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New HIIT Training Technique – Not The Same ‘ol Sh-HIIT!

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New HIIT Training technique

Yes, there’s already a new HIIT training technique.

I know the entire concept of high-intensity interval training is fairly new in and of itself. Still, things change quickly — hopefully not as frequently as new iPod models, or you may be changing techniques three times before you’re even warmed up!

There are already several variations of HIIT, but the changing variables tend to be either the duration of the intervals or the different equipment/methods (exercise bike, sprinting, elliptical machine, etc.).

You can read all about the “old school” HIIT training here because let’s face it: any technique is better than none. In fact, the old way is still amazingly effective, and you may actually prefer it, but I’ve absolutely fallen in love with the “new school.”

HIIT Training 2.0

This new technique is most effective and easiest to perform on an exercise bike, which just happens to be my weapon of choice for my HIIT workouts. You can adapt this method to sprinting or ellipticals as well, but I’ve always liked the exercise bike, because I can use it anytime right here at home (none of those “I don’t have time to drive to the gym excuses”!).

Ok, so keeping with the exercise bike example, I, along with most other HIIT’ers, would (back in the old days of about two weeks ago) pedal along at a high-intensity pace (100-150RPM) for a certain amount of time (30-60seconds), followed by a low-intensity pace (50-75RPM) for a bit, then rinse and repeat.

As I said, this works wonders for anyone who can keep up the intensity for a relatively short time. Most HIIT sessions take only about 10-20 minutes; if you’re lasting longer than that, then you probably overlooked the “high intensity” portion of H.I.I.T.

The only problem I was having, as my endurance increased and my intensity got higher and higher to keep up, during my high intensity intervals, I was topping out over 160-170RPM (rotations per minute).

Not only did this make me look like a bouncing, schizophrenic lunatic, it put unnecessary stress on my knees and hips.

But, how can I keep up the intensity without continuing to increase my RPM?

Viva La Resistance

Resistance. So simple, yet I never thought of it, until I was browsing and read an article by Craig Ballantyne.

Craig knows his stuff, so the idea really intrigued me. He writes for several health and fitness magazines, including Men’s Health and Men’s Fitness, and he creates some excellent workouts for everyone from beginners to elite athletes (heard of the Bodyweight 500? you can thank Craig for that one as you struggle to pick yourself up off the floor).

So, by keeping the RPM constant and adjusting the resistance up and down for each interval, you get the same benefits of high intensity vs. low intensity, but without the potential joint stress.

If you’re already doing HIIT on a regular basis, try it out as a change-up to your regular routine. For the first-timers, read the original HIIT article for more background on the training method, then try out both techniques.

HIIT By The Numbers

We’re all at different fitness levels, but I’ll give you my numbers as something to compare to if you need to figure out how your current RPM technique will convert to the resistance technique:

“Old School” (adjusting RPM)

  • Low intensity intervals: 70RPM on resistance level 5 for 30 seconds
  • High intensity intervals: 150RPM on resistance level 5 for 30 seconds

Here’s what I do now to achieve the same level of intensity and workload while keeping the RPM constant:

“New School” (adjusting resistance level)

  • Low intensity intervals: 100RPM on resistance level 3 (out of 10) for 60 seconds
  • High intensity intervals: 100RPM on resistance level 8 (out of 10) for 60 seconds

Again, you can play around with the numbers since everyone’s body and equipment is going to be different, as long as you stick with the basic idea of adjusting resistance levels while keeping RPM fairly constant.

Adapting To Other Methods

If you usually do cardio on another type of machine, like an elliptical for example, then adapting this technique to your workout should be fairly easy, as most exercise equipment has an option to digitally or manually increase resistance.

For example, on a treadmill, rather than increasing the speed, you could increase the incline during your high intensity intervals, then bring the incline back down during the low intensity intervals.

If you’re not part of the pasty, digital-world bunch, and you prefer actually to run out in the real world, things get a little bit trickier.

When you’re using running as your HIIT method, your high intensity intervals are going to be significantly shorter, because not many people can maintain a true sprinting pace for 30-60 seconds.

You can always experiment with these attractive running parachutes to increase resistance, but you may find them to be a bit impractical with the shorter intervals, in which case you can just keep it “old school.”

No matter what method, technique, or variation you choose, you simply can’t go wrong with any type of HIIT training.

Fitness

Simple Balance Exercises

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Simple Balance Exercises

For a while now, the idea of a work-life balance intrigues me. Some consider it to be an illusion much like true love and while the lifestyles of the rich and famous might be perfect evidence of why life can be so cool if you’ve obtained financial freedom, there no doubt that the effort to get there can take a while.

At another level altogether, doing what you love is another thing that most people give thought to… and sometimes, this takes a while to get there too. But at least, you keep yourself busy in the non-hedonistic manner, at least.

In my estimation, it’s what most people identify as their dreams, and for the lucky ones who do get there, the reality of these dreams often don’t meet the very fantasy that caused them to work towards them. However, for the most part, one can at least the savor the journey that led them there in the first place.

Perhaps, it is only in the second case that one truly achieves balance… for as a Chinese philosopher once said: if you love your work, you wouldn’t work a single day of your life.

And while this is something that one should (and will, sooner or later) give thought to, this whole idea of remaining balanced in the physical world is just as important as well.

The Importance of Maintaining Physical Balance

For starters, perhaps the equilibrium definition describes how balance is achieved, and this has a lot to do with your body weight distribution and, in some cases, provides one with maximum poise that works to their advantage for the most part.

The simplest answer to this question lies in the fact that you need balance for everything, apart from lying on your butt! And it’s almost obvious that this core body function works in the favor of sports athletes as opposed to those who don’t necessarily make it an essential facet of their training routine.

And as one gets older, the abilities that we take for granted (physical balance being one of them) now are not necessarily our strong points anymore, and this can lead to injury and the fear of falling if not being afflicted by injury due to one falling down.

And so does this mean that it’s inevitable that we will lose our balance as we get older… or old. (winky wink)

The Benefits of Simple Balance Exercises

Apart from working on muscular strength, if one also focuses on working out to improve balance… the thing is, this does not play such a debilitating role as one gets older and older. And while the most straightforward benefits of simple balance exercises can be to fortify your body against harm (from falling etc.) as one gets old, the thing is that working towards this can improve your fitness levels by a long shot in the short-term as well.

And since I am not a certified instructor, here’s a link with some of the simplest balance exercises that one can perform to improve their fitness levels.

In Closing

And with all this talk about the work-life balance, one should know that the physical balance is no less important!

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Lower Back Pain Exercises: In finding humor in aphorisms…

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Lower Back Pain Exercises: In finding humor in aphorisms…

Introduction

If you like to read, maxims or aphorisms are not a bad way to spend your time. Plenty of these are available over the internet in the form of several websites, and it’s always interested me to find truths in lines such as “In Life not being fair to everyone, it is being fair to each and everyone of us”.

But, to do so one has to be in a philosophical bent of mind, and one where you tend to take Life a bit seriously while doing your soul-searching in ways that seem to provide you answers.

After a point however, one comes to the conclusion that it is pointless to be so driven and serious, and what the situation really demands is a lot less seriousness and humor that can possibly help one take it easy.

Aphorisms and the region located below your “Lower Back”

And so, one moves on from far more serious versions such as the fabled “Behind every great man is a great woman” to several adaptations such as this one: “Behind every great man is a great woman. And behind every great woman, is a guy looking at her a** (um… the region below your lower back, maybe!) .”

Haha. Gross but realistic… right?

And while there are several men whose wives consider their husbands to be a pain in the a** (Oops, in the region located below your “lower back”), these aches and pains can move to other regions as well for several reasons other than the constant nagging of their wives.

Lower Back Pain

But seriously, lower back pain can be excruciating, and one is better off without the sprain or strain that these muscles in your lower back go through.

However, since almost 80% of people have to experience lumbago at some point of time in their lives or the other, one can safely assume that the causes are several ranging from mechanical to oxygen deprivation and even depression.

The one thing that stops people from becoming active again after is the continuous recurrence of this pain, but it should not deter you from at least making an attempt to be active as much as possible.

What you can do, while choosing to stay active (despite the pain) is to avoid positions that you know strain those lower back muscles while also resorting to medical treatment and nonprescription painkillers just in case, it hurts.

When it comes to exercises for lower back pain, one should know that they aren’t complicated and can be done from home but one should consult with the physician before trying them.

Lower Back Pain Exercises

And which brings us to the next question: So what can one do from an exercise point-of-view when one has lower back pain?

Firstly, you have to find gentle strengthening exercises for your stomach, back and legs, which will not only prevent re-injury but will speed up the process of recovery.

Here’s a sample video that stretches the tight muscles (which cause discomfort and pain in the lower back) around the hips, thus relieving pain with each time you complete the routine. And I say sample because this is a delicate medical matter, and thus this routine has only been provided so as to provide one with an idea as to what kind of exercises are conducted for the same.

Please CONSULT your physician before doing any kind of exercises such as these!

In Closing

Considering the fact that this ‘nagging’ pain is just as excruciating as the aphorism “Behind every great man there is a woman rolling her eyes.”, the truth of it all is that the former is preventable through working out regularly… but the latter (marriage… I mean) is inevitable. You know, there’s someone for everyone… and it doesn’t if they call that person your ‘bitter half’!

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7 Tricks & Tips to Help You Stick to Your Fitness Program

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7 Tricks & Tips to Help You Stick to Your Fitness Program

For many of us, exercise or a short-time fitness program is a quick fix for an expanding waistline or to look good on the beach. But after we’ve achieved our goal, it is way too easy to let things slide and turn our backs on physical exercise until the need arises again.

If you care about your health and value your life, physical fitness shouldn’t just be regarded as a quick solution to a weight problem. There are even more powerful benefits to staying fit and healthy.

Regular exercise helps to prevent serious health problems, including depression, some cancers, diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis. It can also help you feel more confident and less sluggish and give you more energy.

The trouble is we all know that exercise is good for us but motivating ourselves to begin a fitness regime and stick to it is the tricky part.

It wasn’t until I grew older that I realized that a physical fitness regime was essential to my health and well-being. And I too found it difficult to motivate myself, but I found plenty of tips and trick to make sure that I stuck to my fitness plan.

7 Tips and Tricks

1. The 30 Day Rule: Research has shown that any daily activity will become a habit, if you stick to it for 30 days. So getting through the first 30 days of your fitness regime is crucial to your success.

2. Find a Training Buddy: Working out with a colleague or friend can be a great idea, as you can spur each other on when the going gets tough.

Pro: Working out with others can make exercise more fun.

Con: If you are not both truly committed to getting fit, you may influence each other to give up.

3. Hire a Personal Trainer: If you are struggling to get started, it may be worth hiring a personal trainer for a few weeks. A good personal trainer can help you devise a fitness plan and get used to a regular exercise regime.

Pro: A personal trainer will motivate you to work out. And because you’re paying for his time, you will probably take your fitness regime more seriously.

Con: Hiring a personal trainer can be an expensive option. Depending on where you live, expect to pay between $25 and $75 per hour.

4. Choose Something You Have a Chance of Enjoying: This might sound like common sense but you would be surprised at the number of people who choose a particular exercise just because it burns fat faster.

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Pro: You are likelier to stick to a fitness program you enjoy.

Con: You may just become addicted to exercise. I am not joking; exercise addiction is a serious problem for some people. They become addicted to the highs they get from exercise as a result of increased dopamine level.

5. Variety: Instead of plodding away on the treadmill for an hour, choose a workout which includes a variety of different exercises.

Pro: You are less likely to get bored. Also, you are more likely to avoid injury, as you will be exercising various muscle groups instead of putting all the strain on one.

Con: You will need to put a bit more thought and planning into your exercise routine.

6. Use Gadgets: If you are into technology, using fitness-related gadgets and mobile phone applications might motivate you. There are plenty of good ones available if you do a search on Google.

Pro: Applications that record your progress and help you plan your workout will add a fun element to your fitness regime, and inspire you to carry on.

Con: You may be tempted to spend more time playing with gadgets and applications than you spend working out.

7. Protect Yourself Against Injury: Make sure you do not injure yourself when working out by warming up, cooling down, and stretching. Also, take the time to learn the proper exercise techniques.

Pro: You are less likely to put yourself out of action for several weeks if you avoid injuring yourself.

Con: Warm-ups, cooling down, and stretches add additional time to your workout, but they are an essential part of your routine.

In closing

All this may sound like hard work, but the benefits of keeping fit shouldn’t be ignored. You will feel and look healthier if you participate in a regular fitness program, and you may even prolong your life.

Authorís Bio

Derek Carroll enjoys reviewing fitness products such as the p90x nutrition and exercise schedule, and the Bowflex dumbbells 552 adjustable dumbbell set. He also searches the internet for great deals and savings and shares his findings on his blog, Wise-Buyers.com.

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