Yesterday was my first day back to exercise in what feels like forever! In the morning I ran for 30 minutes and did some lunge walks to break things up. Later I saw a Crossfit workout from a few days ago where they did Tabata sets of several different exercises. For those not familiar with Tabata, it's 20 seconds of work then 10 seconds of rest, repeated 8 times. And you can "score" your Tabata sets by counting your reps in each set. Your score is your lowest number. So there's a bit of strategy to Tabata, in that you want to go as fast as you can, while making sure you have enough energy to complete the sets.
When I think about 4 total minutes of exercise, with rest periods, it doesn't sound difficult. But if you've tried it, you know it is HARD!!! Last night I did these exercises in the Tabata fashion:
high pulls, 15 pound dumbbells
kettlebell swings, 12 kg kettlebell
The only set where I counted reps was in squats. I LOVE tabata squats. Don't you always love things that make you feel capable? My score was 23, and my reps were 23-23-23-23-24-23-24-24. The pushups, on the other hand, were a joke. By that time my whole body was just fried. I did the pushups from my knees (I usually do boy pushups) and halfway through the 4th interval my arms simply quit workng. The next time I do this workout (yes, there will be a next time!) I won't bang out 13 pushups in my first set, and see if maybe that way I have some strength left to complete the sets.