Kelly’s Tuesday Training Tip:
I train using high intensity/low intensity days. This method ensures proper rest and recovery to build new, stronger muscles and has by far worked the best for me for maximum strength and performance gains. I vary my workouts so that one day I have a high intensity day and the next day I have a low intensity workout. A high intensity workout means you work your body to the maximum and push yourself to all out efforts. This might look like sprints, plyometrics, a hard lifting session, or anything that gets your heart really pounding. The duration of high intensity days should be minimum (around 20-30 minutes), but your effort should be all out maximum. Make it count! High intensity days will leave your central nervous system fatigued and your body stressed. Did you know that it takes anywhere from 48-72 hours to recover from a high intensity day? Knowing that, you need to allow your body to recover so it can build stronger muscles. So the next day or two, plan to do low intensity training and focus on things that don’t stress your central nervous system. This ensures that your body can recover, build new muscle, and come back even stronger and more fit than before. If you don’t allow proper time to recover, your performance and fitness levels will actually decrease and you are at risk of becoming sick or very fatigued.
Now that you know what a high intensity day looks like, here’s what a low intensity training day looks like. A low intensity day should be longer in duration and should not be very difficult. Your heart should not be pounding. Things like going on a long bike ride, hike, or light jog are perfect for low intensity days. Find active things that you like to do and do them on your low intensity days. Your low intensity days could look like a few hours of gardening or a long walk with the dog or just some nice stretching. At the end of a low intensity day, you should feel refreshed and not fatigued.
Less is more! You should not be going all out, everyday at the gym. This is something that took me years to learn. I am training so much more efficiently now. I’m actually spending less time training than I ever have, but my overall fitness levels and strength have increased by leaps and bounds. This is amazing to me. All those hours of drudgingly pounding on the treadmill and lifting everyday were actually doing me more harm than good. As you can see in my sample workout week below, I don’t have any typical “cardio” on there. I was never one who liked to run or do the boring elliptical and could never run more than 2 miles at time. But, I’ve been following the high/low training method for about 2 years and can now run 8-10 miles easily at a good pace, even though I don’t run at all during the week. That just goes to show how much my fitness levels have improved since I’ve been training this way.
My Workout week:
Monday: Heavy Lifting Routine using kettlebells, dumbells, and my TRX suspension training system (more about the TRX in an upcoming post). I lift to failure, do functional exercises that work multiple muscles of the body at one time, and do them in a circuit style. This usually takes me 30 – 45 minutes.
Tuesday: Yoga for 1 hour.
Wednesday: Pilates and Core Exercises for 30 minutes.
Thursday: Body weight exercises and Sprints: Pushups, Pullups, Burpees, Mountain Climbers, Box Jumps, All Out Sprints, etc. This usually takes me 20 – 30 minutes.
Saturday: Kickboxing Class for 1 hour.
Sunday: Hiking, Biking or Off
Just like I plan my weekly menus, I also plan my workouts a week in advance so I know for sure that I am allowing enough recovery in between my high intensity days. Having a weekly workout plan also helps me follow it through and helps me know exactly what I am going to do that day.
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