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interval training

We Tried It: DailyBurn’s Inferno HR

Written on April 9, 2014 at 9:36 am , by

What it is: The first interval heart rate zone workout series released by the online streaming video service, DailyBurn.

Good for: All levels. The trainer, Anja Garcia, did a great job of providing modifications for beginner and more advanced athletes.

Where you go: Anywhere your heart desires. Download the service and stream onto your phone, TV or iPad. So, it’s obviously great for those who travel a lot or tend to avoid gym settings.

How it works: Simply sync your iOS device with a heart rate monitor, cue up DailyBurn and follow the Inferno HR workout program. As you sweat, DailyBurn streams your heart rate info onto the screen so you get a better understanding of heart rate zones and how to burn the most calories in a short amount of time. Want a basic rundown of working with a heart rate monitor? Check out this article first.

What you need: It depends on the workout you select within the Inferno HR program, but I recommend having a set of dumbbells and a yoga mat handy. You’ll also need a Bluetooth-enabled heart rate monitor (try this one), your sneakers and the urge to sweat.

What it costs: $10 per month for access to all of DailyBurn’s workout programs, available 24/7. With NYC classes averaging $25-$35 a class, this is a total steal.

What we think: For the price, I’m totally on board with this program. Anja’s energy is infectious and she pushed me to my max, helping me focus on staying within the proper heart rate zones when I wanted to go balls to the wall and sky rocket out of ‘em (fun fact: that’s not really the most effective way to train). I enjoyed the variety of exercises—we did everything from jumping lunges to Turkish getups—and after a mere 25 minutes, I had a healthy puddle of sweat beneath me. I’d call it a success.

What to watch out for: Make sure you have the heart rate monitor on correctly. When I first got hooked up, my data displayed me in zone 3—picture heavy breathing and lots of intense movement—when in fact I had only walked about five paces to say hi to a friend. To get set up properly, spritz the sensors on the back of the chest strap with water and make sure the monitor is in direct contact with your skin (translation, ladies: make sure it’s not over your sports bra band). Position it snugly around your ribcage and you should be good to go. To extend the battery life, be sure to detach the sensor and lightly rinse after each use.

Curious about a workout? Let us know in the comments and we may put it to the test for a future We Tried It!

More Workouts We’ve Tried: 

Doonya Fitness Party

NYRR’s Empire State Building Run-Up

SUMMIT at Exceed Physical Culture

 

Music Monday: Executive Editor Pam O’Brien’s Summer Playlist Picks

Written on July 15, 2013 at 10:44 am , by

Now that summer is officially in full swing (and bringing the heat!), we really want your playlists to pop. And don’t worry, we get it – your tastes vary. Heck, they’re ridiculously diverse amongst our staff! To keep everyone’s earbuds happy, we’re plugging you in to the songs that make us sweat. Every Monday will reveal a new editor’s playlist – pick one who lines up with your preferred beats, download their top tunes and get back to enjoying your workouts.

***

Pam O’Brien, Executive Editor

For me, working out is all about interval training, whether I’m on the Spin bike or running outside. I load my playlist with plenty of fast-paced push-it songs for sprints, and slower but still pumped-up tunes for moderate intervals and climbs. I’ve got a little bit of everything here—pop, rap, rock and EDM. Mixing it up keeps me motivated—and moving!

Follow Pam on Twitter for more of her faves!

More FITNESS Editor Playlists:

Heather Muir, Beauty Director

Colleen Moody, Senior Web Editor

Insanity’s Shaun T Has ZERO Excuses

Written on October 4, 2012 at 9:34 am , by

Shaun T didn’t mind our sweat and posed with us after the workout. (Photo courtesy of Jackie Lebowitz)

You’ve probably seen this guy before, kicking major butt in infomercials and on daytime talk shows (he’s Dr. Oz-approved!)—or maybe you’ve cleared your living room furniture out of the way to workout with the fitness legend, himself. Regardless, one thing is for sure: Shaun T is insane. In an amazing, fat-blasting way.

We felt the Insanity burn first-hand, thanks to Shaun T’s Max Interval Training techniques, at a recent POWERADE ZERO Excuses event. Power Jumps, sprints and a glimpse of Shaun T’s glistening 6-pack had us echoing the lyrics of one of the Rihanna workout tracks, “Where have you been all my life?” After toweling off our sweat, we sat down with Shaun T to talk about fitness fuel, recovery and his gym bag essentials. Here’s what we learned from the personal trainer/choreographer:

It’s all about the finish. Any Insanity or Asylum fan will tell you that Shaun T’s Beachbody workouts are tough. Instead of giving in to those aching muscles, focus on ending your workout on a high note. “How you finish your workout is how you’ll start the next one,” Shaun T reminded us throughout the class. “All you have to say is I can do this.” Fight through that last set for future fab results!

Work out when it works for you. “For me, I always find it better to work out when I’m most motivated,” said Shaun T. “Working out in the morning feels great because it starts me off on the right track.” Find your best performance time, schedule exercise accordingly and stick with it! After completing his 60-day challenge, Shaun T suggests taking about two weeks of recovery for ultimate toning.

Boost your energy. To give yourself the most fit advantage, Shaun T suggests fueling up with five meals a day, especially when increasing your training. The more fit you are, the more energy your body needs! Shaun T enjoys granola and peanut butter or cinnamon oatmeal in the morning, 30-45 minutes before exercising. Read more

Music Monday: The Super-Motivating Playlist

Written on February 27, 2012 at 10:24 am , by

House says the key is to think about one step at a time. (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

Ever have one of those days when you just don’t feel like working out? You’re not the only one. So we asked Laurel House, the QuickieChick, what she does to stay motivated and we loved her idea so much we had to share! “I challenge myself to run for one song. Almost every time, that song turns into two, oftentimes three. The other day it was seven!” House says.

The key to crafting a killer playlist? Find songs that you enjoy and make sure they play back-to-back so you don’t get sidetracked, House suggests. Here are some of her all-time favorites:

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Now tell us: What gets you up and moving on those “I’m too tired” or “I’m too busy” days?

Top 10 Tips from Univision’s Weight-Loss Reality Show Dale Con Ganas

Written on December 23, 2011 at 10:43 am , by

Consider these experts your Spanish-speaking Bob, Jillian and company! The creator of The Biggest Loser have launched Dale Con Ganas (Give It Your All), which premieres on Univision on January 11.

Trainer Maria Simon teaches her contestants gym-free ways to get fit. (Photo courtesy of Univision.com)

We asked the show’s nutritionist and three trainers to pass along their top 10 tips to help their contestants—and you!—lose weight in 2012.

Your dream team:

  • Monica Montes, nutritionist
  • Marcelo Crudele, trainer
  • Maria Simon, trainer
  • Oscar Luna, trainer

1. Take notes. “The most important first diet step is to write everything down,” Montes says. Each time you eat, track the time, food groups included, portion sizes and calories. “Contestants used food journals to adjust their meal schedules and food choices and learned how to measure proper portions throughout the show,” she adds.

2. Go easy on the joints. Sure, jumping moves like plyometrics burn major calories, but they aren’t the best choice for fitness newbies. “Try interval drills on the elliptical or in the pool, alternating challenging bursts and recovery periods to allow for increased heart rate with minimal impact on the joints,” Simon says.

3. Eat like a pro. “We enjoy meals and snacks more when they are colorful and full of flavor,” Montes says. Try this sample meal plan that contestants prepare on the show.

  • Breakfast: Six egg white veggie omelet (spinach, tomato, onion, zucchini, red bell pepper, mushrooms), fresh salsa, high-fiber whole grain tortilla, orange
  • Snack: Greek yogurt with blueberries
  • Lunch: Grilled salmon with black pepper and lemon, black bean soup and salad (made with spinach, basil, radish, broccoli, bell peppers, green onions with lemon, olive oil, black pepper and sea salt)
  • Snack: Hummus with carrots and celery
  • Dinner: Chicken soup (including chicken, corn, zucchini, onion, tomato, cilantro) with one or two corn tortillas
  • Snack: Jicama, mango and cucumber salad

4. Focus. One motto that the contestants live by: “Train your mind to train your body.” The mental work comes first, then the physical, which is why the trainers love getting in the ring.  “Boxing is a sport that requires full concentration,” says trainer Crudele, who is also a licensed boxing and kickboxing instructor. “It’s fun and improves both your mental and physical conditioning.”

5.  Fit it in your life. Unlike on Loser, show participants “remain in their real life environments, including keeping their jobs and family responsibilities—as well as all the stress and temptations that come with these dynamics,” Simon says. Don’t radically overhaul your routine when trying to lose weight because this will likely be unsustainable. Find ways to revamp your current lifestyle to make it more wellness-focused (for example, switching to low-fat milk in your coffee rather than cream).

For five more pointers from the reality show’s experts, keep reading.

Read more