BESTFIT Issue 18 – Mark Laws
What is the single most valuable commodity in the world? We all have varying amounts of it; it can never be re-used and IT is the one thing that money simply cannot buy.
The answer of course, is TIME.
If you could put a price on time, what would it be worth? How much would you pay to have more of it? Keep reading, because I am going to give you hours of your lives back and it’s not going to cost you a single penny.
To cut the long story short, a lot of us waste too much time in the gym. As a general consensus, if you have time to take a picture of yourself and post it on Instagram, or if you need two hours to fit in every single variation of a biceps curl you’re not working hard or smart enough. All of these cardinal sins result in a waste of the most precious commodity of all.
I can give you an alternative method that will get more work done in 20 minutes than you can normally manage in two hours… please meet my good friend High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT for short!
HIIT requires short bursts of very high intensity work followed by a very short period of low intensity/rest. The drastic continual change in intensity shocks your body, forcing it to burn more calories to cope with the demand. But, not only will you burn more during the session, depending on your effort levels you can continue to burn calories up to 48 hours after the 20-minute session has finished.
Although HIIT originally focused on cardio-based workouts it can be adapted easily for resistance workouts – meaning you can become a lot stronger as well as ‘fitter’. The stronger you become the more weight you can shift, which will eventually adapt your body for the better.
For this workout, I am using a PowerWave, which is a weighted sandbag with various handles weighing 7, 12 or 20kgs. These exercises can be adapted for any variation of sandbag or even for various other pieces of equipment laying around your gym or house.
We are picking five exercises (a lift, a squat, a push, a pull and a rotational movement). Perform as many repetitions of each exercise in that same order, for 50 seconds with a 10 second rest in between. When you finish round 1, go straight into round 2. Complete 4 rounds in total. So, the longest rest you ever get is 10 seconds and the entire workout is finished in 19 minutes and 50 seconds.
“For this workout, I am using a PowerWave, which is a weighted sandbag with various handles weighing 7, 12 or 20kgs.”
Before starting, ensure you are thoroughly warm and if selecting your own exercises make sure you have selected exercises that you are capable of performing with good form.
Hold the bag at arm’s length so it starts level with your thighs. Keeping your back straight, push your hips back to the wall until the PowerWave is as close to the floor as possible. Then drive the hips forward, as the PowerWave starts to come back up towards the thighs, bend the elbows, adding an upright row into the movement.
Place the PowerWave across the back of your shoulders and hold it firmly in place. Again keeping the back straight, lower your hips down towards the floor as far as you can manage into a squat position. Drive out of the squat position and as you reach the top of the movement kick one leg out in front level with your hip. Alternate kicking legs each time.
Hold the PowerWave lengthways on one shoulder, with both hands placed in the centre. Lift the PowerWave up and over your head onto the other shoulder and repeat from side to side. Don’t move your head around the weight, the weight moves around your head. Don’t use your legs to help with the movement, and make sure the elbows are fully extended at the top of the movement.
Hold the straps of the PowerWave and allow it to hang down towards your knees. Curl the PowerWave up keeping it close to the body until it rests on your elbows at the top of the movement. Then extend the elbows fully so your arms are straight out in front of your shoulders, then keep the elbows locked as you lower it back down to the start position, completing a full circle.
Get into a straight arm plank position with the PowerWave directly beneath your chest. There should be a straight line from your shoulders, through your hips and down to your ankles. Take your right hand off the floor and push the PowerWave as far to the left as you can before pulling it back to the centre position. Then repeat this with the left arm that will push the PowerWave to the right hand side. Rotate through your hips and shoulder to increase the range of motion.
be careful not to try too much too soon. once you are familiar with the content, you can start to build up the intensity and see what all the fuss is about. Don’t forget to cool down thoroughly, stretch the muscles that have worked and most importantly remember to rehydrate and refuel. The PowerWave 2.0 is available from www.jordanfitness.com