Interval Training

Body Transformation Workouts

You’ve likely heard how crucial diet is to your weight loss success. Most experts will agree a deficit in calories is about 70 to 80 percent responsible for fat loss. While weight can certainly be lost through diet alone, the body composition will not change. This leaves you existing as just a smaller version of the body you didn’t like. This is what is referred to as ‘skinny fat’.

The only way to change both the shape and size of the body is through exercise. Resistance exercise paired with proper, balanced nutrition will result in a smaller and far more attractive, fit looking physique. Instead of a thin soft form, imagine having capped shoulders, a firm behind, washboard abs and ripped biceps.

Transforming the body isn’t easy, but it is possible. With some hard work, knowledge, guidance and patience, you’ll be rocking a beach body before you know it.

Intensity

Hard work pays off. A body transformation workout may be simple, but it certainly isn’t easy. Be honest with yourself about how hard you’re actually working and really challenge yourself.

Countless studies have proven time and time again that high intensity workouts are far more effective when it comes to fat loss than moderate, steady state cardio. High intensity levels burn far more calories over a shorter amount of time and due to the oxygen debt created, the body continues to burn calories for hours following the workout.

High intensity training has also been shown to target abdominal fat which is very promising, especially in regards to transforming a physique. Most of us consider our bellies to be our problem areas, or at least one of them. Women struggle with the muffin top while men resent their beer guts. While spot reducing is still not entirely possible, high intensity workouts may just offer some promise.

Using Resistance

Spending endless hours on the treadmill or elliptical at a moderate pace, may have you believing you’re doing the right things but will get you no closer to a new physique. Moderate, steady state cardio alone will only work as well as diet alone. You may be smaller in the long run, but you will still have the same shape.

Transforming the body requires sculpting muscles, firming up problem areas and evening things out. Resistance can be used to even out small legs with a large torso and vice versa. Sculpted shoulders will make the waist appear smaller. Strong back muscles will improve posture and can easily take 10 pounds off the appearance. Abs can be worked to build on the muscle that lies beneath the fat. This is how a body is transformed.

There are many methods of resistance training that will work. You don’t need to run out and buy a bunch of expensive equipment or sign up at a fancy gym. Your own bodyweight is one of the most effective pieces of equipment you can use. Bodyweight squats, push ups, lunges, dips and burpees are all very effective body transforming exercises, when combined properly.

Supersets and Circuits

Supersets and circuits are the most efficient way to set up a body transformation program. Not only do they allow you to save time, they also significantly increase the intensity and as mentioned previously, this leads to greater effectiveness. Supersets and circuits also provide intermittent recovery for muscle groups to allow the muscles to rest briefly before working again. You’ll get more out of the muscle with this technique.

For example you could set up your first set as a bodyweight speed squat and a push up. The legs will be resting during the push up portion and they will be ready to go when you’re done. This shortens rest time dramatically and keeps the heart rate from dropping.

A circuit offers the same benefits only with more exercises. Typically less resistance is used and this is where a bodyweight workout works well. A circuit may consist of squat jumps, inverted rows, alternating lunges, dips and a cross body mountain climber. The cardio level of this type of workout is equivalent to high intensity interval training and you’re still reaping the benefits of a resistance workout.

Variety

Changing up the program after a few weeks will keep the muscles guessing and help to avoid plateaus and boredom. By changing things up, you’ll give every muscle in the body a chance to put forth its greatest effort. This is how you can sculpt all kinds of muscle and really target the areas that require a great amount of help.

In addition to changing up the workouts within a program, you’ll also want to make variety a priority in each workout itself. Focus on using all the muscles, on all planes of motion, through full ranges and degrees. A number of different exercises for each body part will get ensure all the muscles fire and work to their fullest capacity.

For example, instead of limiting yourself to just bodyweight squats, try adding pistol squats for the unilateral component, squat jumps for explosive strength, prisoner squats to recruit more core action and Bulgarian split squats for extra glute involvement. Adding variety will earn you a well rounded and balanced physique.

Nutrition

Proper nutrition is just as important to your transformation as the workout itself. You can workout 8 hours a day but if your diet is rich in donuts and jujubes, you simply will not see results.

Imagine a marathon runner. Most of them are within a healthy weight range but rarely will you ever see one that’s ripped and muscular. There are two reasons for this. Long distance, steady state cardio eats muscle so there just isn’t an opportunity to build it. Also, due to the high energy demand, a marathoner often relies on simple, sugary carbohydrates for fuel, and lots of it.

Balance is key when it comes to diet. High quality, lean protein aids in repairing broken down muscle tissue. Complex carbohydrates replenish glycogen stores, ensuring the body has sufficient energy supplies, sparing the use of muscle tissue. Healthy fats, rich in Omega 3s support healthy hormone function, which is imperative to fat loss, and body composition.

body transformation contestIf you choose not to make nutrition a priority, your workouts will be wasted. Transforming the physique requires a delicate balance between the two in order to be successful. Train smart, work hard and refuel properly and you’ll be seeing amazing results in the mirror.

 

Posted by admin - November 1, 2011 at 3:50 pm

Categories: Interval Training   Tags: , , ,

Hill Sprint Interval Training

Let’s talk about using Hill Sprints as our fat burning interval training workout.

I would recommend a specific warm up set or two where you’re doing 50% or 75% rather than going full on into your first interval. SO let’s imagine that I have done my bodyweight warm-up at a 50% interval and then a 75% interval, and now I am going to tackle this hill.

The great thing about the “Hill Sprints” is that it reduces the length of your stride. So when you are running flat, and you extend out that’s where people have problems with their hamstring causing injuries. But this way of training shortens your stride, and less impact with every step compared to flat running, and it’s hard.  Hopefully, you can find a hill that can challenge you for 20, 30 even 45 seconds.

One thing I would like to mention is don’t get too worried about having to sprint for 30 and recover for 60 and it takes you longer to walk down the hill. Don’t worry about it too much.

It’s great in theory, and I will talk about “in theory the best interval training is” but don’t be too worried about losing some of the amazing fat-burning benefits you get from interval training just because your hill takes a little bit to recover from.

Ok, start fairly close to the incline so you don’t have that overstraining problem causing hamstring injury.  Once I am ready I am going to take on that hill by running up it and then walking down the hill.

It will take two or three time longer to walk down the hill. If you’re going for FAT LOSS  alone, then turn around and go right back up to continue this for 6,8 or 10 intervals depending on how long it takes you to run up the  hill, your fitness level  and goals.

If you haven’t ran hill sprints in a long time, or you’re doing them for the first time, start off with doing only 4-5 sprints and see how the body responds the next couple of days.  You can then progress from there.

After the first hill sprint session, you can add 1 or 2 rounds the next time you run them if you are recovering fine and that is how you can progress.  For example, in your first week, you would do hill sprints twice a week and you would do 4-5 sprints.  The following week, you could start doing 6-8 hill sprints twice a week.  If you’re still recovering fine, then you could progress to doing them 3 times a week.

Even if you find yourself in top shape, you shouldn’t perform hill sprints more than 4 times a week.  You certainly want to challenge yourself, but doing too much too fast can also lead to injuries as well.

A cool way to watch your progress is to bring a stopwatch or a gymboss to your hill sprints sessions.  You can time yourself and see how long it takes you to do a certain amount of hill sprints.  For example, let’s say you do 10 hill sprints on Monday, and it took you 13:25.  Then next week, on Monday, you would perform 10 hill sprints and aim to knock them out in less time.  It’s really cool to see yourself improving each week.  You just need to make sure you know how far up the hill you went so you can get accurate results on your progress.

Another way to challenge yourself and burn fat with hill sprints is to mark how far up the hill you go.  Then the following week, try to go a little further (another 10 yards is just an example).

You can time yourself of how long it takes you to do a certain number of hill sprints up to a certain point, and then record it.  Then next week, try to go a little further on each hill sprint, but in the same amount of time.  For example, you could go 30 yards 8 times.  Then next week, try to go 35 yards 8 times in the same amount of time.  You can make up the difference in the hill sprints, recovery time, or even both.

When you first start doing hill sprints, you will probably find yourself doing the last few sprints much slower then your first couple of hill sprints.  That’s perfectly fine and that is actually normal.  As you get more conditioned, you will find those times getting closer to each other.

Some tips to get better at hill sprints:

  • Try not to let the arms cross your body and focus on keeping your arms just going forward and back (not across), with a 90 degree bend
  • Keep the shoulders back, while keeping the chest up.  One of the tendencies is to tense up your shoulders.  Try to avoid doing that.
  • Keep what’s called an “open hand” stance when doing hill sprints.  In other words, don’t clench your fists but keep your hands open
  • Never, EVER give up

interval training workouts

Burn fat with hill sprints and never, EVER give up.
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Posted by admin - October 20, 2011 at 1:02 pm

Categories: Interval Training   Tags: , , , ,

How to Approach Interval Training

Interval training is the best version of cardio for fat loss. Say goodbye to long, slow, boring workouts and hello to short, burst fat burning workouts. Here with more details is Certified Turbulence Trainer, Mike Whitfield.

How to Approach Interval Training

Back when I was closing in at 300 lbs, I didn’t even know about interval training.  My interval training consisted of 20 seconds of munching on honey buns and 10 seconds of sipping on sugar-saturated soda.  Boom goes the “1,000 calories consumed in less than 5 minutes” dynamite.

That’s not interval training. That’s just a cool way to start off an article, and it’s caloric chaos.  As you know, interval training is when you exercise at a high intensity level followed by a period of recovery.  What most people get wrong is that there should be a vast difference between the two.  In other words, when you jog on a treadmill at a speed of 6.0 and then drop down to a speed of 5.0, that’s not intervals.  Sorry.  This is the way I describe intervals with my clients and how to approach them:

Whether you are a beginner or an advanced athlete, your recovery periods should be like walks with Grandpa.  That’s right – very easy (unless your Grandpa is a sprinter – if that’s the case, that’s very cool. Go Grandpa!).

The interval periods are where the approach should be different for beginners and advanced people.  Since you are different than anyone else in the world, the best way to approach interval training that fits your unique fitness level is using a perceived exertion scale of one to ten.

Let’s explain this perceived exertion scale.  A good way to grasp the concept is this:

1/10 – You’re almost just standing there

3/10 – This is a good recovery period.  This is like walks with Grandpa – very easy

5/10 – This is typically your “steady-state cardio” pace.  This is a pace in which you can sustain, but can still maintain a conversation (but not really easily)

7/10 – You can’t have a conversation and do this pace at the same time

9/10 – You’re running from hyenas (why are they chasing you? – who knows)

10/10 – This is a chaotic intensity that you can only sustain for a very short period. Imagine running from hyenas with machine guns wearing sunglasses – it’s that intense.  I recommend never doing an interval at this intensity

Now that you understand the intensity scale, let’s first take a look at how beginners should approach interval training.

Intervals for Beginners

If you are a beginner, be very conservative.  An example for beginners:

Your recovery periods should be like walks with Grandpa and your intervals should be like a brisk walk with a woman named Mary.  (Why Mary?  I don’t know – it just makes the sentence flow I guess; whatever).  Let’s take a look at a beginner using a treadmill for their intervals:

Let’s say your interval program (you do have a structured program, right??) calls for this:

30 seconds intervals (7/10 intensity)

1 minute recovery (3/10 intensity)

Do this 4 times

First, it goes without saying, you should warm-up for 3-5 minutes before starting your interval program.  Your perceived exertion for the warm-up should be what you consider your pace at “steady-state” cardio.  I typically perform my first minute at a 3/10, then 1 minute at a 4/10, followed by a couple of minutes at a 5/10 intensity.

The intervals:

30 seconds (7/10 intensity) – the speed could be around 4.0, which is a brisk walk for some folks.  But the idea is that you should be using a perceived exertion of a 7 on a scale of 1-10.  The more often you do it, the more you will learn your own body and pinpoint what a 7/10 is for you and your particular fitness level.  A 7/10 for a beginner might even be 3.0, and that’s perfectly fine.  For an Olympic athlete, a 7/10 might be running at a speed of 10.0.  We are all different.

1 minute “off” (recovery) (3/10 intensity) – the speed could be around 2.0.  You want the recovery period to be just that – a recovery period.  It should be easy.  So, if you feel you are anything above a 3 out of 10 on a scale of 1 to 10, you’re working too hard on your recovery period.  By recovering properly, you then can focus on the intervals, which give you the fat-burning effects you are looking for.

An example for a beginner might look like this:

Intervals – speed of 4.0 (7/10)

Recovery – speed of 2.0 (3/10)

So, the bottom line for beginners:

  • Your intervals should be a 7/10 while your recovery periods should be a 3/10.
  • Be conservative and learn about your body and perceived exertion.  Progress as necessary
  • Start off only doing 3-4 intervals per session, and only do them twice a week to start off with.  If you feel you can do 3 per week after the first week or two, then you can add another interval training session

Interval Training for Interval Veterans

Alright, let’s say you’ve done some intervals before and you’re an interval veteran.  Your program calls for this:

30 secs intervals (9/10)

1 minute recovery (3/10)

Do this 8 times

I don’t care how boring you find it, your recovery period is just as important as it is for beginners because if you don’t recovery properly, your performance on the intervals will suffer.  I would even say your recovery period is even more important than a beginner because your intervals are more intense. So, walk with Grandpa for recovery.  Besides, Grandpa is awesome.

I consider myself an interval veteran, so I’ll use myself running as an example.  For my interval period for 30 seconds, I would run at roughly a pace of 11.0.  Doing this type of interval program on a treadmill is tough, considering it takes time for the belt to get up to that speed.  So, I prefer to do my running intervals outside.  But the bottom line is that there is a vast difference between recovery and intervals.

Recovery (3/10) – I’m usually walking at around a 3.5 speed

Interval (9/10) – I’m hovering around a 11.0 speed

There is a big difference.  Boom goes the “Intervals Done Right” dynamite.

So, let’s summarize for interval veterans:

  • The recovery and interval periods should be quite drastic
  • Even if you are a veteran, don’t do any more than 4 interval training sessions per week
  • Grandpa is nice – be nice to him and walk with him

Bonus tip for interval beginners and veterans:  When performing intervals on the stationery bike, increase the speed just a little bit, and then increase the resistance to reach your desired intensity.  If you just increase your speed only (RPM), you could end up with over-use injuries and tight hip flexors.

Now THAT’S interval training done right to burn fat.

metabolic finishers

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Finish Strong,

Mike Whitfield
Certified Turbulence Trainer

Posted by admin - October 12, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Categories: Interval Training   Tags: , , , ,

What is Interval Training

You’ve seen them all more than your gym. The fitness buffs that invest endless hours on the elliptical, the treadmill or the stair master, chatting up the individual subsequent to them about their weekend, their kids, their holidays. Certain they may show up each and every day and put the time in, but for the last five years their physique hasn’t budged one inch. So what are they doing completely wrong? Cardio. Traditional ‘steady state’ cardio exercise specifically that’s.

It may be challenging for individuals to grasp the idea of ‘less is more’, especially with regards to physical exercise using the purpose of fat loss. As soon as you comprehend how interval training works and you incorporate this technique into your routine, the fat will begin melting off and by no means once more will you schedule an hour out of your day for the elliptical.

If you’ve been researching ways to lose some body fat then no doubt you’ve heard of Interval training of HIIT. Interval training, when performed properly and with the necessary intensity, is a high energy, very effective fat burning workout. Interval sessions alternate an all out burst of intense exercise with a period of recovery. This pattern is repeated as many times as possible within a 10 to 40 minute time period, depending upon capability. A great example of an interval workout could be 50 or 100 metre sprints carried out at the track. Burst into an all out sprint at the begin line for your chosen distance. Once you reach your end point, slow down to a walk or light jog to be able to recover on your way back and repeat the procedure as many times as you can muster the energy for. The intensity is extreme but the paybacks are huge.

You will find many advantages to interval training. In regards to fat burning, perhaps the most important is the EPOC factor (excess post exercise oxygen consumption). Essentially this means that your body will be in a state of recovery for far longer than with conventional steady state cardio, which will permit your metabolism to become more effective with every workout. You’ll be paying back that oxygen debt and burning fat and calories for roughly 36 to 48 hours following your workout which will turn any beer belly into a washboard.

An additional bonus to interval workouts is the salvage of muscle. When we invest numerous hours on the treadmill, watching a movie or reading an whole novel, our bodies frequently dip into muscle in order to sustain the workout. Due to the brief duration and also the power program requirements of interval training, far less muscle is spent on the payback. Studies have produced connections in between HIIT and also the stimulation of Hgh (human growth hormone), otherwise referred to as the fountain of youth. When the lactate threshold is repeatedly broken, production of Hgh might be stimulated. Hgh is responsible for promoting new muscle growth, protein synthesis, improved sleep high quality, sex drive, heart, kidney and bone health and perhaps most importantly, fat loss. That’s numerous win/wins in my opinion.

If you need proof that this system works, just envision the kinds of athletes that use it in their coaching. Believe along the lines of Olympic sprinters, MMA fighters, boxers and gymnasts. These athletes all appreciate lean, muscular, cut physiques. Now compare that to those that make steady state cardio the meat of their training. Think marathoners specifically. There’s an apparent distinction there. So grab some great tunes, a bottle of water and the mental preparation needed for an intense session of physique fat annihilation! It won’t take lengthy prior to you are singing the praises of HIIT too.

 

Posted by admin - September 27, 2011 at 8:16 am

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