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Intervals Make the Heart Grow Stronger

I knew this week would be crazy in terms of travel, however I could not have anticipated what the week actually had in store.  But, when it starts with the dog getting sprayed by a skunk at 5am Monday morning, it only makes sense for it to conclude with me carrying a giant 5 foot teddy bear into a partner’s office.

There’s been a skunk living in my back yard for as long as I’ve owned the house.  He probably lived here first and has more rights to the property than I do.  Regardless, I can usually smell him on the mornings he’s been roaming around out back and know I need to turn on some lights to scare him off before letting Bo out to do his morning business.  It had been a hot night and the house was sealed tight with the air conditioning working hard.  I had a day trip to Seattle so I woke up at 4:45 or the gym.  I fed the cat, made my amino energy drink and let Bo out.  I smelled the skunk the moment I opened the sliding door, but Bo was already bolting down the deck to capture the foul intruder.  Moments later he returned teary eyed and spitting.

There are moments in your life when you know that what you should be doing and what you are doing are not aligned.  I had exactly 70 minutes to workout and once that window closed it would be shut for the day.  So, when Cam woke up to my profanities and offered to wash Bo so I could go to the gym, I seized the moment.  Walking out the door I looked back to see my sweet fiance outside in his underwear washing the dog.  My heart sank.  With surmounting guilt, I shut the door and looked back no more.


Thursday morning was another early one.   I wake up before my alarm at 4:30am thinking it was Saturday and I was home, but it wasn’t.  It was Thursday, I was in Irvine, and I needed to get my butt out of bed and down to the gym because we had an 8am meeting with Cisco.  I was supposed to arrive in Irvine Tuesday afternoon for a partner visit and stay the night for our team meeting all day Wednesday.  Long story short, I spent too much time hanging out with Gianna Tuesday morning and ended up missing my flight.  Later flights were full and I wasn’t able to get on a flight until 6 am Wednesday morning making me late to the team meeting, not able to work out, and ultimately making for a very long day.  Luckily, I was done at 1:00 that day and on the 2:40 flight back to Portland.  I knew if could push through the workout, the rest of the day would fly by.

Hilton Orange County/Costa Mesa
One of my greatest pleasures is opening the door to a hotel’s fitness center and seeing ample exercise equipment.  The fitness center at the Hilton Orange County/Costa Mesa had it all: treadmills, ellipticals, free weights and space!  I was in Fit Frequent Flyer heaven.  Limited on time and paying penance for too much wine the night before my plan was to to work out hard and fast.

30min tread interval

I love interval training!   Interval training gets you the biggest bang for your exercise buck.  Simply put you accomplish the same amount of “work” in a fraction of the time.  For this reason alone, I incorporate interval training on the road and at home.  Intervals provide a list of benefits that include: improving aerobic and anaerobic fitness, burning fat and literally making your heart stronger.  Your heart is a muscle too and needs the same love and attention as your abs.  And the biggest benefit for me, intervals lend favor to my ADHD.  A steady 30 minute run on the treadmill will bore me to tears, but switching it up every few minutes keeps me engaged and focused.  I love this simple treadmill workout.  Each set is 5 minutes in length, so you can add or subtract a set depending on how much time you have or your fitness level.  The key to interval training is to alternate periods of max effort with recovery periods.  For this workout, the 3 minute run should be challenging but not exhausting, and the sprint is your max effort.  Push yourself to your greatest intensity for one minute during the sprint.  You can do anything for one minute, and once done, you get a full minute to walk and catch your breath.

I followed my intervals with a 30 minute leg circuit.  The key here is to do each exercise in the circuit back to back and repeat the circuit 3 times.  When you’ve completed Circuit 1 three times take a one minute rest and a drink of water before moving on to Circuit 2 and so on.  I added weight to the exercises with an asterisk (*), but this workout can be done just as effectively without weights.

Legs in the OC

So, you’re probably wondering about the 5 foot teddy bear.   Well here he is:


My Account Executive in SoCal and I named him Trey the Tegile Bear.  We delivered him to a partner’s office after several attempts to meet with them with no avail.  Trey came “bearing” gifts of Tegile swag and copious amounts of candy.  Not exactly Fit Frequent Flyer approved, but great for sweetening the love of Tegile.

This post first appeared on The Fit Frequent Flyer, please read the originial post: here

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Intervals Make the Heart Grow Stronger


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