HIIT,HillFit, Hardware: the exercise 3 H's rule

I suspect that I have made a turning along the three meals-a-day yellow brick road of life.

A turning such that I have quickened my pace.

But I need to add, my turning isn't a shortcut nor detour, nor a high or low road...

Henceforth, to celebrate, I shall refer to myself as 'Dorothy' and wear red shoes when in the company of Munchkins.

Becoming Dorothy

Auntie Em: Help us out today and find yourself a place where you won't get into any trouble!

Dorothy: A place where there isn't any trouble. Do you suppose there is such a place, Toto? There must be. It's not a place you can get to by a boat or a train. It's far, far away. Behind the moon, beyond the rain...

[begins to sing "Over the Rainbow"]


After years of deploying many exercise regimes, experimenting with a range of approaches, I have now settled upon a creative mix that seems to have more impact upon my person than of yore.

The key element is to defer to the principles of High Intensity Interval Training

HIIT exercise strategy alternating periods of short intense anaerobic exercise with less-intense recovery periods. HIIT is an effective form of cardiovascular exercise. Usual HIIT sessions may vary from 9–20 minutes. These short, intense workouts provide improved athletic capacity and condition, improved glucose metabolism, and improved fat burning.

For me the baseline was/is the Tabata Method

20 seconds of ultra-intense exercise (at an intensity of about 170% of VO2max) followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated continuously for 4 minutes (8 cycles)

That set off bells in my head. Gave me a comprehension of what I was missing (and missing out of in way of pain!).

I doubt that my Tabata-ing reaches 170% of VO2max but it's the thought that counts.


I guess the h's rule!

It's a simple set of only four (that's right, only four) exercises packaged in a thoughtful essay on exercise.

HillFitting anchored me and more so than related literature gave me a comprehension of the why and the how. I mean my routine was no longer routine. It had meaning.

HillFit also bought me back to the importance of technique: it is not about repetition or 'grunt'. Easy does it, slow as you go.

It's Tai Chi without Mr Yin and Ms Yang. High Intensity Interval-ing for the sake of an exercise Zen.

HillFit and related inputs also changed my attitude toward frequency and duration.

This was a Wow! moment.

Instead of forcing myself to keep to an unrelenting routine of obligations I simply 'exercised' every second day.

And these every-second-day sessions are no longer than 5-10 minutes.


Another 'h': hardware.

I've been a long term kettlebell user. And I love my kickbiking. I also box and own gloves and a heavy bag. In the present mix I make use of these resources. I've recovered an old cheap rusty set of dumbbells and put a sandbag in a torn old back pack. I got myself some cheap sandals I can run the tidal flats in...

So I put all this stuff to work.
  1. Every Second Day: I keep to a every second day schedule of focused exercise. One day I do HillFit. Two days later I do Kettlebells. And two days after that I do a dumbbell session. We're talking 9-12 minutes each time...with Tabata finishers (either Tabata boxing or squats: all of 4 minutes). If I'm a bit challenged that day -- ie: ill -- I skip a day or only do Tabata boxing if only for the pump up 'high'.
  2. Other times: Kickbike + Running. Elsewhere in my week I take off on the kickbike as has been my long term norm and instead of simply going for a walk when I reach my destination, I run -- I run the tidal flats. Strictly speaking this isn't supposed to be exercise . It's supposed to be 'fun'. At least it will be once my running improves. I don't have a schedule for this, I simply do what I feel like doing, when I feel like doing it.
  3. Spontaneity: Running Stairs. Since I live on flat terrain and can only yearn about the elevations in the far off distance, I've taken up the impulse to run up things -- usually stair cases -- when the opportunity presents itself. I'm working on a few stair running routes to tackle when I'm in the vicinity. But every train journey is going to offer me a chance to run stairs at most railway stations. I am also much taken with Jacobs Ladder here in Brisbane town. If I have an ambition -- a goal -- then 'running stairs' or sandhills or mountains is it.

So far so good. My body is now ordering weight reduction after plateauing for 12 months. I expect my bood sugar will also roll back a bit. I've done some dietary tweaking which I'll explore in a later post. I feel the best I've felt in a long time -- despite my ready penchant to be relapsing hither and yon. (Can't do much about that unfortunately esp in the current weather conditions: wet and humid). I also do urban soul line dancing but that is fun and more a mental challenge.