Don’t you just hate workouts that waste your time? This is Mike Uhrlaub and you’re on another episode of Power Your Life by Flex PT. Today, I wanted to talk about my experience with workouts and weight loss and what I have learned through trial and error. Hopefully, I can give that back to you and you can take and learn from that too. You won’t have to make the same mistakes that I did. When it comes to weight loss, like anything, you just want to get it done fast. Our entire society today is based on instant gratification. Think about us with our phones.
Everything is an instant download. Remember the days you used to go to blockbuster? I’ll go back even further. Some of you might remember the old applause video stores and you would search through for your VHS tapes, then it became a blockbuster. The process was fun. You went to the video store, you found something you wanted to watch, you brought it home, you pop the tape in, and you had your popcorn. Today, you’ve got Amazon and it’s like instant download. If we don’t get that instant download, all you do is turn on your TV, click over to Netflix or Amazon, and you quickly find the movie and hit play.
We even see that with our attention spans. The attention span in 1985 was 20 minutes. Can you believe that the average American attention span in 1985 was 20 minutes today? The average American’s attention span today is seven seconds. However, it’s all about that when you’re doing something, you want it to be fast and you want it to be efficient. You don’t want to waste your time. Nobody likes wasting their time. When I first started working out, I was trying to drop some pounds. I had this recumbent bike down in my basement and I would go down there, and I would hop on that bike.
I tried a few different things like watching a little TV and listening to music, just to pass the time. You’re just sitting there peddling, peddling, peddling, and you finally finish 45 minutes. It’s got the time on the display, and you can see how many calories you’ve burned. Then, you see that you’ve only burned about 200 calories, and that would kill me. It got really frustrating for me. Then I thought about when I was in the army. We ran all the time and I had a squadron commander, who was a marathon runner. When you have a squadron commander who likes to run, you get to run too. When I left the military, I told myself I would never run again, that’s how much I hate it. However, since the bike wasn’t working, I gave running a try.
It had been years since I ran, and I was heavy at that time. Because you’re just pounding on the ground, my ankle started hurt. Then, my knee and back would start to hurt. I would think, “this isn’t supposed to hurt like this.” When you run, you take a heavy pounding to your joints. All that pounding will take its toll. When you run, it’s seven and a half times your body weight that impacts force with each step when you’re running.
If you run three miles, think about the joint reaction and the forces going through the body at that time. No wonder things start to hurt. Also, I didn’t really feel like I was getting that good of workout cause the pain was getting in the way. Like we mentioned in a previous episode with knee pain getting in the way of your workouts, which lead us into finding those other low impact exercises. These low impact exercises are extremely affective because of how well they balance your body and balance your system. However, you still want efficiency and you want things fast. We only have so much time on this earth and we don’t know when that time is up.
We don’t wake up one day and realize our time is finished. It just happens. As I get a little bit older, I understand that concept of time more now than I ever did when I was younger. That’s the thing that frustrates me the most is when I’m trying to lose weight and I want to keep the weight off; I want a workout that is going to be efficient. It needs to be one that I can do anywhere. It must be one that doesn’t require any equipment. Even though gyms are nice and it’s great to go and work out, I just want something that’s more body weight resistance.
That’s where the high intensity interval training comes in. HIIT workouts are nothing new. They have taken a lot of popularity because science has proven how effective and efficient these workouts are. With the typical hit workout, you can burn twice as many calories in a shorter period. Roughly, a HIIT program burns about 13 to 14 calories per minute, which is almost double what you’re burning when you’re doing regular cardio. A typical HIIT program involves several things. Basically, you’re getting a warmup, strengthening body weight exercises, followed by one minute of a very intense workout, where you’re getting your heart rate up for roughly about 30 to 60 seconds. Then, it cycles back down, now to a lower intensity, strengthening type of exercises that uses body weight resistance. You’re going to do that for a period of time. Then, it’s going to cycle back up again for a very high intensity, pushing that heart rate up there again. Then, you’re going to take a little rest for up to about a minute. Next, you repeat that cycle. This is something that is very effective. If you really want to lose weight and get lean, HIIT would be extremely beneficial.
If you want to increase your presence and your focus, while improving your mental clarity, a HIIT program will certainly do that. Now, we spent a lot of previous episodes talking about the importance of your diet and your nutrition. I still can’t stress that enough. You must have clean eating. You cannot exercise your way out of a bad diet. If you don’t have the nutrition/diet side of it already in place and you’re not eating clean at least 80% of the time, you won’t see results. I like the 80/20 rule because if you are doing what you are supposed to be doing 80% of the time, that still allows some leeway to still live your life.
If you’re not doing those good things at least 80% of the time, it doesn’t matter how many HIIT workouts you do. You’re going to have a hard time burning that body fat and losing the weight. Okay? Get your diet and nutrition into place first, then start working on the workout portions. These workout portions are also important because our bodies are meant to move, and we are designed for that. If we sit on the couch and we do absolutely nothing, we’re going to deteriorate. Our bodies are machines and we’re designed to move.
For example, if you park a car and you let it sit in your garage for six months to a year, think about what will happen when you try to start it up again. The battery’s going to be dead and those fuel systems are going to be clogged. Those tires are probably going to be somewhat flat. This is because cars are meant to move. What happens if you leave a house vacant? Even though the house isn’t meant to move, weeds will still overtake it and things will start falling apart. This happens because nobody is maintaining it. Movement is how you maintain your body. Movement is how you maintain your strength, your flexibility. That’s how you keep moving correctly.
It also strengthens your immune system too. By being active and keeping yourself moving, this strengthens your immune system. In order to start this HIIT training, let me provide you with an example. The first thing that you’re going to do is you’re going to start off with two or three movements just to get your blood flowing. The first one that I like to do is call a swing kick. You just get yourself like in a fighting stance and you take your back leg and you just swing it forward. You’re going to swing it up and then back. You do this for roughly about 20 reps and then you switch legs, repeating the same thing. Just to get things moving, you can do any kind of warm up, this is just what I use. Then, the next one you could use is jumping jacks. Because we are still warming up, just start with a gentle jumping Jack. If you don’t want to jump, you could so a sidestep. Either way you do it, you’d do about 20 of them. I like to do three warmups because I like to get my blood pumping. The next movement that I would use is the squat pump.
I like squat pumps because they’re easy to do. A squat pump is simple, nothing more than just a little movement in the squatting action. You would do roughly about 20 repetitions of those. After each of those, you would start. You’re going to be breathing a little heavy, maybe start a light sweat. Your blood should be pumping now and you’re ready to begin your workout. Now, you’re in the main workout. You’re going to have 2-3 calisthenic strengthening exercises. I like to work on things that work the large muscles of the body. These are the quads, hamstrings, glutes, pecs, delts, or the lats.
For the main workout, we could do something called bridges with a resistance band. You can get bands anywhere. All you do is you lay down and then you perform a bridge. Then, I like to add in hip movements so, you can pull the legs apart and together. You would do this exercise for about 20 reps. Next, you can do clam shells, which really work the side glutes. Here, you just lift the knee up while side lying on the floor. If you want to be more challenging, you could do this from a semi plank position. You would also do 20 reps of these. Then after those two movements, I like to move into a heart rate elevator. For these, you could do things like mountain climbers, jumping jacks, or running in place. If you have access to a punching bag, you can do punches or kicks. All those things are good options, but the mountain climbers work well. For this heart rate elevator, you would do a mountain climber for 30 to 60 seconds. Now, if you’ve never worked out before, start at 30 seconds. Mountain climbers are challenging and if you are beginner it’ll totally kick your rear end. All you’re going to do is get yourself into a tripod position. Then, you’re just going to move your feet back and forth.
If you want to be challenging, you can start doing them one after the other. You’re going to do that for 30-60 seconds and trust me, if you’re doing that right, your heart rate is going to get way up there. Now, you got to bring it back down again. So, I like to do more core strengthening for the calisthenic strengthening portion. I like to do plank shoulder taps. To do this, you’re going to start in a plank position and from there, and you do 20 repetitions of shoulder taps on each side. If that’s hard, you can modify it by doing it on your knees. Then, you can move into some lower body and this is still working on strengthening.
You could do your squat pumps, keeping everything at 20 reps. Then, this would be followed by 20 lunges. Now, if it’s hard for you to go all the way down, you could do more lunges instead of squats. You could even just do lunge pumps, keeping it at 20 reps for each leg. Now, you’re going to move into plank shoulder taps, squat pumps, and lunges. Then, you work back into your heart rate elevator and you could do burpees, jumping jacks, or mountain climbers for 30-60 seconds.
Then, you’re going to rest for one minute. After that, you’re going to go back to your main workout and repeat that cycle again. Your goal is to repeat that cycle two or three times. Now, that is going to raise your heart rate and it’s going to be very intense. It is going to force your body into a fat burning mode and you’re going to burn more calories. Even though regular cardio is good, you will burn more calories if you start implementing HIIT into your workout program. If you’re looking for a way to get in shape fast, HIIT programs are the way to go.
HIIT programs also give you that daily dose, which means they help your body release dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, epinephrine, and other endorphins. These are the “feel good” chemicals within your body. When you get done working out, this is why you feel so much better. You think more clearly, and it feels like everything is working out for you. In conclusion, you don’t need long, lengthy workouts and you don’t need to go to the gym for hours and hours at a time. These quick HIIT workouts at home will have you amazed at the results. Remember we are live every Tuesday and Thursday at 1:00 PM. Until we see you next time, stay healthy and keep moving forward.