Yesterday at the gym I had… an interesting experience. But First…
… let me say that I officially have a go-to method for performing High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Now, for those of you who are exercise-enthusiasts, I’m sure that you know all about HIIT. But, if you don’t, here’s a list of the Benefits of High Intensity Interval Training:
1. HIIT burns fat more effectively than standard “endurance” cardiovascular exercise (45 minute moderate jog, elliptical, etc).
2. HIIT takes around 20 minutes. “Endurance” training takes 45-60 minutes.
3. HIIT has been shown to improve athletic performance. It’s a great way to get faster if you’re a runner. (I’m not)
4. HIIT can substantially improve insulin action (in young men –> but it’s likely to do the same in other groups as well). This indicates that it may be a good way to prevent type-2 diabetes.
Basically, HIIT appears to be the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to cardiovascular training. The premise is simple: alternate a moderate cardiovascular effort with a super-high-intensity cardiovascular effort for about 20 minutes. Most people like to do a 2:1 ratio moderate:high intensity. (So 1 minute moderate, 30 seconds high)
Well, despite all of these awesome benefits, I still had not been able to get myself on board with this training until recently. For me, working out on a machine by myself is boring, and I like to read a magazine while doing it. Trying to adjust the level and check the time sort of detracts from my magazine-reading pleasure. But alas, I finally found a solution!…
If you’re looking to get your body sweaty and your heart a-beating heavy, this is your machine. (just don’t lean on the rails) This baby has a “speed interval” setting in which you choose a level 1-20 (I chose 13), and it automatically alternates between a slower pace and a faster pace every 2 minutes. While this is a longer interval for HIIT, it worked just perfectly yesterday evening.
After only 22 minutes on the machine, I got off real-sweaty and feeling as if I just ran a mile as a kid after never-exercising-ever-in-my-life. I don’t mean to deter you by saying this, I only mean to say that you get a great workout! And I didn’t have to adjust anything but the rate at which I moved my feet. (meaning, I still got a little magazine-readage in… not much, but I did.)
Alright, back to the
f***ing annoying interesting thing that happened to me yesterday (breathe now because I’m getting long-winded):
I was planning on going to a Cycle class, so I was wearing a wicking tank top and knee-length compression shorts. Unfortunately, I was too late for the class, and I decided to do the above stairmill HIIT workout. As I was checking into my local YMCA, I noticed that a few boys in their mid-teens (personally estimated to be 15-16) were shaking a vending machine, trying to get free snacks. They give up and start walking towards the fitness section of the gym. I also walk this way but at a quicker pace than their moseying stroll. As I approach them, I see one say to the other, “Behind us?” turn to me, then say, “Oh.” As I walk ahead of them, one sheepishly starts it. “Hey!” Then his friends begin chiming in softly with a few more comments. (You know, they wouldn’t want to be too conspicuous) I forget what was said, but I understood the meaning: typical young male calling out at a female walking past. (Keep in mind- I’m 23) I breathe a sigh of relief (not actually- I just thought it sounded nice) as I turned the corner to walk further towards the fitness section of the gym. I turn off on a hallway to fill my water bottle. As I come back out on the main track towards the fitness area, the mid-pubescent males were right behind me. They became a little more bold with their statements at this point; throwing in a louder “Hey!” and other basic questions/statements to try and get my attention. The counselor in me was th|-|is close to turning around and informing them that their behavior was (1) appalling, (2) sexual harassment, and (3) f***ing stupid. I did not. But a (BIG HUGE) part of me wishes that I had.
What would you do if a few mid-pubescent boys started cat calling you at the gym?