Guest Blog: Interesting Intervals

Hi! My name is Rosanna, also known as The Sac Fitness Fairy! I’m sure Mark (aka The Fat Panther) has told you all about me, and he has asked me to write a regular guest column here to help out his friends with getting in the best shape of their lives and staying there! That’s something I can get behind.

I thought I would start out trying to help everyone with the November/December Holiday Heft. Turkey, mashed potatoes, ham, all good things but only in moderation! But if you eat a bit too much, like a lot of us do, you have to make sure you’re still working out to keep the burn going. With the nasty cold cloudy weather though, sometimes you need a kick to the butt to get you interested and going again in your routine.

Here’s a tip on how to keep yourself stoked and interested: INTERVALS!

What’s an interval? Unlike a “normal” workout, instead of counting out reps as a target and then stopping the exercise, you utilize a timer of some kind and execute your movements for the entire length of time. I use my smartphone, Mark has a digital watch with a timer. Both work great as long as they have an audio alarm that will go off when your interval is over.

So how to start? First pick 3-5 exercises, all of which you can do fairly well over the course of a minute. For example, if you are starting out, pullups might not be the best choice. Of course, you could choose to do assisted pull-ups or jump-ups! Be creative. Some great choices include push-ups, mountain climbers, reverse crunches, air squats and burpees. A great addition to this workout is to intersperse a quick cardio blast between each exercise, for a similar length of time as the movement. For Mark I like him to jump rope for a minute between each movement, but you can hop on a treadmill or run a windsprint down the block and back, or do jumping jacks. Whatever gets your heart rate up and keeps you moving!

Set your timer and get moving! Do as many of the exercise movements as you can in the allotted time, with good form. If you feel your form breaking, it is OK to take a very short rest but remember, we want to have as many reps in that time period as we can! Get cracking!

If you can, count the reps in your head. Then, once you’ve done all of the exercises through once, go through them again and try to beat your previous rep count. That will keep you challenged and excited. Don’t think “I’m tired, I can do less”, think “I’m warmed up and know my pace, I can get in a few more!”

Create an interval workout that matches your available time. If you only have 20 minutes, do a 3 exercise 1 minute interval series with 1 minute cardio between each, and repeat 3 times. That works out to an 18 minute total, with a little time for drinking water and catching your breath. You’ll have a fun, exciting and challenging workout that might take a bite out of all that holiday feasting. Remember, small plates and load up veggies first!

This is the Sac Fitness Fairy, signing off till next time!

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