New workout

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

So I'd read a lot about the HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts and getting a full day's cardio in 4 minutes (here's SP's summary of it
lly_works ) and then also read about other short workouts that are supposed to give you all the benefits with a lot less time. HIIT sounded like too much for me - going "all out" for even 20 seconds would put me so out of breath I'd be crying.

Then I found the 7-minute Scientific Workout (7MSW for short cuz I like abbreviations) in a few places (including here:
7-minute-workout/?_r=0 ) which is based on HICT (High Intensity Circuit Training) which I'd read a little about in a few other places previously. I printed the NYTimes article out and left it sitting on my coffee table in plain view so I'd think about it. A week or two later, I found a free timer on a website (or you can buy the iPhone app for ~$2) and saved it on my phone to use whenever I got around to trying the 7MSW. So I finally tried it yesterday and by last night I was sore. And more sore this morning. I couldn't even do the last two exercises. Well, I could've done the last one, but I was so tired I walked in place for the last whole minute.

Review of the exercises you have to do (30 seconds each, 10 seconds resting in between all):
1) Jumping Jacks - no problem
2) Wall Sit - gonna have to work on the 90° angle of the legs, and it was a bit of a challenge, but I can do it.
3) Push-Ups - I can do real pushups. I taught myself when I was in junior high or high school before anyone told me "women shouldn't do that" or "aren't strong enough" or whatever and I've pretty much kept the ability to do at least a dozen.
4) Abdominal Crunch - I've had enough Pilates that I don't even know how to do a "crunch" anymore. I did "upper ab curls" instead.
5) Step-Up Onto Chair - I don't have a sturdy wooden chair. I have a square ottoman that's almost tall enough, and I could wedge it into a spot where it wouldn't scoot around as I stepped up. But I really need to just get a sturdy wooden chair at a garage sale or something.
6) Squat - No problem either
7) Triceps Dip On Chair - I couldn't do 30 whole seconds of these. I was using the ottoman again, and it's about the right height for the triceps dips, but I'm not sure it was the best choice and I'm gonna check with my Pilates instructor about if that move is ok for my shoulders. I've done it before, but I have some minor shoulder issues I don't want to aggravate.
8) Plank - actually, I was taught this is Low Plank (on elbows & fore arms, not arms straight up with palms flat directly under your shoulders) and is totally do-able but after all the previous exercises, was a challenge
9) High Knees Running In Place - I did these just fine, though I was getting tired & I do still hate running. But for only 30 seconds, I could tough it out.
10) Lunge - I know I don't get low enough for these but I do get pretty close. And I was good about alternating legs
11) Push-Up and Rotation - I couldn't do this. At least, I didn't try. It looks like: start on the ground, push up, lift one arm straight up to the ceiling, rotating your whole body from facing floor to facing wall, arm back down & body back to facing floor, lower to ground, repeat on other side. The "up" position is what I was taught as full side plank in Pilates but the motion of getting into it with any speed has me a bit worried.
12) Side Plank - Low Side Plank according to what I was taught in Pilates (on elbow and fore arm instead of palm down arm straight and fully extended). I probably could have done this and didn't. I was really wiped at this point.

I didn't do ANY of these particularly quickly (except perhaps the first jumping jacks). I figured that, for me, just doing them is a really good start. I also didn't try to do more than one set. I will work up to that. I am sore today through my abs (mostly lower, which I used during Push Ups and Plank) and all through arms, shoulders chest and upper back. Legs aren't sore at all (can you tell which of my muscles are stronger) so I might work harder on those squats and lunges. I did notice there are no pulling exercises to balance the pushing ones. I will research and see if I can find one that doesn't require equipment. I can't do pullups, but I could do rows or something. Maybe with a resistance band. We'll see.

I was too sore to attempt the 7MSW again this morning, though I will try it again tomorrow. When I can do the whole series (possibly substituting a pulling exercise in place of #11 pushups with rotation) all the way through, and when I'm not sore the next day, I'll either move to daily or see if I can up it to 2 full sets (the original article suggested you could do 2 or 3 sets if you had the time and the fitness for it) every other day. It's enough like strength training that I'm not sure I even SHOULD do it every day. So maybe every other day is better. For now, the goal is to get all the way through it!!
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