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

OlderBeast Fall 2017 HIIT Challenge: Week 1 Intro

Welcome to OlderBeast’s Fall 2017 High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Challenge.

The purpose of this and other challenges is to help inspire and support you in trying new fitness/nutrition approaches, in ways that “one-off” articles can’t do as well on their own. Every guy who undertakes this challenge can succeed, if he decides to. Really, it’s a challenge to your curiosity, willingness to be a “beginner” at something new, and determination to give something a fair trial to see if it might be part of your long-term game plan.

As the season unfolds, each week there will be updates such as OlderBeast-original content, curated “best-of” information and advice from gurus from around the web, expert interviews, and reviews of relevant products and services.

The rest of this post lays out this challenge/s specific goals, rationale, and detailed instructions for how to get started. Please consider yourself challenged, and read on!

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Challenges

Fall 2017 Yoga Challenge: Week 2 (Six Tips)

Welcome to Week 2 of the Fall 2017 Yoga Challenge. If needed, you can find the Week 1 kick-off post by clicking the “Yoga for Men” icon in the box to left.

When I thought about writing this post, something felt a little unusual. I realized what it was: you see a lot written about yoga nowadays, but you don’t often see “tips” about how to do it. You can find so many sources on how to do a push-up or a kettlebell swing, or how to run more efficiently. But you don’t often see “these techniques help you get more out of yoga.”

These six principles are ones you’ll use in many yoga poses within a typical practice. And as I’ll point out in a few places, some of these “yoga tips” are things you can use throughout your day to reduce stress and its impact on us.

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Challenges , Flexibility & Alternative Fitness

Six Signs of Unmet Fitness Needs at 45+ (Reasons For Yoga — Yoga Challenge Week 6)

I confess. I’m not always as proactive and purposeful as OlderBeast articles make me sound. When it comes to 45+ men’s fitness, I’ve often just learned from injury-driven needs that motivated experimentation, or by simply lucking into things.

When I started yoga at age 46, it wasn’t because I’d thoughtfully concluded “hey, I have some ‘need yoga’ signs.” I started just because yoga’s a weekly part of the P90X home fitness program. Luck. (Online yoga classes are actually a great place to start – more on that at the conclusion of this article).

I see in retrospect that, as my 40s progressed, my fitness needs were changing. I had many of the “Need Yoga” signs, but I didn’t recognize them. Now, with regular yoga as part of my fitness routine, I’ve turned a lot of these “Need” categories into fitness and wellness positives.

My goal with this list is to help you do a self-assessment, and possibly reach a yoga conclusion sooner than I did (or if not, then at least “better late than never.”)

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Challenges , Strength

Endurance Guy Trying HIIT? Do Strength-focused Versions. (HIIT Challenge, Week 5)

As discussed in the introduction to this challenge (click the link in the Challenge box to the left if you want to see that), underlying the many variations of “HIIT” out there are two basic concepts.

There are Cardio Intervals. I.e, going fast enough for a short period to be uncomfortable/unsustainable, then a period of slower pace to recover, then repeat. And there’s Metabolic Conditioning.  That is, doing strength move intervals at a pace and difficulty-level that brings high-intensity benefits of elevated heart rate and amped-up metabolism.

Which to choose? Here’s a point-of-view if you’re mainly a runner, a cyclist, a swimmer or a “cardio machine guy.” That is, if strength work is the “junior partner” in your exercise mix.

In this case, I urge you to bring HIIT into your life by having it be strength-focused, man. Here are three reasons why, with some curated best-of reading to expand on each point.

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