Smooth Fitness Blog

Versatile Interval Training Creates a Complete Body Workout

April 14th, 2010

Last week, I outlined an introduction to safe and effective interval training, including a basic interval program.

This week, I‘d like to provide tips on a more advanced type of interval training.  Similar to how I train my private clients, this approach incorporates resistance training with an interval program to create a full-body express workout.  With the inclusion of resistance training intervals, you have a complete aerobic, anaerobic and muscle toning workout.

Try the routine below for an example of this effective and time-efficient workout method.  Directions on each exercise are found at the bottom of this post.

During the Warm up, Target Heart Rate Zone intervals (THRZ intervals), and the Cool Down, you may perform any of your favorite cardiovascular exercises.  Examples would be jumping rope, jogging, or utilizing a treadmill, elliptical or other cardiovascular exercise machine.

Minute 1-5 — Warm up
Minute 5-5:45 — Squat
Minute 5:45-7:15 — 60% THRZ
Minute 7:15-8 — Pushups
Minute 8-9:30 — 70% THRZ
Minute 9:30-10:15 — Bent Over Dumbbell Rows
Minute 10:15-11:45 — 75% THRZ
Minute 11:45-12:30 — Right Lunge
Minute 12:30-14 — 80% THRZ
Minute 14-14:45 — Left Lunge
Minute 14:45-16:15 — 70% THRZ
Minute 16:15-17 — Right Lunge
Minute 17-18:30 — 70% THRZ
Minute 18:30-19:15 — Dumbbell Upright Row
Minute 19:15-20:45 — 75% THRZ
Minute 20:45-21:30 — Shoulder Press
Minute 21:30-23:00 — 80% THRZ
Minute 23-23:45 — Upper and Lower Crunch
Minute 23:45-25 — 70% THRZ
Minute 25-30 — Cool Down

Good luck with this workout!

As with any exercise routine, I recommend you consult your personal physician before beginning.  Good luck and stay full body strong!

Exercise Descriptions

Squats
Target: Gluteus, Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Core
Squats work all of the major muscles of the lower body.  They especially work the thighs and the gluteus muscles (muscles of the buttocks).
1.    Your feet should be just a little wider than shoulder width.
2.    The body should be lowered to a position where the thighs are parallel to the ground.
a.    (Beginners may want to start by going only half way down.) (This motion should feel as if you are sitting into a chair.)
3.    With both feet firmly planted on the floor, the body should be lifted back to starting position.
4.    Repeat motion.
5.    The knees should not be locked at the top of the motion and they should always remain behind the toes.

Alternate Movement: Chair Squats
This exercise may be used by those who have trouble with balance. It may also be used as a starting point for those who need to develop the leg strength necessary to provide enough force to change direction of the motion from down to up. However, the goal should be to graduate to a traditional squat.
1.    Begin by sitting in a sturdy chair.
2.    The feet should be just a little wider than shoulder width.
3.    The body should be lifted to a position where there is a slight bend in the knees.
4.    Lower body back to starting position.
5.    Repeat motion.
6.    The knees should always remain behind the toes.

Pushups
Target: Chest, Shoulders, Triceps, Core
1.    Begin with the hands flat on floor and toes on floor.
2.    Arms should be straight with a slight bend at the elbows.
3.    Fingers should be facing straight forward.
4.    The body should be straight from the ankles to the shoulders.
5.    The body should be almost parallel to the floor.
6.    Lower the torso toward the floor by bending the elbows to 90 degrees. At this point the body will be parallel to the floor.
7.    Return to start position.

Alternate Movement: Bench Pushups
This exercise may be used if kneeling on the ground causes pain in the knees.
1.    Begin with the hands on a solid object. (Examples: Bench, Back of Couch, Desk)
2.    Arms should be straight with a slight bend at the elbows.
3.    Fingers should be facing straight forward.
4.    The body should be straight from the ankles to the shoulders.
5.    The body should be making a 45 degree angle with the floor at the feet.
6.    Lower the torso toward the bench by bending the elbows to 90 degrees.
7.    Return to start position.
8.    Be sure to maintain the integrity of the straight line from the ankles to the shoulders throughout the entire movement.

Dumbbell Rows
Target: Upper Back, Biceps, Core
1.    Begin with a slight bend in both knees.
2.    The upper torso should be at a 45 degree angle at the hip joint.
3.    Both arms are hanging directly below shoulders with slight bend at the elbows.
4.    Pull arms up to a position where the elbows are higher than the torso.
5.    Hands should be even with the hip joints.
6.    Return to start position and repeat.

Alternate Movement: One Arm Dumbbell Row
This exercise may be used if Dumbbell Rows place strain on the lower back.
Perform 30 seconds on each side.
1.    Begin with right knee and right hand on a bench or chair.
2.    Left arm is hanging directly below shoulder with slight bend in elbow.
3.    Pull left arm up to a position where the elbow is higher than the torso.
4.    Left hand should be even with left hip.
5.    Return to start position and repeat. Repeat on opposite side.

Lunge
1.    Begin with the left leg forward and the right leg behind.
2.    The body should be lowered between the knees.
3.    The right heel will rise off of the floor.
4.    Resistance and your weight should be focused on the front leg.
5.    Continue to lower to a position where your front and back knees are at a 90 degree angle.
6.    Begin to raise the weight before your right knee hits the floor. Return to start position and repeat. Don’t forget to perform this same exercise on the opposite side next.
7.    Beginners may want to hold onto a stable object for balance.

Upright Row
1.    Begin with knees slightly bent.
2.    Torso is in upright position with shoulders pinched back.
3.    With palms facing toward the chest, slide the hands up keeping them close to the body.
4.    At the uppermost point, the elbows should be even with the shoulders while the hands are slightly lower than the elbows.
5.    Return to start position and repeat.

Shoulder Press
1.    Begin with hands slightly wider than shoulders and slightly above the shoulders.
2.    Elbows should be at a 90 degree angle.
3.    Push hands over head, bringing them together at the top.
4.    Do not let dumbbells touch over the head, and leave a slight bend in the elbows.
5.    Return to start position and repeat.
Upper and Lower Crunch
1.    While lying on the ground, begin with the feet placed evenly on the floor.
2.    Shoulders and head should also be resting on the ground.
3.    Lift head and shoulders and feet off ground to a point where stomach is contracted and low back is still flat.
4.    Return to start position and repeat.
5.    Feet and shoulders should not touch the ground between repetitions.

By: Jim Bompensa
Jim Bompensa has been a health club owner and manager, personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and nutrition specialist for the nearly 15 years. He is currently the owner/operator of Body Physics Fitness Center in Haddonfield, NJ. Jim has appeared and contributed on ABC and NBC in Philadelphia, PA as well as Designing Spaces on TLC.

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