October 04

Cardio Blast: Stairs & Tabatas

Morning, sunshines!

I’ve been meticulously following the Jamie Eason Live Fit training plan for several weeks now and I decided I need to listen to what my body wants and make some adjustments. The LiveFit plan restricts intense cardio for 2 months in an effort to build muscle. While I’ve been following this plan precisely, I’ve found that my body puts on muscle rather easily and quickly and I’m already satisfied with the amount of lean mass I’ve acquired. Therefore, after over a month of refraining from any major HIIT routines, I’ve decided to start back up again with a very sincere and enthusiastic ‘YAY!’.

You’ll find me in the gym before the sun rises each morning – I love the feeling of starting my day off feeling energized and accomplished! Today I went with my old go-to: stairs. To make it a bit more interesting (and challenging!) I added in 3 sets of tabatas. Taba-whats?! Awww, young grasshopper, these 4-min circuits of explosive energy are tough but extremely effective. Essentially, a tabata set is 20 seconds of high intensity work, followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated 8 times for a total of 4 minutes. That’s 4 minutes of fat-blasting, muscle-toning gold. Read more about the science behind Tabatas here.

Here’s what I did today:

STAIRS & TABATAS20131004-080615.jpg

5 min of stairs (alternate rounds with every step, every other step)

Tabata 1: (Repeat for 4x total = 4min)

20 seconds of tuck jumps,10 seconds rest

20 seconds jump squats, 10 seconds rest

5 min of stairs (alternate rounds with every step, every other step)

Tabata 2: (Repeat for 8x total = 4min)

20 seconds of jump lunges

10 seconds of rest

5 min of stairs (alternate rounds with every step, every other step)

Tabata 3: (Repeat for 8x total = 4min)

20 seconds of mountain climbers

10 seconds of rest

5 min of stairs (alternate rounds with every step, every other step)


TIP: Wear a heart rate monitor if you have one to make sure you are working at an intense level. I wore mine and averaged a heart rate of 160, which is just over 80% of my max heart rate (just where I need to be).  My heart rate monitor also told me that I burned 421 calories in 40min (5min warm up before & cool  down after) based on my height, weight and heart rate. This will vary depending on your size and fitness level – I highly recommend investing in a heart rate monitor so you know your exact numbers!  Don’t trust the “calories burned” on machines like the treadmill or elliptical. I’ve compared results between these machines and what my calibrated HR monitor says and have found on average that the gym machines OVER estimate my calorie burn by 30-40%. YIKES!

My results check-in photo! Gettin’ strong! (she strong?!) 🙂