If you feel like you’ve lost your, as Steve says, “ZIP, ZEST, PEP, DRIIIVE AND DESIRE”, well maybe you just need to get a trainer – interval trainer that is. You don’t necessarily need a personal trainer to kick your butt, especially if you know what to do already. Often times we just get lazy and comfortable, and we lose focus. But, as soon as you add a time component to your workout, suddenly a boring workout blossoms into a high-intensity workout with purpose and drive. To get this done, I use the GymBoss Interval Timer to ramp up my intensity, create focus and hold me accountable.
HIIT it Harder!
HIIT training is nothing new. It’ just gained popularity over the recent years. HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. HIIT workouts are typically short workouts, from 4-20 minutes, and combine short bursts of intense exercise (typically at maximum intensity) with a moderate activity or rest. The original HIIT format was a 2 to 1 ration, like Tabata. Tabata is 20 seconds of work, and 10 seconds of rest or lighter work.
For instance, a HIIT running routine could be 30 seconds of sprinting and 15 seconds of walking or jogging. However, HIIT workouts now come in all shapes and sizes. The length of intervals, as well as intensity/work, may vary. HIIT, today, is just all about timed intense interval training, no matter what the length or combination of exercises and rest.
So, with the education under your belt now, let’s HIIT our legs! Here was my leg workout yesterday. It was awesome, simple, super effective and challenging. Also, when you use HIIT, you get a lot of work done in less time, so it’s also very efficient. Give it a whirl and let me know what you think!
HIIT Your Legs
*Ramping (or periodization) refers to ramping up (increasing) your weight. Each set should get heavier and heavier. For instance, do just the bar the first set, then add weight in 10-25lb increments each set, depending on your strength, making each set more and more challenging.
Training Tips: The key to this exercise is to get LOW (like you see in this photo). I’d rather you do less weight, and get a full range of motion. Most people are not even close to getting as low as they can. LADIES LISTEN UP: These last few inches work your inner thighs and glutes a LOT more, so don’t miss out! Your weight should be on your heels the entire time, and your bottom should nearly bottom out on the ground you should be so low. If you’ve never done this before, then practice just with the bar or no weight at all. If you can’t seem to keep your heels on the ground, try spreading out your knees a bit more and sit down into the squat until your feet can stay completely flat. Tight and weak muscles may prevent you from getting this low, so you may want to incorporate this yoga move into your leg day to increase flexibility.
Yoga Squat: Hold this pose (pictured below right) for 30 seconds at a time and really stretch your legs and open those hips. Do this prior to lifting or even between sets to keep you nice and loose.
Heavy Walking Lunges (15-20lbs dumbbells)
5 Sets: 30 Seconds on, 30 Seconds off
Tabata Leg Extensions (toes pointed out)
Tabata is 8 Sets of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off
1/2 Tabata Leg Extension (toes pointed in)
Half Tabata is half the prescribed set (so only 4 sets) of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off
Tabata High Step Ups* (with or without weights)
Half (4 sets) Tabata on RIGHT FOOT
(20 seconds on, 10 seconds off)
Half (4 sets) Tabata on LEFT FOOT
(20 seconds on, 10 seconds off)
*Use a high bench or plyo box. Step POWERFULLY up and resist the negative (your weight coming down). So, it will be a quick and powerful explosion UP on to the step (being sure to step up on to your heel), and then a slowly lower down. No matter how tired you get, DO NOT allow your body to “fall” back to the floor. Fight it!