Usually Saturday has been a cardio day for me. Sometimes I run long distance, and for someone who is primarily into strength training, four to six miles at a medium pace is a relatively long distance. I felt the itch to do my long distance run this past Tuesday instead. So today, the gym opened up at 7:30 AM. I usually have a client around that time, but she is out of town, and since I am an awesome trainer, I did not ask my second client to wake up early because I had open time! My legs were still recovering from a leg day routine this past Thursday, so running at my fastest was not quite in the cards today.
I walked into an empty classroom, stared at the six big punching bags, and figured this was a great place to start. I had my own boxing gloves with me. There is no way I am using public boxing gloves for sanitary reasons. I started my Tabata app up and after a quick warm up routine of Arm Circles, Reverse Flys, Leg Swings, High Knees, Jogging back and forth, and Jumping Jacks, I was ready to go!
The routine was 10 rounds with one minute of action and 30 seconds worth of rest. I mixed up some jabs, hooks, speed punches, hard punches, and jumps. I am no boxer, but this is great cardio! Nobody was in there for a bit, so I had my music blasting. I like rap the best when I hit the bag. I had a mix of Logic, DMX, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, and Wiz Khalifa during my sparing session with the big bag. I wanted to do more, but the Zumba class that was scheduled was starting to filter in. I took a mat and headed out. I have no Zumba skills. I’ll leave that to our newest Pittsburgh trainer, Caroline Nicolian.
I opted for a little more low impact lower body HIIT cardio next. I used a Precor lower body elliptical with crossramp and resistance. I wanted to use the spin bikes, but there was a spin class taking place. Sometimes I like to pump the crossramp on the lower body elliptical up to 13 or 14 to get a great quad, glute, and calf workout. However, today I opted for a five crossramp with a switch between 11 and 12 resistance and went as fast as I could for a quarter mile.
I did five .25 mile intervals. Here were my times:
I took a two minute walk in between each interval and 15 seconds on the elliptical to ramp back up to speed. The headphones had to go back in for these intervals. I switched to faster rock to match my speed. Linkin Park, Green Day, Seether, Foo Fighters, and System of a Down dominated this portion of the HIIT. The elliptical tends to get crapped on quite a bit for how easy it can be. I agree that the majority of people I see using them in the gym are not working to their full potential. In particular, the lower body elliptical is a great tool with a challenging enough resistance for beginners who may initially have trouble running, and who may sit all day for work. Unless they love the bikes, the last thing I want a client to do is sit more after sitting for eight + hours at work.
Lastly, I did some battle ropes to finish off my HIIT routine. I did five 30 second intervals with a 30 second rest and one burnout at the end.
Here was the routine:
Round 1 – Two Arm Fast Wave
Round 2 – Alternating Arm Wave
Round 3 – Counter Clockwise
Round 4 – Two Arm Slams
Round 5 – Hip Toss
Round 6 – Five Fast Two Arm Waves and a Jump Slam – One minute and 30 seconds burnout
There were lots of treadmills making noise, and I was going too intensely for headphones to stay in my ears. Unfortunately, you are then subjected to whatever the gym is playing. As many of you know, most of the songs tend to not suit intense workouts.
I finished my routine with a little bit of core. I did three supersets of core, starting with Planks while holding onto a standing 25 lb plate until failure (which is not long on this exercise!), then I did a dropset into Stability Ball Knee Tuck for 12-15 reps, then I used a 30 lb resistance band to do Pallof Presses for 30 seconds on each side. I rested for 30 seconds, then I repeated for two more times.
I stretched down. My workout was done, I did not have to think about it for the rest of the day. Time for my protein shake, and on to working with my next client.