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Lower Body HIIT Workout – Make it easier or harder by adjusting the time intervals

Posted Feb 12 2013 3:01pm

My early morning client is just starting to get back in shape after a few years of having a different focus (work, family, etc.). Below is the workout she did this morning. We were focusing on lower body, and because she is only in the second week of training, we chose to do 30-second intervals with 10-seconds of rest in between (with the exercises that alternate sides, we bumped it up to a minute). If you’re pretty active and want to feel more of a burn, bump up the work intervals to 1 minute (and 2 minutes for alternating exercises)!

I like doing HIIT workouts with busy clients because it doesn’t take up much time. For the client I’m working with now, we’re meeting 4 days a week at 7am and alternating upper and lower body. At the beginning of each workout, she does 5 minutes on the treadmill to warm up. We’ll work up to doing things like jumping rope, but I don’t like to rush the high impact moves—I respect Crossfit, but I think one of the major faults of it is that people jump into the higher impact moves too quickly without building strength in their joints gradually. In fact, it’s often worse for people who are athletic. I made this mistake over the summer with my trainer—I had been active, but not doing high impact moves, and so when I did a bunch of jumping rope and box jumps (not to mention tractor tire jumps), I injured my achilles tendons. I had the stamina and strength to do it, but I overused my joints, ligaments, and tendons in a way they weren’t used to. (steps off soapbox).

On the weekends, my client is choosing a recreational or outdoor activity (hiking, biking, bowling, etc.) to do as well. We’re also planning her meals and food strategy based on her work schedule, travel schedule, health history, and preferences.

I always enjoy working with a new client—it’s exciting and fun for me to have a project/person to “figure out” the best plan for. It’s a lot of science and strategy, a little trial and error, and reading the client’s personality (How dedicated are they? How goal driven are they?). I don’t talk much about my clients here, but I figured with this newest one, it could be fun to anonymously trace her path from the beginning and then you can see more of my approach as we go along.

I’ve got space in my schedule for one more client in Santa Monica right now if you know anyone who is interested (one of my clients just moved out of the country—I will continue to help her virtually, but it frees up a few hours in my week for someone else!). I don’t think I’ll advertise… I could definitely use the time for other projects too, but if someone new falls into my lap I’ll be happy!

News/Notes: I’m back in my routine from the weekend. I apologize to the 10 or so people who unfollowed me after I quoted something that had the “F” word in it in that one post a few days ago. :-) And I’m sorry I can’t even apologize for it without laughing a little bit. Obviously my goal isn’t to offend anyone, but such is life! And who doesn’t say the “F” word every once in a while (besides my mom)?

Maybe this conveys the same sentiment in a more G-rated manner…


Do you strategize a lot for your workouts and eating or do you just wing it and hope for the best?! For myself, I tend to wing it—go to yoga when I feel like it, walk a lot, and throw in a weight workout when it fits in. But, I also am in “maintenance” mode so I don’t have to be as goal-driven. I’ve found that it’s better to have a plan and structure (for consistency and also results) up until maintenance mode is reached (and for a while after that too).

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