Not to steal any thunder from the qualified, certified, bonafide trainers out there, or the guys who play Ultimate who greatly surpass me in both skill and physical conditioning, but I thought I’d share with you what I’ve been up to athletically over the past 3 months or so.
Two years back when training with a friend of mine, I was introduced to a lovely little workout variation called the Tabata. We had just run something like 2.5 miles of sprints and it was decided the workout couldn’t be complete without two exercises done in the following fashion:
8 sets of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off.
Where ‘on’ is doing the exercise as fast as possible in the most difficult way you can do it, and ‘off’ is resting. For instances, if you were to do push-ups, you might start with 1-handed push-ups, T-push-ups, or clap push-ups, and then eventually wear yourself down to doing them on your knees (it doesn’t take long).
This year, after my last tournament was played and there were no more track workouts to run, I took two weeks off. I decided that I wouldn’t let go like last year and gain 20 lbs between October and January however, so I made a pact with myself to start doing exercises in my apartment.
At first I started with just 4 exercises in tabata sets with 1 minute of rest in between each, I have since moved on to running stairs, followed by 6 exercises in tabata sets, followed by some cool-down/burn-out exercise.
The exercises I do at home include the following (note: I use a 9 lb medicine ball and resistance band as my only workout tools – and an interval timer of course):
Jump-Squats (to normal)
Clap-Pushups (to normal, to knees)
Burpees (sometimes kicking feet back onto a chair)
Rows (resistance band)
Pull-ups (I have one of those non-screw-in over door bars)
Wood-Choppers (medicine ball)
Clean-to-Press (medicine ball)
Renegade Rows (requires dumbbells – I did these at my parent’s house)
Calf Raises (Single-leg)
Jump Step Ups (on a chair)
Now, to say I’ve gotten ‘good’ at tabatas would be a bold-faced lie as the beauty of the exercise is that you never get ‘good’ at them since you’re always trying to do them as quickly and in the most difficult manner possible. However, I feel stronger, I haven’t gained any weight at all despite over-eating on the holidays, drinking heavily at times, and keep in mind I do this only 3 days a week. In fact, I think I’ve lost a tiny bit of weight.
My roommate who joined me about 6 weeks ago has lost 14 pounds. Again, we’re not even really eating right.
I strongly urge any of you out there – men and women alike – to give tabatas a shot. Just start with 4 exercises and pick stuff that works multiple muscle groups at once (squats, push-ups, bicycles, etc) and remember – you only have to do them as difficult as you can, if that’s knee push-ups at first, then so be it. The best part? It takes about 25 minutes and you don’t have to leave your house.
Now get to it!