Exercise Tips

Have You Got The Right Equation?

HAVE YOU GOT THE RIGHT EQUATION?

CARDIO FOR FAT LOSS

Do you do low intensity steady state cardio (LISS) in the hope that it will shed fat and leave you with the lean physique you are after?  LISS just might not be the right equation for you and actually you could feel better, look better, get fitter and save time by switching things up.  There’s a huge amount of research to say it may be time to trade in some, or all, of the LISS magazine reading cardio for some HIIT – high intensity interval training.

What’s LISS & the issues?

It is low intensity steady state exercise – the heart rate doesn’t get very high and it stays at the same level throughout the workout.  For example, walking on the treadmill or riding the bike in the gym and chatting to the person beside you or reading a mag. It doesn’t recruit a whole lot of muscle mass – it doesn’t fatigue many muscle fibres so it doesn’t have to recruit many muscle fibres.  There’s a whole hormonal system at play here too and generally you could actually be chewing up that valuable muscle mass…you really want to keep this stuff it helps you to get and maintain a lean physique! The body adapts very quickly to LISS which generally means that in order to continue to get results (changes in body composition) you have to make your LISS workouts longer and longer and longer. LISS only gives you a boost while you are actually doing it and doesn’t work to your advantage in the hours following LISS - post exercise you don’t turn into a fat burning machine. Please note: Many people have legitimate orthopaedic, cardiac, and even psychological reasons to avoid HIIT, so LISS is their only option – if this is you then you would certainly need to seek individualised medical/training advice before incorporating HIIT.

What’s HIIT?

High Intensity Interval Training – short bursts of exercise followed by a low-moderate intensity interval to recover, before repeating.  For example sprinting or running as fast as you can for 30 seconds then walking to recover for 2 to 4 minutes.  During your high intensity burst and for some time during the recovery you won’t want to have a chat with anyone, or if you did it may be a few expletives. There’s a great hormonal response at play which encourages you to burn fat and hold on to muscle.  Take a look at sprinters – they are lean and muscular and all of their training sessions are HIITs.  They do a whole lot of walking around in their training sessions. They don’t tend to stress your hormonal system as much as other types of cardio training which can be a huge plus for many individuals who may already be suffering from adrenal fatigue. They are much shorter in overall duration (usually) than other workouts.  Get in, get it done and get out.  Ditch the excuse that you don’t have time.

What’s right?

Do cardio workouts that truly spin your wheels because at the end of the day exercise adherence is really important as well. Cycling HIIT and LISS may just be the way to go because you can’t HIIT every day.  So if you enjoy doing exercise on a daily basis you may have to work between the two.  I say may because it depends on how your week is constructed to include HIIT, strength training, stretching and meditation. When you are doing your HIIT workouts make sure you give them your all.  It is hard work, it may feel a little uncomfortable, but make sure it doesn’t turn into a mash up of a moderate intensity training session. If you have other exercise goals such as completing an ocean swim or running a marathon then alternating the two will also be hugely beneficial for weight loss and your performance goals. Lastly, in the pursuit of weight loss, it’s time to ditch LISS and lift some weights! MORE ON THIS NEXT MONTH!!

A few HIIT Workout Examples

#1 Run 400 metres as fast as you can (treadmill or track) - walk for 4 minutes; run 300 metres as fast as you can walk for 3 minutes; run 200 metres as fast as you can walk for 2 minutes; run 100 metres as fast as you can – walk for 1 minute; cool down 3-5 minutes and stretch.  Workout all done in around 15 minutes. #2 TABATA style HIIT workout – workout done in 4 minutes 20 seconds work / 10 seconds recovery x 8 Make your work phase some big ticket items – boxing, skipping, rowing, sprinting, cycling (with good load), the list is endless. #3 Rowing hard as possible for 30 seconds; row at low-moderate intensity for 2 minutes (the intensity depends on your fitness level but make sure all intervals are completed at the same high intensity/low-moderate intensity as the first one – that doesn’t mean go easy on the first one). Repeat 6-8 times. #4 Pick a walk/jog around your block that includes a hill…get up that hill as fast as you can then use the rest of the block to recover…or if it can’t be a block just get up that hill as fast as you can then walk down to recover.  Repeat.  Again don’t let the hill sprint become slower and slower, if it is, give yourself a little longer to recover. CARDIO FOR FAT LOSS – HAVE YOU GOT THE RIGHT EQUATION? Do you do low intensity steady state cardio (LISS) in the hope that it will shed fat and leave you with the lean physique you are after?  LISS just might not be the right equation for you and actually you could feel better, look better, get fitter and save time by switching things up.  There’s a huge amount of research to say it may be time to trade in some, or all, of the LISS magazine reading cardio for some HIIT – high intensity interval training. What’s LISS & the issues? It is low intensity steady state exercise – the heart rate doesn’t get very high and it stays at the same level throughout the workout.  For example, walking on the treadmill or riding the bike in the gym and chatting to the person beside you or reading a mag. It doesn’t recruit a whole lot of muscle mass – it doesn’t fatigue many muscle fibres so it doesn’t have to recruit many muscle fibres.  There’s a whole hormonal system at play here too and generally you could actually be chewing up that valuable muscle mass…you really want to keep this stuff it helps you to get and maintain a lean physique! The body adapts very quickly to LISS which generally means that in order to continue to get results (changes in body composition) you have to make your LISS workouts longer and longer and longer. LISS only gives you a boost while you are actually doing it and doesn’t work to your advantage in the hours following LISS - post exercise you don’t turn into a fat burning machine. Please note: Many people have legitimate orthopaedic, cardiac, and even psychological reasons to avoid HIIT, so LISS is their only option – if this is you then you would certainly need to seek individualised medical/training advice before incorporating HIIT. What’s HIIT? High Intensity Interval Training – short bursts of exercise followed by a low-moderate intensity interval to recover, before repeating.  For example sprinting or running as fast as you can for 30 seconds then walking to recover for 2 to 4 minutes.  During your high intensity burst and for some time during the recovery you won’t want to have a chat with anyone, or if you did it may be a few expletives  There’s a great hormonal response at play which encourages you to burn fat and hold on to muscle.  Take a look at sprinters – they are lean and muscular and all of their training sessions are HIITs.  They do a whole lot of walking around in their training sessions. They don’t tend to stress your hormonal system as much as other types of cardio training which can be a huge plus for many individuals who may already be suffering from adrenal fatigue. They are much shorter in overall duration (usually) than other workouts.  Get in, get it done and get out.  Ditch the excuse that you don’t have time. What’s right? Do cardio workouts that truly spin your wheels because at the end of the day exercise adherence is really important as well. Cycling HIIT and LISS may just be the way to go because you can’t HIIT every day.  So if you enjoy doing exercise on a daily basis you may have to work between the two.  I say may because it depends on how your week is constructed to include HIIT, strength training, stretching and meditation. When you are doing your HIIT workouts make sure you give them your all.  It is hard work, it may feel a little uncomfortable, but make sure it doesn’t turn into a mash up of a moderate intensity training session. If you have other exercise goals such as completing an ocean swim or running a marathon then alternating the two will also be hugely beneficial for weight loss and your performance goals. Lastly, in the pursuit of weight loss, it’s time to ditch LISS and lift some weights! MORE ON THIS NEXT MONTH!! A few HIIT Workout Examples #1 Run 400 metres as fast as you can (treadmill or track) - walk for 4 minutes; run 300 metres as fast as you can walk for 3 minutes; run 200 metres as fast as you can walk for 2 minutes; run 100 metres as fast as you can – walk for 1 minute; cool down 3-5 minutes and stretch.  Workout all done in around 15 minutes. #2 TABATA style HIIT workout – workout done in 4 minutes 20 seconds work / 10 seconds recovery x 8 Make your work phase some big ticket items – boxing, skipping, rowing, sprinting, cycling (with good load), the list is endless. #3 Rowing hard as possible for 30 seconds; row at low-moderate intensity for 2 minutes (the intensity depends on your fitness level but make sure all intervals are completed at the same high intensity/low-moderate intensity as the first one – that doesn’t mean go easy on the first one). Repeat 6-8 times. #4 Pick a walk/jog around your block that includes a hill…get up that hill as fast as you can then use the rest of the block to recover…or if it can’t be a block just get up that hill as fast as you can then walk down to recover.  Repeat.  Again don’t let the hill sprint become slower and slower, if it is, give yourself a little longer to recover.