Last November, I called Jessica “the Bitch” Sprenkel to ask for some help. If you follow my blog, you know she is my long-term personal trainer and friend that I met first in Memphis. She, like me, is somewhat geographically challenged, but with technology, we can work out together at any time.
“I’m really struggling getting back on track fitness-wise after my move,” I said. “I’m walking lots and am doing okay, but I know I have to do some strength-training at my age. BUT – I emphatically told her – I don’t have a ton of time to invest in this right now.”
She said she had just the thing for me. She’d been doing these short 30-minute circuits for awhile, and she said that she’d totally quit doing traditional strength-training. And she assured me that her body had totally transformed with these workouts even though she wasn’t extremely consistent. She could set me up with a 12-week virtual boot camp program for $75. I could work out from home, and it consisted of three 30-minute workouts a week. I reiterated that I didn’t have the time or energy or motivation to do much more than that. She promised this would work for me.
Magic pill? Sounded like it. I was not so sure but for $75 and a bit of accountability, it would at least get me doing more than I was. I needed support, so I asked some friends if they were interested, and two of my friends – one in Boston and one back in Louisiana – signed up too. So, in November just before Thanksgiving, I embarked on this fitness journey that has surprised the heck out of me.
The New York Times recently posted this feature about short, intense workouts. There have been some research studies that back up Jessica’s experience with short, intense workouts. Just Google it, and you’ll find plenty of articles.
These 30-minute workouts are hard. But they actually aren’t even 30 minutes. They are 3 8-minute circuits with a 1-minute rest in between. So, I’m actually moving for 24 minutes. It has now been 8 months that I’ve been doing these workouts fairly regularly, and they are STILL hard. In the beginning, I just got mad and called Jessica names. But after I started seeing the results, I got motivated. There aren’t many days I’m in the mood to exert the needed effort, but on most days – 3 days a week – I’m in the mood to keep the results.
When I was in Atlanta, I got up to do my circuit in the hotel gym. A huge mirror wall smacked me in the face. I looked at myself and was stunned. I don’t think I’ve looked this fit since ….. well … maybe never. THAT is motivating! I texted Jessica this pic to show her my 56-year-old body after using her workouts. “Thank you,” I said. “I can’t believe these results.”
I have been eating better, too, so that makes a difference. I’ve lost 10 pounds in the last 8 months thanks to Weight Watchers. But I’m excited about the fact that I can do just 3 short strength-training circuits a week as my strength-training regimen. I used to do 3-4 45-minute to an hour sessions WHILE I was training for marathons, and I was constantly falling off the wagon because it was such an investment of time and energy. My body looks better now! And I have time for a life.
If you are feeling like you need to do something, this is great news for you! The NYT article has some HIIT workouts to try. You can also google HIIT workouts and find plenty of videos on the internet. But, if you are like me, it helps to have accountability. It’s much too easy for me to get sidetracked by an ice cream sundae or the drama in Washington. If you are interested in one of Jessica’s virtual boot camps, here’s her info. You don’t even have to live in Tulsa! If you are a beginner, don’t worry. She’s great at helping you work at your own level.
Now get off your butt and exercise! You are worth the effort!