Last May I wrote about a neat little timer gadget called the Gymboss. My in-laws bought me one for my birthday and I immediately started using it for timed workouts. I had recently attended a kettlebell clinic in Atlanta, which is the first place I ever saw one of these little timers in action, and I knew I had to have one. There's a popular workout in the kettlebell community designed to raise VO2Max. It is 30 seconds of work, followed by 30 seconds of rest, repeated for 20-40 minutes.
A bit of searching turned up some interesting research on this protocol. A good deal of it is summed up in this article, along with a sample interval workout.
After some playing around with the protocol, here's what I came up with.
The VO2Max To The Max Workout:
- 30 seconds running (about 90% effort)
- 30 seconds rest
- 30 seconds burpees
- 30 seconds rest
- Repeat for duration.
The first time we tried this workout we did it for 20 minutes and knew immediately it was a keeper. Yesterday we attempted it again, this time for 25 minutes. This is definitely a workout I plan to keep around. Some of my workout buddies have suggested mixing in other exercises instead of the burpees (jumping jacks, high knees, mtn climbers, etc.). I might consider that next time we do it. And of course, you could just run for the entire time, but I prefer to mix it up and get some full body work in there with the burpees.
The Gymboss timer takes the guesswork out of workouts like this, and it also keeps you honest. Set it to beep every 30 seconds, and to stop at 25 minutes or whatever duration you desire (or unlimited time if you just want to go till you drop). Setting the duration of the workout up front helps to keep me honest. I won't stop till the Gymboss says to stop.