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Method to the apparent madness


 At the end of last week’s session, Chris had me drop to floor and do as many push-ups as I could manage after my very first session focusing on weights only, to see just how hard I’d worked.

I think I managed seven before my elbows finally buckled and I face-planted the floor. But this week, we were going to go one better.

With my regular trips to the gym and cardio work still going alright on their own (I’m well back on track now that a month of birthdays, weddings and holidays are out if the way…), this was going to be another weights session like last week.

Squats, deadlifts and incline bench presses were all involved (hey, I didn’t even know what any of those were two weeks ago), with, in some cases, the weights just that little bit heavier than last time. But that wasn’t the only difference here. Whereas last week Chris had me doing push-ups at the end of the session, today he had me doing 10 push-ups in between each set. In between. Each set.

Yep, it was hard. But there was a method to the apparent madness.

Using your own body weight by doing exercises like push-ups and crunches alongside weight training was, Chris explained, a kind of HIIT resistance training. I was soon learning that HIIT training wasn’t all about cardio: by keeping your muscles working continually throughout a resistance workout, you can keep the intensity high while working different muscle groups. It certainly felt that way. (And when, the following morning, I was dealing with the dreaded DOMS all over again, I was more than convinced…) It was tough, and tiring—but not tiring in the way that running or rowing tires you out. And that, I guess, was the whole point.

A quick cool down and some stretches at the end of the session and we were done.

It all still felt very new, and was still far outside of my comfort zone, but I still felt like I was getting better at it…

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