The weather has forced me to move most of my workouts indoors. I’m not happy about it to say the least.
However, I have realized that this is a perfect time to start thinking about other types of training. The summer, oh I miss it already, is a great time for building our endurance. We go for long walks, train for half marathons, and bike 10-20 miles with friends and family. These are all great for training our slow twitch muscle fibers and aerobic systems, but they completely ignore our fast twitch fibers and anaerobic systems. Evidence shows that “the best way to improve endurance and the body’s response to metabolic acidosis during exercise and recovery is to increase the number of mitochondria in our muscle. How do we do that? Research shows us that the most effective way is incorporating occasional bouts of high-intensity interval training.” This was stated in an article by ACE which also explains that if we build this mitochondrial density then our body will be more efficient at a wider range of intensities which mean less of a dependency on anaerobic systems and therefore less fatigue. So bottom line is that you need to train both. A great program would include 1-2 shorter workouts like the ones below and 1-3 longer duration slower intensity workouts as well.
Winter gives us a perfect opportunity to train the anaerobic systems. Moving indoors and onto the machines can be great to focus more on your power, speed, agility, balance, flexibility. All these aspects can be improved with indoor workouts. Take a second to think about what areas you’d like to improve this winter. Where are your weaknesses? I will focus on sprints to increase my speed, extra sets to increase my strength, and try some new classes. These sprints on treadmill, bike, or elliptical are great because they are intense, short, and burn a ton of calories. Print it and post it and the DO IT!
They only take 30 minutes! All out effort means a 8-10 on your intensity scale. So choose a method of exercise that allows you to get to that. If running is too hard on your joints then choose the bike or even a rowing machine. Listen to your body. You should feel like you are pushing your muscles, heart, lungs, but not injuring yourself. That certainly is not the goal. Have Fun!
There are so many ways that you can challenge your body in new ways. Here are 8 ideas to Put into action:
1. Tony Horton (P90X) says that he jumps form machine to machine. So you could try a new workout where you Row for 10 minutes and Run for 10. Switch back and forth for 40 minutes.
2. You could make a fun mix on your ipod and run the first song slow and the second fast. Alternate for the duration of your mix and you’ve got an awesome workout.
3.One of my personal training clients speeds up on the commercials and slows back down during her show. I love this one!
4. Alternate 2 strength exercises with cardio. 20 Shoulder Presses followed by 20 Rows and then 5 Minutes on the treadmill. Complete 4 Rounds.
5. Join a yoga class. Or buy a DVD and commit to practicing weekly. I highly recommend Shiva Rea.
6. Take a dance class for fun and agility and an amazing body. Pink and Madonna don’t look good just because they have money. They dance their butts off!
7. Add balance to your strength training. Stand on one foot while performing your bicep curls or switch to single leg deadlifts.
8. Change up your weights so that you are lifting heavier but with less repetitions.
So how will you will you challenge yourself this winter? Share your ideas. Maybe you will help someone else!