Today I want to piggyback on last week's blog post about HIIT and dive into steady-state cardio. If you haven't read either of last weeks' blog posts, I'd highly recommend you read it because it has excellent information about the mitochondria, blood sugar, and how too much HIIT can harm you.
Over the next week, I will break down the difference between steady-state and HIIT cardio, the positives, and negatives of both, and provide a general framework of how you can incorporate both into your training.
First, I want to talk about how the body adapts to exercise. It's essential to understand every individual's body will react differently, and that will determine if they are getting positive or negative results from their training.
Adaptation is ultimately what we are looking for in our training. We want our muscles to be stronger, our heart to pump more effectively, and to be less out of breath when we walk up a flight of stairs. Exercise, in the proper dosages for your...
Many medical and sports groups suggest intense interval training shouldn’t be completed more than three times/week to avoid these negative metabolic side effects. And from a joint health perspective, I agree that HIIT should not be used more than a few times/week, if at all.
So if we can only gain the benefits of HIIT 2 to 3 days a week, are we just sedentary on the other days? Should we train in different ways on the days where we aren’t working out intensely?
The study took overweight men, divided them into groups, and had them exercise on a bike for a different amount of time and intensity.
Group 1 performed short, all-out workouts on the bike such as 30-second sprints with minimal rest in between. This group only exercised 3 days/week.
Group 2 exercised more moderately: 30-40 min on the bike...
Over the next two weeks, I want to talk about cardio: what it is, how much you need, and, most importantly, how much is overkill and could be setting you back.
Most people agree that cardio is anything where you elevate your heart rate. When I was looking at the formal definitions, most will say that this requires rhythmic, repetitive movement of your limbs.
Because most people consider cardio as repetitive/rhythmic moments, when most people think of cardio, they think of activities such as running, cycling, and swimming. This is also why most people don’t include weight lifting when they think of cardio.
Therefore, it’s commonly thought that you need to do both: lift the weights and add on the running or biking.
But do you really? And if so, exactly how much should you do?
These are the questions I want to address over the next couple of weeks. We’re going to talk about the benefits and risks of different dosages of...
It’s a norm in the fitness industry to try to fit your body to fit a certain exercise. I often get asked “Can you help me with my deadlifts?” or “How can I do planks without shoulder pain?” or “How can I strengthen my core so squats don’t hurt my back?”
And there are so many fitness professionals and PTs out there who will help you achieve these goals. And there absolutely are ways to improve your form and strengthen and stabilize these muscles to feel more effective and safe in an exercise. I think if your goal is to do that one exercise, KEEP ON KEEPIN ON!
Before we dive in, I want to caveat with something. I’m not saying that there isn’t a time and place to learn and hone in on a new skill or movement. Sometimes you have to learn a specific movement for a sport or job. So perhaps your fitness program should be tailored for that.
But I think if overall fitness is your goal, there’s another perspective that I’d...
As we discussed in the podcast a few weeks ago, everyone wants to be able to spend less time working out and still see great results.
What is more important is what you are doing with your time.
If you are strategic in selecting effective movements in your workout, you don’t need to spend longer than 45 minutes at the gym, and oftentimes, longer than 30 minutes.
Rather, the reason people aren’t seeing the results they want, even after working hard for an hour, is because they are overloading joints and underloading muscles.
Many individuals are choosing exercises that are only part-way effective for creating change in their muscles, which means they have to spend more time doing more...
Now if you’ve read or listened to any of my other blog posts or podcasts, you’ve probably heard me talk about loading your muscles again and again. But, what does this really mean?
Muscles are loaded best when a few things happen:
Muscle strength happens when the muscle is progressively overloaded using these principles to create optimal change. When a new movement is introduced that does not follow these principles, less optimal change will occur.
What truly works for improving your fitness is progressive overload and intentional exercise...