There is a workout program I have done for while, but somehow failed to really talk about here on the blog. I shared a few of my scores over at tumblr, as well as a few of my favorite workouts. But I never wrote a full post, which the movement really deserve.
So let’s talk about HIIT today, about the benefits of High Intensity Interval Training, the changes former Bodyrock made throughout time, the pros and the cons of the new program and why you can fail to reach your goals with those programs.
Years ago my boyfriend brought home a fitness magazine which contained an article about Zuzana Light. Though her unbelievably athletic figure was not what I was thriving for I was amazed by the idea of a zero-priced online workout program I could do at home. I still remember my first Bodyrock workout ever: I was crying over those monkey push ups and amazed how sore I felt the next days. But the most charming part of the whole movement was Zuzana, she was such a happy, true to herself person, that I enjoyed every minute training with her – when workouts got really hart, she was huffing and puffing just as much as I was (maybe a little less, you know what I mean…). Her coffee talks and travel reports made the whole experience so much richer.
When I spent half a year in Shanghai, studying the Chinese language, I needed something quick and easy I could do at home to stay in shape. Bodyrock was the perfect program to do from time to time – though, I had to take care not to disturb my neighbors living underneath. Chinese floors are pretty thin…
Back at home I was lucky enough that the house I lived in had a huge attic, which nobody used. I built my own little gym there, with a boxing back, skipping rope, weighted bag, a chair to step on and other stuff – it looked quite ghetto! And I could jump as much as I liked. Then suddenly in December 2011, half a year after my Shanghai stay, a new trainer appeared on the site. She was fresh and happy and sporty and had this amazing tom-boy touch. She was motivating and did a great job and I guess what most of us Bodyrockers loved about her was that new workouts came more often and she was one of us, who turned her passion into her job.
Behind the scenes Zuzana and Freddy went through a hard break up and divorce, there was some mud fight going on, people have opinions about everything and nothing – I did not care. It was sad, right, but it is their life, they knew what they were doing, they had their reasons. What I cared about was not having Zuzka in my workouts anymore – Lisa-Marie is great, no question, but I also liked Zuzana kicking my ass. Luckily she came out with her ZWOWs some time later and I could mix it up: Bodyrock and ZWOWs, some running, some Yoga, whatever I felt like. It just added to the mix, I did not have the feeling I needed to choose between them. One year later, in December 2012, Bodyrock announced to move on to a new site and a new program.
I was suspicious at first: would it still be free? The look was so strange. Where were the accompanying posts to each exercise? I missed the personal touch. But than after a while I got used to the new design, the use of more channels (facebook for the personal stuff and The Daily Hiit for the workouts) and I loved the challenges they came up with. I still do so – as I mentioned in yesterday’s post I just finished a new 7 day challenge and directly hopped on to the next. Sadly Zuzana decided with the beginning of this month, that her services will not be offered for free any longer. I get her, she puts a lot of work in her site and obviously it does not pay itself over advertising and affiliated products as I assume The Daily Hiit does, but I am not willing to pay money for her ZGym … at least not for now.
What is so amazing about High Intensity Interval Training, anyway?
it does take you little time to do (who cannot spare 20 minutes?)
you can do it wherever you are (no equipment needed, though you could add some)
it get’s your heart rate going + keeps it higher for hours after the workout, thus it burns fat more effectively
it improves your endurance just as much as triple the time of steady low intensity training
it makes your muscles burn just as much as hours of hitting the weights in your gym (nothing against that, I love to lift some iron – but I include it in a HIIT way)
Why doesn’t every Bodyrocker (Daily Hiit-er sounds wrong) look like Lisa-Marie?
Have you heard about the 70/30 rule? 70% diet, 30% workout – Abs are made in the kitchen; eat clean, train mean… I can quote some more, but you get it. Some even claim that it is more of an 80/20 relation. Whatever number you use, fact is that your diet plays the biggest role in the way your body looks. You can be a marathon runner and have those muffin tops if you enjoy yourself too much at the dinner table and cookie box. Truth be told: I love healthy food, I do eat healthy most of the time, but I also love to indulge in sweets, some wine, not so healthy yet delicious meals and snack my way through gummy bears and potato crisps from time to time. Nothing wrong with that. But hey, I do know why I do not look like Lisa-Marie.
But even if you do not eat all the wrong stuff, you could still be skinny and do not build the muscle definition you’d like to. This could have several reasons:
a) You still need to work on your diet in terms of protein or carbohydrates and calorie intake, muscle growth needs protein and carbohydrates (check scientific scources for that, I don’t want to get in detail at this point) and excess calories (=more calories than you burn).
b) You are not pushing yourself hard enough. Those workouts are short but effective, only if you push yourself to the MAX. And I seriously mean “as hard as you can”. Nobody is watching you as you work out at home, Lisa can scream all this words of encouragement, if you think it burns… I just don’t raise my leg as high, or I just use a lower weight, or I just take a break and hop in as soon as the burn stops – this will keep you down. You also should change up the workouts, doing only those you like the best will not work. Those are most likely not the ones which push you the most.
c)Muscles need time to be build. I read somewhere that a woman can only gain around 6 pounds of muscles per year – though this estimate may not be accurate, you get the point. You cannot work out for half a year and wonder why you still do not look like your idol. These women (Lisa-Marie, Zuzana) trained years of their lifes until they achieved the figures they have. They put dedication into a continual high intensity training routine and clean, high protein diet.
And that is exactly what it takes: dedication and patience. Neither Bodyrock, nor The Daily Hiit or ZGym are quick fixes. They are truly hard work.
That said with my probably longest post of the year, I will add one final thing: I am so happy that my ideal body shape is a different one. I like to be fit, I like to be strong, I like to be healthy – I do not need to have a six pack or big guns for that and I will keep my female curves a natural way. (which means, no boob job needed, thank you very much – yes, this was a side blow, there are aspects of The Daily Hiit I do not like so much, which are contradictory to their message) I will be one of those Bodyrockers who will never look like a poster child of the movement and I am truly happy about that.