Fall 2017 HIIT Challenge: Week 3 (Sample HIIT Workouts)

Fall 2017 HIIT Challenge, Week 3! If you need to catch up, no big deal (this is a self-paced challenge during Oct-Dec this year, and you don’t need 12-13 weeks to meet its basic goals). Just click the HIIT Challenge link in the box to the left, to access the Week 1 intro to all this.

For this and other OlderBeast seasonal challenges (yoga’s the other current one), “best of the web” content is part of the rotation. I’m always looking for useful stuff, sometimes at the theory/rationale level, and a lot of times at the concrete “what-to and how-to” levels.

In that spirit, here are three HIIT-focused sources I think you’ll find useful, especially for doing things on your own vs. an instructor-led workout in person or via video (all of these are great things to try).

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Fall 2017 HIIT Challenge, Week 3! If you need to catch up, no big deal (this is a self-paced challenge during Oct-Dec this year, and you don’t need 12-13 weeks to meet its basic goals). Check out Week 1 or Week 2 as needed.

For this and other OlderBeast seasonal challenges (yoga’s the other current one), “best of the web” content is part of the rotation. I’m always looking for useful stuff, sometimes at the theory/rationale level, and a lot of times at the concrete “what-to and how-to” levels.

In that spirit, here are three HIIT-focused sources I think you’ll find useful, especially for doing things on your own vs. in an instructor-led workout in person or via video (all of these are great things to try). I’d love to hear your feedback on these, or ideas you have that can help other OlderBeasts in this HIIT Challenge. Feedback very welcome here, or at OlderBeast’s private members page on Facebook.

1. PERSPECTIVES ON HIIT VS. CARDIO VS. WEIGHTS

Where: this article at NerdFitness.com (I’m not saying you’re a nerd, dude – this is just useful content…).

Why I recommend it: This article doesn’t automatically “drink the Cool-Aid” that HIIT is better than other forms of exercise. That’s nice – and important for you and me – in a media environment that treats the shiny new thing as “the best.” Even though you’re taking the HIIT challenge if you read this, OlderBeast philosophy holds that you should blend HIIT with other forms of being active. And be your own judge about what works. This article reinforces that, and thus it’s great context for the other two articles flagged here.

Make sure to check out: The part toward the end about nutrition. The relatively-small differences in different workouts’ efficacy for calorie-burn are easily dwarfed by poor nutrition. So keep eating clean, brothers, even as you seek to make your investment in working out be the most effective it can be. As the authors say…

“The real caloric battle happens in the kitchen.”

2. “BUILDING BLOCK” EXERCISES FOR YOUR OWN HIIT ROUTINE

Where: this article at PaleoHacks.com.

Note: Though it works for many guys, I’m skeptical about the whole Paleo/Primal thing. I think the parts about avoiding processed carbs and refined sugar are great, but thing some other things it makes you avoid are good for you, IMHO). And the whole idea of fitness “hacks” kind of bugs me. A “hack” is a short-term thing you do to temporarily fix something…that’s not what lifelong body-and-soul health is about. But notwithstanding my beef with both parts of this site’s name…it’s a useful article!

Why I recommend it: The title is “10 Effective HIIT Workouts,” but to me what they’re describing here are 10 “building block” type things which can be combined into a killer HIIT workout using only your own bodyweight. Or, one-or-a-few of these can be added to another workout to give it a HIIT embellishment. There’s a good range of cardio, strength, and plyometric (explosive movement) moves described here.  There are also videos for a couple of moves where technique is important but non-obvious.

Make sure to check out: The “Prison Workout” (#8). This three-move rotation hits a high proportion of you, in one small routine. One other thing: the link to the “Seal Jumps” video is broken, but here’s another one you can use. I’m not sure I’m sold on these vs. trusty old regular jumping jacks, but you can judge for yourself.

3. 10, 20 and 30-MINUTE “BEGINNER” HIIT WORKOUTS

Where: this article at Daily Burn.

Why I recommend it: These are simple and easy-to-follow workout instructions, scaled to three different amounts of time you may have. If work, travel or life-in-general is making it hard to find time for fitness…you can always at least squeeze in 10 minutes somewhere man, and I challenge you to do at least this. (Here are a few more thoughts on keeping at least somewhat fit while in “survival mode”). Also, the “beginner” description comes from the fact that these don’t call for complex moves, using weights or kettlebells, etc. You CAN get an awesome and un-beginner-like workout doing these routines, so don’t let the label dissuade you.

Make sure to check out: The warm-up and cool-down parts . HIIT often gets characterized as a phenomenal workout in a short time (and this can be true). But the intensity means you can’t jump right into it with a cold body. Nor should you finish your last HIIT move and then get right into the shower with no cool-down and stretch. So invest the few extra minutes in a warm-up and cool-down that works for you (one set of options is in this article).

NEXT STEPS

Do you have one or more great HIIT workouts to point to? I’d love to benefit from that via the  OlderBeast members page on Facebook.

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Challenges , Flexibility & Alternative Fitness

Something You Need for 2018: Your Next (or First) Yoga Mat

If you’ve been trying out yoga, you probably fall into one of two main camps when it comes to owning a yoga mat. (If you’re not aware of our Yoga Challenge and want to check that out for context, click on the “Yoga Challenge” link in the box to the left).

Maybe you ran out and bought one soon after your first class (the male stereotype is that we do love our gear, after all). Or, you might have figured you’ve got other stuff to worry about — like surviving challenging yoga practices — and using borrowed or rented mats seems fine for you.

In either case, if you’ve been stringing together some weeks of yoga and intend to continue in the new year, now’s a good time to think about a mat. Either your first one, or the one you wish you’d known to buy the first time around.

“What’s the big deal?” you might ask. What’s so great about the “right” mat? This is one of those things that’s best understood in the reverse. As in, what issues does the wrong mat bring? So let’s start off there — hopefully to motivate you, man. Then we’ll identify a number of mats that might have your name on them.

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Challenges

Introducing OlderBeast 2.0 with Seasonal Challenges

If you’re reading this…well, first of all, THANKS man. I truly value and feel honored by your engagement in OlderBeast.

If you’re reading this…you’re at the new, improved “OlderBeast 2.0.” Here’s an overview of new features and how to use them.

But first, one key thing has not changed. OlderBeast’s mission is to help 45+ guys double down on body-and-soul health, to maximize the 2nd half of life. Fitness, nutrition, wellness – and having these things contribute not only to our physical health but also to Joy and Meaning – that’s what this is all about.

With these guiding goals, “OB2” can be more customized for how you want to use it. It hopes to be more engaging, to invite and challenge (and help with) your “doing” vs. just “reading.” And to create (cliché alert, I know) community, so OlderBeast is more than a one-way thing.

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Another Fitness-as-we-Age Trick: Add HIIT Intensity to Everyday Workouts (Fall 2017 HIIT Challenge, Week 4)

Fall 2017 HIIT Challenge, Week 4! If you need to catch up, no big deal. Click the “HIIT” link in the Challenges box to the left of this post, to get started.

If you’re taking this challenge, you plan to try out at least a few HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) classes at an in-person gym or studio, and experiment with online classes or on-your-own work at home. These are all ways to help you experience how HIIT can combine cardio and strength conditioning, and burn a lot of calories (during and after your workout).

But: a workout doesn’t have to formally be a “HIIT” one to confer some of HIIT’s benefits. You can (and should try to) add some interval concepts into running, cycling, swimming or “traditional” strength training. As architect of your own long-term body-and-soul health, this would be a good example of coming to understand what different forms of fitness and different workout approaches can do for you, and orchestrating them within your own game plan.

So please read on for my two cents on how to “HIIT-ify” your current workouts.

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