Don't Try This Insane Workout!
A reader recently sent me a link to a new workout program he found online. He wanted to know my thoughts on the program. After reading it through a couple times I found both good and bad, but what inspired me to write this blog post was the extremely high level of skill required to do some of the exercises. In other words how complicated they were.
The concept of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a very popular one these days and it has been proven time and again to produce superior fat burning results to steady state, long duration cardio such as jogging or walking on an elliptical. It’s time efficient and, in spite of the arguments that only a few minutes of effort can’t possibly garner the same results as an hour long training session, the numerous studies done have proven its value.
That’s the good point of the program.
The bad point is the exercise choices.
Let’s start with the very first exercise, a twisting lunging movement that is fantastic for improving the body’s flexibility and range of motion. It should be performed in a slow deliberate manner and definitely not for maximum reps possible in a 30 second period.
Then there are a series of combined movements intended to stimulate as many muscles as possible at the same time which will in turn cause a very intense metabolic effect.
These are all advanced exercises that require a great deal of skill and perfect exercise technique. Without diligent practice to master these movements they could actually be quite dangerous. A one-legged Bulgarian deadlift is a great hamstring and glute movement that requires balance, intense focus and perfect execution. It should never be combined with another movement. Your focus needs to be on that movement and that movement alone, not on the upcoming curl and press. Come on people, we are talking about balancing on one foot here!
Then there is the pushup to row to burpee. We are doing a pushup on a pair of dumbbells and then balancing on one of the dumbbells while doing a one arm row (commonly known as a renegade row in the kettlebell world), then we are letting go of the dumbbells to complete the burpee portion of the movement. My big problem here is balancing on a single dumbbell which can easily roll out from under you and cause your face to become intimately acquainted with the floor!
I think I have said enough about the exercise choices.
The idea of a short very intense workout is great for many reasons and not just for an inactive person. It can have a great metabolic effect on the advanced athlete as well. However it needs to be mixed into a more balanced training program. The HIIT workout should be comprised of compound movements that incorporate large amounts of muscle to maximally stimulate the fat burning and hormone stimulating effects, but let’s make things simple to follow so we can put all our effort into pushing ourselves to our limits rather than worrying about keeping balanced on one arm or foot! Movements like the burpee are more than enough to do the job. Regular squats while holding weights would also be a great choice.
It is important to perform exercises to improve balance and coordination but they should not be done in a rapid manner for max reps in a short period. That is for another part of your training program.