One of my favorite ways to do cardio is in the form of HIIT or sprints. I absolutely hate cardio. Running gives me shin splints and visible bruising within minutes, the elliptical is boring, and I just dislike it. If I can pump out a quick 30 minute or so workout and burn the same – if not more – calories than steady state I’m so happy.
Of course, this rule doesn’t apply to days when I’m catching up on my favorite TV shows. I love the stairmaster on intervals and some True Blood or The Last Ship. Recently I’ve started watching X-Files from the beginning and it’s been heaven sent.
After today’s back/leg day workout I wanted to really up the ante. Since I have a break from school for 2 weeks (so I can write my senior paper and senior presentation) I’ve been getting SLEEP! It’s heaven sent because I was averaging like 4-5 hours a night, then going back to school for patient care/rounds, then crashing in bed for a few hours, then doing a half-assed gym session…ah. I was tired, hangry and over it. Once I got onto a more normal sleeping schedule my workouts became a joy again. Sure, during this carb depleted state I can’t rep out 275# deadlifts like a pro anymore but I can do 155# for 15 reps. I feel a need to make up for my week of sleep deprivation by killing it during my post workout cardio.
Today, I did some sprints on the treadmill.
Set your incline HIGH – I’m talking 10% or so. Do a 3 minute walking warm up with dynamic stretches. Now, set the treadmill for SPRINT SPEED. This is highly individualized, my sprint speed is like 6 mph haha. Do 15 seconds on/15 seconds off. That is, run for 15 seconds, jump off for 15 seconds, jump on for 15, etc. Do as many rounds as you can – mine usually adds up to 15 or so minutes. Cool down with a speed walking pace on incline.
Most importantly? DO NOT HOLD ONTO THE HANDLES. I could write a novel on why this is bad for you (oh wait, I did!) If it’s too hard, back down! Lower the incline, lower the speed. No one gives a hoot how high your treadmill is jacked up or how fast you’re running. You know your body best, don’t cheat yourself to “show off.”
Anyway, I love that little kick me in the booty workout. It gets my heart rate UP!
When I came home I was craving something new – which, if you’re a figure competitor a week out from a show, you know doesn’t exist. Your diet is strict to the point of eating the same thing every day. I really don’t mind this one bit because I’m a creature of habit. The less guess work the better for me. But I wanted to dress up a classic, so I made TUNA CAKES!
- Beat 1 large egg until the yolk is broken
- Add 1 can of tuna – about 4oz total
- Season with your favorite seasonings – onion powder, garlic powder, Miss Dash, whatevs
- Add spinach if you’re feeling creative!
- Cook in a non-stick pan over low-medium heat until you can easily flip it
I added dijon to mine (aka the Holy Grail of Figure Prep) because to me dijon + tuna is the best combo ever. Depending on your ingredients your macros will change, but mine ended up as 187 calories, 1 g of carbs, 6g of fat and 28g of protein. I also added some broccoli with some Miss Dash steamed. In the mug is Chamomile tea, which I’ve been drinking like a mad woman before bed. I was raised by a tea-loving mother and it’s definitely carried onto my adulthood. Not pictured is the casein and peanut butter medley I had for “dessert.”
I’m going to end this post with a gratuitous picture of my back, because I’m really, really happy with the progress it’s made. I blame deadlifts!