Man, to say emotions have been high here in the US is an understatement. This isn’t a political forum, but our company is American and WOW, it has been crazy! It sometimes makes you wonder if talking about fitness is really important. Then again, you realize the world will move forward and you OWE it to people to do what you do best. You OWE it to people to help them be better the best way you know how.
With that said, I think it is good, helpful, and to be honest, a bit therapeutic to talk about fitness:)
This week has mostly been about proper HIT workouts. Largely because I see it done with such desire to be better, but often met with very mixed results. The reason being is that most people still believe that high intensity training is about beating the living you know what out of yourself. If it makes your heart pound, if it makes you pour sweat, it MUST be good right?!
If that were true, HIT workouts would be hitting home runs at every turn. That simply isn’t the case.
One of the big reasons is the way people misconstruct their HIT workout. Especially when it comes in the form of a complex. What is a complex? Simply defined, it is a series of exercises woven together performed in succession without rest. A very common example would be Clean, Squat, and Press. You can do it many ways, you could do X number of Cleans, X number of Squats, X number of presses all without rest. Either way, it is a complex.
So, what is my problem with how MANY people are using complexes? Here is an example of a few common forms of complexes I see ALL the time….
or a kettlebell version…
You might look at first glance and think, “hey, that looks pretty sweet, what’s your problem?”
I don’t have a problem with the exercises, but the way it such functional training programs are constructed. If you look at each complex there are 5 exercises. If you look at each complex 3 hip hinge movements dominate each complex.
The term high intensity generally does refer to EXTREMELY high level efforts. Not casual, HIGH INTENSITY!!! That means you need recovery as much (if not more so) as intensity. So, if you are genuinely performing the SAME movement with the intensity you should be using, it is almost an impossible formula. Remember the last time you sprinted that mile? Yea, me neither.
People end up pacing too much and losing the intensity. However, that’s not all. All those hip hinge patterns were done in pretty much the same manner. Two feet, balanced, weight moving in the same direction. We lose the opportunity to build a far more well rounded fitness program if we follow such training. I know it is easy to create, but what I am suggesting is not difficult.
How would this be better?
If we are going to use 5 exercises, let’s make it more balanced and use all different patterns.
-MAX Lunge: Lunge pattern/anti-rotational
-Sprinter Stance Rows: Rowing pattern/more subtle anti-rotation
-Fist Loaded Squats: Squat/anti-flexion/extension
-Rotational Press: Vertical pushing/rotational pattern
-Front Loaded Good Mornings: Hip hinge/anti-flexion/extension
You don’t this would be high intensity? Try 5 reps of each exercise without rest and see how you feel after!
The goal though really isn’t to beat you up, rather, just to show how balance allows you to train hard AND smart. You don’t always have to make it a complex either! Check out today’s DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training circuit where we use this concept in a circuit style (right out of our NEW DVRT HIT program HERE) to develop a much more rounded fitness approach that makes you work hard, but more importantly, makes you BETTER!