aren’t upgrading our routine. As a certified trainer for the Aerobic and Fitness Association of America (AFAA), I am privy to the latest and greatest in fitness options. New information alerts us to the improved methods for banishing fat, boosting metabolism and building strong, lean muscles. One of my favorites comes straight from Jillian Michaels, the master trainer on the NBC hit series, The Biggest Loser. It is one of the most popular forms of exercise now simply because it takes your physique to the next level. It allows you to burn more calories, increase speed, improve power and more. It is called Interval Training.
Interval training works both aerobic and the anaerobic systems. During the high intensity effort the anaerobic system uses the energy stored in the muscles (glycogen) for short bursts of activity. Doing interval training regularly will lead to something called the adaptation response: The body becomes better able to take in and deliver oxygen to the working muscles. Muscles develop a higher tolerance to the buildup of lactate, and the heart muscle is strengthened. These changes result in improved performance (particularly within the cardiovascular system), maximum calorie burn and an increase in lean muscle tissue.

The higher and lower intensity periods can be done repeatedly to add variety and intensity to a cardio workout, or they can be worked into resistance training to maximize calorie burn and performance.

Not all interval programs need to start at the high end of the intensity scale. (Ideally interval workouts should be set at 90 percent plus of an individual’s Maximum Heart Rate.) You can still benefit by training at more modest ratios of work to recovery. It is possible to have an entirely aerobic interval program (e.g. 3 minutes at 65 percent and 1 minute at 75 percent). But of course, the idea is to strive to reach 90 percent plus of an individual’s Maximum Heart Rate.
Here is an example of interval training that you can work into your week at least 4 times a week for 50 minutes each time. The moves and format will stay the same throughout, but starting in week 3, you’ll do longer cardio and strength intervals. Going harder for longer will boost your muscular and cardiovascular endurance.

Warm-up- 10 minutes

Cardio Intervals (Examples to be included for a total of 10 minutes)

  • Skip: (Hop on left leg while bending right knee up to hip height. Travel forward, alternating sides.
  • Lunge with twist: Step forward with left foot into a lunge. Twist torso to the right. Step right foot to meet left. Alternate sides, moving forward.
  • Side shuffle: Stand with knees bent in half squat. Shuffle to the left 4 times, hopping as legs come together. Stop, then shuffle to the right 4 times. Alternate sides.
  • Lateral hop: With hands on hips and feet together, hop to the left 12 to 24 inches, then to the right 12 to 24 inches. Repeat.
  • Curb Climb: Step up onto the curb or stair with the left foot, then right foot. Step down. Repeat, alternating sides.

DO EACH MOVE FOR 30 OR 60 SECONDS PUSHING HARD THEN RECOVER WITH WALKING WHILE YOU ALLOW YOUR BREATH TO SLOW.

Strength Intervals (Examples to be included for a total of 20 minutes)

  • Push-up: Start in plank position, balls of feet and palms on the ground, hands slightly more than shoulder-width apart. Bend elbows wide, bringing body toward ground. Straighten elbows to push body up.
    • Make it Easier: Place hands on bench or wall and do push-ups with upper body higher than lower body.
    • Make it Harder: Lift 1 leg as you do push-ups. Do 3 push-ups with right leg lifted, then 3 with left leg lifted. Continue alternating sides.
  • Standing Bird Dog: Stand on right leg with left leg bent toward chest and arms at sides, elbows bent. Extend left leg back and reach arms overhead. Torso and left leg should be extended about 45 degrees from vertical. Hold for 1 second, then return to starting position. Do on left for 1 interval, then switch sides for the next interval.
    • Make it Easier: Extend leg only, keeping hands on hips.
    • Make it Harder: Extend leg and torso parallel to the ground.
  • Burpee: Stand with arms reaching overhead, feet together. Squat low, bringing hands to ground just outside feet. Quickly jump back with both feet to plank position. Jump forward again to a low squat. Stand up, extending arms overhead.
    • Make it Easier: Step one leg at a time to plank position and then step forward to squat.
    • Make it Harder: Add a push-up each time you’re in plank position.
  • Curb Squat with Side Leg Press: Stand with right foot on top of curb and left foot next to curb, on lower ground. Press into right foot and straighten right leg. Extend left leg out to side, left knee and toes facing front. Lower to starting position; that’s one rep. Do on same side for 1 interval, then switch legs for the next interval.
    • Make it Easier: Do on level ground. Skip the squat and simply lift leg to the side.
    • Make it Harder: Do not touch down extending leg between repetitions- keep all weight on standing leg for the duration of the interval.
  • Side Plank: Balance on right hand and outside edge of right foot so that body is in a straight line from head to heels, with shoulders, hips and legs off ground. Extend left arm upward. Hold for duration of interval. Alternate sides for each interval.
    • Make it Easier: Rest forearm or knee on ground.
    • Make it Harder: Lift top leg 6 inches off bottom leg, so top leg is hovering in the air.

ALTERNATE STRENGTH INTERVALS (HARD) WITH WALKING (RECOVER). DURING RECOVERIES, WALK AS FAST AS YOU CAN WHILE STILL ALLOWING YOUR BREATH TO SLOW.

  • Weeks 1-2: Do each cardio interval exercise for 30 seconds, then recover for 30 seconds. Complete the circuit twice for a total of 10 minutes. Do each strength interval exercise for 30 seconds, then recover for 30 seconds. Complete the circuit 4 times for a total of 20 minutes.
  • Weeks 3-4: Do each cardio interval exercise for 60 seconds, then recover for 60 seconds. Do the circuit once, for a total of 10 minutes. Do each strength interval exercise for 60 seconds, then recover for 60 seconds. Complete the circuit 2 times, for a total of 20 minutes.

This interval training workout is guaranteed to take your belly from fat to flat in 4 week’s time- No dieting required! Let me know how it works for you!

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