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Ah! How sweet the after burn: High Intensity Inverval Training

I've been tardy and haven't bought y'all up to speed.

My usual 'routine' -- such as it exists -- was ticking over when I missed a couple of my Interval Training sessions. Mainly because I was bored  and with  a bad health fortnight  hovering over me I didn't  force myself.

I was also suffering from confusion as to what regime I should be following on each second day -- was it the Kettlebell/Dumbells thingey or the HillFit?

Habit had clouded my recall

So I thought, bugger this, I'll retool.

My norm had been to do 5 minutes of HillFit one day and the lifting of da bells for 20 minutes two days later.

There's an obvious glitch in the routine, right? Why 5 and 20? 

So now I do (roughly) 12 minutes each:
  • HillFit plus Kettlebells one day ( 4 HillFit plus 3 KB lifts)
  • Lifting Dumbbells two days later( 6 Dumbbell lifts).
More balanced. Each session is more evenly challenging and 'intense' as High Intensity Intervals should be.

Still with music in my ear with a cycle of 90 seconds of exercising followed by 10 second rests. Still with exertions as slow as I can make them.  

I don't have to do this but I find with the stuff I do I tick more of the body boxes and I challenge my carcass all over. That's what I want. I want muscle burn from head to toe each time in as many muscle groups I can work over and strain.

That's the point.

HillFit as a standalone was getting too easy as after the four routines I wasn't hurting as much as I wanted to.  The HillFit is very 'core' and I had learnt to appreciate the consequence of straining the limbs more. 

I'll surely tweak this some more to tidy up the routines -- but the fact that I can feel the session's effect on my musculature, 10 hours later  (as I do now) is what I'm after. 

I'm no masochist but the physiology impact of HIIT relative to insulin resistance, pain threshold, metabolism, etc  is all good.

I don't see any reason why I should extend the time I spend doing this  --  30-40 minutes per week -- nor alter the cadence -- 90 seconds on/10 seconds off -- nor change the exercises I do. After doing this for many months now I am still physically  challenged by  the pushing,  pulling, lifting, lunging  and squatting I do and even look forward to it (at least a tad). 

The slowness really forces me to focus on technique  and the ironic challenge is trying to make the moves even slower. Performing a move with the best possible form to it and take seemingly ever so long to complete it (eg: 20 seconds) offers a succession of Zen moments. 

Slowness is key. It's the trick. The slower I go, the harder it is to complete the cycle. 

I tell you it's a great discovery! A wonderful lesson.

I used to do Tai Chi. Even helped teach it. But Tai Chi Chuan can be caught up in its own metaphysics and movement metaphors. It formats balance and body alignment; movement awareness and core centering --  but as an exercise for what I want from my exertions it doesn't come close.

I can get the same results from dancing as I can from Tai Chi with more fun out of the performance.

And with Tai Chi my muscles aren't challenged  like they are with HIIT. Of course if I did Tai Chi with weights...that would be different. But the drawback is that when you lift as slow as I do you can't have the weight out there and all over the place. You need to lift close to the body  on a direct vertical plane otherwise you can't lift slowly.  And when you lift weights slowly it doesn't take long to note that the lift that matters is the one that starts in your legs -- not in your backbone or abdomen.

So I'm deploying the HillFit template as developed by Chris Highcock and adapting its essential elements for the specific reasons I do physical conditioning and strength training .

That said, it is remarkable how far I still have to go as the more I do this stuff the easier it is  to locate my inadequacies. It's easier to become your own personal trainer because your body is always speaking to you when you work it in slow mode. And since you aren't in a rush you get to listen.

A lot can go through your mind in 10 seconds as you lift or pull something against gravity. It ain't the ends. It's the way you get there...

Grunt is obscurantism.




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