Friday, March 15, 2013

An Inclination for Inclines

I've been absent from blogging due to studying for my acupuncture boards. 

Anyone who believes Traditional Chinese medicine, is not medicine, I will throw my Materia Medica at them, following by my Manual of Acupuncture

I have found it best for focus and concentration that I hit the gym.  I'm not competing anytime soon, so I am nowhere near the 2.5-3 hours a day I spent in the gym last year.  I'm also trying to work out smarter and harder, not longer.

Therefore, I have been following the Jim Stoppani's 12-week Shortcut to Size program on  I'm trying to get stronger.  I'm on week two and I love it. It's challenged me to lift heavy, which can be intimidating, especially for women. But you feel like a badass afterwards. 

But this post is about some cardio.

 I hate cardio.

I have ADOW ... Attention Deficient ... Oh, WEIGHTS!

I much prefer lifting, but cardio has its place. 

So to keep me going I often change up routines ... every minute. :P

Not quite like this ... 

I was inspired by my bestie, Kel, who is attempting to run a half-marathon.  Last weekend after running a pretty long race, she doubted her ability to eventually finish a half-marathon since the race she recently ran was a hilly. 

I may live in perpetual sunshine, but some days it's too hot to even walk outside, let alone run.  And I know most of you reading this are just coming out of the snow. 

Beside mild weather, Florida lacks something else: HILLS! 

(Not everything is classy either.)

So, I usually run on the treadmill, and I always do it at at least a 3% incline.  It will make the routine a tad more difficult.  

I actually did the treadmill workout below on a 0% incline for the first half, and I wondered why it was so easy. When I realized my mistake, I bumped it up to 3% and my legs started asking, "WTF?! WHY?!" 

So my treadmill workout with incline:

Start at a 3% incline
0-1 min: jog (I do 6.5 mph, but go at your own pace)
1-2 min: sprint (I go 9-10 mph, but go at your own pace)
2-3 min: jog
3-4 min: sprint
4-5 min: jog
5-6 min: sprint
6-7 min: jog
7-8 min: sprint
8-9 min: jog
9-10 min: sprint
10-11 min: jog
11-12 min: sprint
12-13 min: jog
13-14 min: sprint
14-15 min: jog
15-16 min: sprint
16-17 min: 6% incline, walking lunges on treadmill, 2-2.2 mph
17-18 min: 10% incline, jog as fast as you can 
18-19 min: 7% incline, run backwards, 3-3.3 mph
19-20 min: 4% incline, jog with 5lb. 
20-21 min: 10% incline, jog as fast as you can, no wts.
21-22 min: 6% incline, walking lunges on treadmill, 2-2.2 mp
22-23 min: 10% incline, jog as fast as you can, no wts.
23-24 min: 7% incline, run backwards, 3-3.3 mph
24-25 min: 4% incline, jog with 5lb. 
25-26 min: 10% incline, jog as fast as you can
26-27 min: 7% incline, run backwards, 3-3.3 mph
27-29 min: 10% incline, jog as fast as you can
29-30 min: jog, decreasing the incline as you go 

My gym has a stepmill.  I don't know what it is about it, but within 5 minutes, I am dripping sweat. So I found an interval session to do. 

0-2 min: level 9
2-5 min: level 10
5-8 min: level 11
8-10 min: level 12
10-10:45 min: level 20
10:45 - 11:30 min: level 5-6 (slow)
11:30-12:15 min: level 20
12:15-13 min: level 5-6
13-13:45 min: level 20
13:145-14:30 min: level 5-6
14:30-15:15 min: level 20
15:15-16 min: level 5-6
16-16:45 min: level 20
16:45-17:30 min: level 5-6
17:30-18:15 min: level 20
18:15-19 min: level 5-6
19-19:45 min: level 20
19:45-20:30 min: level 5-6
20:30-21:15 min: level 20
21:15-22 min: level 5-6
22-22:45 min: level 20
22:45-23:30 min: level 5-6
23:30-24:15 min: level 20
24:15-25 min: level 1
25-27 min: level 11
27-30 min: level 9

You feel like you are running up the stairs for those 45 seconds, which is great if you want to cross-train. 

** Please note, if any of these speeds or levels are too difficult, go at your own pace, but when you are suppose to sprint or a high level is noted, it SHOULD be difficult.  Don't sell yourself short. **

Another thing about inclines:  Try to push through with your heels, especially in the lower levels with the stepmill.  It will help to strengthen your hamstrings.  Interestingly, a trainer that coached female college gymnasts noticed her girls were often tearing their ACLs and/or injuring their knees.  She started having the gymnasts focus more on hamstring exercises. As a result, there were less injuries. 

While climbing/stepping may sound counter-intitutive for those with knee problems, it can really benefit the strength and recovery process.

 (If you do have a recent injury, please get advisement from your doctor or physical therapist before going all out.)

Don't forget quads though, as they stabilize the patella. The above treadmill routine is great for quads and hammies, with the sprints and inclines.

Stepping through the heel also gives you a nice little booty. 

Alright, getting my butt back to the books! 

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