Tuesday 4 March 2014

Think you're training hard? Try this!

This week, my hubby and I moved to beautiful Wanaka, in the south island of New Zealand. Just to give you a little visual (and to entice you to come and visit), here is a pic that I took just the other morning:

Wanaka. Day 1.
Yes, that is snow that you see on the mountains. Yes, summer has only just finished. Yes, I am aware that New Zealand is known for being pretty bloody chilly in the winter, thanks for sharing. It is also insanely amazing, though, with some of the most incredible and diverse landscapes you will see in the world. This is the part I am looking forward to experiencing – getting out and spending time in the wilderness, because nothing heals like Mother Nature. And after spending 10 years in Sydney (as beautiful as it is, it is still a hectic city), I have a bit of tree hugging to catch up on.

Hippie talk aside, what we are actually going to be doing here, I am excited to say, is be working as part of Tribe TeamTraining. These amazing programs are all about, as the name suggests, training as part of a small team. Why? Because when you train as part of a team you get better results, you have greater support, motivation and encouragement, and you make new friends! And it is fun (except for the workout that I did. See below)! You can read more about Tribe Team Training on their website HERE. Or you can like them on Facebook HERE - they sometimes post workouts for you to try. 

Anywho, we are going to be working as part of Tribe International, but also as trainers in Wanaka at Proactive Gym. As a “welcome to becoming a Tribe Team Trainer and welcome to Wanaka”, we were put through a “master class” (AKA absolute mind-f*@k, torture session) on our first day here. Now keep in mind that it had snowed overnight. It was cold. And this is what we had to do:

  • 250m run
  • 10 push-ups
  • 10 squats
  • 50m of walking lunges
  • 50m of toy soldiers (where you kick your leg straight out in front then kick it behind)

So far so good. I was warm. Now for the brutality:


500m run

Block 1 (repeat 5 rounds):
  • 20 Push-ups
  • 20 Squats
  • 10 burpees (with a push-up at the bottom and a jump at the top)

Block 2 (repeat 4 rounds):
  • 25m of alligator crawls (check out video below - warning - it's a pretty boring video, but only 30 seconds. It gets the point across)
  • 25m of saber tooth sprint (your hands and feel are on the floor, butt in the air and you are sprinting, 2 hands then 2 feet, staying down….it’s messed up)

500m run

If the video doesn't work, go HERE

 Now, on paper, you might think – that looks pretty easy. To you I say, try it and get back to me. If you’re convinced that it looks like a punish, maybe try half of it (i.e. just do 2-3 rounds of each block, with a 250m run tacked on to each end) and see what you think.

I have never in my LIFE experienced something so hard, and I have been working in the fitness industry for almost 15 years. I cried a little. I swore a lot (it would have been louder if I could have). I almost vomited. And I topped it all off by hyperventilating in the final run, thinking I was going to die. Fun times.

Me, in happier times, after climbing Mt Iron this afternoon
You’re probably thinking “Why the f@*k would I want to do this?”. Well, some people (actually a lot of people) really love this style of training. As tough as it is, it’s all done and dusted in 30 minutes. Sweet as, hey bro? (Yes, I have to speak like that now that I live in NZ) Oh, and the usual TribeFIT workout isn’t quite as hard as the one we had to do. But feel free to give it a whirl.

If you’re looking for another style of workout that gets great results and you can do in 4 minutes in room as small as 2m x 2m (yes, we’ve tried it), you could try Tabata training. This is what I have been doing a couple of times a week since I was put on my exercise ban (necessary for recovery from hypothalamic amenorrhea). It’s good for me physically and mentally, as I get a workout in, without putting too much stress on my body. Try this:

Set a timer on your phone* (or use a stop watch) for 20 second work intervals with 10 second breaks. Warm up well, and then complete 8 rounds of your workout as fast as you can (make the most of the 10 second breaks, though – they’ll go by in a flash!). Here’s an example of what you could do:

Exercise 1: Squats
Exercise 2: Push-Ups

Repeat 4 times.  It’s that simple. 4 minutes of exercise. Done. But remember – you have to go as fast as you can. You should be feeling well-shagged by the end of it.

* There is an app called "Tabata Timer" - it sets everything up for you. All you have to do is press start. 

I know what you’re thinking. 4 minutes can’t possibly be enough to get any kind of fitness improvement. WRONG! Studies on Tabata training have shown it to be as effective as, if not more effective than, 30 minutes of endurance training (e.g. running/cycling) at building aerobic and anaerobic fitness. Hurrah! No more useless long slogs on the treadmill! Now you have no excuse not to move your butt, even just for 4 minutes…..

Enjoy and let me know what you think! x

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