Can you believe that it is almost March? Craziness, I know…
Regardless, it’s still Friday and that means it’s time for Fitness Friday!
Let’s start off with your workout of the week. This week, it’s all about that cardio, but with my twist of course.
Workout of the Week
Traditional cardio is usually steady state and lasts for a longer duration. However, today, my workout for you is all of interval training. You will alternate periods of work and rest to maximize your time and effort.
However, this means that you have to give it your all during your work intervals in order to make the most out of the interval training method! Plus, what’s great about this interval workout is that it is straightforward: the work and rest times are the same, but you are still getting the maximum benefit of an interval workout. Just make sure that you give it your all during those work sessions!
Need ideas as to what equipment or move to do? Here’s some examples: treadmill, rower, stairstepper, sprinting, jumping jacks, burpees, jump squats, high knees…the list goes on and on!
Three Fitness Myths Debunked
Alright, on to the next portion of Fitness Fridays. Today I want to talk about three fitness lies that we’ve all heard and assume to be true.
Spoiler alert: they aren’t!
Women will get bulky if they lift weights – Sorry to break it to you, but those women with the incredible muscle definition and size are not what you are going to turn into if you start lifiting weights. That size and strength takes extra time, coaching, and precise attention to nutrition, down to the last gram. How many of you are in this boat? Yeah, I didn’t think so. Rather, strength training 2-3 times per week for most women is just enough to build and maintain muscle mass, burn fat, and reap all the other benefits that come along with weight lifting (lowered stress levels, lower risk of osteoporosis, etc).
Cardio, and lots of it, is the best way to lose fat – Nope, not even close. Yes, cardio has its benefits, but long durations of cardio every single day don’t help with fat loss as much as two other options. First, strength training (of course!), as it helps build muscle, which at rest burns more calories than fat. Second, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a faster, more exciting (i.e. less boring than running on a treadmill for hours), and burns fat much more effectively than steady state cardio. For HIIT Training, like I mentioned above in your workout of the week, you alternate periods of high-intensity work followed by lower intensity or rest. This can last anywhere from 4 (yes 4!) to 20 minutes, making it a quick and effective use of your time. Now yes, while strength and HIIT training are better ways of burning fat and gaining muscle than steady state cardio, that type of exercise still has its benefits, especially for stress reduction. Some people just thrive off of a long walk or run, and that’s totally fine! What’s important to note is that it shouldn’t be every day all day, but rather a few times a week along with strength and HIIT training.
If I do 100+ crunches a day, I will get a flat stomach – Again, sorry not sorry here. Yes, focusing on training your core is important, but crunches have been shown time and time again to be one of the least effective exercises for training your core. What does work? Well, proper nutrition, that’s what works. Have you ever heard that abs are made in the kitchen? It’s 100% true! When you focus on real, whole foods and less junk, you’ll notice a huge difference. On the exercise side, HIIT and strength training also do wonders on your core, as well as full body functional movements, like squats, deadlifts, single leg deadlifts, planks, and pushups.
Well that was fun, wasn’t it? I hope you learned something new about those lies that we are told over and over again and assume to be true. But, look around you, if they were true, we wouldn’t be in the unhealthy societal state that we are currently in!
Last but not least, I wanted to share a few of the moves that I have planned for my HIIT Kettlebell class today. I don’t normally teach on Fridays, but I am subbing for a fellow instructor. I’m super excited for today’s workout because we are pulling out the good ole aerobic step. But don’t worry, we won’t be wearing leg warmers and scrunchies as we step up and down off that step.
Nope, not here. Honestly though, how did they get their hair to stay??!!
Anyway, we’ll be doing a few of these moves instead:
Burpee box jumps: Squat down, place your hands on the ground, hop your feet back into a plank and back up. Rise and jump up and down from the step. Repeat.
Straddle box jumps: Straddle the step with feet on either side. Jump up and down, on and off the step as quickly as possible.
Lunge jumps: Put your right foot on the step, left foot on the ground. Lunge down slightly and explode up through your right foot, leaving the step and jumping into the air. Come back down softly and repeat. Switch sides after the interval or reps are complete.
Donkey kicks: Place your hands on the step along the narrow side. Hop your feet up and over, landing on the left side, then jump your legs over to the right side. Continue, jumping and lifting your legs as high as possible off the ground while keeping your hands on the step the entire time.
Sounds fun, right? I can’t wait!
Anyway, that’s all I have for you this week. I really enjoyed dispelling those three fitness myths. Maybe next week, it’s time that I dispel a couple of nutrition myths as well!