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One Workout, Two Ways

strength training tabata Jun 26, 2024


By Dr. Carla DiGirolamo MD, CFL1 


We’ve all been there. You wake up feeling more exhausted than you did before you went to sleep and today is a heavy training day. Right out of the gate emerges the feeling of defeat.


The ability to modify training on the fly is a valuable skill to help navigate the unpredictable mental and physical symptoms that complicate our reality as midlife women. On some days, an intense high-intensity interval training (HIIT) training session feels good, and on other days, a more sustained, slow grind is in order. Whichever option feels right on a given day, there is some amazing fitness to be had.


This week’s workout is not just your weekly functional fitness session. It is a lesson in how simply changing the time domain in which movements are performed dramatically changes how those movements stimulate the body.


The two movements we are focusing on today are a short-duration row (you can also substitute a treadmill run, stationary bike, or burpees) and the dumbbell thruster. The first round is an 8-minute AMRAP where you will perform as many rounds of the row and thrusters, in sequence, as possible on an 8-minute clock. After a 4-minute rest, you will do the same two movements and repetitions, but instead, you will alternate these movements every minute on the minute (EMOM).


Warm Up


TABATA (20 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest 20:10). Perform each movement in sequence for 20:10 until you have completed 6 rounds of both movements. Total: 6 minutes

  • Burpees - Perform 20 seconds of burpees then rest 10 seconds, then….
  • Air squat - Perform 20 seconds of air squats then rest for 10 seconds, then back to the burpees.


Movement Practice


Take 5-10 minutes to set your options, weights, and repetitions for the workout. If you are performing the row, the prescribed repetition scheme is a 10-calorie row (~250m). Modify your distance and cardio option so that you are at an 8/10 intensity level working for 40-45 seconds. Apply the same strategy for the run, bike, or burpee option. Once you have set your parameters, stick to them!

For the dumbbell thruster, again, set your weights and pace so that you can achieve 15 repetitions in 40-45 seconds at an 8/10 intensity. This should be a moderately heavy weight. If necessary, reduce the repetitions to 10-12. If using weight is not accessible to you, perform 20-25 air squats. Whatever you choose, stick to it!




Round 1

AMRAP 8 (As many rounds as possible in 8 minutes)

  •  10 calorie Row (substitute a 250m run, 500m bike or 12 burpees)
  •  15 dumbbell thrusters

Once you have completed the 8 minute AMRAP, REST for 4 minutes


Round 2

EMOM 8 (Every minute on the minute for 8 minutes). Complete the movement at the turn of the minute and rest for the remainder of the minute interval.

  •  Even minutes: 10 calorie row
  •  Odd minutes: 15 dumbbell thrusters


Cool Down


Jump-start your recovery with this quick stretch for the lower body - one of my personal favs from Train FTW - especially when I’m pressed for time!

7 minute, follow-along Back and Hips static stretch sequence from Train FTW

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