Monday, December 14, 2009

The FIRST day of fitness...interval training!

A year ago today, the 12 Days of Fitness began. I wasn't sure whether it would happen this year, but my Father-In-Law somehow magically brought my computer back from the dead, so the tradition will go on. YAY!
Today is already the FIRST DAY OF FITNESS! Can you believe it? Christmas is only 12 days away. Yikes! For most of us, fitness will probably be on the back burner until the new year. But check in when you have a minute between sips of eggnog, holiday parties, crowded malls, stocking stuffing, goodie eating, and Christmas caroling! For the next 12 days leading up to the most joyous of holidays, I will have some sort of something health and fitness related for your reading pleasure. (How's that for vague?) Enjoy! And let the countdown begin!
This morning, in honor of the 12 Days of Christmas, my cycle instructor led us in an awesome interval workout...with TWELVE 4-minute intervals. I loved it! I've mentioned before why I love spinning, AND why I love interval training.
Interval training is basically SUPER HIGH intensity work alternated by periods of lower activity. For me, the "lower activity" is more like an active recovery. You don't continue working, just at a lower intensity while your heart rate slows a bit (without fully recovering). Many believe that interval training is more effective at inducing fat loss than just training at a moderate intensity for the same amount of time. Interval training is the secret weapon for endurance athletes, body builders, and those of us who just need a good fat-burning workout (especially after all the goodies I ate last weekend!) It's the ultimate training tool...whatever your goal!
Here's the basic workout we did today (which could be modified for a treadmill, elliptical, or even outdoors!) If you don't have a heart rate monitor to tell you what level of intensity you're working at, go by your own Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE). 100% effort would basically be the speed you'd run or cycle at to save your life!
0:00-6:00: Warm-up
6:00-9:00: Cycle at 60-70% effort
9:00-10:00: Sprint at 90-95% effort
10:00-11:00: Active Recovery
11:00-13:00: Cycle at 70-80% effort (adjusting the resistance and speed...more resistance, slower speed will bring your heart rate up just as less resistance, higher speed will)
13:00-14:00: Sprint at 90-95% effort
Continue this pattern (3 minutes 70-80% effort, 1 minute sprint) until you've done this TWELVE times! That's 12 minutes of sprinting, which all at once would be impossible, but broken up in intervals is totally doable...and you'll feel fabulously sweaty and great when you're done!
54:00-60:00: Cool down and stretch! (Then go eat a earned it. Just kidding! I would NEVER justify such a thing. Especially not today. Ahem.)
Come back tomorrow for the second day of fitness!


Jake and Jessica said...

How did you like your first amazing homemade truffle?

Aly said...

LOVE interval training!! I call "the cycling to save your life"..."hitting my 10", and today I hit my "10" jogging on a 15% incline on the treadmill. I'm so excited to see what you post next for the 12 days of fitness!

If I had a truffle right now I would eat it! I was just telling Chuck that I was so glad we didn't have any ice cream, or chocolate chips, or anything good in the house...because I would be EATING it RIGHT NOW!