## Max Benefit – Min Time Workout #2

Question #1 : Do you want to be healthier, fitter, leaner, sexier, etc?

Question #2 : Are you insanely busy?

If you answered yes to both questions, have I got good news for you.

Today’s post is the second in a series of mini-workouts designed to:

• improve fitness,
• improve health,
• burn fat,
• build functional strength,
• improve energy system function,
• improve muscular endurance,
• improve speed endurance
• AND save you time.

Each post in the series will consist of a single mini-workout.

All of these mini-workout posts will be catalogued together to allow you to mix & match to create your own custom plan. Here’s the first workout if you missed it.

Without any further ado, here is….

## Max Benefit – Min Time Workout #2

### Exercises

• Bulgarian Split Squats – modifying the weight (bodyweight, vest, dumbbells, barbell, kettlebells, resistance bands) as your strength & endurance allows.

In the latter part of the workout, after you have ditched all of the external weight (barbell etc), you may find that you are unable to complete full range of motion lifts. If that is the case, you have a few options

1. Shift your weight backwards onto your heels. This will spare your quads & load up your hips…which are more endurance friendly

• Alternating Shoulder Presses – modify weight used to suit your strength/fitness level
• Band Overhead Pull Aparts – modify resistance band used to suit your strength/fitness level

### Set/Rep Scheme

• Alternate exercises (Bulgarian Left Leg/Shoulder Press/Bulgarian Right Leg/Band Pull-Aparts/etc…)
• 1st Set – 20 reps, 2nd Set – 19 reps, 3rd Set – 18 reps….all the way down to 10 reps (Total of 11 sets)

### Speed of Execution

Perform reps as fast as possible…with good form

### Rest

Minimize reps between exercises – zero rest between sets is the goal

### How to keep improving with this workout

The design of this mini-workout allows you to keep improving as you choose harder versions of the exercises and/or perform them faster and/or reduce the amount of rest between exercises

### The Workout

• Bulgarians – Left Leg – 20 reps
• Alternating Shoulder Pressess – 20 reps
• Bulgarians – Right Leg – 20 reps
• Overhead Pull-Aparts – 20 reps
• Bulgarians – Left Leg – 19 reps
• Alternating Shoulder Pressess – 19 reps
• Bulgarians – Right Leg – 19 reps
• Overhead Pull-Aparts – 19 reps
• Bulgarians – Left Leg – 18 reps
• Alternating Shoulder Pressess – 18 reps
• Bulgarians – Right Leg – 18 reps
• Overhead Pull-Aparts – 18 reps
• Bulgarians – Left Leg – 17 reps
• Alternating Shoulder Pressess – 17 reps
• Bulgarians – Right Leg – 17 reps
• Overhead Pull-Aparts – 17 reps
• Bulgarians – Left Leg – 16 reps
• Alternating Shoulder Pressess – 16 reps
• Bulgarians – Right Leg – 16 reps
• Overhead Pull-Aparts – 16 reps
• Bulgarians – Left Leg – 15 reps
• Alternating Shoulder Pressess – 15 reps
• Bulgarians – Right Leg – 15 reps
• Overhead Pull-Aparts – 15 reps
• Bulgarians – Left Leg – 14 reps
• Alternating Shoulder Pressess – 14 reps
• Bulgarians – Right Leg – 14 reps
• Overhead Pull-Aparts – 14 reps
• Bulgarians – Left Leg – 13 reps
• Alternating Shoulder Pressess – 13 reps
• Bulgarians – Right Leg – 13 reps
• Overhead Pull-Aparts – 13 reps
• Bulgarians – Left Leg – 12 reps
• Alternating Shoulder Pressess – 12 reps
• Bulgarians – Right Leg – 12 reps
• Overhead Pull-Aparts – 12 reps
• Bulgarians – Left Leg – 11 reps
• Alternating Shoulder Pressess – 11 reps
• Bulgarians – Right Leg – 11 reps
• Overhead Pull-Aparts – 11 reps
• Bulgarians – Left Leg – 10 reps
• Alternating Shoulder Pressess – 10 reps
• Bulgarians – Right Leg – 10 reps
• Overhead Pull-Aparts – 10 reps

That’s it for today. As I add new Max Benefit – Min Time workouts, I will include a link to a index page which will list all of workouts in one place.

If you like this article, don’t forget to subscribe to @healthhabits. When you subscribe, my friends at MailChimp will make sure to send you an email every time I post something new here at the blog.

As well, you also get access to the series of Supplement Reports that I am publishing this year.

## Max Benefit – Min Time Workout #1

Question #1 : Want to be healthier, fitter, leaner, sexier, etc?

Question #2 : Are you insanely busy?

If you answered yes to both questions, have I got good news for you.

Starting today, I am going to start posting a series of mini-workouts designed to:

• improve fitness,
• improve health,
• burn fat,
• build functional strength,
• improve energy system function,
• improve muscular endurance,
• improve speed endurance
• AND save you time.

Each post will consist of a single mini-workout. All of these mini-workout posts will be catalogued together to allow you to mix & match to create your own custom plan.

Here we go with…

## Max Benefit – Min Time Workout #1

### Exercises

• Push-ups – modifying the angle of your body to suit your strength/fitness level (feet elevated, flat on floor, hands on bench, hands on counter, leaning against wall, etc)
• Bodyweight Squats – modifying depth of squat to suit your strength/fitness level (ass to the grass, parallel to floor, 1/2 squat, 1/4 squat, etc)

### Set/Rep Scheme

• Alternate exercises (push-ups/squats/push-ups/etc…)
• 1st Set – 20 reps, 2nd Set – 19 reps, 3rd Set – 18 reps….all the way down to 10 reps (Total of 11 sets)

### Speed of Execution

Perform reps as fast as possible…with good form

### Rest

Minimize reps between exercises – zero rest between sets is the goal

### How to keep improving with this workout

The design of this mini-workout allows you to keep improving as you choose harder versions of the exercises and/or perform them faster and/or reduce the amount of rest between exercises

### The Workout

• Push-ups – 20 reps
• Bodyweight Squats – 20 reps
• Push-ups – 19 reps
• Bodyweight Squats – 19 reps
• Push-ups – 18 reps
• Bodyweight Squats – 18 reps
• Push-ups – 17 reps
• Bodyweight Squats – 17 reps
• Push-ups – 16 reps
• Bodyweight Squats – 16 reps
• Push-ups – 15 reps
• Bodyweight Squats – 15 reps
• Push-ups – 14 reps
• Bodyweight Squats – 14 reps
• Push-ups – 13 reps
• Bodyweight Squats – 13 reps
• Push-ups – 12 reps
• Bodyweight Squats – 12 reps
• Push-ups – 11 reps
• Bodyweight Squats – 11 reps
• Push-ups – 10 reps
• Bodyweight Squats – 10 reps

That’s it for today. As I add new Max Benefit – Min Time workouts, I will include a link to a index page which will list all of workouts in one place.

If you like this article, don’t forget to subscribe to @healthhabits. When you subscribe, my friends at MailChimp will make sure to send you an email every time I post something new here at the blog.

As well, you also get access to the series of Supplement Reports that I am publishing this year.

## Introducing the 20:20 Workout…The Simplest Get Fit, Get Lean, Get Healthy, Get Strong, Get Awesome Workout of All Time

### Introducing the 20:20 Workout…The Simplest Get Fit, Get Lean, Get Healthy, Get Strong, Get Awesome Workout of All Time.

Here’s the general theory:

• 20 seconds of high intensity exercise
• 20 seconds of rest
• Repeat as many times as possible…while maintaining great form & high intensity.

Here’s why this workout is awesome:

• It’s dead simple. Even the newest of workout newbies can understand “work really hard for 20 seconds, then rest for 20 seconds”.
• It improves your energy system fitness…which improves your endurance, strength, power, etc.
• It makes most trainees stronger very quickly -(experienced trainees who already lift primarily for serious strength won’t see much in the way of strength improvement)
• It improves the muscular endurance of those people who already lift for serious strength…which will improve their strength training programs
• It’s great for weight loss
• It saves time. Most trainees will be gassed after 20 minutes…and it takes a real freak to keep the intensity up over 40 min.
• As you become more efficient at this program, your power & speed-endurance will improve significantly
• It can be performed at home, indoors, outdoors, on the playing field & in the gym.
• It’s fully expandable….from very simple beginner workouts to more complex workouts for advanced trainees or people with physical restrictions
• It’s 100% free

### Workout Examples

#### Legs + Horizontal Push + Horizontal Pull

Repeat for a set time or until your form starts to break down and/or your intensity drops by (self-measured) 20%

#### Legs + Vertical Push + Vertical Pull

Repeat for a set time or until your form starts to break down and/or your intensity drops by (self-measured) 20%

#### Legs + Horizontal Push + Horizontal Pull + Core

• Stair Step Ups or Box Jumps or Burpees for 20 seconds
• Rest for 20 seconds
• Chest Press or Push-Ups for 20 seconds
• Rest for 20 seconds
• Single Leg Stiff Leg Deadlifts
• Rest for 20 seconds
• Standing Rows or Bodyweight Rows for 20 seconds
• Rest for 20 seconds
• Ab Roll-Outs, Front Plank or Dead Bugs for 20 seconds
• Rest for 20 seconds

Repeat for a set time or until your form starts to break down and/or your intensity drops by (self-measured) 20%

#### Legs + Vertical Push + Vertical Pull + Rotation

• Bodyweight Squats or Bulgairan Squats for 20 seconds
• Rest for 20 seconds
• Pulldowns, Band Overhead Pull-Aparts or Chin-ups for 20 seconds
• Rest for 20 seconds
• Standing Single Leg Straight Leg Flexions – Front, Side & Rear
• Rest for 20 seconds
• Overhead Press – Band, Bodyweight, DB, BB
• Rest for 20 seconds
• Woodchops, Stir the Pots or Palloff Press for 20 seconds
• Rest for 20 seconds

Repeat for a set time or until your form starts to break down and/or your intensity drops by (self-measured) 20%

#### Legs + Horizontal Push + Horizontal Pull + Core + Carry

• Waiter Walk or some other “Carry” variation for 20 seconds
• Rest for 20 seconds
• Stair Step Ups or Box Jumps or Burpees for 20 seconds
• Rest for 20 seconds
• Chest Press or Push-Ups for 20 seconds
• Rest for 20 seconds
• Single Leg Stiff Leg Deadlifts
• Rest for 20 seconds
• Standing Rows or Bodyweight Rows for 20 seconds
• Rest for 20 seconds
• Ab Roll-Outs, Front Plank or Dead Bugs for 20 seconds
• Rest for 20 seconds

Repeat for a set time or until your form starts to break down and/or your intensity drops by (self-measured) 20%

#### Legs + Vertical Push + Vertical Pull + Rotation + Sprint

• Bodyweight Squats or Bulgairan Squats for 20 seconds
• Rest for 20 seconds
• Pulldowns, Band Overhead Pull-Aparts or Chin-ups for 20 seconds
• Rest for 20 seconds
• Standing Single Leg Straight Leg Flexions – Front, Side & Rear
• Rest for 20 seconds
• Overhead Press – Band, Bodyweight, DB, BB
• Rest for 20 seconds
• Woodchops or Palloff Press for 20 seconds
• Rest for 20 seconds
• Sprint for 20 seconds
• Rest for 20 seconds

Repeat for a set time or until your form starts to break down and/or your intensity drops by (self-measured) 20%

### Design Your Own 20:20 Workout

As I said above, the 20:20 Workout is fully expandable and is easily modified to fit your specific needs.

Step #1 : Choose the body movements that you want to work on

• Push Vertical
• Push Horizontal
• Pull Vertical
• Pull Horizontal
• Squat
• Hip Hinge
• Walk
• Run
• Sprint

Step #2 : Choose an exercise or exercises for each of the body movements you have selected

Step #3 : Organize the exercises so that you maximize your rest periods. Instead of putting 2 leg exercises back to back, stick an upper body exercise in betweenex. Squat – Horizontal Push – Hip Hinge – Horizontal Pull

Step #4 : Set a timer for a 20 sec work : 20 sec rest interval program. If you don’t have a timer, check out Gymboss. They’re easy to use, inexpensive and will prevent you dropping & cracking your smartphone screen

Step #5 : Fill a bottle of water & get ready to sweat

Questions? Hit me up on social media – Twitter, Facebook.

If you like this article, don’t forget to subscribe to @healthhabits. When you subscribe, my friends at MailChimp will make sure to send you an email every time I post something new here at the blog.

As well, you also get access to the series of Supplement Reports that I am publishing this year.

## Coming Soon : HIIT for Health

Early in the new year, I will be publishing an ebook on HIIT and why it is  such an amazing tool for improving your health.

I have been providing some version of this report to those of my personal training clients with significant health issues over the years. Since then, their doctors have slowly begun to see the benefits of HIIT as a tool to prevent & recover from serious health conditions.

In addition to to the scientific arguments for HIIT, the book will include a LOT of printable HIIT workouts and instructions on how to easily craft your own personal HIIT workout program.

This publication will be available 100% FREE for @healthhabits subscribers.

If you already subscribe to @healthhabits, keep an eye on your inbox in the first week of January

If you don’t subscribe to @healthhabits, what are you waiting for?

## 10 Ways to Workout Smarter….not Harder

Every day I go to the gym and I see the same people doing the same workouts.

• Runners get on a treadmill and run
• Yoginis perform their poses
• Bodybuilders squeeze & flex their muscles
• Powerlifters lift heavy stuff
• Aerobicizers attend their group fitness classes
• And the dude at my gym who wears Adidas soccer shorts from 1978 stretches out his hamstrings threatening to dislodge his “fellas” from their cotton prison (the horror…the horror)

And while all of these activities are laudable and are infinitely better for you than sitting on the couch eating chips and watching reality tv, they all have their limitations. And since it is a new year, I thought it was the perfect time to outline 10 ways to workout smarter…achieving better results, in less time, with fewer aches & pains.

### Tip # 1 – High Intensity Interval Training aka HIIT

There is an ever growing body of evidence showing that HIIT workouts are superior to traditional cardio training in almost every conceivable way.

• Less time required per workout – I never, ever perform more than 20 min on a HIIT workout
• Reduced chance of overuse injuries – just ask a runner about their aches & pains
• Faster & greater improvements to the cardio-vascular system
• Increased fat loss due to increased levels of EPOC  (Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption)
• Increased total body strength

To recap, HIIT takes up less of your time, is easier on your body, is better at improving the function of your heart & lungs and will help make you stronger and leaner more efficiently than cardio training. Sounds pretty smart to me.

Here are a bunch of articles I have written on HIIT to get you started:

Next Page : Movements not Muscles…

Quick Nav

If you like this article, don’t forget to subscribe to @healthhabits. When you subscribe, my friends at MailChimp will make sure to send you an email every time I post something new here at the blog.

As well, you also get access to the series of Supplement Reports that I am publishing this year.

## More proof that you should Just Say No to Cardio

• You want to be healthy
• You want to be fit
• You want to be strong
• You want to be fast
• You want to be powerful
• You want to look great naked

If this sounds like you, you need to stop doing boring old cardio workouts…

…and start combining strength training workouts with high intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts.

### Here’s why…

In a study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, researchers examined whether a combination of sprint interval workouts and strength training workouts would result in compromised strength development when compared to strength training alone.

During this study, they also monitored maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) and time to exhaustion (TTE) to determine if the HIIT workouts would improve aerobic performance.

### The Results

After 12 weeks of 4x per week workouts, they researchers found that:

• Upper & lower body strength improved in both groups with no difference between the strength training (ST) group and the combination HIIT-ST group.
• VO2max improved in the HIIT-ST group but not in the ST group. Previous studies have shown that HIIT is equal or superior to traditional cardio in improving VO2max

### Conclusions

• Strength training without HIIT will make you stronger
• Strength training + HIIT will make you equally as strong
• HIIT improves VO2max as well or better than traditional cardio training

When you combine this new data with all of the previous studies + years of real-world experience that has shown that traditional cardio training reduces strength, power & muscle mass in favour of aerobic performance (VO2max et al), it all starts to become very clear.

It means that if…

• You want to be healthy
• You want to be fit
• You want to be strong
• You want to be fast
• You want to be powerful
• You want to look great naked

…you need to just say no to cardio and just start saying yes to HIIT + strength training.

## Health Habits Exercise Videos – Fat Burning HIRT Circuit #1

Here is the 4 minute “kick yo’ ass”, super fat-burning workout exercise video I promised you on Tuesday.

Note: I almost didn’t post it today as it is not 100% finished. The workout is good to go, but I need a bit more time for my video guru Lauren to input all of the instructional text.

So, what I am going to do is get this sucker online right now, and when we have added all the text, come back and replace all this text so future viewers never know that I put a beta version online.

### About the Workout:

This is a High Intensity Resistance Training Circuit consisting of…

• 4 Minutes total work
• 8 x 30 second sets
• 3 exercises

The 3 Workout Exercises are…

1. Squats
2. Push Ups
3. Jumping Jacks

Note – Choose the version of Squats or Push Ups equal to your fitness level. You want to push yourself as hard as possible, while being realistic about your current fitness level

SQUATS

PUSH UPS

### Exercise Tips

• Push yourself as hard as your fitness level will allow
• Keep rest to a minimum
• Maintain correct form – see “how-to” videos
• Work hard, fast & safe

This is a great fat-burning, fitness boosting workout. However, since I can’t watch over you like one of my “real-life” personal training clients, I need to drop a little common sense…

Please note that this video is designed for educational purposes only. Not all exercises and/or training programs are appropriate for everyone. Before starting any new workout routine, please take into account your personal health & fitness condition. Injuries can happen. Please consult your trainer or healthcare professional before jumping into this or any other exercise program.

Now that that’s over, it’s time to get sweaty….

### THE WORKOUT

As this is the first workout / exercise video I have put online, I would really appreciate your feedback. Be merciless….I want these exercise videos to be as good as they possibly can…without spending a ton of money of course 🙂

• We are going to change the timer/buzzer. What I want is a 30 second timer for each set & either a 4 minute timer or progress bar so that people know how much time is left in the workout.
• Text warning 5 sec before the next exercise starts – “Push Ups are next” – or something like that
• A longer chunk of text at the end of the workout with more details about the circuit
• Text before the workout starts with some of the info I posted above

### About my experience with these first few exercise videos

It has been incredibly cool. I have been lucky enough to find an amazing partner in my videographer Lauren Webb…(her Vimeo page – her Tumblr). She took my rambling descriptions of what I wanted to do with these videos and is making them look even better than I had hoped they could be.

And we are just getting warmed up. Lauren’s background is actual film making…not exercise videos. As such, this first round of videos has involved a LOT of getting to know each other, our goals for the project, our expectations and what can actually be done on a shoestring budget.

Not only will we be faster with the next round of videos, they will look better and will have more features. Stay tuned.

I would also like to thank our fantastic fitness model Nicole for her patience and positive attitude…as well as her ability to bang out push up after push up after push up.

Finally, I would like to thank the Miles Nadal JCC in Toronto for providing the location for the video shoot. With that said, if you’re looking for a new gym in Toronto, I can highly recommend the JCC and suggest that you call and ask for my buddy Manny at the JCC –Call and ask for him at (416) 924-6211 x 500  or  shoot him a direct email .

## Health Habits “How-To” Exercise Videos – Squats

As I promised yesterday, today’s post is the second installment of “how-to” exercise videos. Yesterday’s push-ups and today’s squats are going to be combined with a third “mystery” exercise to create a thoroughly unpleasant (and very, very effective) High Intensity Resistance Training circuit workout video that I will post on Wednesday. And as the exercise video library grows, I will create full-length (20 minute) High Intensity Resistance Training exercise videos. These videos will be posted on Thursdays…and will include instructions on how to add mobility, flexibility, HIIT and/or cardio training to the resistance training workout video to look after all your exercise needs. Alright, enough yakity yak…let’s get to the exercise videos

### HealthHabits “How-To” Exercise Videos #2 – Squats

Bodyweight Squats

Goblet Squats

Tomorrow, I combine these exercises + one more “mystery” exercise into an awesome High Intensity Resistance Training circuit workout. Get ready to sweat.

NOTE – As this is my first attempt at doing workout – exercise videos, I would really, really appreciate your feedback on the quality / usability of these videos. My goal is to make them useful for people who workout at home (video on their tv sets or laptop) & at the gym (video on smartphone or tablet).

## Health Habits “How-To” Exercise Videos – Push Ups

I am launching a new project here at Health Habits.

Starting this week, I will be posting…

• a group of “how-to” exercise videos on Mondays,
• another group of “how-to” exercise videos on Tuesdays, and
• a short (4 min) High Intensity Resistance Training circuit workout video on Wednesdays

Wednesday’s 4-min circuit workout video will be made up of the exercises posted on Monday & Tuesday.

As the video library grows, I will create full-length (20 minute) High Intensity Resistance Training workout videos. These videos will be posted on Thursdays…and will include instructions on how to add mobility, flexibility, HIIT and/or cardio training to the resistance training workout video to look after all your exercise needs.

So…here we go….

### HealthHabits “How-To” Exercise Videos #1 – Push Ups

Push Ups from your Knees

Push Ups – Standard

Push Ups – Single leg version

Push Ups – Feet on stability ball

NOTE – As this is my first attempt at doing exercise – workout videos, I would really, really appreciate your feedback on the quality / usability of these videos. My goal is to make them useful for people who workout at home (video on their tv sets or laptop) & at the gym (video on smartphone or tablet).

And before anyone compliments me on my awesome videographer skills with multiple camera angles and video editing and original music and all the other stuff that makes these videos look waaaaayyyy better than all the other exercise – workout videos on Youtube…..it wasn’t me. I managed to convince an amazing young videographer – Lauren Webb…(her Vimeo page – her Tumblr)  – to do all the hard work for me.

I would also like to thank our fantastic fitness model Nicole for her endurance. Even though Nicole is a super-fit personal trainer at the JCC, you wouldn’t believe how many reps she had to perform as we changed angles and played with lighting, etc. Two hours of push-ups, squats and jumping jacks…without getting sweaty and un-model-ly.

Finally, I would like to thank Manny Amaral from the Miles Nadal JCC in Toronto for providing the location for the video shoot. Everyone at the JCC is great and Manny is no exception. With that said, if you’re looking for a new gym in Toronto, I can highly recommend that you ask for my buddy Manny at the JCC – Call and ask for him at (416) 924-6211 x 500  or  shoot him a direct email .

## Why Can’t I Lose Weight?

### Why Can’t I Lose Weight?

It seems like I hear some version of this question each and every day. Just this past weekend, it was posed to me by Angela.

• Angela is a forty-something year old woman, with two kids and an executive position at an insurance company.
• Angela is 5’6″ and weighs approximately 170 lbs.
• Angela doesn’t want to weigh approximately 170 lbs.

Maybe, some of you can sympathize with her story.

## Angela’s Story

All the way through high school, Angela was an average, healthy weight. Not thin; healthy. She participated in gym class and enjoyed playing tennis. In university, she fell victim to the dreaded “freshman fifteen”. By the time she graduated, it was more like 20 lbs.

After graduation, she lost most of that weight by exercising at a health club and watching what she ate.

Next came the babies…

After the birth of her two children, Angela found herself reunited with that extra 20 lbs. Throwing herself back into that same exercise and nutrition program, Angela managed to lose most of that 20 lbs….And then gain it all back….and then lose most of it again…..and then gain it all back plus a little bit extra.

This takes us back to the present day.

• Angela has 35 lbs. of excess fat that she wants to be rid of.
• And she feels completely lost.
• She has read every diet book.
• She has exercised like an Olympic athlete.
• She has cleansed.
• She has popped dietary supplements.
• She has joined and quit three different diet programs.

Nothing works anymore. So she asks me, “Why can’t I lose weight”?

## So Why Can’t She Lose Weight?

The truth is; when it comes to burning off excess body-fat, Angela has no idea what she is doing. But it’s not her fault.

• The multi-billion dollar diet industry sets people up for failure. If every dieter was successful, who would buy the next best selling diet book? Who would buy the pills or the bars or the shakes or the… Well, you get the point.
• The diet industry promises you easy weight loss. But when you fail, it is always due to your lack of will-power. So why don’t the diet gurus help you generate that will power?

### Why don’t they give you a complete weight loss program involving:

• Nutrition
• Exercise, and
• Mental / Emotional / Spiritual Strategies

### Starting on the next page, I will attempt to do that

Quick Nav:

If you like this article, don’t forget to subscribe to @healthhabits. When you subscribe, my friends at MailChimp will make sure to send you an email every time I post something new here at the blog.

As well, you also get access to the series of Supplement Reports that I am publishing this year.

## More Proof – HIIT Better than Cardio

As a personal trainer with 25 yrs of experience AND as a certified fitness junkie, I love HIIT because…

1. it works really, really well to help my clients get fit really, really fast,
2. it helps my clients drop excess body-fat really, really fast
3. and because it is really simple to program HIIT workouts and it fits into the busiest of schedules really, really well.

Unfortunately, not everyone sees HIIT like I do.

There is a large group of trainers and fitness “experts” who…

• think that low intensity cardio is superior to HIIT for developing aerobic fitness, and
• fear that the High Intensity aspect of HIIT is dangerous to the health of their clients.

Their concern is that people with less than perfect cardiac function are at imminent risk of suffering a heart attack if their trainer puts them on a HIIT protocol. Which makes sense….if you haven’t read a medical journal in the past few years and still believe that low intensity cardio is the only safe way to improve cardiac function..

However, if you’re like me and don’t want to wait for our mainstream health & fitness to catch up with modern science, I invite you to…

1. Take a look at some of my articles about HIIT and Cardiac Function

2.  Take a look at the latest research investigating HIIT and building a healthy heart

In a study just published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, researchers tested the effectiveness of HIIT workouts to improve the VO2max/VO2peak of 112 patients with coronary heart disease.

NoteVO2max/VO2peak is considered to be the gold standard for aerobic ﬁtness, and aerobic fitness is believed to be the best indicator of cardiovascular health and a well-established predictor of total and cardiovascular mortality in subjects with and without coronary heart disease.

This means that exercise protocols which drastically improve VO2max/VO2peak are to be seen as powerful tools to help the medical (and fitness) communities prevent coronary heart disease and extend life.

In this study, the participants were divided into three groups based upon exercise intensity – as determined by percentage of HRmax.

• <88%,
• 88–92%, and
• >92% of HRmax

The goal of the study was to determine if higher relative intensity during exercise intervals would elicit a greater
increase in VO2peak…leading to greater & faster improvements in aerobic fitness and in theory improve cardiac related mortality rates.

Here’s what happened

• No adverse effects occurred during training
• Overall, VO2peak increased by 11.9 % after 23.4 exercise sessions
• Higher intensity exercise groups showed the greatest increase in VO2peak
• 3.1 mL for the <88% group
• 3.6 mL for the 88–92% group, and
• 5.2 mL,for the >92% of HRmax group

These findings build upon previous research which shows that the beneﬁcial cardiovascular effects of aerobic exercise are intensity dependent, with higher intensity exercise showing a superior effect…leading the study authors to conclude that  “CHD patients who are able to perform high intensity training should aim at increasing exercise intensity above 92% of HRmax and thereby possibly achieve even greater improvements in aerobic capacity”.

What does this mean for you?

• If you’re a CHD patient, you need to talk to your cardiologist about HIIT training…keeping in mind of course that CHD patients need to keep a close eye on how everything they do – exercise, nutrition, lifestyle, stress, etc – can impact the function of their CV system.
• If you’re not a CHD patient, it means that if you want to improve your aerobic fitness and avoid dropping dead of a heart attack, you NEED to start doing some form of HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training.
• And if you’re a doctor or fitness expert who still believes that low intensity cardio is the best way to improve aerobic function, you need to put down your preconceptions and pick up a scientific journal every now and then.

Reference

• Moholdt T, et al. The higher the better? Interval training intensity in coronary heart disease. J Sci Med Sport
(2013), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jsams.2013.07.007
• Rognmo O, Moholdt T, Bakken H et al. Cardiovascular risk of high- versus
moderate-intensity aerobic exercise in coronary heart disease patients. Circulation 2012; 126(12):1436–1440.
• . Kodama S, Saito K, Tanaka S et al. Cardiorespiratory ﬁtness as a quantitative predictor of all-cause mortality and cardiovascular events in healthy men and women: a meta-analysis. JAMA 2009; 301(19):2024–2035.

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## How to Get Strong – The Science of Strength

In an earlier post, The Components of Physical Fitness, I divided physical fitness into it’s component parts and provided a brief introduction of each part.

In today’s post, I am going to focus on muscular strength…or as Google likes to say…how to get strong, how to get stronger, how to get brutally strong, how to get freaky strong, etc, etc, etc.

And if you plan on getting freaky strong, you’re going to need to understand the whys and hows behind getting strong. And those whys and hows are all based in science.

So….we’re going to look at some of that science to help you figure out how to maximize your own personal levels of “strong”.

## Intro to Muscular Strength

How strong you are (and how strong you could be) depends on the performance of your body’s skeletal muscles.

Your body’s muscles are highly adaptable. They will react to the stresses that you place upon them.

• Sit on the couch and they will atrophy.
• Try and run fast and they adapt to produce faster contractions.
• Lift heavy objects and they will increase their ability to produce maximum strength.

Muscular Strength can and has been categorized in a variety of different ways. In this article, I am choosing to divide Muscular Strength into four categories, based primarily on Newton’s Second Law.

$vec F = m vec a$ (force is equal to the product of mass and acceleration.) Mass relates to how much weight/mass a muscle or muscle group can move. Acceleration relates to how fast that weight/mass is moved.

By using and manipulating force, mass and acceleration, we can force our muscles to adapt and become more efficient at generating…

## 4 Types of Muscular Strength

• Maximum Muscular Strength
• Maximum Muscular Power
• Maximum Muscular Speed
• Maximum Muscular Endurance

NOTE – Each of these categories has different characteristics with regard to mass and acceleration

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## The Absolute Best Barefoot Running Shoe

Last year, I reviewed the Skora Base running shoe. In that review, I concluded that the Skora Base was an excellent barefoot/minimalist/natural running shoe. Excellent…but not perfect.

• The soles were very durable, giving the shoe a very long life
• Great ventilation = reduced stinkfoot
• I received lots of positive feedback on how the shoes look…not important, but nice
• Easy to slip on…way easier than Vibrams
• A little on the heavy side for a barefoot shoe
• Comfortable as heck
• Designed to encourage “natural” walking/running gaits
• A toe box roomier than standard running shoes but not as roomy as some uber-barefoots
• Zero heel drop
• Average sole thinkness – not super thin like Sockwa but way better than a lot of “barefoot” shoes. This give them decent ground feel.
• And the unfortunate feature that when my cross-training workouts got a little hot & sweaty, I found that lateral stability became a significant issue. Not a big deal if you’re running around a track, but if you’re bounding through the woods or playing a little tennis, I found that I was almost sliding sideways out of my shoes.

So….when I heard that Skora has two new models for 2013, I was curious to see if Skora had addressed my personal issues with their kicks. And they have.

With two new models…. The Phase and the Core.

Here are the upgrades…

• The toe box is roomier in both styles- I can now wiggle my toes while wearing both the Skora Phase and the Skora Core
• The new for 2013 synthetic upper Phase is lighter than my synthetic upper Base shoes. 7.2 oz v.s. 7.9 oz
• The new for 2013 leather upper Core is lighter than the previous leather upper Form shoes. 8.1 oz 8.2 oz (not much of a diff here)
• Both of the new styles are using a new injection blown rubber outsole giving both the Phase and Core a “grippier” feel and an increased ability to feel the ground beneath your shoes. This new sole reminds me of the sole Leming uses.
• And finally, both shoes have much improved lateral stability. This might be due to the new lamination process used to bond the upper materials and overlays without stitching. Skora claims “this results in a stronger, more durable upper with less seams to let in water or rub against the skin”. All I can tell you is that I am not sliding around in this shoe.

So, all in all, both of these new Skoras – the synthetic Phase and the goatskin leather Core get two great big enthusiastic thumbs-up from yours truly.

If you want to learn a little more about the specifics of these shoes, please continue reading…

### Review Criteria

• Protection – If you’re not going to develop thick natural calluses by actually running barefoot, you need to wear a shoe that will protect you from the occasional sharp stone or chunk of glass.
Where my old Skora Base shoes have a 9mm Forefoot/heel stack height (sole 4mm, midsole 5mm), the new Skora Phases and Skora Cores have both been reduced down to 8mm while changing the sole material from a high abrasion rubber to a grippier injection blown rubber. Defintely an upgrade in my mind.
• Proprioception – A bare foot provides immediate feedback to the surface it rests upon. A thick spongy sole…not so much. This can be crucial when it comes to avoiding ankle sprains and wiping out while trail running.

I can’t get over how much this shift to injection blown rubber has made on the proprioception capabilities of these new Skoras. As mentioned above, both the Phase and Base are 1 mm thinner. And unless you are the princess from the Princess and the Pea, I doubt you can tell the difference. But there definitely is a difference in ground feel with these new Skoras. It has to be the new rubber.

• Natural Foot Movement – Does the shoe allow or prevent your foot from flexing & spreading in order to distribute the load uniformly over the entire foot. This analysis will address shoe width (especially the toe box), arch support, shock absorption, etc…

Like the older model Skora Base & Form, this is where I believe Skora really separates itself from the rest of the barefoot/minimalist/natural shoe pack. Unlike some minimalist shoes which basically slap some rubber onto the bottom of a polyester sock, the Skora engineers have created an aysmmetric last shape with a curved bottom profile. And it’s that curved outsole which is supposed to mimic the natural foot shape and encourage a natural medial to lateral rolling motion which makes the Skora truly unique. And with the now wider toe box, there is absolutely nothing to complain about. Unlike any other minimalist shoe that I have ever worn, the Skora Base actually makes you run naturally. No more falling back into old patterns of heel striking.

All 4 models of Skora running shoes (Core, Form, Phase and Base) will have you landing midfoot and absorbing impact as your feet were originally designed. And while that may not be a huge deal for someone (me) who has spent years re-training their neuro-muscular system and suffering though freakishly tight calves and the converted their bodies to a minimalist style of running, it is a gigantic deal for someone who wants to start running ala barefoot put has spent years running heel-toe. For this one feature alone, I can’t say enough good things about Skora.

• Weight of the Shoe – Who wants a heavy, clunky shoe?

Both of these 2013 models are lighter than their predeccesors – with the Skora Phase weighing 7.2 oz and the Skora Core weighing 8.1 oz. Not the lightest barefoot shoes on the market, but light enough that you probably will never notice the difference. Next page – the review continues…

## The Bruce Lee Workout

In the world of bodybuilding and physique transformation, one of the most highly respected physiques of all time belonged to a guy who stood 5’7″ and weighed between 130 and 165 lbs.

That’s right…at his heaviest, Bruce Lee weighed only 165 lbs.

And yet, bodybuilders like Arnold Schwarzenegger were in awe of the body he built.

So, how did he do it?

And more importantly, how can you do it?

How can you build a body like this?

Well, if you want to learn about the weightlifting routine he used to build his strength and increase his muscle mass….pick up a copy of The Art of Expressing the Human Body.

But…you will be wasting your time.

If Bruce Lee was alive today, he would not be using the training routines found inside that book.

Bruce Lee believed that as a warrior and as a person, one should never “get set into one form. One should adapt and create your own style, and let it grow, be like water”.

Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water.

When you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup;

When you put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle;

When you put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot.

Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.

At this point, you may be asking…what the heck does being formless like water have to do with fitness, working out and getting a wicked set of abs like Bruce Lee?

Well, I’m going to tell you.

Being formless like water means using those training techniques that work for your particular goals…and to not get all wrapped up in dogma.

• There is no perfect workout
• There is no perfect diet.

What there is, is….

• your body as it currently exists,
• your vision of how you want your body to be
• and a whole bunch of tools & techniques that may or may not help you achieve your goals.

Becoming attached to a certain training method (bodybuilding, yoga, pilates, crossfit, cardio, walking, aerobic classes, Tae-Bo, P 90X, etc…) is a sure path to stagnation and unattained goals.

The same goes for nutrition.

If the tool is ineffective, find a way to make it effective or replace it with another tool.

Be like water

Unique goals require unique solutions.

One size does not fit all.

Be fluid like water…and get a wicked set of abs like Bruce Lee

## When it comes to HIIT – Quality trumps Quantity

Anyone familiar with Health Habits knows that I am a big fan of HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training

I love HIIT is because…

• HIIT makes you faster
• HIIT saves time with short workouts
• HIIT make you more powerful
• HIIT burns calories for hours after you’ve finished your workout
• HIIT is challenging
• HIIT makes a workout more fun
• HIIT improves your aerobic endurance
• HIIT improves heart function
• HIIT improves your aerobic endurance
• HIIT helps heart disease patients regain their health
• HIIT is appropriate for almost all trainees
• HIIT makes you look like a total BADASS in the gym

Unfortunately, just as soon as HIIT left the fringes of exercise science and moved into the mainstream and your local YMCA, the central concept behind the success of HIIT came under attack.

HIIT works as well as it does because of intensity of effort. Not length of sprint…or length of training session…or number of sprints performed…or restricting rest periods…HIIT works because of a complete 100%, pit-bull chasing you down the street type of intensity.

Each HIIT sprint should feel FAST. When your sprints start to slow down, you need to…

1. Increase rest period length, or
2. Shorten sprint duration, or
3. Reduce resistance, or
4. All of the above

Remember – When it comes to HIIT – Quality trumps Quantity

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## Reebok Nano 2 Shoe Review

The Reebok Nano 2 isn’t your run of the mill athletic shoe. It’s equal parts…

• Barefoot/Minimalist shoe
• Running shoe
• Gym workout shoe

And unlike most of the hybrid shoes I have beta-tested in the past few years, it does a great job at blending the best parts of these three very different styles of athletic shoe.

• It provides better stability than a pure barefoot shoe. This is important if you’re participating in activities that require rapid changes of direction – soccer, tennis, sprinting, fitness classes, football, Zumba dance fitness, ultimate frisbee, interval training workouts, etc.

Your foot stays in place when you’re moving from side to side or exploding from a dead-start into a full-out sprint.

• Unlike most running shoes that have a built-up heel and force you into an unhealthy heel-toe running form, the almost completely flat profile of the Nano 2.0 allows you to adopt a natural “barefoot”  running style.

• But before you go thinking that the Nano is a true minimalist/barefoot shoe, we need to look at the sole of the shoe. Because, unlike most barefoot shoes, the Nano has a thicker sole & midsole designed to…
1. Provide more cushioning for runners, and
2. Provide a flat, stable base for weightlifting

As this shoe was designer for Crossfitters who do all manner of exercise, this was the most necessary design feature of the shoe. And in my humble opinion, Reebok has done a fine job of engineering.

I have been running in barefoot/minimalist shoes for years, and while I did notice the loss of “ground-feel” caused by the thickness of the sole/midsole, I had no problems going for a 30 minute jog prior to hitting the gym for a resistance training workout.

[box type=”note”]This rigid sole would be a drawback for trail runners who want to “feel” the ground conditions and run “naturally”. Due to this, I wouldn’t recommend the Nano 2.0 for trail running or for runners who require high levels of proprioception.[/box]

• While the Nano doesn’t provide optimal proprioceptive feedback, it does provide one of the most important features of a barefoot shoe – natural foot movement

The wide toe box and “natural” foot shape allows your foot to move as it was designed to move. Unlike most fitness shoes with a narrow toe box and all manner of corrective technology, the Nano 2.0 doesn’t force your foot into any un-natural positions. And this is a very very good thing.

All in all, I am a big fan of this shoe. I have used them over the past month for a wide variety of workouts and I wasn’t disappointed by them once.

And I don’t think you will be either.

## Brooks Pure Connect – Barefoot Shoe Review

Alright, I’m back again with another Barefoot / Minimalist shoes review and this time I’m looking at the Brooks Pure Connect running shoes.

Like the Reebok RealFlex, the Brooks Pure Connect is an attempt by one of the major running shoe manufacturers to expand upon it’s standard “heel-toe” style of running shoe and enter the barefoot/minimalist shoe universe (shoeniverse???)

And like the RealFlex, the Brooks Pure Connect attempts to maintain some aspects of their standard runners while adopting the qualities of barefoot running shoes that they feel are most vital.

Let’s see how they did.

Review Criteria

• Protection – If you’re not going to develop thick natural calluses by actually running barefoot, you need to wear a shoe that will protect you from the occasional sharp stone or chunk of glass.

The Brooks Pure Connect protects your feet more like a traditional running shoe than the much thinner soles of most barefoot shoes. Note that this increased protection from sharp objects will result in a trade-off with respect to proprioception and stiffness.

Unlike their traditional runners, Brooks has attempted to create a more mobile sole by creating a split in starting just to the inside of your big toe and running towards your midsole. You can see how they are trying to straddle the fence by trying to blend the uber-flexibility of a minimalist sole with the protection and performance of a standard Brooks running shoe.
• Proprioception – A bare foot provides immediate feedback to the surface it rests upon. A thick spongy sole…not so much. This can be crucial when it comes to avoiding ankle sprains and wiping out while trail running.

Compared to Lemings or Sockwas, the Brook Pure Connect has horrible proprioception. Compared to Nike Free and the Reebok Real Flex , the Pure Connect is equal if not superior. The split sole does not give the foot mobility that it claims, but all in all, there is more ground-feel than with the Nikes or Reeboks.

• Natural Foot Movement – Does the shoe allow or prevent your foot from flexing & spreading in order to distribute the load uniformly over the entire foot. This analysis will address shoe width (especially the toe box), arch support, shock absorption, etc…

Unlike companies that specialize in barefoot/minimalist shoes, Brooks and other mainstream athletic shoe manufacturers are at a bit of a disadvantage when it comes to creating their barefoot shoes. They realize that this market niche is growing very quickly, but there is no way that they are going to abandon the technology of their standard running shoes and go 100% minimalist. Ain’t gonna happen. They sell way too many “standard” running shoes.

What Brooks has done is recognize that different runners like to run…differently. Brooks sees all of these runners as fitting somewhere along the line of their Float vs Feel continuum of running styles & shoes. This video explains the concept.

The Pure Connect is the most extreme example of a Brooks “Feel” shoe.

•  To that end, Brooks has split the outer sole of the shoe to make it more flexible than their standard runners. And in that regard, they have succeeded. However, compared to shoes created by companies that specialize in barefoot/minimalist shoes, this shoe is much, much stiffer.
• Brooks is also using an anatomical last that is less restrictive than their standard models. As well, the sock liner is removable…producing an even more natural feel.
• They have also minimized the size of the heel to help new-to-barefoot runners adapt to a mid-foot strike. This design feature is similar to the one used by Skora.

[box type=”note”]One area of natural foot movement where Brooks really missed the mark is with shoe width.[/box]

This shoe is way too narrow.

• My wife has a very narrow foot and she loves these shoes. LOVES THEM.
• Me…wide feet – couldn’t even fit into them.
• My third guinea pig – normal feet – could squeeze them in, but they were too tight and didn’t allow his feet to spread as he ran.
Note – Brooks seems to have addressed this concern with their new-for-2013 shoe – the Pure Drift
• Weight of the Shoe – Who wants a heavy, clunky shoe?

Mens – 7.2 oz  Womens – 6.5 oz…it’s a light shoe

Next page – the review continues…

## Does Ketone Drink = EZ Weight Loss?

Oxford researcher, Dr. Kieran Clarke has created a new type of ketone-based endurance drink designed to…

• Generate significant weight loss
• Improve mental alertness
• Improve cognitive function

…as well as treat, prevent or reduce the effects of…

In short, this supplement MAY make you leaner, smarter, healthier, faster, stronger and less prone to diabetes, alzheimer’s, parkinson’s, huntington’s, heart disease and metabolic syndrome.

Note that I say MAY.

The science is all very new. According to Doc Clarke:

“We are very excited about our research, which we think shows great promise. Our primary interest so far has been to understand how the body’s metabolism responds and makes use of our ketone drink.

We are a long way yet from showing meaningful benefits as a treatment for disease or in aiding athletes’ endurance, and while we think it is possible that the ketone drink may have benefits in slowing Alzheimer’s progression, no one has done much research on this as yet…although this remains of great interest to us.”

How great an interest???

Great enough to apply for a US patent.

Can you imagine how much money Dr. Clarke will make if this product lives up to it’s potential?

### The Science

• Previous research indicates that a state of elevated ketones may improve physical and cognitive performance.
• Unfortunately, direct administration of ketone bodies is unpractical and potentially dangerous
• Fortunately, there are ketone precursors that might give her the same effect without any of the downsides.

On of those ketone precursors is  (R)-3-hydroxybutyl (R)-3-hydroxybutyrate, the ketone monoester that Dr. Clarke has been administering in the form of a meal replacement drink to her healthy human volunteers.

In one pilot study, eight adults with type 2 diabetes to see whether the drink produced any effect. The volunteers had three ketone drinks a day for five days and had their weight, cholesterol, and blood sugar monitored. Their weight dropped an average of nearly two per cent (in 5 days), as did their levels of glucose, cholesterol and fat in the blood.

In another study, Dr. Clarke gave 22 elite rowers the ketone drink and monitored the distances they achieved in 30 minutes on an indoor rowing machine.

One rower broke a world record and five others beat their personal best.

Conclusion

I am thoroughly geeked-up about the potential of this supplement.

Fingers crossed people.

Reference

## 5 Ways to Jump Start Your Weight Loss

In the 12+ years I have been working as a personal trainer, I have met a lot of very smart, very successful people with a broad knowledge of weight loss tips, tricks & secrets….and yet most of them weren’t able to get the results they wanted.

And sometimes, the answer to their weight-loss problems was as simple as one little tweak.

Here are some of my favourite “tweaks” to jump start your weight loss.

### Cleansing

Most people think that cleansing is all about…

• starving yourself, and/or
• drinking a mixture of lemon juice, maple syrup & hot sauce, and/or
• shoving a colonic tube up your butt

WRONG.

In it’s essence, cleansing is all about…

1. ignoring our taste buds for a SHORT period of time, and
2. putting our Gastro-Intestinal tract in the spotlight for a SHORT period of time

And as un-fun as that sounds, your guts will thank you.

Without getting all alternative-health-y on you, just about every client of mine has seen health & weight-loss improvements via the occasional use of cleansing protocols.

### HIIT

The beauty of HIIT training is that you don’t need to mess with your usual routine to reap the benefits.

For example, I worked with a cyclist a couple of years ago who was interested in increasing his power. Unfortunately, he and his coach weren’t willing to cut back on his high-volume cycling regimen. So, I integrated a series of HIIT sprints into his cycling program.

And while we weren’t able to test his strength improvements in the gym as I usually do, he did see a vast improvement in performance and a perceived improvement in power when race season began.

### Nutrient Cycling

There are many different ways to cycle nutrients to maximize recovery from exercise and encourage fat loss. This is my favorite method:

1. Simple carbs during workouts – Gatorade, Fruit Juice, etc.
2. “Fill you up” carbs post workout – starchy veg, grains, etc.
3. Crunchy carbs & greens the rest of the day – spinach, broccoli, etc.

The idea behind this plan is to manipulate insulin secretion to minimize fat storage and maximize muscle recovery via the re-filling of muscle cells with blood sugar & micronutrients.

### Eat Dinner Like A King

This sounds counter-intuitive to common sense…and it is..sort of.

Normally, I advise clients against eating a big dinner because their day is winding down and that big blob of dinner calories is going to get stored as fat while they watch tv and drift off to sleep.

However, with this dietary tweak…

• I ask them to have a medium sized breakfast made up of protein & fat foods with next to no carbs (ex scrambled eggs & peppers)
• I ask them to have a small lunch consisting of protein & fat foods with next to no carbs (ex Greek salad with 1/2 chicken breast)

NOTEThis plans works best with people who are busy throughout the day. We’re trying to take advantage of the appetite killing effect of a busy work-day.

At the end of their work-day and before they eat dinner, I ask them to exercise. It might be a trip to the weight room or a group exercise class or 20 minutes of swimming or even a 10 min session of HIIT bike sprints.

After the workout, they get to eat a nice big satisfying dinner consisting of whatever foods they want. This big meal results in a ton of pleasurable brain chemicals and related hormones being dumped into the body…resulting in emotional pleasure and no sense of dietary deprivation.

### Have an Open Mind

There is a Chinese proverb that states “a closed mind is like a closed book; just a block of wood”.

And when I look at the mainstream approaches to weight loss, I see a whole lot of closed minds recycling the same old inefficient weight loss techniques year after year after year… with little real-world success.

What I want you to do is come at your weight-loss with an open mind.

• Think of yourself as a really small-scale science experiment.
• Stop repeating the same old weight-loss techniques that have failed you in the past.
• Try something new for a month or two
• Evaluate it
• If it’s not working…dump it
• Try something else…until you find something that works.

And if you still can’t find something that works, come back to Health Habits. I have lots more weight-loss tips & tricks to jump start your weight loss.

The info in this article came from my Special Report – The Top Weight Loss Supplements for 2016.

The full report is available to @HealthHabits subscribers, so if you want to see numbers 7 – 1, subscribe now by clicking on the button below. Number 10 is available here. Number 9 is here.

## Stop Heart Disease with HIIT?

• HIIT workouts are great for fat loss
• HIIT workouts save your time
• HIIT workouts are way more fun than slogging away the miles on a treadmill
• HIIT workouts make you fitter faster

But…they sometimes scare the crap out of newbies….who wonder if such high intensity workouts are going to cause their de-conditioned hearts to explode inside their chest cavities.

And since I am not a cutting-edge cardiologist, I find it best to check with the experts before shooting my mouth off about the awesomeness of HIIT.

Luckily for us, some of the big brains at the Montreal Heart Institute have just published another study extolling the virtues of HIIT workouts for the rehabilitation of their patients with heart failure and reduced ejection fraction.

In this study, they compared the circulatory (hemodynamic) respones to:

1. a 8 min HIIT workout
2. 22 minute moderate-intensity continuous exercise (aka cardio) style of workout

Their findings?

1. The HIIT workout was well tolerated by the test subjects and produced no significant ventricular arrhythmias and (or) abnormal blood pressure responses
2. Compared with the cardio workout, the HIIT workout produced a similar circulatory response (blood pressure, stroke volume, etc) to the cardio workout
3. Both workouts also produced similar C(a-v)O2 responses. This is a measurement of how much oxygen is absorbed from the arteries into the rest of the body.

Their Conclusion

HIIT may be an efficient exercise training modality in patients with heart failure and reduced ejection fraction.

What does this mean to you?

If the leading edge cardio researchers are looking at HIIT as an effective treatment for HEART DISEASE patients, then it might just be good for you too.

Reference

## HIIT kicks even more ass

I love HIIT workouts.

• Short duration
• High intensity
• Increased fat loss thanks to EPOC
• Improved anaerobic endurance
• Improved muscular power
• Improved athletic performance
• Honorary BADASS certification

And if that wasn’t enough, it also turns out that HIIT is good for your overall health.

Here’s the latest scientific proof.

Researchers at the University of Glasgow took 10 overweight/obese men and subjected them to three different fitness protocols:

1. Sitting on their ass…aka the couch potato workout
2. 4 x 30 second full-intensity sprints with 4.5 minute rest periods (HIIT workout)
3. A single full-intensity sprint (ES – Extended Sprint workout) designed to be equal to the work done during the HIIT workout.

The day after doing these workouts, the participants…

• had a fasting blood sample taken,
• undertook an oral glucose tolerance test to determine insulin sensitivity index (ISI),
• and had blood pressure measured.

Here’s what they found….

• Total work performed did not differ between the HIIT & ES workouts
• More power was generated during the HIIT workouts than during the ES workouts
• Both the HIIT & ES workouts resulted in increased Insulin Sensitivity compared to the control group
• The HIIT group saw a 63% increase in fat oxidation compared to the control group
• The ES group saw a 38% increase in fat oxidation compared to the control group

And just in case you weren’t aware, increased insulin sensitivity & fat oxidation is exactly what our obese / diabetic society is in dire need of.

And this was after just one workout…imagine how much better things will look after 52 weeks of High Intensity workouts.

Reference

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In addition to the articles, I will be writing a series of Special Reports this year exclusively for @healthhabits subscribers.

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## HIIT is Good for Your Heart

For decades, doctors have been telling their obese & out-of-shape patients that they need to do long, slow & boring cardio workouts if they want to lose weight and get healthy.

Luckily, science is finally catching up to the awesome health-improving aspects of HIIT workouts.

In a study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, researchers concluded that a 6 week program of both moderate (10 s work : 20 s rest) and heavy (30 s work : 60 s rest) intensity interval training…

• Reduced Carotid Arterial Stiffness in both groups
• Improved Heart Rate Dynamics in both groups
• Improved VO2 Max in the HEDIT group only
• Improved Lactate Threshold in both groups

### Conclusions

1. HIIT workouts are good for your heart
2. This study is only scratching the surface of HIIT research. Besides the limitations of such a small study, the conclusions probably raise more questions than they answer – but since that’s the nature of good science, I am cool with that.
3. The researchers believe that the HEDIT group (30 s work : 60 s rest) saw improvements due to “mitochondrial biogenesis while the MEDIT (10 s work : 20 s rest) duty cycle induced a vascular stimulus, but had little impact on mitochondrial proliferation”.

### Reference

If you like this article, don’t forget to subscribe to @healthhabits. When you subscribe, my friends at MailChimp will make sure to send you an email every time I post something new here at the blog.

As well, you also get access to the series of Supplement Reports that I am publishing this year.

## Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 32 – Day 3

Last Best Body workout of the week…

### WORKOUT WARM-UP

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way. up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

### THE WORKOUT

Superset #1 – Hip Thrust / Romanian Deadlift & McGill Crunch

Technique: Medium Rep Super-Sets combined with very short rest periods

• For this S/S, I prefer Hip Thrusts to Romanian DLs, but it’s your choice
• For the Crunches – try to hold the crunch position for a second on each rep to make the most of the lower # of reps
• Hip Thrust #1 – 20 reps
• McGill Crunch  #1 – 20 reps
• Hip Thrust #2 – 15 reps
• McGill Crunch  #2 – 15 reps
• Hip Thrust #3 – 12 reps
• McGill Crunch #3 – 12 reps
• Hip Thrust  #4 – 10 reps
• McGill Crunch  #4 – 10 reps
• Hip Thrust #5 – 10 reps
• McGill Crunch #5 – 10 reps
• Hip Thrust #6 – 10 reps
• McGill Crunch #6 – 10 reps

Keep rest periods as short as possible – Let your breathing & heart rate be your guide for when to start the next set…with the goal being to move between exercises with no rest

Superset #2 – Side Delt Lateral Raise & 2 Arm Bicep Curls

Technique: Medium Rep Super-Sets combined with very short rest periods

• You can use bands, DBs, KBs for both lifts
• Choose a weight that is appropriate for the first set – 15 reps – It should be hard to complete this set with good form
• Stick with this weight for sets 2-4
• Laterals #1 – 15 reps
• Bicep Curls  #1 – 15 reps
• Laterals #2 – 12 reps
• Bicep Curls  #2 – 12 reps
• Laterals #3 – 10 reps
• Bicep Curls  #3 – 10 reps
• Laterals #4 – 7 reps
• Bicep Curls  #4 – 7 reps

Superset #3 – Bulgarian Split Squat  & Rear Delt Lateral Raise

Technique: Medium Rep Super-Sets combined with very short rest periods

• Bulgarians can be performed wit Body-Weight only or with a weight vest, barbell or DBs
• Rear Delt Laterals can be performed lying face down on bench, seated on bench or free-standing
• Choose a weight that is appropriate for the first set – 15 reps – It should be hard to complete this set with good form
• Stick with this weight for sets 2-4
• Bulgarians #1 – 15 reps
• Rear Delt Laterals  #1 – 15 reps
• Bulgarians #2 – 12 reps
• Rear Delt Laterals  #2 – 12 reps
• Bulgarians #3 – 10 reps
• Rear Delt Laterals #3 – 10 reps
• Bulgarians #4 – 7 reps
• Rear Delt Laterals  #4 – 7 reps

Superset #4 – Air Squats & Stir The Pots

Technique: As Many Reps As Possible in 5 minutes….same as last week

• Air Squats – 40 reps max per set
• Stir the Pots – 10 reps per direction max per set

Do as many sets as possible in 5 min – if you need a time, get a Gymboss

Okay, that’s it for the sweaty stuff. Go spend 20 minutes stretching muscles and mobilizing joints – foam rollers, lacrosse balls, etc…

Tomorrow and Sunday… do some low intensity stuff

## Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 28 – Day 3

It’s Week #2 – Day #3 – same workout theories….

• Short, intense workouts
• a little Tabata
• a little HIRT
• and a ton of sweat

Enjoy

### WORKOUT WARM-UP

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way. up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

### THE WORKOUT

Superset #1 – Pull Ups or Palms Away Pulldowns & 2 Leg Bodyweight Squats

Technique: Tabata – 4 min total, consisting of 8 x 20 sec. work sets + 8 x 10 sec. rest sets

• Any version of Pull Ups (palms away) or Pulldowns is okay with me… as long as you’re doing the hardest version possible for YOU
• 20 seconds Pull Ups, rest 10 sec, 20 seconds Squats, rest 10…..

Superset #2 – McGill Crunch & Single Leg Hip Thrust

Technique: 4 min – As Many Reps As Possible (AMRAP)

• Alternate between exercises
• 10 reps max per set
• Keep rest periods as short as possible – keep moving between exercises QUICKLY

Superset #3 – 2 Arm Bodyweight Row & Push Ups

Technique: 4 min – AMRAP

• Alternate between exercises
• Max 10 reps per set
• Keep rest periods as short as possible – keep moving between exercises

Superset #4 – Shuffle Lunge

Technique: Tabata – 4 min total, consisting of 8 x 20 sec. work sets + 8 x 10 sec. rest sets

Okay, that’s it for the sweaty stuff. Go spend 20 minutes stretching muscles and mobilizing joints – foam rollers, lacrosse balls, etc…

Tomorrow, I want you to do some HIIT sprints

• 20 min total
• 10 second sprints
• As many sprints as possible in 20 min

Sunday…take the day off.

## Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 28 – Day 2

Same workout as last week…..

• Short, intense workouts
• a little Tabata
• a little HIRT
• and a ton of sweat

Enjoy

### WORKOUT WARM-UP

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way. up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

### THE WORKOUT

Superset #1 – Double Leg Hip Thrusts & Push-Ups

Technique: Tabata – 4 min total, consisting of 8 x 20 sec. work sets + 8 x 10 sec. rest sets

• Any version of Hip Thrust (feet elevated, back elevated, both, neither)  is okay with me… as long as you’re doing the hardest version possible for YOU
• Same with Push-Ups…do the hardest version(s) possible for YOU
• 20 seconds Hip Thrustss, rest 10 sec, 20 seconds Push-Ups, rest 10…..

Superset #2 – Stir the Pot & Inch Worms

Technique: 4 min – As Many Reps As Possible (AMRAP)

• Alternate between exercises
• 10 reps max per set
• Keep rest periods as short as possible – keep moving between exercises QUICKLY

Superset #3 – Single Leg Squat

Technique: Tabata – 4 min total, consisting of 8 x 20 sec. work sets + 8 x 10 sec. rest sets

• Do the hardest version possible for YOU… that may mean band-assisted, bodyweight or bodyweight + a 90lb dumbbell
• Assisted Single Leg Squat video (you can also put the band under your pits for hands free)
• Loaded Single Leg Squat video

Superset #4 – Bodyweight Skull Crushers & UnderGrip Chin-Ups (Pulldowns) & Shuffle Lunges

Technique: 4 min – AMRAP

• Alternate between exercises
• 5 per set for Skullcrushers
• 5 reps per set for Chins/Pulldowns
• 30 reps per set for Shuffles
• Keep rest periods as short as possible – keep moving between exercises

Okay, that’s it for the sweaty stuff. Go spend 20 minutes stretching muscles and mobilizing joints – foam rollers, lacrosse balls, etc…

Tomorrow, I want you to do some HIIT sprints

• 20 min total
• 10 second sprints
• As many sprints as possible in 20 min

## Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 28 – Day 1

It’s the second time through for this workout – we’re going to stick with the same exercises for this week – next week, same theory…..

• Short, intense workouts
• a little Tabata
• a little HIRT
• and a ton of sweat

…..diff exercises.

### WORKOUT WARM-UP

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way. up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

### THE WORKOUT

Superset #1 – Bodyweight Squats

Technique: Tabata – 4 min total, consisting of 8 x 20 sec. work sets + 8 x 10 sec. rest sets

Superset #2 – Toes to the Sky & Double Leg Hip Thrust

Technique: 4 min – As Many Reps As Possible (AMRAP)

• Alternate between exercises
• 10 reps max per set
• Keep rest periods as short as possible – keep moving from Toes to Hip Thrusts…
• Toes to the Sky can be performed flat on the ground or on a decline bench as in the video
• The benches used in the Hip Thrust video gives you a greater range of motion and increases the intensity of the exercise – If you don’t have access, do them flat on the ground or with feet elevated

Superset #3 – Bodyweight Shoulder Press & Jumping Jacks

Technique: 4 min – AMRAP

• Alternate between exercises
• 10 reps max per set for shoulder press – 20 reps max for JJs
• Keep rest periods as short as possible – keep moving between exercises
• Feel free to substitute 2 arm DB or BB shoulder presses for the BW option

Superset #4 – Pull-Ups & McGill Crunches

Technique: Tabata – 4 min total, consisting of 8 x 20 sec. work sets + 8 x 10 sec. rest sets

• Any version of pull-up is okay with me – pull-ups, chin-ups, band-assisteds pull-ups/chin-ups, band pull-downs or even pulldowns in the gym
• 20 seconds Pull-Ups, rest 10 sec, 20 seconds McGill Crunches, rest 10…..

Okay, that’s it for the sweaty stuff. Go spend 20 minutes stretching muscles and mobilizing joints – foam rollers, lacrosse balls, etc…

Tomorrow, I want you to do some HIIT sprints

• 20 min total
• 10 second sprints
• As many sprints as possible in 20 min

## Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 27 – Day 3

It’s Day #3 – same workout theories….

• Short, intense workouts
• a little Tabata
• a little HIRT
• and a ton of sweat

…. different movements.

Enjoy

### WORKOUT WARM-UP

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way. up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

### THE WORKOUT

Superset #1 – Pull Ups or Palms Away Pulldowns & 2 Leg Bodyweight Squats

Technique: Tabata – 4 min total, consisting of 8 x 20 sec. work sets + 8 x 10 sec. rest sets

• Any version of Pull Ups (palms away) or Pulldowns is okay with me… as long as you’re doing the hardest version possible for YOU
• 20 seconds Pull Ups, rest 10 sec, 20 seconds Squats, rest 10…..

Superset #2 – McGill Crunch & Single Leg Hip Thrust

Technique: 4 min – As Many Reps As Possible (AMRAP)

• Alternate between exercises
• 10 reps max per set
• Keep rest periods as short as possible – keep moving between exercises QUICKLY

Superset #3 – 2 Arm Bodyweight Row & Push Ups

Technique: 4 min – AMRAP

• Alternate between exercises
• Max 10 reps per set
• Keep rest periods as short as possible – keep moving between exercises

Superset #4 – Shuffle Lunge

Technique: Tabata – 4 min total, consisting of 8 x 20 sec. work sets + 8 x 10 sec. rest sets

Okay, that’s it for the sweaty stuff. Go spend 20 minutes stretching muscles and mobilizing joints – foam rollers, lacrosse balls, etc…

Tomorrow, I want you to do some HIIT sprints

• 20 min total
• 10 second sprints
• As many sprints as possible in 20 min

Sunday…take the day off.

## Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 27 – Day 2

It’s Day #2 – same workout theories….

• Short, intense workouts
• a little Tabata
• a little HIRT
• and a ton of sweat

…. different movements.

Enjoy

### WORKOUT WARM-UP

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way. up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

### THE WORKOUT

Superset #1 – Double Leg Hip Thrusts & Push-Ups

Technique: Tabata – 4 min total, consisting of 8 x 20 sec. work sets + 8 x 10 sec. rest sets

• Any version of Hip Thrust (feet elevated, back elevated, both, neither)  is okay with me… as long as you’re doing the hardest version possible for YOU
• Same with Push-Ups…do the hardest version(s) possible for YOU
• 20 seconds Hip Thrustss, rest 10 sec, 20 seconds Push-Ups, rest 10…..

Superset #2 – Stir the Pot & Inch Worms

Technique: 4 min – As Many Reps As Possible (AMRAP)

• Alternate between exercises
• 10 reps max per set
• Keep rest periods as short as possible – keep moving between exercises QUICKLY

Superset #3 – Single Leg Squat

Technique: Tabata – 4 min total, consisting of 8 x 20 sec. work sets + 8 x 10 sec. rest sets

• Do the hardest version possible for YOU… that may mean band-assisted, bodyweight or bodyweight + a 90lb dumbbell
• Assisted Single Leg Squat video (you can also put the band under your pits for hands free)
• Loaded Single Leg Squat video

Superset #4 – Bodyweight Skull Crushers & UnderGrip Chin-Ups (Pulldowns) & Shuffle Lunges

Technique: 4 min – AMRAP

• Alternate between exercises
• 5 per set for Skullcrushers
• 5 reps per set for Chins/Pulldowns
• 30 reps per set for Shuffles
• Keep rest periods as short as possible – keep moving between exercises

Okay, that’s it for the sweaty stuff. Go spend 20 minutes stretching muscles and mobilizing joints – foam rollers, lacrosse balls, etc…

Tomorrow, I want you to do some HIIT sprints

• 20 min total
• 10 second sprints
• As many sprints as possible in 20 min

## Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 27 – Day 1

This week is going to be fun.

• Short, intense workouts
• a little Tabata
• a little HIRT
• and a ton of sweat

### WORKOUT WARM-UP

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way. up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

### THE WORKOUT

Superset #1 – Bodyweight Squats

Technique: Tabata – 4 min total, consisting of 8 x 20 sec. work sets + 8 x 10 sec. rest sets

Superset #2 – Toes to the Sky & Double Leg Hip Thrust

Technique: 4 min – As Many Reps As Possible (AMRAP)

• Alternate between exercises
• 10 reps max per set
• Keep rest periods as short as possible – keep moving from Toes to Hip Thrusts…
• Toes to the Sky can be performed flat on the ground or on a decline bench as in the video
• The benches used in the Hip Thrust video gives you a greater range of motion and increases the intensity of the exercise – If you don’t have access, do them flat on the ground or with feet elevated

Superset #3 – Bodyweight Shoulder Press & Jumping Jacks

Technique: 4 min – AMRAP

• Alternate between exercises
• 10 reps max per set for shoulder press – 20 reps max for JJs
• Keep rest periods as short as possible – keep moving between exercises
• Feel free to substitute 2 arm DB or BB shoulder presses for the BW option

Superset #4 – Pull-Ups & McGill Crunches

Technique: Tabata – 4 min total, consisting of 8 x 20 sec. work sets + 8 x 10 sec. rest sets

• Any version of pull-up is okay with me – pull-ups, chin-ups, band-assisteds pull-ups/chin-ups, band pull-downs or even pulldowns in the gym
• 20 seconds Pull-Ups, rest 10 sec, 20 seconds McGill Crunches, rest 10…..

Okay, that’s it for the sweaty stuff. Go spend 20 minutes stretching muscles and mobilizing joints – foam rollers, lacrosse balls, etc…

Tomorrow, I want you to do some HIIT sprints

• 20 min total
• 10 second sprints
• As many sprints as possible in 20 min

## Is Nintendo Wii Boxing the Future of Fitness???

In a study published in the Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy Journal, researchers found that “thirty minutes of Nintendo Wii Sports boxing provides a moderate to vigorous aerobic response in healthy young adults and can contribute to daily recommendations for physical activity”.

This study backs up another 2012 study which found “that Nintendo Wii Fit “Free Run” may act as an alternative to traditional moderate-intensity aerobic exercise in fulfilling the American College of Sports Medicine requirements for physical activity.”

And another study which found that “exergaming has the potential to increase physical activity and have a favorable influence on energy balance, and may be a viable alternative to traditional fitness activities for children of various BMI levels”.

Pretty cool…huh?

But before you cancel your gym membership and go buy some exercise video games, there are a few limitations to exercise video games.

• These games are primarily upper-body dominant. In a 2011 study, researchers found that “current Wii and PlayStation Exer-Fit technology failed ACSM guidelines for cardiovascular fitness….but that a specially adapted lower limb controlled PS2 allowed participants to exceed the ACSM guidelines”.
• In my experience, video game playing quite often includes copious quantities of Doritos and Coke. This may have a negative impact on the health benefits of Wii boxing
• Gamers don’t play exercise video games – and exercisers like to actually exercise… in real life
The Top 10 Video Games of 2012…include one exercise-friendly game.
1. Mass Effect 3
2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
3. NBA 2K12
4. Just Dance 3
5. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
6. Battlefield 3
7. Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City
8. Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure
9. UFC Undisputed 3
10. Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

Of course…all of these pros and cons are technology dependent.

Who’s to say that in 5 years, we don’t have a fully virtual gaming experience where the movement of our avatar is directly related to the movement of of physical bodies in a much more accurate manner. If you want your character to sprint out of the line of fire…you have to sprint…same with jumping, diving, pushing, pulling, etc…

That would be pretty cool.

Reference

## Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 26 – Day 3

This is your last bridge-esque workout of the week…designed to allow your muscles & nervous system a chance to fully recover and get ready for what’s coming next week.

[box type=”note”]The workout listed below is for those trainees interested in adding muscle to their physiques and who are not exhausted from the past few weeks of workouts. If that isn’t you, skip these workouts and go do some yoga or pilates or  cardio or mobility work or play tennis, soccer, etc… [/box]

### WORKOUT WARM-UP

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

### THE WORKOUT

Exercise #1

Your choice..either Pulldowns or Pull Ups

warm up with some sets of 10 reps..building up to a weight that you could perform a max 15 reps

* Choose the weight that you could perform 15 reps with
* Then do 25 reps by…

* banging out those first 15 in normal fashion…rest for a few seconds – drawing in 4 big breaths…and then bang out a few more reps (1-5),,,rest again…lift again…rest again…until you get to 25 reps

Rest 5-10 minutes, and then do the same thing with

HIIT #1

5 x 10 second sprints in the shortest time possible

Exercise #2

Bodyweight Skullcrushers

• Warm up with a couple of 10 rep sets
• And then try to get between 20-60 reps

* banging out those first 10 or so in normal fashion…rest for a few seconds – drawing in 4 big breaths…and then bang out a few more reps ,,,rest again…lift again…rest again…until you get to (50-80) reps
Rest 5-10 minutes, and then do the same thing with

HIIT #2

4 x 10 second sprints in the shortest time possible

Exercise #3

Shoulder Press (barbell, dumbbell, machine)

• Choose a weight that you could perform 15 reps with
• Then do 25 reps by…
• banging out those first 15 in normal fashion…rest for a few seconds – drawing in 4 big breaths…and then bang out a few more reps (1-5),,,rest again…lift again…rest again…until you get to 25 reps

HIIT #3

3 x 10 second sprints in the shortest time possible

That’s it, you’re done for today.

Go home …. do something fun with the rest of your day. You’ve earned it.

## Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 26 – Day 2

Day 2 of your bridge week…designed to allow your muscles & nervous system a chance to fully recover and get ready for what’s coming next week.

It is a low volume workout with a twist….HIIT sprints

### WORKOUT WARM-UP

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

### THE WORKOUT

Exercise #1

Bulgarian Squat/Lunge (bodyweight only)

Warm up with 2 sets per leg of 10 reps

* Then do 40 to 60  reps per leg by…

* banging out the first 15-20 in normal fashion…rest for a few seconds – drawing in 4 big breaths…and then bang out a few more reps (1-5),,,rest again…lift again…rest again…until you get to your maximum (40-60) reps

Rest 5 minutes, and then do the other leg

Rest another 5 min and move onto….

HIIT #1

• 4 x 10 second sprints in the shortest amount of time possible.
• Note – I want all 4 sprints to be fast, so it’s better to rest longer and keep your speed up than to start sprinting too soon and pedal like a turtle.
• I prefer bike sprints or hill sprints, but it really doesn’t matter – use what’s available

Exercise #2

Glute Ham Raises (2 Leg)

Same protocol as the Bulgarians

• Warm up with a couple of 10 rep sets
• And then try to get between 50-80 reps

* banging out those first 30 or so in normal fashion…rest for a few seconds – drawing in 4 big breaths…and then bang out a few more reps ,,,rest again…lift again…rest again…until you get to (50-80) reps

Note: There is a good chance some of you won’t be able to do 50 reps. Here’s what I want you to do – place an incline bench or big stability ball in front of you so that you can do partial reps.

You will have to fiddle around with the depth of repetition and the # of repetitions to get it right.

Either way, remember that you legs should be screaming at you by the end of this single work set

HIIT #2

• 5 x 10 second sprints in the shortest amount of time possible.
• Note – I want all 5 sprints to be fast, so it’s better to rest longer and keep your speed up than to start sprinting too soon and pedal like a turtle.
• I prefer bike sprints or hill sprints, but it really doesn’t matter – use what’s available

That’s it, you’re done for today.

Stretch and Go home

Tomorrow, do some easy cardio & stretching (lots of stretching)

Friday, it’s back to the weights

## Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 26 – Day 1

Since the last 4 weeks were so intense, we’re going to back off the intensity this week  to allow your nervous system to recharge…avoiding over-training, slowing down fat loss, etc…

That means it’s time for a week of Bridge Workouts…

### WORKOUT WARM-UP

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

### THE WORKOUT

Exercise #1

Leg Press (or squats or Bulgarian split squats)

Warm up with some sets of 10 reps..building up to a weight that you could perform a maximum 15 reps

Then, using the weight that you could perform 15 reps with, I want you to perform 25 reps!!!

Impossible???

Nope

* Start by banging out those first 15 in normal fashion…rest for a few seconds – drawing in 4 big breaths…and then bang out a few more reps (1-5),,,rest again…lift again…rest again…until you get to 25 reps

Once finished, your legs and lungs should feel like you just ran a marathon

Rest 5-10 minutes, and then do the same thing with…

Exercise #2

Seated Machine Row (or standing cable row or standing band row)

Warm up with some sets of 10 reps..building up to a weight that you could perform a maximum 15 reps

Once again, I want you to get 25 reps!!!

Start by banging out those first 15 in normal fashion…rest for a few seconds – drawing in 4 big breaths…and then bang out a few more reps (1-5),,,rest again…lift again…rest again…until you get to 25 reps

That’s it, you’re done for today.

Stretch and Go home

Tomorrow, do some easy cardio & stretching (lots of stretching)

## Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 25 – Day 3

Last time we’re doing this workout – kick it’s ass!!!

### WORKOUT WARM-UP

I’m sticking with the basic warm-up here. Feel free to improvise. The goals are to increase muscle temp, make you muscle more elastic and to lubricate your joints. All stuff us old guys recognize as important.

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

### THE WORKOUT

• This workout consists of 4 x 5min HIRT supersets and 1-2 x 5min optional HIIT sprint supersets
• Workout #1 will target muscular endurance with 20 rep HIRT sets,
• Workout #2 will use 10 rep HIRT sets, and
• Workout #3 will use 5 rep sets
• The exercises were chosen to work best with the different rep schemes

HIRT Superset #1

• Front/Back Squats & Single Arm Overhead Presses
• 5 reps per set
• Choose a weight you “could” perform 10 reps with
• 5 minutes total
• As many sets as possible
• Alternate – Squat, Press

HIRT Superset #2

• Barbell Deadlift or Heavy Hip Thrust & Woodchop
• 5 reps per set
• Choose a weight you “could” perform 10 reps with
• 5 minutes total
• As many sets as possible
• Alternate – SLDL/Toes

HIIT #1

5 min of HIIT sprints

• 10 sec sprint : 50 sec rest
• 15 sec sprint : 45 sec rest
• 20 sec sprint : 40 sec rest
• 15 sec sprint : 45 sec rest
• 10 sec sprint : 50 sec rest

HIRT Superset #3

• Single Arm Pulldown Pallof Press
• 5 reps per set
• Choose a weight you “could” perform 10 reps with
• 5 minutes total
• As many sets as possible
• Alternate – Pull-Ups/STP

HIIT #2

5 min of HIIT sprints

• As many 10 sec sprints as you can do in 5 min

HIRT Superset #4

• Barbell Flat or Incline Chest Press & One Arm Cable or One Arm Body-Weight Row
• 5 reps per set
• Choose a weight you “could” perform 10 reps with
• 5 minutes total
• As many sets as possible
• Flys can be performed flat, incline or decline
• Alternate – Fly, Fly, Reverse Fly

[box type=”note”]If this workout is too much for you, I would prefer you remove the HIIT sprints and perform them tomorrow.[/box]

That’s it, you’re done for today.

Go home …. do something fun with the rest of your day. You’ve earned it.

## Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 25 – Day 2

It’s the last time for this workout….. designed to maximize fitness & burn a bunch o’ body-fat. One thing to be aware of is the weight selection in the HIRT workouts. They will change from a high muscular endurance 20 reps per set to a more powerful 5 reps per set over the course of the week.

The goal is to make you the most athletic YOU possible.

Today is the 10 rep day

### WORKOUT WARM-UP

I’m sticking with the basic warm-up here. Feel free to improvise. The goals are to increase muscle temp, make you muscle more elastic and to lubricate your joints. All stuff us old guys recognize as important.

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

### THE WORKOUT

• This workout consists of 4 x 5min HIRT supersets and 1-2 x 5min optional HIIT sprint supersets
• Workout #1 will target muscular endurance with 20 rep HIRT sets,
• Workout #2 will use 10 rep HIRT sets, and
• Workout #3 will use 5 rep sets
• The exercises were chosen to work best with the different rep schemes

HIRT Superset #1

• Overhead DB/KB Squats & See-Saw Overhead Presses
• 10 reps per set
• Choose a weight you “could” perform 15-20 reps with
• 5 minutes total
• As many sets as possible
• Alternate – Squat, Press
• On the Squats, make sure to “lock in” your shoulders nice and tight before squatting – no loose shoulder joints

HIRT Superset #2

• Single Leg Straight-Leg Deadlift & Toes to the Sky
• 10 reps per set
• Choose a weight you “could” perform 15-20 reps with
• 5 minutes total
• As many sets as possible
• Alternate – SLDL/Toes

HIIT #1

5 min of HIIT sprints

• 10 sec sprint : 50 sec rest
• 15 sec sprint : 45 sec rest
• 20 sec sprint : 40 sec rest
• 15 sec sprint : 45 sec rest
• 10 sec sprint : 50 sec rest

HIRT Superset #3

• Wide Grip Pulldown or Pull-Ups & Stir the Pot
• 10 reps per set
• Choose a weight you “could” perform 15-20 reps with
• 5 minutes total
• As many sets as possible
• Alternate – Pull-Ups/STP

HIIT #2

5 min of HIIT sprints

• As many 10 sec sprints as you can do in 5 min

HIRT Superset #4

• Two Arm DB Incline Chest Press & Two Arm Cable or Body-Weight Row
• 10 reps per set
• Choose a weight you “could” perform 15-20 reps with
• 5 minutes total
• As many sets as possible
• Flys can be performed flat, incline or decline
• Alternate – Fly, Fly, Reverse Fly

[box type=”note”]If this workout is too much for you, I would prefer you remove the HIIT sprints and perform them tomorrow.[/box]

That’s it, you’re done for today.

Go home …. do something fun with the rest of your day. You’ve earned it.

## Skora Base – Barefoot Shoe Review

Alright, I’m back again with another Barefoot / Minimalist shoes review and this time I’m looking at a very different type of minimalist shoe – SKORA

Different in how they look…in how they are designed…in how they work…and in how they’re being marketed. But let’s leave that for the end of the article and get on with the analysis.

Skora has two different models – the Form & the Base. For this review, I chose to test the Skora Base (SB) as I was intrigued by the criss-cross velcro fastener. In a future review, I will be looking at the Skora Form – which has just been introduced for women.

Review Criteria

• Protection – If you’re not going to develop thick natural calluses by actually running barefoot, you need to wear a shoe that will protect you from the occasional sharp stone or chunk of glass.
The outer sole of the Skora Base (SB) is 4mm of high abrasion rubber, the midsole is 5mm and the removable Ortholite insole is 4mm thick. This means that the total stack height of the SB is either 9mm or 13 mm depending if you decide to ditch the insole or not.

At first glance, this thickness might be enough to put off some minimalist running purists. Sure, it’s thinner than the Reebok Real Flex or a pair of Nike Frees, but for a shoe that promises minimal cushioning and a “natural” feel, the Skora Base is 2-3 x thicker than the ultra-thin Sockwa G2.

Note – before you banish Skora to the land of faux-minimalist sneakers, you need to slap a pair on your feet and go for a jog through the shoe store. Seriously, don’t stress about the thickness – If we’re going to get picky about sole thickness, I know a bunch of true barefoot runners who won’t even put up with the thinnest pair of Vibrams due to the loss in proprioception.

• Proprioception – A bare foot provides immediate feedback to the surface it rests upon. A thick spongy sole…not so much. This can be crucial when it comes to avoiding ankle sprains and wiping out while trail running.

The proprioception is superior to any of the big name manufacturers I have worn (Nike, Reebok, New Balance, etc) but not as good as it’s thinner-soled cousins (Sockwa, Vivo, etc). The high density rubber outsole (and the EVA midsole) are denser than industry standard improving ground feel. In short, the lack of squishiness improves proprioception.

• Natural Foot Movement – Does the shoe allow or prevent your foot from flexing & spreading in order to distribute the load uniformly over the entire foot. This analysis will address shoe width (especially the toe box), arch support, shock absorption, etc…

This is where Skora really separates itself from the pack.

Unlike some minimalist shoes which basically slap some rubber onto the bottom of a polyester sock, the Skora engineers have created an aysmmetric last shape with a curved bottom profile. And it’s that curved outsole which is supposed to mimic the natural foot shape and encourage a natural medial to lateral rolling motion which makes the Skora truly unique.

Unlike any other minimalist shoe that I have ever worn, the Skora Base actually makes you run naturally. No more falling back into old patterns of heel striking. The SBs will have you landing midfoot and absorbing impact as your feet were originally designed.

And while that may not be a huge deal for someone (me) who has spent months re-training their neuro-muscular system and suffering though freakishly tight calves and the converted their bodies to a minimalist style of running, it is a gigantic deal for someone who wants to start running ala barefoot put has spent years running heel-toe.

For this one feature alone, I can’t say enough good things about Skora.

Note – in addition to the curved outsole, the SBs have a nice wide toe box and larger ball girth volume designed to let my Fred Flintstone-esque feet move as they should.

• Weight of the Shoe – Who wants a heavy, clunky shoe?

At 9.1 oz, the Skora is on the heavy end of the minimalist shoe market, but as that weight comes mainly from the awesome sole design, I am okay with the extra 2-3 oz of weight.

Next page – the review continues…

## Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 25 – Day 1

I decided to give this workout one more week – I have been getting so many positive emails & tweets.

Go kick some butt – next week is going to be all new stuff.

### WORKOUT WARM-UP

I’m sticking with the basic warm-up here. Feel free to improvise. The goals are to increase muscle temp, make you muscle more elastic and to lubricate your joints. All stuff us old guys recognize as important.

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

### THE WORKOUT

• This workout consists of 4 x 5min HIRT supersets and 1-2 x 5min optional HIIT sprint supersets
• Workout #1 will target muscular endurance with 20 rep HIRT sets,
• Workout #2 will use 10 rep HIRT sets, and
• Workout #3 will use 5 rep sets
• The exercises were chosen to work best with the different rep schemes

HIRT Superset #1

• Single Leg Squats & Single Arm Lateral Raises
• 20 reps per set
• Choose a weight you “could” perform 30 reps with
• 5 minutes total
• As many sets as possible
• Alternate – Squat, Squat, Lateral, Lateral
• On the lateral raises, imagine you are pushing the weight out and away from you – more delts, less traps

HIRT Superset #2

• Double Leg Hip Thrusts & McGill Crunch
• 20 reps per set
• Choose a weight you “could” perform 30 reps with
• 5 minutes total
• As many sets as possible
• Alternate – Squat, Squat, Crunch, Crunch

HIIT #1

5 min of HIIT sprints

• 10 sec sprint : 50 sec rest
• 15 sec sprint : 45 sec rest
• 20 sec sprint : 40 sec rest
• 15 sec sprint : 45 sec rest
• 10 sec sprint : 50 sec rest

HIRT Superset #3

• Neutral Grip Pulldown or Chin-Ups & 30 sec Bridge
• 20 reps per set of Pulldowns or Chins
• 30 sec Bridge
• Choose a weight you “could” perform 30 reps with
• 5 minutes total
• As many sets as possible
• Alternate – Chin/Bridge

HIIT #2

5 min of HIIT sprints

• As many 10 sec sprints as you can do in 5 min

HIRT Superset #4

• Single Arm DB Chest Fly & Reverse DB Fly or Face Pull
• 20 reps per set
• Choose a weight you “could” perform 30 reps with
• 5 minutes total
• As many sets as possible
• Flys can be performed flat, incline or decline
• Alternate – Fly, Fly, Reverse Fly

[box type=”note”]If this workout is too much for you, I would prefer you remove the HIIT sprints and perform them tomorrow.[/box]

That’s it, you’re done for today.

Go home …. do something fun with the rest of your day. You’ve earned it.

## Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 24 – Day 3

Last workout of the week – make it a good one

### WORKOUT WARM-UP

I’m sticking with the basic warm-up here. Feel free to improvise. The goals are to increase muscle temp, make you muscle more elastic and to lubricate your joints. All stuff us old guys recognize as important.

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

### THE WORKOUT

• This workout consists of 4 x 5min HIRT supersets and 1-2 x 5min optional HIIT sprint supersets
• Workout #1 will target muscular endurance with 20 rep HIRT sets,
• Workout #2 will use 10 rep HIRT sets, and
• Workout #3 will use 5 rep sets
• The exercises were chosen to work best with the different rep schemes

HIRT Superset #1

• Front/Back Squats & Single Arm Overhead Presses
• 5 reps per set
• Choose a weight you “could” perform 10 reps with
• 5 minutes total
• As many sets as possible
• Alternate – Squat, Press

HIRT Superset #2

• Barbell Deadlift or Heavy Hip Thrust & Woodchop
• 5 reps per set
• Choose a weight you “could” perform 10 reps with
• 5 minutes total
• As many sets as possible
• Alternate – SLDL/Toes

HIIT #1

5 min of HIIT sprints

• 10 sec sprint : 50 sec rest
• 15 sec sprint : 45 sec rest
• 20 sec sprint : 40 sec rest
• 15 sec sprint : 45 sec rest
• 10 sec sprint : 50 sec rest

HIRT Superset #3

• Single Arm Pulldown Pallof Press
• 5 reps per set
• Choose a weight you “could” perform 10 reps with
• 5 minutes total
• As many sets as possible
• Alternate – Pull-Ups/STP

HIIT #2

5 min of HIIT sprints

• As many 10 sec sprints as you can do in 5 min

HIRT Superset #4

• Barbell Flat or Incline Chest Press & One Arm Cable or One Arm Body-Weight Row
• 5 reps per set
• Choose a weight you “could” perform 10 reps with
• 5 minutes total
• As many sets as possible
• Flys can be performed flat, incline or decline
• Alternate – Fly, Fly, Reverse Fly

[box type=”note”]If this workout is too much for you, I would prefer you remove the HIIT sprints and perform them tomorrow.[/box]

That’s it, you’re done for today.

Go home …. do something fun with the rest of your day. You’ve earned it.

## Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 24 – Day 2

It’s the last time for this workout….. designed to maximize fitness & burn a bunch o’ body-fat. One thing to be aware of is the weight selection in the HIRT workouts. They will change from a high muscular endurance 20 reps per set to a more powerful 5 reps per set over the course of the week.

The goal is to make you the most athletic YOU possible.

Today is the 10 rep day

### WORKOUT WARM-UP

I’m sticking with the basic warm-up here. Feel free to improvise. The goals are to increase muscle temp, make you muscle more elastic and to lubricate your joints. All stuff us old guys recognize as important.

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

### THE WORKOUT

• This workout consists of 4 x 5min HIRT supersets and 1-2 x 5min optional HIIT sprint supersets
• Workout #1 will target muscular endurance with 20 rep HIRT sets,
• Workout #2 will use 10 rep HIRT sets, and
• Workout #3 will use 5 rep sets
• The exercises were chosen to work best with the different rep schemes

HIRT Superset #1

• Overhead DB/KB Squats & See-Saw Overhead Presses
• 10 reps per set
• Choose a weight you “could” perform 15-20 reps with
• 5 minutes total
• As many sets as possible
• Alternate – Squat, Press
• On the Squats, make sure to “lock in” your shoulders nice and tight before squatting – no loose shoulder joints

HIRT Superset #2

• Single Leg Straight-Leg Deadlift & Toes to the Sky
• 10 reps per set
• Choose a weight you “could” perform 15-20 reps with
• 5 minutes total
• As many sets as possible
• Alternate – SLDL/Toes

HIIT #1

5 min of HIIT sprints

• 10 sec sprint : 50 sec rest
• 15 sec sprint : 45 sec rest
• 20 sec sprint : 40 sec rest
• 15 sec sprint : 45 sec rest
• 10 sec sprint : 50 sec rest

HIRT Superset #3

• Wide Grip Pulldown or Pull-Ups & Stir the Pot
• 10 reps per set
• Choose a weight you “could” perform 15-20 reps with
• 5 minutes total
• As many sets as possible
• Alternate – Pull-Ups/STP

HIIT #2

5 min of HIIT sprints

• As many 10 sec sprints as you can do in 5 min

HIRT Superset #4

• Two Arm DB Incline Chest Press & Two Arm Cable or Body-Weight Row
• 10 reps per set
• Choose a weight you “could” perform 15-20 reps with
• 5 minutes total
• As many sets as possible
• Flys can be performed flat, incline or decline
• Alternate – Fly, Fly, Reverse Fly

[box type=”note”]If this workout is too much for you, I would prefer you remove the HIIT sprints and perform them tomorrow.[/box]

That’s it, you’re done for today.

Go home …. do something fun with the rest of your day. You’ve earned it.

## Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 24 – Day 1

It’s the 3rd and final time for this workout – so kick some butt.

### WORKOUT WARM-UP

I’m sticking with the basic warm-up here. Feel free to improvise. The goals are to increase muscle temp, make you muscle more elastic and to lubricate your joints. All stuff us old guys recognize as important.

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

### THE WORKOUT

• This workout consists of 4 x 5min HIRT supersets and 1-2 x 5min optional HIIT sprint supersets
• Workout #1 will target muscular endurance with 20 rep HIRT sets,
• Workout #2 will use 10 rep HIRT sets, and
• Workout #3 will use 5 rep sets
• The exercises were chosen to work best with the different rep schemes

HIRT Superset #1

• Single Leg Squats & Single Arm Lateral Raises
• 20 reps per set
• Choose a weight you “could” perform 30 reps with
• 5 minutes total
• As many sets as possible
• Alternate – Squat, Squat, Lateral, Lateral
• On the lateral raises, imagine you are pushing the weight out and away from you – more delts, less traps

HIRT Superset #2

• Double Leg Hip Thrusts & McGill Crunch
• 20 reps per set
• Choose a weight you “could” perform 30 reps with
• 5 minutes total
• As many sets as possible
• Alternate – Squat, Squat, Crunch, Crunch

HIIT #1

5 min of HIIT sprints

• 10 sec sprint : 50 sec rest
• 15 sec sprint : 45 sec rest
• 20 sec sprint : 40 sec rest
• 15 sec sprint : 45 sec rest
• 10 sec sprint : 50 sec rest

HIRT Superset #3

• Neutral Grip Pulldown or Chin-Ups & 30 sec Bridge
• 20 reps per set of Pulldowns or Chins
• 30 sec Bridge
• Choose a weight you “could” perform 30 reps with
• 5 minutes total
• As many sets as possible
• Alternate – Chin/Bridge

HIIT #2

5 min of HIIT sprints

• As many 10 sec sprints as you can do in 5 min

HIRT Superset #4

• Single Arm DB Chest Fly & Reverse DB Fly or Face Pull
• 20 reps per set
• Choose a weight you “could” perform 30 reps with
• 5 minutes total
• As many sets as possible
• Flys can be performed flat, incline or decline
• Alternate – Fly, Fly, Reverse Fly

[box type=”note”]If this workout is too much for you, I would prefer you remove the HIIT sprints and perform them tomorrow.[/box]

That’s it, you’re done for today.

Go home …. do something fun with the rest of your day. You’ve earned it.

## Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 23 – Day 3

Last workout of the week – make it a good one

### WORKOUT WARM-UP

I’m sticking with the basic warm-up here. Feel free to improvise. The goals are to increase muscle temp, make you muscle more elastic and to lubricate your joints. All stuff us old guys recognize as important.

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

### THE WORKOUT

• This workout consists of 4 x 5min HIRT supersets and 1-2 x 5min optional HIIT sprint supersets
• Workout #1 will target muscular endurance with 20 rep HIRT sets,
• Workout #2 will use 10 rep HIRT sets, and
• Workout #3 will use 5 rep sets
• The exercises were chosen to work best with the different rep schemes

HIRT Superset #1

• Front/Back Squats & Single Arm Overhead Presses
• 5 reps per set
• Choose a weight you “could” perform 10 reps with
• 5 minutes total
• As many sets as possible
• Alternate – Squat, Press

HIRT Superset #2

• Barbell Deadlift or Heavy Hip Thrust & Woodchop
• 5 reps per set
• Choose a weight you “could” perform 10 reps with
• 5 minutes total
• As many sets as possible
• Alternate – SLDL/Toes

HIIT #1

5 min of HIIT sprints

• 10 sec sprint : 50 sec rest
• 15 sec sprint : 45 sec rest
• 20 sec sprint : 40 sec rest
• 15 sec sprint : 45 sec rest
• 10 sec sprint : 50 sec rest

HIRT Superset #3

• Single Arm Pulldown Pallof Press
• 5 reps per set
• Choose a weight you “could” perform 10 reps with
• 5 minutes total
• As many sets as possible
• Alternate – Pull-Ups/STP

HIIT #2

5 min of HIIT sprints

• As many 10 sec sprints as you can do in 5 min

HIRT Superset #4

• Barbell Flat or Incline Chest Press & One Arm Cable or One Arm Body-Weight Row
• 5 reps per set
• Choose a weight you “could” perform 10 reps with
• 5 minutes total
• As many sets as possible
• Flys can be performed flat, incline or decline
• Alternate – Fly, Fly, Reverse Fly

[box type=”note”]If this workout is too much for you, I would prefer you remove the HIIT sprints and perform them tomorrow.[/box]

That’s it, you’re done for today.

Go home …. do something fun with the rest of your day. You’ve earned it.

## Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 23 – Day 1

Same workouts as last week….. a combination of HIRT & HIIT protocols, designed to maximize fitness & burn a bunch o’ body-fat. One thing to be aware of is the weight selection in the HIRT workouts. They will change from a high muscular endurance 20 reps per set to a more powerful 5 reps per set over the course of the week.

The goal is to make you the most athletic YOU possible.

### WORKOUT WARM-UP

I’m sticking with the basic warm-up here. Feel free to improvise. The goals are to increase muscle temp, make you muscle more elastic and to lubricate your joints. All stuff us old guys recognize as important.

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

### THE WORKOUT

• This workout consists of 4 x 5min HIRT supersets and 1-2 x 5min optional HIIT sprint supersets
• Workout #1 will target muscular endurance with 20 rep HIRT sets,
• Workout #2 will use 10 rep HIRT sets, and
• Workout #3 will use 5 rep sets
• The exercises were chosen to work best with the different rep schemes

HIRT Superset #1

• Single Leg Squats & Single Arm Lateral Raises
• 20 reps per set
• Choose a weight you “could” perform 30 reps with
• 5 minutes total
• As many sets as possible
• Alternate – Squat, Squat, Lateral, Lateral
• On the lateral raises, imagine you are pushing the weight out and away from you – more delts, less traps

HIRT Superset #2

• Double Leg Hip Thrusts & McGill Crunch
• 20 reps per set
• Choose a weight you “could” perform 30 reps with
• 5 minutes total
• As many sets as possible
• Alternate – Squat, Squat, Crunch, Crunch

HIIT #1

5 min of HIIT sprints

• 10 sec sprint : 50 sec rest
• 15 sec sprint : 45 sec rest
• 20 sec sprint : 40 sec rest
• 15 sec sprint : 45 sec rest
• 10 sec sprint : 50 sec rest

HIRT Superset #3

• Neutral Grip Pulldown or Chin-Ups & 30 sec Bridge
• 20 reps per set of Pulldowns or Chins
• 30 sec Bridge
• Choose a weight you “could” perform 30 reps with
• 5 minutes total
• As many sets as possible
• Alternate – Chin/Bridge

HIIT #2

5 min of HIIT sprints

• As many 10 sec sprints as you can do in 5 min

HIRT Superset #4

• Single Arm DB Chest Fly & Reverse DB Fly or Face Pull
• 20 reps per set
• Choose a weight you “could” perform 30 reps with
• 5 minutes total
• As many sets as possible
• Flys can be performed flat, incline or decline
• Alternate – Fly, Fly, Reverse Fly

[box type=”note”]If this workout is too much for you, I would prefer you remove the HIIT sprints and perform them tomorrow.[/box]

That’s it, you’re done for today.

Go home …. do something fun with the rest of your day. You’ve earned it.

## Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 22 – Day 3

Last workout of the week – make it a good one

### WORKOUT WARM-UP

I’m sticking with the basic warm-up here. Feel free to improvise. The goals are to increase muscle temp, make you muscle more elastic and to lubricate your joints. All stuff us old guys recognize as important.

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

### THE WORKOUT

• This workout consists of 4 x 5min HIRT supersets and 1-2 x 5min optional HIIT sprint supersets
• Workout #1 will target muscular endurance with 20 rep HIRT sets,
• Workout #2 will use 10 rep HIRT sets, and
• Workout #3 will use 5 rep sets
• The exercises were chosen to work best with the different rep schemes

HIRT Superset #1

• Front/Back Squats & Single Arm Overhead Presses
• 5 reps per set
• Choose a weight you “could” perform 10 reps with
• 5 minutes total
• As many sets as possible
• Alternate – Squat, Press

HIRT Superset #2

• Barbell Deadlift or Heavy Hip Thrust & Woodchop
• 5 reps per set
• Choose a weight you “could” perform 10 reps with
• 5 minutes total
• As many sets as possible
• Alternate – SLDL/Toes

HIIT #1

5 min of HIIT sprints

• 10 sec sprint : 50 sec rest
• 15 sec sprint : 45 sec rest
• 20 sec sprint : 40 sec rest
• 15 sec sprint : 45 sec rest
• 10 sec sprint : 50 sec rest

HIRT Superset #3

• Single Arm Pulldown Pallof Press
• 5 reps per set
• Choose a weight you “could” perform 10 reps with
• 5 minutes total
• As many sets as possible
• Alternate – Pull-Ups/STP

HIIT #2

5 min of HIIT sprints

• As many 10 sec sprints as you can do in 5 min

HIRT Superset #4

• Barbell Flat or Incline Chest Press & One Arm Cable or One Arm Body-Weight Row
• 5 reps per set
• Choose a weight you “could” perform 10 reps with
• 5 minutes total
• As many sets as possible
• Flys can be performed flat, incline or decline
• Alternate – Fly, Fly, Reverse Fly

[box type=”note”]If this workout is too much for you, I would prefer you remove the HIIT sprints and perform them tomorrow.[/box]

That’s it, you’re done for today.

Go home …. do something fun with the rest of your day. You’ve earned it.

## Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 22 – Day 2

It’s Day 2 of this new crop of workouts, and as I said yesterday, these workouts are a combination of HIRT & HIIT protocols – designed to maximize fitness & burn a bunch o’ body-fat. One thing to be aware of is the weight selection in the HIRT workouts. They will change from a high muscular endurance 20 reps per set to a more powerful 5 reps per set over the course of the week.

The goal is to make you the most athletic YOU possible.

Today is the 10 rep day

### WORKOUT WARM-UP

I’m sticking with the basic warm-up here. Feel free to improvise. The goals are to increase muscle temp, make you muscle more elastic and to lubricate your joints. All stuff us old guys recognize as important.

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

### THE WORKOUT

• This workout consists of 4 x 5min HIRT supersets and 1-2 x 5min optional HIIT sprint supersets
• Workout #1 will target muscular endurance with 20 rep HIRT sets,
• Workout #2 will use 10 rep HIRT sets, and
• Workout #3 will use 5 rep sets
• The exercises were chosen to work best with the different rep schemes

HIRT Superset #1

• Overhead DB/KB Squats & See-Saw Overhead Presses
• 10 reps per set
• Choose a weight you “could” perform 15-20 reps with
• 5 minutes total
• As many sets as possible
• Alternate – Squat, Press
• On the Squats, make sure to “lock in” your shoulders nice and tight before squatting – no loose shoulder joints

HIRT Superset #2

• Single Leg Straight-Leg Deadlift & Toes to the Sky
• 10 reps per set
• Choose a weight you “could” perform 15-20 reps with
• 5 minutes total
• As many sets as possible
• Alternate – SLDL/Toes

HIIT #1

5 min of HIIT sprints

• 10 sec sprint : 50 sec rest
• 15 sec sprint : 45 sec rest
• 20 sec sprint : 40 sec rest
• 15 sec sprint : 45 sec rest
• 10 sec sprint : 50 sec rest

HIRT Superset #3

• Wide Grip Pulldown or Pull-Ups & Stir the Pot
• 10 reps per set
• Choose a weight you “could” perform 15-20 reps with
• 5 minutes total
• As many sets as possible
• Alternate – Pull-Ups/STP

HIIT #2

5 min of HIIT sprints

• As many 10 sec sprints as you can do in 5 min

HIRT Superset #4

• Two Arm DB Incline Chest Press & Two Arm Cable or Body-Weight Row
• 10 reps per set
• Choose a weight you “could” perform 15-20 reps with
• 5 minutes total
• As many sets as possible
• Flys can be performed flat, incline or decline
• Alternate – Fly, Fly, Reverse Fly

[box type=”note”]If this workout is too much for you, I would prefer you remove the HIIT sprints and perform them tomorrow.[/box]

That’s it, you’re done for today.

Go home …. do something fun with the rest of your day. You’ve earned it.

## Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 22 – Day 1

These next few workouts are a combination of HIRT & HIIT protocols. Both are designed to maximize fitness & burn a bunch o’ body-fat. One thing to be aware of is the weight selection in the HIRT workouts. They will change from a high muscular endurance 20 reps per set to a more powerful 5 reps per set over the course of the week.

The goal is to make you the most athletic YOU possible.

### WORKOUT WARM-UP

I’m sticking with the basic warm-up here. Feel free to improvise. The goals are to increase muscle temp, make you muscle more elastic and to lubricate your joints. All stuff us old guys recognize as important.

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

### THE WORKOUT

• This workout consists of 4 x 5min HIRT supersets and 1-2 x 5min optional HIIT sprint supersets
• Workout #1 will target muscular endurance with 20 rep HIRT sets,
• Workout #2 will use 10 rep HIRT sets, and
• Workout #3 will use 5 rep sets
• The exercises were chosen to work best with the different rep schemes

HIRT Superset #1

• Single Leg Squats & Single Arm Lateral Raises
• 20 reps per set
• Choose a weight you “could” perform 30 reps with
• 5 minutes total
• As many sets as possible
• Alternate – Squat, Squat, Lateral, Lateral
• On the lateral raises, imagine you are pushing the weight out and away from you – more delts, less traps

HIRT Superset #2

• Double Leg Hip Thrusts & McGill Crunch
• 20 reps per set
• Choose a weight you “could” perform 30 reps with
• 5 minutes total
• As many sets as possible
• Alternate – Squat, Squat, Crunch, Crunch

HIIT #1

5 min of HIIT sprints

• 10 sec sprint : 50 sec rest
• 15 sec sprint : 45 sec rest
• 20 sec sprint : 40 sec rest
• 15 sec sprint : 45 sec rest
• 10 sec sprint : 50 sec rest

HIRT Superset #3

• Neutral Grip Pulldown or Chin-Ups & 30 sec Bridge
• 20 reps per set of Pulldowns or Chins
• 30 sec Bridge
• Choose a weight you “could” perform 30 reps with
• 5 minutes total
• As many sets as possible
• Alternate – Chin/Bridge

HIIT #2

5 min of HIIT sprints

• As many 10 sec sprints as you can do in 5 min

HIRT Superset #4

• Single Arm DB Chest Fly & Reverse DB Fly or Face Pull
• 20 reps per set
• Choose a weight you “could” perform 30 reps with
• 5 minutes total
• As many sets as possible
• Flys can be performed flat, incline or decline
• Alternate – Fly, Fly, Reverse Fly

[box type=”note”]If this workout is too much for you, I would prefer you remove the HIIT sprints and perform them tomorrow.[/box]

That’s it, you’re done for today.

Go home …. do something fun with the rest of your day. You’ve earned it.

## Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 21 – Day 3

This is your last bridge-esque workout of the week…designed to allow your muscles & nervous system a chance to fully recover and get ready for what’s coming next week.

[box type=”note”]The workout listed below is for those trainees interested in adding muscle to their physiques and who are not exhausted from the past few weeks of workouts. If that isn’t you, skip these workouts and go do some yoga or pilates or  cardio or mobility work or play tennis, soccer, etc… [/box]

### WORKOUT WARM-UP

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

### THE WORKOUT

Exercise #1

Your choice..either Pulldowns or Pull Ups

warm up with some sets of 10 reps..building up to a weight that you could perform a max 15 reps

* Choose the weight that you could perform 15 reps with
* Then do 25 reps by…

* banging out those first 15 in normal fashion…rest for a few seconds – drawing in 4 big breaths…and then bang out a few more reps (1-5),,,rest again…lift again…rest again…until you get to 25 reps

Rest 5-10 minutes, and then do the same thing with

HIIT #1

5 x 10 second sprints in the shortest time possible

Exercise #2

Bodyweight Skullcrushers

• Warm up with a couple of 10 rep sets
• And then try to get between 20-60 reps

* banging out those first 10 or so in normal fashion…rest for a few seconds – drawing in 4 big breaths…and then bang out a few more reps ,,,rest again…lift again…rest again…until you get to (50-80) reps
Rest 5-10 minutes, and then do the same thing with

HIIT #2

4 x 10 second sprints in the shortest time possible

Exercise #3

Shoulder Press (barbell, dumbbell, machine)

• Choose a weight that you could perform 15 reps with
• Then do 25 reps by…
• banging out those first 15 in normal fashion…rest for a few seconds – drawing in 4 big breaths…and then bang out a few more reps (1-5),,,rest again…lift again…rest again…until you get to 25 reps

HIIT #3

3 x 10 second sprints in the shortest time possible

That’s it, you’re done for today.

Go home …. do something fun with the rest of your day. You’ve earned it.

## Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 21 – Day 2

Day 2 of your bridge week…designed to allow your muscles & nervous system a chance to fully recover and get ready for what’s coming next week.

It is a low volume workout with a twist….HIIT sprints

### WORKOUT WARM-UP

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

### THE WORKOUT

Exercise #1

Bulgarian Squat/Lunge (bodyweight only)

Warm up with 2 sets per leg of 10 reps

* Then do 40 to 60  reps per leg by…

* banging out the first 15-20 in normal fashion…rest for a few seconds – drawing in 4 big breaths…and then bang out a few more reps (1-5),,,rest again…lift again…rest again…until you get to your maximum (40-60) reps

Rest 5 minutes, and then do the other leg

Rest another 5 min and move onto….

HIIT #1

• 4 x 10 second sprints in the shortest amount of time possible.
• Note – I want all 4 sprints to be fast, so it’s better to rest longer and keep your speed up than to start sprinting too soon and pedal like a turtle.
• I prefer bike sprints or hill sprints, but it really doesn’t matter – use what’s available

Exercise #2

Glute Ham Raises (2 Leg)

Same protocol as the Bulgarians

• Warm up with a couple of 10 rep sets
• And then try to get between 50-80 reps

* banging out those first 30 or so in normal fashion…rest for a few seconds – drawing in 4 big breaths…and then bang out a few more reps ,,,rest again…lift again…rest again…until you get to (50-80) reps

Note: There is a good chance some of you won’t be able to do 50 reps. Here’s what I want you to do – place an incline bench or big stability ball in front of you so that you can do partial reps.

You will have to fiddle around with the depth of repetition and the # of repetitions to get it right.

Either way, remember that you legs should be screaming at you by the end of this single work set

HIIT #2

• 5 x 10 second sprints in the shortest amount of time possible.
• Note – I want all 5 sprints to be fast, so it’s better to rest longer and keep your speed up than to start sprinting too soon and pedal like a turtle.
• I prefer bike sprints or hill sprints, but it really doesn’t matter – use what’s available

That’s it, you’re done for today.

Stretch and Go home

Tomorrow, do some easy cardio & stretching (lots of stretching)

Friday, it’s back to the weights

## Best Body Workout – 2012 – Week 20 – Day 3

Count yourself lucky, it’s the last day of Tabata Torture and next week is all new stuff.

### WORKOUT WARM-UP

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

### Tabata #1

Bodyweight Squat

video

• Squat for 20 seconds
• Rest (standing) for 10 seconds
• 8 sets of squats
• 4 min total
• Perform as many reps as possible per set
• Resistance can be added by holding a dumbbell/plate at chest height

Lay on the floor & catch your breath.

When you can breathe “normally”, I want you to do a short HIIT sprint session consisting of….

### HIIT #1

….3 x 10:50 sec sprints.

If you’re in a gym – use an exercise bike, outdoors – sprint up a hill, in your home – use the bottom step of your stairs as a cardio-step machine.

• 10 seconds sprinting
• 50 seconds rest
• 3x

Lay on the floor & catch your breath.

When you can breathe “normally”, we’re going back to Tabata.

### Tabata #2

See Saw Press

• Press the DBs/KBs for 20 seconds
• Rest (arms at side) for 10 seconds
• 8 sets of see saw presses
• 4 min total
• Perform as many reps as possible per set

Lay on the floor & catch your breath.

When you can breathe “normally”, we’re doing HIIT sprints again.

### HIIT #2

5 x 10:50 sec sprints.

If you’re in a gym – use an exercise bike, outdoors – sprint up a hill, in your home – use the bottom step of your stairs as a cardio-step machine.

• 10 seconds sprinting
• 50 seconds rest
• 5x

Lay on the floor & catch your breath.

When you can breathe “normally”, we’re going back to Tabata.

### Tabata #3

Standing Cable Row or Bodyweight Row

• Row for 20 seconds
• Rest for 10 seconds
• 8 sets of standing cable rows
• 4 min total
• Perform as many reps as possible per set

When you can breathe “normally”, it’s HIIT time again.

### HIIT #3

7 x 10:50 sec sprints.

If you’re in a gym – use an exercise bike, outdoors – sprint up a hill, in your home – use the bottom step of your stairs as a cardio-step machine.

• 10 seconds sprinting
• 50 seconds rest
• 7x

Lay on the floor & catch your breath.

When you can breathe “normally”, we’ve got one more Tabata.

### Tabata #4

• Deadlift on 1 leg for 20 seconds
• Rest (standing) for 10 seconds
• Repeat on other leg – alternate back and forth
• 8 sets of 1 Leg DLs
• 4 min total
• Perform as many reps as possible per set
• Hold DBs for resistance

That should be enough for today.

At this point, you have done 16 minutes of HIIT/HIRT/Tabata work + another 15 minutes of HIIT sprints

If you are a total freak of nature, feel free to repeat some of the sets. Use your ability to recover your breath as a guide. If it’s taking longer & longer to breath normally between sets, call it a day.

Alternately, you can throw in 20 minutes of cardio….stretch and go home

.

Tomorrow, do some easy cardio & stretching (lots of stretching).