One of my mates was in the gym on Monday night, watching me on the Tonight programme (I was having my mercury fillings removed!) on a million TV screens placed in front of the cardio machines to relieve the boredom. Some other members were no doubt catching up on some texting, or reading a newspaper or a book or their emails on their I Phone. Whatever they were doing were they concentrating on putting 100% effort into their exercise?! Were they working hard? Were they breaking sweat?
Chances are they weren't. This is a familiar sight in gyms up and down the country, and I apologise if this doesn't apply and you work your socks off doing cardio, but most people don't.
Most people do 'steady state cardio'.Which is more than likely why their body's don't change shape and they don't feel any fitter.
Sure, if you're a beginner to exercise you need to start off at a low intensity, walkings great, and progress gradually but to see real results and burn that fat when you've been exercising a while the best way to get results is through HIGH INTENSITY EXERCISE.
Basically what this means is changing the pace, resistance or movement a few times during your workout. It means working your body (and your mind) hard, very hard so it's not for the faint hearted, but do it regularly and you'll release some pounds.
As long as you're eating right that is. All this goes out of the window if you're busy stuffing your face with CRAP foods (see previous blogs for details) because as I'm always banging on about, nutrition is 80% the way to a healthy and fit body. Get yourself Metabolic Typed for best results.
The best thing about HIGH INTENSITY EXERCISE is that you can blast it out in a short time, rather than spending hours pounding away at the steady state stuff and it's still way more effective. And - yes there's more - because intervals boost your metabolism you'll be burning calories for the rest of the day too, whatever you're doing! (as long as you're not in Mcdonalds - bah!)
Try this, you'll need 12 minutes, that's all:
Warm up with a gentle jog for four minutes.
Sprint for 10 seconds, walk for 20 seconds, sprint for 10 seconds - repeat this for four minutes.
Cool down with a gentle jog for four minutes.
You should be pretty tired at the end of this!
(or swim it, or cycle it, or cross train it)
You can also do intervals using bodyweight exercises, machine weights in the gym and free weights and other bits of equipment (TRX - more on this in another blog, bosu ball, stability ball etc)- get creative! Change your movements, vary the weights, make a little circuit for a few minutes and repeat.
Example : squats/press ups/dead lifts/tricep dips/plank.Do each of these for a minute, rest and repeat. Put your heart and soul into it for ten minutes and you can reap the benefits, if done regularly. And there are so many variations, you need never, ever get bored.
By the way,don't forget to stretch afterwards.
Be consistent, try cardio intervals twice a week and resistance intervals four times a week - that still gives you one day off - and see how your body benefits.Total time exercised = 60 minutes. Think we can ALL spare that don't you?!
(By the way, if you're training to run a marathon you have no option but to do the steady state stuff - if this is you, you have all the luck in the world from me!)
TODAY'S TIP : Schedule exercise into your busy day, you owe it to yourself.