Food & Fitness

Hanging Crunches, Waterball Throws and a Raw Food Update

Check out my previous HITT at Aspire Fitness blog posts:

Week One: HITT and the City

Week Two: Tracking food and exercise online with Aspire Fitness

Week Three: Looking for the Ultimate Workout

Week Four: The HITT Diet Plan

Week Five: Seeking Motivation

Week Six: Resting Between Workouts

Week Seven: Be Flexible

Brand-new Exercises

You’d think that after seven weeks of HITT workouts, we’d be using the same old exercises day in and day out. Not so. This week, to spice things up a little, we were introduced to two amazingly challenging workouts: hanging crunches and the waterball throw.

Sounds like fun, right? Well – they are! But they also leave you feeling exhausted. I like it.

Hanging crunches require a chin-up bar. Or you can be cheap and go to a nearby playground to try it out (that’s totally what I would do). Raise your arms above your head, get a good grip on the bar, and then step off of the block you’ve been standing in so that you’re dangling in the air. Whee!

Next, slowly draw your knees upward as straight as you can so that you don’t start swinging back and forth (you aren’t playing at Tarzan, here). Try to bring your knees up to chest height, contracting your abs as you do so. Lower your knees so that your legs are extended straight out beneath you at the same pace as you drew them up. This is one rep.

Try to do as many as you can in a row. Ten is a good place to start. Remember to keep good form, and to move slowly in order to steady yourself – otherwise you’ll be rocking back and forth and it will be the momentum that is moving you rather than your rock-hard abs.

Waterball throws were much harder than I expected. It looked like a big lumpy stability ball that had been deflated and injected with a little bit of water. Nuh uh. This thing weighed 50 lbs! The object is to squat down, pick it up from the floor and stand straight again as though you’re doing a deadlift. Hold the ball at chest height, then swing it with as much force as you can muster to the right and let go.

Please make sure that there are no gym members exercising within several feet to either side of you when you perform this move.

Next, walk over to where it dropped (which, I can tell you from experience, will only be about a foot the first time you attempt it. Fifty pounds of water is really difficult to throw to the side, especially if you can’t get a good grip!), pick it up, and swing and throwย to your left side. This is one rep. Go nuts! And you might want to follow Jason’s advice and wear a helmet (or is that just me who should wear a helmet?).


Interestingly, I’ve found that cardio has become something I dread at HITT. I used to be all over cardio, but doing side-to-sides or box hops or hill sprints or even skipping now seems like a whole lot of work. Once you’ve already done several other strength-training exercises in the circuit, it’s difficult to get your legs to move properly to complete the cardio aspect quickly. I can breeze through bench presses now (well… sort of), but please don’t make me do another box hop!

A week of eating raw

My week of eating a high-raw mostly-vegan diet went exceptionally well (and yes, I know that I was ranting about labels such as “high raw” just a couple weeks ago – bear with me. I’m back and forth on the issue). I’ve been feeling more energized and productive than I have in a long time. I’m curious if part of it is related to a significant decrease in my consumption of dairy and gluten? I don’t really know.

I haven’t been counting calories, and I don’t think I’ve lost any weight at all, but that’s okay – I’m more enjoying what the food is doing for my body than concerned about losing weight. More about that next week!


  1. jeff golfman

    Great post on exercise and raw foods. Looking forward reading more next week about your foods. I would be interested to hear about the quality of your workouts based on what you have eaten that day. I find that I function best if I have fruit pre-workout and if going for run a great smoothie packed with maca, spirulina and hemp.

    jeff golfman
    the cool vegetarian

    1. Sagan Morrow

      Thanks Jeff!

      I like having fruit before a workout, too – and green smoothies are AWESOME post-workout. I also really like having something a little bit “hardier” before exercising, like 1/2 homemade raw “breakfast cookie”.

      I have yet to try maca and spirulina.

  2. Emergefit

    “Youโ€™d think that after seven weeks of HITT workouts, weโ€™d be using the same old exercises day in and day out. ”

    The only routine in the routine should be to walk through the gym doors. After that, variety is the key to success.

    Love box jumps — live for them ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Dr. J

    I’m one of those dairy is only for baby cows people. Mary Lou Henner when interviewed about her weight loss said, “When I stopped eating dairy, I lost that bovine look!” Maybe the big brown eyes are nice, but not the other big stuff ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Sagan Morrow

      And I’ve already got the big brown eyes, so I’m all set! Hehe.

      I go back on forth on dairy. Probably because it tastes really good and sometimes I really crave it. I like the ratio of protein to fat that we can get from it, plus the calcium, but I definitely feel better if I don’t eat it regularly. I expect that you’re right – most of us would be much better off without consuming dairy.

      That being said, I expect I will host many more wine & cheese’s in my lifetime ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Pubsgal

    Your HIIT class sounds a little like my CardioSculpt (or whatever they call it now…something hip, like Chisel, I think) class, except we only do a titch of cardio to warm up. It’s mostly strength stuff, and she changes it up *every week*. I’m nearly always hobbling around, griping about DOMS the next day. (Which is probably good for me – I know I don’t push myself nearly so hard on my own as I do in a class.)

    And whether you want to label it or not, I’m glad you found a way of eating that’s making you feel so good and energetic! I follow the food part of your blog, too, and you’re right: apples are the BOMB! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *