Move It Monday: Rest Based Interval Workout

by tinareale on October 8, 2012

**Good morning, friends! October is crazy busy for me between travel, Makenzie’s birthday, prepping for Round 3 of Best Body Bootcamp (registration ends in ONE WEEK!), and life in general. I didn’t want to leave you all hanging…and especially not when there are so many great bloggers out there with phenomenal material to share with you. Expect to see a scattering of guest posts here and there throughout October – starting today with a fresh Move It Monday post from Tamara! I know you’ll love it! Have a good week and I’ll catch you soon.**

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving! While I love four-day weekends (especially when there’s pumpkin pie involved), I hate how difficult it is to get back into routine again come Tuesday morning. It’s like that extra two days off flips on the ‘vacation mode’ in my brain.

The only solution is to make a plan to get to the gym on Monday and kick start my fitness week with a short, but intense rest-based interval workout.

Why don’t you join me?

You’ll need:

  • 2 sets of dumbbells (one heavy, one lighter; note that I didn’t say ‘light’…your weights need to be heavy enough to provide challenge to your muscles)
  • a step, box or sturdy bench (I often use the built-in seating on my patio)
  • a yoga mat (or soft surface; grass and thick carpeting work too) and
  • a TRX, Lebert Equalizer or low fixed bar (for example, the squat rack in the gym or the rungs on your child’s backyard play equipment).

Missing a piece of equipment? No worries, alternative movements are described below.

Set your timer for 12 rounds of 45 seconds work and 15 seconds rest. If you don’t have an interval timer you can watch a clock with a second hand.

Perform each exercise, in order, for 45 seconds, followed by a 15 seconds rest break. If you can’t get through the entire 45 seconds, take a short break and start again. That’s the definition of a rest-based interval. Use the timed, 15 seconds, rest periods to transition to the next exercise; no wasting time!

• Complete the entire circuit 2 times though.

• Stretch and enjoy a slice of leftover pumpkin pie!


Mountain climbers: place hands on floor or bench, position body in a high plank position. Keeping hips low and core engaged, alternately bring one knee towards chest. Increase speed depending on your ability.

Offset load squats: place feet hip distance apart, hold heavy dumbbell in one hand, arm at your side. Sit back into the squat, keeping knees behind toes, eyes forward and chest open. Advanced option: hold dumbbell at shoulder height. Change sides 2nd time through circuit.

V-jump: standing on floor, with feet hip distance apart, jump forward onto step, landing low and with feet wide. Step down and repeat, keeping core engaged, eye focus forward. Make this move easier by jumping forward and backward on the floor.

Elevated back foot split squat: facing away from bench, step back with one foot, placing toes on elevated surface. Holding dumbbells in both hands, drop back knee down towards the floor as your curl dumbbells towards your shoulder. Push through front foot to return to standing, brining dumbbells back to your sides. Ensure that your front knee doesn’t travel beyond your front toe. Switch legs second time through the circuit. Note that this move can be made slightly easier by placing your back leg on the floor.

Inverted row: grasp handles of TRX or low horizontal bar with an overhand grip. Walk feet forwards, fully extend your arms and lower your body towards the floor, maintaining a straight line from your neck to your heels. Using your arms and back, pull your chest up towards the handles or bar. Slowly lower body back to starting position. No equipment? You can substitute a bent over dumbbell row for this move.

T-stabilization pushup: start in pushup position, with either knees or toes on the ground and hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Drop chest towards the floor. As you push back up into the starting position, take one hand off the floor. Extend it straight up and rotate your torso so that your chest opens up to the side. Gently place hand back on the floor and immediately drop chest towards the floor. Repeat, alternating sides. Note that this move can be made a bit easier by eliminating the rotation and simply performing pushups for the duration of the interval.


Like this workout? I regularly post workouts (and workout videos) on my blog and YouTube Channel. I’d love it if you’d come for a visit!

TamaraGrandTamara Grand is a personal trainer, group fitness instructor and healthy lifestyle blogger. She writes about fitness, food, family and fiber (yarn, that is) at Connect with her on Facebook (Fitknitchick) and Twitter (fitknitchick_1; she follows back).



Your Turn – Do you ever do circuits based on time and rest-based intervals?


1 Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers October 8, 2012 at 8:34 am

Thanks for the workout! My gym has a TRX system, so I will have to give some of these a shot.

2 Rachel @RunningRachel October 8, 2012 at 9:46 am

Great guest post, Tamara!! Thanks for the workout! My gym has a TRX system also… I should try some of your moves! :)

3 Tamara October 8, 2012 at 11:24 am

The TRX rocks! A great piece of equipment for on the go!

4 Laura @ Mommy Run Fast October 8, 2012 at 2:08 pm

Thanks for the great workout, Tamara! Hope you enjoyed your nice long weekend.

5 Tamara October 11, 2012 at 11:23 pm

Thanks Laura! We enjoyed our turkey dinner (and 3 days of leftovers!)

6 Amanda Perry @ Sistas of Strength October 8, 2012 at 2:53 pm

Love workouts like this. I do a lot of :40/:20 workouts myself and also with clients!

7 [email protected] October 8, 2012 at 4:09 pm

Looks fun!

8 Jentry Nielsen October 8, 2012 at 6:58 pm

What a great workout! I also love the creativity with the MOVE IT, so cute! :) Thanks for the workout, can’t wait to try it out!

9 Tamara October 11, 2012 at 11:26 pm

You’re welcome! And thanks to Tina for having me!

10 Pavement Runner October 8, 2012 at 7:50 pm

Your single workout is more than I have done all year. I love reading about all the various workout routines even though I never get to try them.

Love your posts and shares! Keep inspiring!

11 Tamara October 11, 2012 at 11:26 pm

Aw, thanks! And I know that’s not true…

12 Christine @ Love, Life, Surf October 9, 2012 at 12:35 am

I’ve started to love doing circuits based on time and rest-based intervals. Keeps it much more interesting for me than just # reps and keeps me honest too :-)
Thanks for sharing this Tamara!

13 Tamara October 11, 2012 at 11:25 pm

Totally agree Christine. Plus, I get soooo tired of counting reps! I work as a personal trainer and some days feel like if I have to count to 10 one more time I’m going to scream!

14 lisa {Smart Food and Fit} October 10, 2012 at 11:04 am

Thanks for the workout, I have all of this in my basement. I love using a little of everything and best part love timed workouts so I don’t have to count. Can’t wait to check out your site, Tamara! :)

15 Tamara October 11, 2012 at 11:24 pm

Thanks for the comments, Lisa! You’re lucky to have a home gym. Wish I did!

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