Office Tabata

Office TabataYou haven’t lived until you’ve done squats with overhead press using a ream of copy paper as weight. While I was doing just that last week,  it occurred to me that working out in the office is actually not easy. You have to think of exercises you can do that won’t draw attention to your closed office door (if you even have a door to close!) Your grunts of exertion could be misconstrued as calls for help. And finding a way to schedule those little four-minute sessions can be hard.

So far, I’ve found timing it with my pumping sessions works. After I pump milk for fifteen minutes, I take another four minutes to knock out a Tabata set. My door is already closed and locked. Everyone knows I’m in my office pumping so they aren’t likely to interrupt. It works out best for me. Sometimes I only get to do two Tabata sets in a day. And now that I’ve adopted my “some is better than none” policy, I feel good about it.

When I was younger I had to be all or nothing when it came to working out. Either I was in beast mode, or I was avoiding all physical activity because I couldn’t give it my full attention. That’s no way to live! And so, now that I live in thirty-land (now that I have a baby) and well, just everything, I realize that if you manage to do any physical activity in the day you have to pat yourself on the back. Who else is going to pat it for you?

Back to how difficult it can be to workout in the office. I can’t really do jumping jacks or anything that’s going to shake the ceiling tiles in the offices below me. It’s an old building. 🙂 That makes it pretty hard to get my heart rate up. But I’ve found a work around for that. BELLYDANCE!

In order to get in some cardio, I include a shimmy drill into my set of four exercises. (You could do eight different exercises, but I just choose four and do them twice.) This is an example of one of my Tabata sets.

:20 Squats with overhead press (with ream of paper!)
:10 Rest
:20 Standing Shimmy!
:10 Rest
:20 Push ups
:10 Rest
:20 Sit ups
And then do it all again.

I have an iPhone and for these rounds of Tabata, I love to use the Tabata Timer app by Garaio Technology Lab. For starters, it’s free. Also, the colors appeal to me. Black, orange and gray. And when the timer is up, a little person pops up wearing a medal. That gives me a great feeling.

Tabata Winner

I’ve also found that listening to Happy Hardcore keeps me going quickly through the exercises instead of just plodding along as I might have without music. And the goal isn’t to count your repetitions but to do as many as possible in 20-second spurts. So I just listen to the music and move to the beat. I still haven’t purchased the Tabata Songs I thought I would use for this.

This is probably not the best exercise choice for people trying to lose weight. Thankfully, I stopped worrying about the dieting bandwagon a long time ago. But I do feel better! I always get a lot of work done in the couple of hours after a Tabata workout thanks to the boost in energy I get from the short exertion. And I think it’s helping me a better parent too. At least it’s a little easier to carry Gibs’ car seat these days. 🙂

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