One of the better lay-person explanations I have read: Why interval sprint training burns more calories than steady-state “cardio”. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/fitness/what-burns-more-calories-short-bursts-of-exercise-or-longer-workouts/article5163021/
By mid-February, I bet that most of your thoughts about the “new year” are long passed. Resolutions. Goals. Intentions… whatever you call them – by Valentine’s Day, they’re usually gone and forgotten.
When setting fitness goals (especially at new year), our generally optimistic nature tends to set the bar pretty high. Then, after a month of working hard to establish new behaviour patterns and routines, it’s not uncommon to feel frustrated when goals set so easily in January, are not being achieved fast enough.
You’re working hard on your program. You’re watching what you eat. You’re surrounded by people who are encouraging and supportive. But still…
Ever look at yourself in the mirror, or catch your reflection in a window, and think “Why do I look and feel both skinny AND fat?”. Here’s a classic “skinny-fat” case:
- male; 5 feet 10 inches
- 165 pounds; 15% body fat
- Goal: “lose fat -gain muscle”
When guys start back to the gym, many think that they need to focus on a fat loss program first, which is usually when I hear “I’m just going to concentrate on my cardio for a couple of months to lose this jiggle“.
Most often though, that is the worst thing they could do, because their bodies do not have enough muscle mass to sustain a fat loss program without losing even more muscle. So the guy starts burning a lot of calories, dieting too much, and then ends up a smaller version of his skinny-fat body.
What should the “skinny-fat” guy be doing?
He needs to be focussed on gaining more muscle and eating a little extra carbs and proteins before and after working out.
Doug at MyTrainerSays dot com
Tip: If your focus is on building more muscle, lift weights 3-4 days per week for 45 minutes. If you need to burn fat too, do 3 full body workouts with some timed interval training using short-burst treadmill sprints. Long, slow, mind-numbing cardio doesn’t cut it.
I see you!
You go to the gym, you step onto the nearest elliptical cross-trainer, you hit ‘Quick Start’ and you begin your workout. Maybe read a bit. Check out the other people around you. Bore yourself watching some lame show on the TV.
As you start to feel more comfortable, you may decide to add a level. Or not. Then you get bored and decide enough is enough after 15 minutes.
People! There is so much more to gain out of your training experience. I have written about this before: Time isn’t the issue, it’s all about Intensity.
A short, high intensity workout offers greater fat-control benefits than a long, steady routine.
Short routines with minimal resting time give you a high power workout that is NOT boring and, most importantly, does NOT leave you disappointingly short on fat-loss and anti-ageing results.
Doug at MyTrainerSays dot com
Using a scale to check if we’re losing or gaining weight is something that we’re all familiar with – but here are two other measurements used as indicators of health – your BMI (Body Mass Index) and your Waist-to-Hip Ratio.
The Body Mass Index uses weight and height to determine body condition – thus indicating a general level of fitness. What the Index doesn’t take into account however, is how much muscle you already have (by volume, muscle weighs more than fat), your frame size (“Hey, I’m not fat, I’m just big-boned!”) or your gender, all of which can skew the results. More importantly, it doesn’t measure how your body fat is distributed, which is the most important factor for predicting your risk of heart disease, obesity-related illnesses and death.
Here is a handy tool for calculating your BMI…
Most experts agree that it is your Waist-to-Hip Ratio and Waist Circumference (along with BMI) that provides a clearer picture of your long-term health. That’s because carrying excess fat around the waist puts anybody at a higher risk for heart disease and death.
Click this link for an online tool to calculate your own Waist-to-Hip Ratio.
Knowing your basic numbers will give you a starting point for making the changes you need to lose weight and improve your health. Tracking your BMI and waist-to-hip ratio over time, as well as your body fat and girth measurements, can help you figure out if you’re on the right track.
Life-long fitness can start right now.