Today's challenge is to solve a problem for your readers. It's been some time since I've done a YQA and I have a couple (or more) of questions that need to be answered. So let's get down to business!
Upper Body HIIT
Over at Brooklyn Active Mama, in response to my comment, Nellie said "I am curious about this upperbody HIIT?! We talking pushups? pullups?!" Great question, Nellie!
First off, let's define HIIT. It stands for High Intensity Interval Training. Basically you are cycling through high intensity bursts with low intensity bursts. Usually you are looking at a 2:1 ratio. For example, 60 seconds hard, 30 seconds low intensity. Or even 2 minutes hard, 1 minute low intensity. Technically, Tabata is a form of HIIT because you are cycling through 20 seconds hard, 10 seconds low (or rest, if you can call 10 seconds a rest). High, low, high, low.
When you do workouts with high reps you are building muscular endurance as opposed to strength. When you do many weight bearing exercises back to back, such as a circuit workout, you are also getting in some cardio too. Simply by alternating a weighted exercise with a cardio type of exercise. As long as you maintain form of course!
Because I'm not sure if I will or won't do number 4, here is a video that I found on YouTube using resistance bands. You could do the same thing with weights.
Can I just say that she has the most ripped arms ever! Green with envy!
On The Five Elements of Fitness, Joi (yes, the same Joi as above!) asked a question in regards to flexibility "would 1 quick yoga sequence every morning do the trick?"
Ummm, yes, and no. Don't you love that precise answer! I think doing a yoga sequence in the morning is great for breathing and relaxation which will naturally result in some additional flexibility. However, flexibility needs to be incorporated two other ways (unless you participate regularly in dance, martial arts, or gymnastics which naturally incorporates flexibility within the form of exercise), at the end of strength training and periodized throughout your training cycles.
After strength training (heavy lifting) you need to do a good solid 10-15 minutes of flexibility stretching exercises. Why? As you increase reps, sets, or use heavier weights, it will result in a loss of flexibility. When working with heavy weights you hardly ever extend the limbs fully because you've lost the mechanical advantage by putting a heavier weight on the muscles. Also, as you develop sufficient muscle and strength you keep the muscles in a shorted state even after the workout. That's why you'll often see very muscular men who walk with one full side of their body moving at one time. They are just stiff and inflexible! Luckily as women we don't have the testosterone to reach that point! But we can still develop some muscle which needs to be kept flexible to keep that long lean look.
Are you working on Joi's Mini Blog Challenge (if not, you should!)? What fitness questions do you have? Are you going to try the Upper Body HIIT v