I used to spend hours each week doing cardiovascular endurance training: running, biking, swimming laps, step classes, kickboxing, etc. I suffered multiple athletic injuries over the years and only rarely took a day off. When I was first diagnosed with autoimmune disease, I was in the middle of training for a marathon. I was addicted to chronic cardio. A large part of my healing journey was learning how to find balance around my love of fitness. Chronic cardiovascular exercise increases intestinal permeability, or in other words, it exacerbates a leaky gut. I don't think that my love of all things cardio was the cause of my autoimmune disease by any means, but it was likely one of the many factors that served as a trigger. Chronic endurance training is not a good exercise choice for anyone dealing with an autoimmune disease.
Today, I am able to enjoy jogging for a few miles a couple of times a week. I do this because I still love running, it feels good, and my dog appreciates the exercise. But the vast majority of my cardiovascular training takes place through high intensity interval training (HIIT), metabolic resistance training, and conditioning circuits. There are some technical differences between these terms, but they can all involve lifting weights at a faster pace than you normally would when performing traditional strength training.
This week's featured workout is a "complex", which means that several movements are performed in succession without putting the weight down or taking a break between exercises. The goal is to increase your heart rate while working on muscular strength at the same time. Complexes can be performed with barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, sandbags, weight plates, water jugs, or toddlers :) ...basically anything that you can wrap your hands around. For this complex, I chose to use a 25-lb weight plate. Depending on your fitness level, you can select more or less weight.
Weight Plate Complex
- Overhead Reverse Lunges x5 Each Leg
- Row x 10
- Bicep Curl to Shoulder Press x 10
- Weight Plate Swing x 10
- Overhead Triceps Extension x 10
- Full Release Push-up (Chest to Plate) x 10
- Ski Jump over Plate x 10
Perform 10 reps of each exercise in succession without taking a rest. Rest for one minute and then repeat for a total of 4 complete sets of the complex.
Post your time in the comments below! Enjoy your workout!