A week from Tuesday will be my 54th birthday. Per tradition at my dojo, Sensei will throw me 54 times at the end of class. I've done this for seven years, but he throws harder and expects more each year. I was in crappy shape and not progressing much the first four. The fifth year, I had progressed a lot on the mat, but I was in terrible shape. I was so gassed that I lost count. Don't think I went past 45 throws. I had just started to work out two years ago, and barely made it to 52. Last year I did very well and made to sixty throws. He always adds more if he thinks you can take it. I've cut back on my Tabata work recently to focus on strength and I recently noticed some decline in my cardio capacity. Now I have less than two weeks to get ready for this ordeal. What kind of HIIT routine should I do to prepared for this? My thinking is to take a break from heavy weights and do nothing but interval work. I could go three days a week and get five workouts in before my birthday. Can I increase my capacity in that amount of time? FWIW, this past Tuesday night, we observed another dojo ritual, "the 108 throws." Each of us picks a technique and you take turns throwing and being thrown by one partner for 12 turns, then you change partners. You do this until everyone has done nine cycles. We do this class silently, which is very cool. I was doing great through the first seven partners. Then I ended up with Sensei. I can't quite explain what Shomen Uchi Irimi Nage is, but I can assure you that most people would be gassed after four of them. I could barely get off the mat by the eighth one. Don't now how I got through 12. Fortunately, my final partner was a 5'6" 110 woman. (Sensei is about 5'10" 220) We take an entire one hour class to do 108 throws. The "birthday throws" are done with just a few seconds between each one. Sometimes he combines a throw with a joint lock, then forces you up with your wrist still immobilized, then throws you again.