Combining Exercises

It has long been established that a High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT is the best way for most of us to work out if we can do it. In a HIIT you perform a strenuous exercise at peak capacity and then alternate with brief periods of rest. The key in this form of exercise is to take your heart rate to close to your maximum (depending on how old you are, this varies). Dr. Tabata for example used this to make the athletes under him train by sprinting at full pace for 30 seconds and then stopping completely for 10 seconds in sets of 8-10 sprints. This is obviously easier if you are running, cycling or rowing. However, the challenge is that this is only helping you perform cardio exercises and not building strength in your entire body.

Training experts have therefore combined strength training and High Intensity Training Intervals to ensure that you get a full body work out and take your heart rate to close to your maximum at the same time. One form of this exercise involves sets of lifting weights or alternatively using your body weight. In this version, you lift weights for one minute, follow it up with a burpee (for anyone who has not done this, it is insanely difficult to sustain) and then a period or rest for 30 seconds. The rest is important because the heart rate slows down allowing your heart to recover. For a full body work out you can do squats, deadlifts, overhead press, lunges, push ups and then finally planks. Each of these are done for 60 seconds followed by 30 seconds of rest.

I want to emphasise that this form of training should be done only under the supervision of a trainer. From my personal experience, I tried Tabata once and had to be mopped up from the street after the eight minutes I spent trying it. Its not easy! Make sure that your endurance and fitness levels are already at a level where trying something like this does not lead to injury or worse an unwillingness to ever exercise again.