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High Intensity Interval Training and Ginger Salmon Croquettes. What?

World's Fair Pavillion, Forest Park, St. Louis, Missouri

As I’ve alluded to before, one of the crucial bases of Primal Blueprint fitness is low level aerobic activity.  This is moderate exercise, working at %55-%75 of your maximum heart rate. A simple often used way of figuring our your maximum heart rate is to subtract your age from 220.  For moderate exercise, strive to obtain a heart rate that is %55-75 of that number.  According to Mark Sisson who authored the Primal Blueprint, “Not only is low level aerobic activity the natural evolutionary expectation of the body, it’s flat out beneficial in its own right. It plays an integral role in maintaining weight and metabolic balance. It also builds your base and makes more strenuous workouts possible by toning all the muscles, joints and connective tissue needed for optimal strength training and high intensity aerobic activity. Low level aerobic exercise engages your energy systems and incrementally improves their functioning and efficiency. And while it does all that, it also physiologically and hormonally counters the effects of stress.

Its easy to achieve a good amount of low level aerobic activity but are you getting enough High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).  Its a combination that will lead to a leaner, fitter and healthier body.  My partner and I try to do some type of high intensity interval training once a week.  It can supercharge your fitness, boost your metabolism, and help burn off that extra fat.  High intensity interval training  is about mixing high intensity bursts of exercise with moderate intensity recovery periods. It’s brutal but has incredible advantages.  It will boost your metabolism for the following 24 to 48 hours, meaning that you will burn more fat than if you simply went jogging.  One study  by Dr. Izumi Tabata concluded that  moderate-intensity aerobic training that improves the maximal aerobic power does not change anaerobic capacity and that adequate high-intensity intermittent training may improve both anaerobic and aerobic energy supplying systems significantly, probably through imposing intensive stimuli on both systems.  This is something you should add to your routine once a week.

The key to high intensity interval training is working to the max of your heat rate for short bursts followed by full recovery, and repeating the sequence several times.  My partner and I typically go to the park.  We warm up first with an easy paced walk.  We then will sprint for 30 to 60 seconds, followed by about two minutes of easy paced walking.  We typically repeat this pattern 8 to 10 times.  this workout takes between 30 and 40 minutes.  We usually end up tossing around the Frisbee afterwards just for some added fun.  You don’t have to run to do high intensity interval training.  You can do this by biking, swimming, at the gym even on a treadmill or stationary bike.  The key is the burst of all out effort.  Because of a knee problem, sometimes I cant do the sprints by running and I’ll do an alternate workout. Stairs don’t seem to bother my knee as much.  The other day, my partner and I went to Forest Park.  There are 2 sets of stairs flanking the World’s Fair Pavilion pictured at the beginning of this post.  Each set has about 50 steps.  We sprint up the set of stairs and go back down, repeating this 3-4 times.  We then walk over to the other set of stairs and repeat.   We usually do 6 to 8 reps, followed by a pleasant walk around the lake at the bottom of hill.  It’s an intense, but fun workout.

One other method that was spawned from the study referenced above is called Tabata sprints.  These are tough but the best thing about them is that they only take 4 minutes to complete.  In this method you sprint for 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds of rest. You do this for a total of 4 minutes.  This is a great alternative on those days when you just don’t have time to get out or go to thy gym to do your regular HIIT training.  You’ll still get plenty of benefit from this work out.

When you switch things up, you add variety to your routine, and you are moire likely to do HIITs on a weekly basis.  Admittedly I sometimes get sore from these workouts.  I’m not a big fan of over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs, if you feel the same way, as an alternative, try some ginger, either in the form of a supplement or use it in one of your favorite recipes. 

Ginger has been used for a long time soothing nausea and easing stomach upset, but it’s also a natural immune system booster with anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. One recent study showed a 24-25% decrease in exercise induced pain within 24 hours.

One of my new favorite dishes that gets its deliciousness from a good amount of ginger is my Ginger Salmon Croquettes (I love this word)  with Ginger Mayo.  Served in lettuce cups, it makes a great post work out meal. I served this with a spaghetti squash saute and plantain fried in coconut oil – yummy!

Ginger Salmon Croquettes with Ginger Mayo

Ginger Salmon Croquettes with Ginger Mayo


Ginger Salmon Croquettes:

  • 1 lb. wild caught salmon fillets
  • 1 tbl. finely grated peeled ginger
  • 1 tbl. dijon mustard
  • 1 tbl. prepared horseradish
  • 1 1/2 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1-2 tbls. coconut oil

Ginger Mayo:

  • 2 tbls. mayonnaise (made with olive oil)
  • 1 tbls. dijon mustard
  • 1 tbls. finely grated peeled ginger
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp. soy sauce (depending on your taste)


  • Lettuce leaves
  • 1/4 – 1/2 red onion sliced thinly and separated

Make the ginger mayo.  In a small bowl whisk  together the mayonnaise, mustard, ginger and soy sauce and set aside.

Make the salmon croquettes.  Finely chop the salmon by hand with a knife.  You want a very fine consistency (not chunky). In a bowl, stir together the finely chopped salmon together with the ginger, mustard, horseradish, and soy sauce.  Form into 4 – 6 croquettes and set on a plate.  I like to let the croquettes sit for about 10 or 15 minutes before cooking as some of the excess moisture will drain from the croquettes.  Heat 1 – 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a non stick skillet over medium heat.  Place the croquettes in the preheated skillet and cook on each side about 3-5 minutes, depending on thickness, and until cooked through.

Meanwhile, place 2 -3 lettuce leaves on 2 plates.  When the croquettes are cooked through, place 1 croquette on each lettuce leaf and smear each croquette with a good dollop of the ginger may.  Top with the slivered red onion and serve with your favorite side.

Try high intensity interval training.  In no time you will see a difference in your leanness as well as your aerobic capacity.  Follow your workout with this delicious recipe and you’ll feel like a million bucks.


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Thursday, June 24th, 2010 Uncategorized

1 Comment to High Intensity Interval Training and Ginger Salmon Croquettes. What?

July 18, 2010

The recipe sounds delicious! I’ll try it out on my family, but probably won’t mind eating it all myself. 😉

As far as HIIT, I’ve read a lot about it, but your concise, simple description finally tipped me over the edge…I’ll try it this week! Thanks!

P.S. I love your favicon!!

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