Intensity, Interval Training, Body weight Exercises: What I have Learned

I fell off the wagon. I started this journey with a foray back into the world of weight lifting ( for those interested in learning about that experience click here.) At first it was enjoyable, I had a program that worked well. I was getting used to being back in the gym and at lunch time they would play a mix of Big Shiny Tunes and some Blink 182, so at least acoustically it felt like my late teens.

Then as the marking and clinical increased, my trips to the gym decreased. In an attempt to at least maintain the progress I had achieved I began exploring and experimenting with body weight exercises. My wife suggested a website called hiitit.ca. These are two trainers from Kelowna  BC ( one of whom is a friend of ours from our nursing school  days. You can follow them on Twitter @HIITitKelowna.). I  tried one of their high intensity interval training workouts (some free ones can be found here). I don’t mind telling you I got crushed.

Not actual footage. (Source:GIPHY)

What is interval training? It is a method of training consisting of bursts of moderate to high intensity exercise for a certain period of time. This exercise  is followed by a period of rest ( don’t worry there is a video explaining all this shortly).  The following infographic illustrates the differences between high intensity interval training, interval training and three popular interval training protocols.
High-Intensity Interval Training Can Help Reverse Aging Process

Image via: High-Intensity Interval Training Can Help Reverse Aging Process

 

The hiitit workouts workouts use an interval training protocol using 50 seconds of work with a 10 second break (I think this is  a variation of the Tabata protocol) . They do a good job of demonstrating beginner and advanced ways to approach the exercises but I found it very difficult. The next day I would have benefited from an ice bath and a raised toilet seat.  This whole experience got me thinking. I was feeling sore in muscles I didn’t know I had ( and I’m a nurse I took a class on those). And all of this after only what amounted to 12 minutes of training. So what was the difference? I was lifting weights in the gym 3-4 times a week (for a look at the regimen please click here). I was spending on average 45 minutes in the weight room. So what was the difference? In a word, intensity.

I found the following video to be an excellent explanation of intensity in daily fitness:

There are 3 main points I learned from this video:

  1. Intensity in physical activity drives performance
  2. Intense physical activity in difficult to maintain
  3. The term “intense” means different things to different people

Another important takeaway from the video was the answer to the question ” What’s the best  exercise?”

The one you’ll do! Or more accurately in my case, the one I can do. The exercises in the hiitit workout were a bit too dynamic for me. I’m not overly limber or coordinated so I need fairly simple compound body weight exercises that I could perform. Given my current fitness level and my new basic understanding of the metabolic equivalent   (MET) I would need an interval training plan that is adaptable (meaning I can alter the intervals to match my fitness needs and select exercises that are in my skill set). Did such an app exist? Enter Mark Lauren’s Body Weight Training App. More on that shortly! Thank you for reading!

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8 thoughts on “Intensity, Interval Training, Body weight Exercises: What I have Learned

  1. Love the infograph and your post! I absolutely love HIIT because it means I can spend less time on cardio hahaha! Maybe try adjusting the intervals to 30 seconds and 30 seconds? Or start with more basic exercises you like? I have actually done weight training in this form before and it can be an awesome workout!!(Cardio and weights at the same time!!) Another app you might like is the Nike Training App. You can tell it your goal, and it will select workout programs for you and they have beginner, intermediate and expert levels. I love it and often use it for organized workouts with my grade 9 Wellness classes. They love it too as it breaks down how to do the exercises as well. Keep up with your journey, it’s sounding great so far!

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    1. Thank you so much for the suggestion Shelby! I did not know about the Nike Training App. I’m working on an app review to post tonight. I’m glad the infographic is helpful. Thank you so much for your post!

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    1. Thanks Ashley I guess the most valuable thing I’ve learned is that intensity drives progress. The good thing is intensity is a different for everyone. It’s been tough but I think I’ve found a way of training that is agreeable to a busy lifestyle. Thank you for taking the time to read.

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  2. Thanks for your honesty. Juggling work, kids and your husband duties is not an easy task. We often put everything before our personal needs. HIIT workouts are intense. I have been going to 30 minute classes at the gym. I register so I have to go because I don’t want to loose my hard earned money. Quick and dirty 30.
    Proud of you for all that you have done.

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    1. Thanks Cristina thanks for your comment encouragement and your excellent teaching about keto. I’m going to giving you some mad mentions in my next posts. Thank you for sharing your journey with me as well! Keep fighting the good fight!

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