Gotta Tabata

Last night we had a Tabata-style workout–20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest, for 8 rounds and a total of 4 minutes. We did this with four exercises: wall-ball sit-ups, rowing, push-press 45 pounds, and kettlebell deadlift/squats. This 16-minute workout was tiring. Erika and I were partners, doing the same thing at the same time and trying to keep up with each other. I was slower on the sit-ups and slightly faster on the rowing. During the push-press drills I started getting a cramp, so I had to slow down and concentrate on breathing. This has never happened to me in anything besides running before.
Our last exercise was with the kettlebells. The drill was kind of like doing air-squats except you were gripping a kettlebell as you went up and down in a sort of quick deadlift. We decided to use the 24-kg kettlebells instead of the 16s we started the first round with. Using a 24, I felt lightheaded when I put it down for the 10-second rest, and my lower back ached from fatigue during the last few 20-second rounds.
Scott started wearing us out first with a warm-up of alternating air-squats (up and down 10 times) and then resting in the squat position while the other group did their 10 up and down. We went through that several times and then did the same thing with push-ups, holding the down position while others did five push-ups, then doing five while they held the down position. We didn’t last long with the push-ups. It is so hard to hold the bottom position for that length of time more than once.
I did just a few handstands before we left. They are slowly getting more stable and it is more often that I can stay up for a few seconds without using the wall. I’ve been practicing my bad-side cartwheels a lot lately, trying to get really upright and keep my head neutral, and the handstands seem to be improving along with that. Another thing that is helping the handstands is that when I have the nerve I try a front limber, going all the way over backwards from the handstand into the backbend (though not very gracefully). I think being able to go all the way over without hurting myself helps me mentally to get into a really upright handstand. What I would like to be able to do is what high-divers do on the edge of the diving board–get into a stable handstand and hold it as long as desired. I love to watch that during the summer Olympics. The amount of nerve it would take to do a handstand all the way up there on the edge is hard to imagine, but it’s really cool to see that a person can have that degree of stability on their hands.