Today I did the hardest workout in a long time and it wasn't even planned! Some of the best workouts catch me by surprise. I was finishing with a client expecting another client in about 30 minutes. So I told Michelle, the client I was with at the time, that I would do a little cardio with her. I said let's start by doing the revolving stair climber (most gyms have these big beasts) for one minute then run one lap. Then we would work our way up the ladder, 2 minutes, 2 laps, 3 minutes, 3 laps etc. The shorter intervals like 1 and 2 minute were at higher intensity. Michelle was done at 3 minutes and 3 laps. I kept going, and as it turned out my client ended up not coming. I didn't have another client till 9:30 so this gave me some time. I ended up working up to doing 9 minutes and 9 laps. The total for the workout was 45 minutes on the stair climber and 45 laps (about 8 miles). When I got to the longer intervals I had to slow the pace for both the run and StairMaster. I did not hold on while on the StairMaster (read my previous blog about this pet peeve of mine) at all and I kept it at level 10 or higher. It was pretty tough. You could modify the workout if you don't have a track to treadmill. Several variations of this workout might look like this:
1 minute stair climber, 1 minute track - very high intensity
2 minute stairs, 2 minute treadmill - high intensity
3 minute stairs, 3 minute treadmill - high intensity
4 minute stairs, 4 minute treadmill - high intensity
5 minute stairs, 5 minute treadmill - high intensity
Go all the way to 10 minutes for each and lower pace to moderate intensity!
You could start at 10 minutes and work your way down the ladder to one minute for another variation of the workout.
You could do the same on the track just do 1 lap for each minute on the StairMaster. This option will require more running because one lap of the track at LVAC is longer than one minute on the treadmill.
If you can do this all the way to 10 minutes you are awesome. I got to 9 minutes and it took just over 2 hours. If anyone does this let me know what you thought. It was a good workout and broke up the fact that I had to run 8 miles. That revolving step mill is also a great workout for your glutes!
I also want to talk about what to eat before you workout. It seems like this week several people have come to train with me and have gotten dizzy and lightheaded because they did not fuel their bodies properly before training. What you put into your body will definitely impact your training. If you talk to anyone who trains with me in the gym you will know it is no joke. They are tough workouts! Typically this is the way it goes with newer clients. I will say to them did you eat this morning? The client might say, "well no but I will be OK." I give them the talk about eating before training and I say that I don't think they will be OK. They say, "Oh no I will be OK, I have never passed out." About 10 minutes later they start to look kind of grey and spacey. Then I will ask them how they are feeling. They will say a little dizzy. I say, "Oh I could have told you this was going to happen." Then I go get them orange juice, Gatorade, or fruit and send them home. No matter how many times I tell someone to eat before they workout, they think they are the exception to the rule and don't need to eat.
If you are working out first thing in the morning you should wake up in time to eat something before you leave. Some great options are oatmeal, fruit, or yogurt. The options will vary depending on what your goals are. If you are looking to lose weight and eliminating dairy then the yogurt would not be an option. Some people can't seem to eat before working out without getting nauseated. For these people I suggest trying one of the energy gels that people use when running. Some good ones are made by Hammer Nutrition or GU. If you train in the evening then try and have your last snack or meal about 60-90 minutes before you plan on working out. Don't eat foods high in fat before your working out. Don't eat really heavy meals before training. Make sure your last snack or meal leading up to your workout contains some complex carbohydrates. I am only suggesting a small serving such as 1/4 to 1/2 yam, brown rice, or oatmeal. Hopefully this will clear up confusion when working out. If you workout after work it is essential to plan your meals throughout the day properly. You need to have good meal timing. Getting the timing of your meals right will have a major impact on your workout!