Sunday, March 4, 2012

"I just wanna make you sweat..."

There has been a lot of buzz lately about HIIT, or, High Intensity Interval Training. It's the primary idea behind popular workout regimes such as Insanity and Cross-Fit. Coincidentally, it's how I've always trained, I just didn't realize it had been given a specific acronym.

I've always just called it "I want to spend more time blogging and facebooking so I'm going to sweat my ass off for 60 minutes so I can justify my internet time" training.

Truthfully, I'm a sweat addict. I love working hard. I don't care that even Tide + Fabreze can't remove my stank from my fitness apparel anymore. If I'm not reaching for a towel within 15 minutes of starting my workout, I'm not working hard enough.

A few times during my personal training course I encountered people who told me they just didn't like to sweat. Breathing hard was an idea they were really uneasy with. If something felt hard, they weren't so keen on doing it. Now, I know many gym-o-phobes who, as they started to notice small transformations, slowly came around to the idea that getting the heart pounding and the sweat dripping was a good thing, not something to shy away from. There was a time when even I thought there was no need to go anaerobic. But like any sick addiction, I feel like once you get a taste of how good it can feel to push yourself to the limit and NOT collapse or have to crawl out of the gym, you'll eventually go back for more.

For the most part, I know it takes a great deal of self-motivation to get comfortable with the idea of being uncomfortable. But once I start training, I won't be able to build much of a business trying to attract only the clients who want to be sore and stinky. I have to convince those who proclaim, "I HATE sweating!" that over time, they might come to enjoy the torment as much as I do.

Some ideas I have for this include:
  • Introductory Sweat Sessions: Sweat shock therapy by sauna or Georgia summer sun. Clients will be allowed H2O and SPF, but must experience this thing called sweat, acknowledge it as a physiological necessity, and learn to accept it as something they will have to do on a regular basis to see changes.
  • Aerobics classes. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of step or Zumba, but they're a great way to get shy people in the gym. And what better way to get motivated to work hard than to see other people busting their butts? I'm sure that once someone sees a group of sweaty, red-faced, hard-working individuals, she'll be less self-conscious about breaking a sweat. Bonus: I'm terribly uncoordinated, so when I DO try a group fitness class I take comfort in finding others who suffer the same "Double Left Foot" syndrome.
  • My spin class. Much like other aerobics classes, noobs to fitness will witness that EVERYONE sweats. Unlike other classes, there is hardly ever an exception to the sweat factor. You could be sitting on a bike without so much as twitching a muscle and you will sweat just by being in the same room. But with the music going and the legs pumping, it's hard not to get into it and I want people to experience how fun it can be to attack a hill together and climb in unison, even if the legs are aching and the heart is pounding like crazy.
And that whole "HIIT" thing: That's just a fancy way of saying we should interject our normal training periods with bursts of intensity that go above and beyond where we are comfortable. It's going out for a run and randomly picking an object 100 yards away that you will SPRINT to. It's jump-roping as fast as you can for one minute in between sets of resistance exercises. It's doing burpees (aka "squat-thrusts") until you think your arms are going to fall off.

Sure, it's not a walk in the park. But you don't see the contestants on "The Biggest Loser" just, well, walking around in parks, do you?

Basically, if you don't need to shower after you leave the gym, it's time to mix up your routine and turn up the heat!

Share with us in the comments section: What's your favorite way to sweat?

1 comment:

32flavors said...

When I work out or run, I sweat like a beast. I'm with you - if I don't sweat, it's not worth it. I don't leave my girls that often and when I do, I make it count.