Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Best Workout you Haven't Tried

I have always been a serial workout dater. There are only so many ways you can repeat those sun salutations in yoga, or sit up and down on your spin bike. When I meet a new one it doesn't take long before I'm signed up 4 times a week giving up my independent freedom to workout on my own time and consuming myself in the workout of the month.  Like many serious relationships that interest begins to fade. You know they start being too needy, taking up too much of your time, trying to hold your hand too much, and being generally smothering.  Basically my attention span to fitness is comparable to that of a two year old at the zoo.  Every foreign sweat session is my new favorite animal without the public yells of excitement and Velcro shoes of course. I have actually enjoyed the majority of new ones that were tried with the exception of this one yoga class where we had to make animal like sounds while breathing the entire time. That one threw me off a little bit. 

When summer rolls around and college students are given the choice to pay for a gym membership or wait until they are members through studentship again chances are my bagel and oatmeal budget is going to take precedence. Every summer I wonder how on earth I will fill the gym void. I wish I could be one of those people who can magically run 50 miles a week and never feel pain, not the case for this average runner (click to read more on what it means to be average). My legs tend to lose it upon consecutive days of hilly runs which leaves me sore and without gym relief.

However, this summer I believe I found my workout soul mate.  It is the perfect compliment to my exceptionally short attention span in the midst of adrenaline pumping fitness.  This workout encompasses aspects of the tons of different little workouts that have come in and out of the routine, minus the bizarre animal sounds you can make through doing a headstand and restricting your breathing (post to come on this experience). If you feel the same lack of focus towards one monotonous fitness routine then this workout is for you.


I realize it is fairly common by now and a general practice among those who prefer high intensity interval training, but the amount of people I have talked to about it look at me with this perplexed reaction and proceed to butcher how the word is either spelled or spoken.  I get's a weird word.   It even isn't recognizing it as a real word when you type it.  Why tabata you ask? Here is why
hill run tabata day in AZ
1. It goes fast: Tabata works like this-20 seconds on 10 seconds rest.  During your 20 second interval you go as fast as you can until the timer beeps your rest period. Then repeat 8 times. For those math whizzes out there that's only a mere 4 minutes per tabata.  I do the routine and it is over before I start getting bored of it. With an incredibly hectic schedule this workout fits perfectly if you need a quick and thorough workout.  You can pick a combination of moves and alternate throughout the 8 rounds to give a more total body workout.  

2. User Friendly: My mom who I can guess would rather do just about anything else than participate in a high intensity interval training workout even enjoys tabata. This routine is absolutely perfect for anyone interested in trying new moves or a quick and potentially painless routine.  You are able to pick moves that are as difficult as you want them to be. So you want to walk in circles as hard as you can every 20 seconds? Do it, it's still tabata!

3.You sweat...a lot: transitioning from burpees to tuck jumps and back to burpees 8 times makes me start sweating at the mere thought. Upping your heart rate so suddenly and then tricking it by stopping for 10 seconds really gets the blood pumping which means after a thorough tabata it would not be abnormal to be sweating as if you just ran uphill with a bag of bricks strapped on your back wearing a vinyl body suit.


4. High calorie burn: hello ice cream for dessert! The elevated heart rate combined with the muscle confusion of always changing up the move= tons of calories burned in a much shorter time period. As opposed to stuffing grass and heads of lettuce in your mason jar ice water to conserve calories try to sweating it out instead with tabata. If you pick moves that target multiple muscles and incorporate cardio you will feel the results of your self inflicted ass kicking. 

5. Expand your horizons: ugh one hyphenated word.... push-ups.  I just can't learn to love them no matter how hard I try, but tabata makes trying them out a lot more bearable.  Just when I'm starting to look like a slug crawling up the driveway the timer beeps and I can begin forgetting how ridiculous trying to bench my body weight ends up looking.  Whatever moves you have in mind just try it, it's only 20 seconds. Hope you love it!