Sunday, December 29, 2013

Saturday Night 45 Minute HIIT Tabata Total Body Toning Workout

I was exhausted when I got home from work last night. I had been up since 530 am and the previous two days I'd been getting up at 5 am to hit the gym before work. I had no desire to workout and all my family wanted to do was veg in front of the tv. As I was sitting on the couch, I thought to myself, do I really want to spend the next few hours sitting on the couch and feeling lazy? I changed into my workout clothes because I knew it would make me want to work out. I didn't have a workout planned and my gym was about to close for the night. It was pretty dark outside so I didn't feel like running outside. I've often made up my own workouts consisting of alternating cardio with strength training intervals basing them on two body parts I was focusing on that given day (Stay tuned for a post on some of my workouts!). I thought about doing something like that but then I went on YouTube and typed in HIIT workout. I selected one called HIIT Total Body Toning and Tabata Workout by Fitness Blender.

It had an interesting format that I'd never seen before; a male voice instructing the workout and giving the cues while a female followed the cues and performed the workout onscreen to a white background. Before each move, the female working out would preview the workout for you in a faded color so you saw what you were going to do but knew not to do it yet. When it was time to start a move, she would appear in bright color. There was also a timer in the top right corner of the screen counting down the seconds for each interval.

The workout consisted of a 6-minute easy warm-up to get the heart rate up and the body moving and then went into the intervals. Each interval was 20 seconds with 10 seconds of rest between each set and a total of 8 sets per move. One of the first exercises was wide-leg burpees followed by three mini squat jumps (not a full squat). I could tell that interval got my heart rate up. I wasn't used to only 10 seconds of recovery so that interval was a toughie.  During the push-up interval, I started off feeling strong but by the 4th set I was pretty fatigued and had to drop to my knees. After that,  the intervals got easier; leg reach crunches, hovers, weighted lunges, jumping jacks and double pulse squats. For the double pulse squats I had to increase the intensity by adding in a military press with 8-pound hand weights. The workout was over pretty quickly and then there was a stretch/cool down. The first couple of intervals were intense and made me think the whole workout was going to be way more challenging than it was. In the end, it definitely was not a bad work out. If I do it again, I'd definitely have to think up some higher modifications for some of the moves. If I had a heart rate monitor, I'm sure it would've tracked my heart rate as being in the fat burning zone. My heart rate was up but I'm sure it could've been higher. On the plus side, my legs and shoulders were definitely worked! (It sure beat being a couch potato!) The workouts offered by Fitness Blender are free on YouTube so they are definitely worth checking out. Next time maybe I'll try one with a more menacing titles like 1000 Calorie Workout or Brutal Hiit Workout. Overall, it certainly felt effective for a lazy Saturday night.

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