Laura Flynn Endres
Your Complete Guide to Quickie Workouts
You're ready to crush some effing workouts. So, now what? Do you just jump into your workout and go like gangbusters? Well, yes and no.
I am committed to helping you get fit in as short amount of time as possible, but there are a few things you need to do to be safe and avoid injury.
Imma lay out some guidelines for a proper HiiT Quickie Workout from beginning to end – including nutrition! Because I’m here for you.
Oh! And I have a fun surprise for you later on in this post.... snicker....
Whether or not you eat before exercising is up to you. My husband can eat a four-course meal and then go running. If I did that, I’d hurl in the bushes. I have to exercise on an empty stomach.
Sometimes during my 5pm workout I’m regretting my lunch. That’s how delicate I am.
That’s right, I’m DELICATE. *eye roll*
Proteins and fats digest slowly, so those aren’t really recommended pre-workout. You can consume good carbohydrates to provide fuel for what’s to come, but not too much and not too close to workout time. Aim for ~300 calories of quality carbs about 2-3 hours before your workout.
Good choices would be an apple or banana, oatmeal, whole-grain cereal or toast, or steamed veggies.
If I exercise in the morning, I exercise fasted. That means I don’t eat before I exercise. (In fact, my first meal each day is around 2 pm.) I suffer no ill effects whatsoever. I feel completely fine and energized, but not all people do. You are welcome to ask me why I do what I do.
If I exercise later in the day, of course I’ve already eaten one or two meals.
SLIP INTO SOMETHING MORE COMFORTABLE. Ahem.
Get ready for your Quickie!
Gather the equipment you need.
Remove obstacles that might cause injury. Push back the sofa, pick up items you could trip over, etc. Lock up the dogs and cats. They will want to “help.”
Grab a towel and fill your water bottle.
Set your timer, or make sure you can see a clock.
Jam your best music.
Get your attitude on.
A good warm-up will loosen up tight muscles and joints, warm the body, shuttle blood to your major muscles, gradually elevate your breathing, and get you in the right mindset for your Quickie. My warm-ups last from 3-8 minutes, and change with how much time I have, what mood I’m in, and how long it takes for me to feel pumped and ready.
Your warm-up should consist of dynamic moves that work all muscles and joint actions, gradually increasing in intensity.
Note: Before your workout is not the time to improve your flexibility. You are asking your muscles to perform during the Quickie Workout – therefore telling your muscles to elongate and relax before your workout doesn’t make sense.
A great warm-up might progress in this order:
Walking up and down a flight of stairs several times
Arm Circles, Leg Circles
Knee Raises, Front Kicks
Shallow Squats or Lunges (go partway down, and don’t worry about speed)
Rotation – twist your torso right and left. GENTLY.
Shuffling right and left
I filmed a short video that demonstrates some warm-up exercises I have my clients do. You can see that HERE.
Then, do a couple reps of each exercise in the Quickie Workout – but don’t do them “all out.” Try the exercises as you watch the Preview Video, and maybe add a few of the suggested moves above.
Now you’re ready for your Quickie!
YOU’RE GONNA ROCK THIS, BITCHES.
I’m sorry I called you bitches.
HAVE a QUICKIE
Put on your favorite music, and GET AFTER IT.
If you don’t feel like dancing, get a better playlist.
You don’t dance? ARMS IN THE AIR LIKE ROCKY BALBOA.
I didn't say I could dance well....
Not sure which Quickie Workout to HiiT? I send out a different one every Sunday! Sign up here to get those.
Ok fine - It's a cool down.
Rule #1 – DON’T SIT DOWN. You’re tired, you worked hard, you earned a rest. I get that. BUT DON'T SIT DOWN YET. YES, I KNOW I'M YELLING.
A proper cool-down will allow your heart rate to slow gradually, your breathing to slow toward normal, and keep your blood from pooling in the extremities which can cause dizziness.
Repeat a few of the lighter moves from your warm-up. DON’T SIT DOWN.
Do a few arms circles, walk around, step side to side. DON’T SIT DOWN.
Drink water. Towel off. DON’T SIT DOWN.
YOU AREN’T SITTING DOWN, ARE YOU?
You can sit down if you're light-headed or nauseous. But that's it.
Once you’ve cooled down, you can do some static stretching. Static stretching is when you hold a stretch for 30-60 seconds or longer.
Be sure to stretch the muscles you just worked, and pay special attention to muscles that are chronically tight such as hamstrings, lower back, and chest. I have suggestions HERE, HERE, and HERE.
First of all, post-workout refueling isn’t entirely necessary if your workout is light. Because they’re only 15 minutes long, even my Quickie Workouts aren’t so long and intense that post-workout eating is required. Intense workouts lasting 60 minutes or longer DO call for post-workout nutrition. More important than when you eat is what you eat overall.
That said, research suggests there may be a window of opportunity - 30-60 minutes after your workout – during which your body is primed to absorb quality nutrients. This is the time to feed your body a good protein to aid muscle development and a good carbohydrate to replenish energy stores.
Good choices would be:
eggs and steamed veggies
yogurt with fruit & almonds
apple with nut butter
protein shake with a banana.
Yeah, yeah, you earned that slab of cream pie. (Sorta, I mean... that's not how this works...) BUT NOT YET.
Resting in a tree is optional.
An effective exercise program always includes recovery time. During the post-workout rest and recovery your muscles grow, adapt, and become stronger; your hormones level out; and your bone density increases. Without a proper recovery time, your muscles remain under stress and can’t get to the point of growth.
Interestingly, the symptoms of over-training are similar to the symptoms of under-training – fatigue, under-performance, depression or lack of motivation, persistent pain, more frequent illness.
A proper workout should leave you feeling good. You’ll be tired, yes. You’ll probably be sore. But you shouldn’t feel like a zombie the next day, and if you do, no intense exercise that day.
A reasonable schedule is every other day for your Quickies. On your off-days, you should do light activities like yoga, walking, or even a milder version of some of the Quickie exercises.
If you're doing strength training and Quickie Workouts, you might only need two Quickies a week.
How sore you are after a Quickie will be unique to you. I have clients who get sore easily, and clients who don’t. I have clients who think they didn’t exercise hard enough if they aren’t sore, and clients who beg me to make sure their workouts don’t cause soreness. It’s a fascinating topic!
It’s still not fully understood what exactly causes soreness, and most techniques to prevent soreness are not reliably effective for everyone. The most likely explanation is you'll get sore when you've done something you haven't done before.
You know what helps if you're sore? Light movement. Consider repeating the warm-up moves, gradually increasing intensity to loosen up.
Being ridiculously sore is no fun. My goal with my clients is never to crush them so much they can't function the next day.