Sweat Your Tabata Ass Off!

Woke up feeling refreshed this morning. I took my dog, Buster, out for a short walk and to get a double espresso from one of my favourite coffee shops in the neighbourhood, Jet Fuel.Buster and espresso

We’ve been experiencing a ‘humidity-wave’ in Toronto this year, and on Monday the single largest rain fall in Toronto’s history caused major flooding, damage, a complete subway shut down and power outages.

Suffice to say, the heat and humidity suck my energy and willpower to workout. It was getting hotter and more humid by the minute and I was starting to drag, but I wasn’t going to bail – at least the gym is air-conditioned.

I was planning to deadlift this morning, but I could not face wearing knee-high socks and long pants (to protect the skin on my legs when the bar travels up my shins). The thought of that was making me sweat.

What could I do instead? I decided on a quick exercise circuit instead of long rest, and heavy loads. It’s good to mix things up, especially when this was my solution to both going to the gym and completing my workout!

10 July 2013 Workout

Arrive at the gym. Change. Warm- up begins at 9:15 a.m.

Woodway Treadmill. 5 minute walk at 4 mph.

On the sixth minute I started Tabata sprints. This consisted of running all-out for 30 seconds at 8.5 mph and then a full stop for 10 seconds on side rails.

I completed 9 sprints and for the 10th sprint I raised the speed to 9 mph and ran for 60 seconds. Full stop for about 30 seconds and then a cool down for one minute at 4 mph.

For my workout I put together a tabata-type circuit. There are so many great examples (like my friends at Ultimate City Fitness in the UK) that you can find on the web and the research shows what an incredible metabolic burn you experience working out in this fashion.

One of the most notable examples is research conducted by scientists at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, showing that,

“…even a few minutes of training at an intensity approaching your maximum capacity produces molecular changes within muscles comparable to those of several hours of running or bike riding.”

Here’s my Tabata circuit workout, that included both bodyweight and dumbbell-based exercises. I used the Tabata Pro timer on my iPhone to regulate my work and rest periods.

Parameters: 7 cycles. 30 seconds of work. 15 seconds rest between exercises. 2-3 minutes rest between circuits. The point is not to count reps. Instead, do each rep with control, but for the 30 seconds duration without stopping.

Exercise Circuit:

  1. Push-ups – bodyweight
  2. Split squat (left foot on the ground)
  3. Split squat (right leg on the ground) – 1st cycle: Bodyweight, 2nd 15 lbs.
  4. Chin ups – bodyweight
  5. Hip thrusts. 1st 35 lbs. plate, 2nd, 80 lbs. fixed bar.
  6. DB push press. 1st 25 lbs., 2nd 30 lbs.
  7. Hanging leg raises – bodyweight

I was planning on doing three circuits but was completely spent after only two! Like I said, I was drained from the humidity and it was the first time doing this routine, which I made up on the spot.

Total workout time about 45 minutes!

I left the gym just after 10 a.m. I live three blocks away so I made a recovery shake at home.

Post-Workout Recovery Shake

  • 1 large, ripe banana;
  • Handful raw spinach;
  • 2 thick slices of fresh ginger root;
  • 1 teaspoon ground chia seeds;
  • Handful of the inner, most tender celery stalks;
  • Small scoop malodextrin powder (about 20 grams);
  • Filtered water, and;
  • 1 scoop Precision All Natural Whey Isolate (36 grams protein).

Put everything in a blender except for the protein and blend on high. When everything is pureed, add the protein while the blender is still running and blend another 15-20 seconds. Full blender

This is a perfect balance of healthy vegetables, fruit, fibre, ginger for digestion, sugars and protein for post-workout recovery. There is no fat in this shake, which would slow down the insulin uptake for both blood sugar recovery and protein absorption.

I feel awesome!

Try out this routine and let me know how it worked for you.

© 2013 Darren Stehle. All Rights Reserved.