I’m currently on day four of my get-fit-quick regime… It has been a disaster. This week has been going well so far; completing three days of split routine work outs. Monday was leg day, Tuesday abs, Wednesday arms etc. So today was going to be cardio. Urgh. I always fit cardio into my gym routine, usually 10 minutes as a warm up to get my heart rate going. However there was (and still is) nothing appealing to me about doing a completely cardio based gym session. In attempt to spice things up a bit, I decided to have a go at a HIIT workout.
High Intensity Interval Training has taken the fitness world by storm in the past couple of years. Merely the name of it makes it sound gruelling. Yet with people such as Joe Wicks (AKA The Body Coach) promoting HIIT as a simple formula for success, no wonder some people have started to embrace the attitude that anything other than HIIT workouts are a waste of time.
I took the plunge. My alarm went off at 10am (it’s summer, don’t judge me) and I got to work researching what kind of HIIT routines and workouts were out there. Numerous Body Coach videos and a few Pinterest searches later, I’d come up with my own little cardio HIIT workout:
So the idea here was that I’d do all 5 exercises with no rest in between and a 60 second rest between each set.
That did NOT happen.
Like every gym session, I started off with a bit of cardio. Today I chose a cross trainer. I was feeling pumped, I was ready to smash this HIIT workout and feel sassy whilst doing it. I confidently strode over to the designated free space section of the gym then stopped dead. A ’10am fitness class’ sign was up. I had to do that awkward nonchalant turn around to make it look like I knew what I was doing, without actually realising that it was 11am; the class was over. After wasting a few minutes on a thigh abductor, I realised my mistake, sheepishly grabbed a mat and started to begin.
I was super prepared and had even downloaded an interval training app which timed each interval. This seemed great seeing as counting to 30 seconds in my head didn’t really seem like a viable option!
Anyway, I hit the start button and got down to business.
Mountain Climbers – easy enough, right? WRONG! I was wearing a reasonably loose gym top so as soon as I started the move, my top was up around my shoulders with my pale jiggly midriff on show for the whole gym to see. Embarrassing much?! Nevertheless I carried on.
Jump Squats – I’m a fan of squats and usually smash them like a pro. Yet somehow when there is gravity and jumping involved, they go to shit. After nearly falling over a few times I managed to rather inelegantly finish the 30 seconds.
So I’d now done 60 seconds of HIIT workout and safe to say I was absolutely destroyed. When it came to the plank I was a sweaty red mess on the floor. As someone with quite good stamina, I couldn’t believe how difficult this was! After making an absolute fool of myself in the first two moves, I gave up. Yes. I gave up. I got up in a huff, put my mat back and was ready to head home. One issue – I’d only been at the gym for a grand total of 15 minutes. Well this is awkward. What do I do now? I decided to just try and get on with my original plan of a completely cardio based workout so headed to a rowing machine. I was only on it for 5 minutes before I gave myself a pep talk, got angry at myself for giving up and decided to give the HIIT workout another go. I am no quitter!
I changed my playlist from aggressive gym motivational tracks to my guilty pleasures mix in an attempt to enjoy the workout more. With Madonna and Justin Timberlake’s ‘4 Minutes’ in my ears, I was once again feeling sassy and ready to destroy this workout once again. I tucked my top in to avoid any wardrobe mishaps like the first time. I also decided to add a 10 second rest interval in between each move in an attempt to stay alive and keep some of my dignity.
This proved slightly effective. Yes, it was cheating a little bit, but we all have to start somewhere. I managed to make it all the way to the scissor kicks before I was yet again in a sweaty wheezing mess on the floor. I couldn’t bring myself to do the burpees. I ended up having over 1 minute rest waiting for the burpees and rest interval to go by before starting the second set.
Then I died. I struggled to even finish the mountain climbers. I had been truly defeated. At this point I’d been at the gym for half an hour. Again, I put my mat back and decided to head home.
I’d given it my best shot, and looked like an inflated jelly fish whilst doing it, but it seems that HIIT was just too brutal for me today. Despite losing my dignity, I’m determined to try again. Possibly on a day where my arms aren’t aching from working out the previous day. Any tips from HIIT enthusiasts would be great. Hugs would also be accepted and appreciated at this time. To all successful HIIT lovers out there, I salute you. 💪🏻
I’m off to write a creative piece entitled An Ode to my Dignity.