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  • Al Painter BA, NASM-CPT, PES, CES


How about that title? See what I did there? How's that for holiday awesome? Yes, my wife is a very lucky woman.

This time of year, while our wallets are getting lighter, its very easy for our waistlines to go in the other direction. Office parties, get togethers with family and friends and refueling on shopping trips can easily make the number your scale skyrocket like a gas pump when you step on it. Throw in 870 things to do during the holiday season cutting into fitness time and the odds quickly stack against you.

How do you beat this? How can you stay on track when there is chocolate, chocolate covered chocolate, and best of all chocolate covered chocolate with a mocha chaser seemingly EVERYWHERE?? The easiest way is discipline, but let's be honest here, you may as well spell that word LOL this time of year because that is in short supply when it comes to falling prey to potential caloric calamities.

The other way is to lock yourself in a room with only vegetables, some kind of meat and water. Then proceed to workout at a break neck pace. A) Good luck with that, B) Good luck with that and C) Let me know how that goes.

One of the better ways is to exercise and try to take a huge HIIT out of your calorie consumption with caloric expenditures. See what I did there again? BAM! EN FUEGO!

One of the more effective ways to do that is move real fast, rest very little, repeat. Ideally with compound movements that entail the arms and legs working together at the same time. Lucky for you, I'm very well versed in such knowledge.

With that said, here is a holiday HIIT session to give you a fighting chance to prevent a waistline manifest destiny outbreak this holiday season. Hopefully you payed attention well enough in history class to get that reference.

Here's what you'll need:

Exercise bands (ideally two sets with handles)


Timer of some kind

Fitness tracker if you've got one. I like to wear my Mio Fuse HR monitor to make sure I’m at the right intensity. Plus it lets me know how fast my heart rate drops which is a pretty true measure of one's fitness levels.

This workout assumes you don't have any joint pain and you are ready to rock. If you have ANY joint pain, get it checked, get it managed then work the appropriate fitness/health professionals to work on it. It is a good idea to get checked out before starting a new exercise program anyway because High intensity workouts + Joint Pain could lead to "the doctor will see you now."

You should feel ALL of these movements in the glutes and core quite a bit if you are doing them right. If you don't feel those muscles, get an eval from a trusted fitness resource to find out why.

If you've got all of that squared away, here you go!

Move for :20 seconds (QUICKLY!), rest for :10 and take three laps of this. Rest for 2:00 minutes and repeat 2-3 more times as long as GOOD form holds.

Here are the exercises, and trust me, less will definitely be more here.

Hip Hinge + Two Arm Pull

This exercise hits the entire back half of the body, and that's a good thing, especially if you sit all day. The modification here is to stand on two legs without hinging and just pull.

Squat Jumps

Cardio, glutes, core, and cardio. You can also very easily do speed squats (or the pace that is appropriate for your level of fitness) if you need to modify.

Squat + Two Arm Press

Glutes, core, chest, shoulders, triceps and a whole lot of heart rate is what this brings to the table. The modification here is to stand on two legs and chest press without the squat component.

Bodyweight Skaters

Great for lateral hip opening, strengthening of the hips and core stabilization. Plus it plays well across fitness levels because it can be modified to meet participant. The modification here is find your sweet spot between hopping left and right with a simple step to the left then step back to the right.

Studies have repeatedly shown high intensity workouts are a great way to amp up your metabolism. This time of year, that might not be a bad thing. Especially when the inevitable 11:59pm fitness freak out is just around the corner.

Enjoy the workout and let me know how it goes by leaving a comment!

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