Downtime, but a little HIIT, too!

I’m beginning to realize the importance of balance in my life and setting aside time for recovery.  I am working on a post that will summarize a book that was recommended by a colleague of mine called The Power of Full Engagement that emphasizes rest and balance along four dimensions- physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental.  The physical part is a no-brainer.  As an athlete (some would say former, but real athletes know ‘once an athlete, always an athlete’), I fully understand and build into my workout program regular rest and recovery periods.  It is not so easy for me, however, to appreciate and apply that same discipline to the other areas of my life.

Which made this last weekend very, very important.  On the surface, three days in the Santa Cruz (CA) Mountains, spent listening to music; playing video games; laughing; drinking; eating; and watching basketball looks like nothing more than childish fun.  Five former teammates with an excuse to act crazy.  Well, aside from the fact that we really didn’t act crazy–the first sign, mind you, that we are getting old–it was actually a good time for us to connect in a way we hadn’t ever before.  As fathers and husbands, and as professionals in careers that have had their ups and downs, we provided for each other a much-needed refuel of energy and drive, of hope and optimism, and of passion and compassion.  With enough quiet time to reflect on things other than sports and women, we were able to give to each other comfort, guidance, and encouragement that only long-time friends can provide.  And I’m thankful to my wife and the wives and significant others of my dear friends for being so supportive of this much-needed MAN-cation.

So the downtime was not only good for us, but I’d argue it was needed.  Not necessarily that exact format, but something, some way for us to get away from the pressures we face and the daily grind of life.  Work.  Kids.  Deadlines.  Stress.  Working out.  Actually, forget that last one.  You should know by now that I had to get a workout (or two) in.  Good thing I subscribe to the HIIT method of training.  Short for High Intensity Interval Training, these workouts provide the most bang for the buck!  In 30 minutes or less, you can get a complete body aerobic and anaerobic workout in.  So, since my friends challenged me to put them through one of these workouts (“What you got, Blu?” were the exact words), here’s what we did:

Chest Warm up- max pushups, max reps (light to medium weight) lying (on floor) dumbbell presses, max reps (light weight) lying (on floor) dumbbell flyes
Legs Warm-up- dumbbell burpees w/ pushup  (light to medium weight); just stand up with weights in hand (no jumping)- 25 reps
Bench Dips- we actually used the brick ledge in front of the elevated fireplace- max reps

HIIT Workout: #1 (40 secs. work, 20 secs. rest, 5 rounds)
Dumbbell Deadlifts
Standing Russian Twists
Standing Dumbbell Curls

HIIT Workout: #2 (40 secs. work, 20 secs. rest, 5 rounds)
Body Weight Reverse-Lunges
Mountain Climbers/Plank
Tricep Kickbacks

HIIT Workout: #3 (40 secs. work, 20 secs. rest, 5 rounds)
Two-Hand Dumbbell (instead of Kettlebells) swings to front
Standard Crunches
Shadow Boxing

I hadn’t planned on doing anything that required sweating, but since Friday’s workout felt so good, we decided to go back for another helping 😉

HIIT Workout: #1 (30 secs. work, 20 secs. rest, 5 rounds)
Running in Place
Push Ups
Bicycle Abs

HIIT Workout: #2 (30 secs. work, 20 secs. rest, 5 rounds)
Standing/Slightly Bent-Over Dumbbell Rows
Dumbbell Shoulders (in succession: overhead press, shrug, lateral raise, frontal raise..and repeat)
Knee Tuck Jumps

We actually did a third circuit (same metrics), but for the life of me, I can’t remember what it was.  Perhaps, one my boys will chime in with a reminder.  In fact, I’m not even sure if the combinations are as we did them, but mixing and matching them is not a problem.  So, feel free to create your own “Circuit Soup”.

Enjoy!  Oh, and by the way, since I know some of these exercise names might not be familiar, I hope to have some demonstration photos and possibly video for you guys shortly- as soon as the weather gets nice.


About bbluford
I am an executive finance professional with a love for process and application development (MS Access, Excel, Quickbooks), mostly as it relates to Accounting and Business Functions. I also love to write and share ideas with other people in this world. I'm an admitted Gym Rat who works out excessively. The best summation of me is that I love to teach and to learn.

2 Responses to Downtime, but a little HIIT, too!

  1. Victoria says:

    Bobby, you make me tired. Body weight reverse lunges while on a vacay? Really?

    Turns out that you and I have entirely different ideas of what “fun” is. It takes all kinds, I guess. 😉

    I’ll check out The Power of Full Engagement. That much I can commit to. I’ll save the dumbell burpees (with pushup) for some other time. Perhaps Maria, Terri and I will be inspired the next time we get together. (Perhaps not.)

  2. bbluford says:

    Make sure you give me a day or two in advance to give you girls laminated workout cards to follow. I was telling the guys, though, a perfect vacation does include some working out and (just a little bit) of work/learning. But I’m working on that one… a little. It’s that Addiction (to Improvement) that I’m trying (not really) to shake!

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