I’m going to be honest, I am not one of the people described in this title. I’m one of those mentalists that loves going to the gym. When I have a membership I go every day, and I make up for missed days with double sessions – because you know, I want to get my money’s worth.
But as it happens, due to current circumstances, I don’t have a gym membership.
And up until a few days ago it was driving me crazy. It’s like I need a specific place to go exercise otherwise I’m completely lacking in motivation. Basically, exercising at home doesn’t work for me. Home is where I relax, chill. (I do yoga at home but that doesn’t count- I see that as relaxation). I also don’t like exercising outside on my own, I’d much rather do a team sport or a big outdoor fitness class than go for a jog- maybe I have a short attention span because even the thought of a jog just bores me to death.
So, to pick up my motivation, I remembered something I wrote about years ago called Tabata training. If you’re not familiar with this type of training, the premise is that you get the same benefits from working your ass off for about 4 minutes, as you’d get from a 45-minute aerobic workout. IDEAL.
I’ve changed it up a little bit for myself to suit my own specific needs. I chose 7 exercises, and I do each one for a minute with 10 seconds rest in between. And I push myself hard.
The most amazing thing this has done for me is that I can ask myself every day ‘Do I have 8 minutes to exercise?’ and the answer is yes, of course I do. And so, I’m getting my workout (and specifically the mental benefits that accompany it) every day once again.
I’ve also been keeping track of how many reps I am doing of each exercise and after just a few sessions the improvements are amazing!
Here’s my plan (with 10 seconds rest in between each exercise):
- Press ups (for chest, shoulders, triceps and core)
- Leg raises (for lower abs, hip flexors, upper thighs, and pelvic floor)
- Mountain climbers (for almost every muscle group in the body and elevate heart rate)
- High Knees (for elevated heart rate and legs- also arms if you pump them super hard)
- Plank (for core- also super difficult after an aerobic exercise so maybe you’d want this one done first but I like a challenge)
- Squats (for glutes, thighs, hips, hamstrings and really, really good for ligament strengthening)
- Crunches (this is ¾ of a sit up for upper abs)
And it’s all over before you know it. A microwave minute feels longer, trust me!
All of these exercises can be swapped or changed but these are the ones that suit my full body exercise needs right now.
So, put the biscuits down and let’s start giving a little thanks to our bodies for just 8 minutes a day shall we?
* Little tip- if you’re unsure about how to time your intervals, I use http://www.intervaltimer.com to create a circuit timer- you’re welcome!