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Timing Is Everything

This is ever so crucial for a stand up comedian delivering a punchline, a driver avoiding a major crash on an interstate or racetrack, a professional baseball player hitting a grand slam, an employee asking for a raise at work, or knowing when a comment is appropriate. Whatever the situation may be, timing is everything. It can mean the difference between getting laughs or being booed, walking away unscathed or going to a hospital on a gurney, winning a game or suffering a heartwrenching loss, receiving a bonus or winding up unemployed, hugging a family member or losing a lifelong friend. Finding the perfect moment is sometimes difficult; there is risk involved, but if executed precisely, huge rewards or massive payoffs could be forthcoming.

Of course, those of you who have read even a couple posts know this is a fitness blog and the title is just a segway to what is really going to be addressed. For some, the articles may be an escape from reality for a bit to take in a quick read. Others, however, might use them as a stepping stone to move closer to their personal success. And there are probably a few out there that see it as something completely different. However they are perceived, the time spent engaged in them is...for you, my loyal followers...your everything. So how does fitness fit into this equation? I guess the time has come to find out.

The last month and a half or so, we have discovered new ways to challenge our bodies (and minds) by experimenting with various formats. During our break from the norm, we touched on cardio and strength workouts using both repetition and time based structures. Remember that rep based is a set number of times you perform an exercise. With the timed aspect, activities are completed in a pre-determined amount of seconds or minutes. That is the focus of this article...timed workouts.

In the samples I gave, I primarily gave increments of 30 or 60 seconds. What I neglected to mention (just so I could write this section) was that any time interval can be used to meet fitness goals. Work/rest phases of 45/15 or 20/10 (Tabata style), respectively, are great ways to "confuse" the muscles and mix up your program. Don't be afraid to create your own timing in your next session. Take note though that the shorter the work time, the higher the intensity should be. Earn your break by going head on or do an active recovery such as bear hugs or walking between sets if maximum output isn't your thing.

Like some of the previous styles, almost any activity will work in a timed format. A pro to this design is it allows an individual the freedom to insert their favorite movements, create their own, or fuse other workout styles together. In addition, I have heard from people that timed workouts seem to go by faster because you're always moving. Conversely, a downside is that if you select an extended work period of say, 90 seconds, and are fairly new to exercise, you may not be able to finish the entire time frame. Keep in mind that in the beginning longer "on" times require more "off" time, however, try to keep the duration of your relaxation less than the active segment. For example, if you decide on a span of sixty seconds, your down time shouldn't exceed one minute. As fitness levels improve, recovery periods between cycles should shorten, so what used to be a 30/30 ratio will become 30/15.

Since I have given a number of exercise ideas in the last few blogs, I think this time I will let you be the expert and fabricate your own unique workout. Experiment with various timing intervals and fitness choices. What activities have you liked so far? Those that challenge you? Maybe ones that don't require much thought or are most familiar? Whatever you decide, there is no wrong way as long as you're active and having fun.

While we may not all be comedians, race car drivers, professional athletes or ultra wealthy CEO's, we hope that when the perfect opportunity comes along, it will be at a time we need it most. The one in a million chance of a lifetime to be something we've always dreamed of, travel to a place we've always wanted to visit or cross an item off our bucket list is when we learn timing really is...everything. Our time on earth is short, what will you do with it while you're here? I urge you to get up, get out and get moving...ten, twenty, thirty or even sixty seconds at a time. Hope to see you next week for the final installment of this series. Until then...

Which timing format do you like best and why?

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