Fitness: HIIT fun

Sometimes I get either bored with straight up cardio (I’m looking at you running), too lazy to walk the half mile to the gym (seems counter-intuitive), or on days like today, stood outside freezing for an hour to vote (yay democracy) and do not want to leave the warmth of the indoors anymore. I need an alternative to my go-to cardio options, running miles outside, or doing some sort of stairs/rowing intervals at the gym. This is especially important to figure out because I am also going to my parents’ house for the entire week of Thanksgiving, and will not have access to anything besides a set of 5lb and 10lb dumbbells. I am planning on eating as much of everything as I can fit in my belly – I do not go home very frequently and miss my grandmother’s and my mother’s cooking!

If I genuinely do not feel like working out for any legitimate reason (injury, sickness, death), then I will happily take a rest day. I do know that sometimes what I have loosely planned on my schedule (which alternates between strength and non-strength days) is not appealing at all. I definitely got a rush of running love after my 10K and had a brilliant run last week, but during that and my intense weekend of walking in NYC, my knees and hips felt achy. I want to avoid setting out on a run and not being able to complete it – and getting frustrated over it…plus I want to wear booty shorts and it is freezing outside!

During Hurricane Sandy my boyfriend and I got a little stir-crazy and wanted to do a quick workout at the gym in our apartment (sparse, a few free weights, treadmills and ellipticals), but 1) all the cardio machines were taken as many people had the same idea as us and 2) the thought of churning away on the elliptical did not excite us. We wanted to get our heart rates up fast and leave as sweaty messes (mostly just me) and get some strength in at the same time.

Enter the interval timer! I don’t use it enough, but I have an app on my iPhone which allows you to set a series of work/rest intervals. We did 24 intervals of 30 sec on/15 sec off, and a variety of moves incorporating cardio and weights. It was perfect because of the limited weights selection at the gym (dumbbells up to 40lbs). We used to do the Men’s Health Spartacus workout once a week but he wasn’t in love with it so we stopped. (There was also a Spartacus 2.0 workout, but I hated how complicated it was). I’ve kept the idea the same but substituted a few moves (the ones I don’t like!) to come up with my own, and increased the rest time from 15 sec to 20 sec.


The set up – I like to bring lots of options for weights at the start even if I end up not using half of them

“F” is (not) for the faint of heart HIIT workout:

Intervals 60 sec on/20 sec rest, repeat circuit 3x; Rest 2 min between circuits:

  1. Goblet Squat
  2. Mountain Climbers
  3. Single Arm Dumbbell Swing (Switch sides 30 sec in)
  4. Dumbbell Chop
  5. Burpees
  6. Dumbbell Row
  7. Turkish Get-Up (Switch sides 30 sec in)
  8. Plank Walk Ups
  9. Dumbbell Lunge & Rotation
  10. Dumbbell Push Press

The aftermath – survived! Sometimes I like to torture myself, ha.


Sweaty, no smiles, hungry


Grrrr (sweat patch on belly is from wiping my face, not rogue belly button sweat)


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