Posts Tagged ‘Resistance Training’

December 24

Reversing Type 1 Diabetes and Heart Disease

Want to meet the oldest living Type 1 Diabetic… with totally normal blood sugar?

Meet Dr. Richard Bernstein.

Dr. Richard Bernstein

At almost 80 years old, Dr. Bernstein is living proof of the power of a low-carb diet when it comes to reversing disease!

Dr. Bernstein is almost 80 years old. He works out 3-4 days per week with resistance (weights) and intense cardio (short and sweet.) He has consumed a high fat, low carbohydrate diet since the early 1960′s to control both his blood sugar and his (former) heart disease.

Since that time, Dr. Bernstein has gone from yet another heart disease statistic (while consuming the ADA’s recommended low-fat diet nonsense) to the very picture of fitness and health. He’s not only lean and fit, he has the most ideal blood profile I’ve ever seen. His HDL (protective cholesterol carrier) is a whopping 128—anything over 45 is considered excellent! His small particle LDL is almost non-existent. His total LDL is about 50, and his triglycerides, a fat in the blood formed from carbohydrates and glucose, has gone from over 300 to under 50. And, his fasting and post-prandial (after meals) blood sugar is 80.

This interview covers his approach to nutrition, exercise, and the debunking of the “saturated fat causes heart disease” myth.

If you know anyone with Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes, or if this disease runs in your family, or if you have heart disease (either yourself or in your gene pool), then this interview is a must-listen.

Enjoy!

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September 8

[audio] Insane amount of free diet information!

Scott Colby, CPT just interviewed me recently for “Fit Pros Against Cancer.” My job: Help give away a TON of free fitness information to his listeners as they called into the show.

And I think I did a pretty good job.

You tell me… ; )

Here’s what we cover in just about 30 minutes…

  1. How much fat can you burn (and inches can you lose) in just 6 days?…
  2. How to make fatloss “easier” (not ‘easy’… but easier!)…
  3. What to do about perimenopause and menopause stress and the fat-gain that comes with it… AND…
  4. The “Stress-Free” dietplan for women who fight the “pooch” or who are going through perimenopause or menopause!
  5. Is exercise worthless if you sit down while you work?…
  6. What about fitness for “seniors”?… Can you gain muscle and shed fat past the age of 60?
  7. An inhome exercise that lasts 7 minutes but that can increase the lifespan of women by up to 60%! …
  8. The shocking truth about whole grains and disease…
  9. The “myth” of shaping/building muscle AND dropping bodyfat at the same time… hear the TRUTH about this once and for all! …
  10. How you can have your cake (literally!) and eat it too (i.e. get all the fatburning benefits while still enjoying desserts)…
  11. How to “reboot” your key fatburning hormone using nothing more than the food in your refrigerator!…
  12. This freee substance uses 90% or more of your calories… and you need more of it… find out what it is!…
  13. The “Food Purist” versus the “Food Rebel”… which one are you?…
  14. The one thing you can to TODAY without hardly any effort to improve your appearance and your health!…
  15. 2 simple exercises you can do at work to remove back strain and improve your abs (yes… ABS!)…
  16. Why the “baby boomer” generation is literally being left out of most fitness plans… and a plan that’s perfectly suited for all boomers!…
  17. The 1 trick I use to workout without nagging injuries! …
  18. Why exrercise decreases 1 critical sex-hormone… and what you can do to prevent it (even increase it!) …
  19. The importance of strength over the age of 30 (it’s not what you think… and it’s VITAL!) …
  20. And more!

Listen By Clicking The Play Button Below!

Products + Free Video Mentioned In Audio Include…

April 5

Personal Fat Loss Certification, Day 5

Free: Radical Fat Loss Blueprint

Miss A Day? Just Click On The Preceding Days Below…

Day 1: tinyurl.com/fatloss-course-1
Password: kcal

Day 2: tinyurl.com/fatloss-course-2
Password: hydrate

Day 3: tinyurl.com/fatloss-course-3
Password: eodd

Day 4: tinyurl.com/fatloss-course-4
Password: ergo

The Six Types of Exercise For Ultimate Body-Shaping

Welcome to Day 5 of your 7-Day Personal Fat Loss Certification Course! Today we will cover the six types of exercise required for ultimate body-shaping. Note that this lesson is not about specific exercises, but rather exercise styles. This refers to not only the type of exercise suggested but how the exercise is performed.

For example, there are a variety of weight training styles. Power training, Olympic-style lifting, volume training… the list goes on. What we are covering today are the styles that are best suited to our goal: Reshaping the body in the fastest way possible.

There are three broad categories for bodyshaping that we will cover today: Resistance Training, Cardiovascular Training, and Adjunct Training.

Most of you will be familiar with the first two categories, but you may not be familiar with the style of performance recommended for greater progress. The latter category, Adjunct Training, is often considered “optional” when it comes to exercise. I encourage you to look into these alternative forms of exercise more seriously as they can help the body in numerous ways, including accelerated recovery. Your body does not change during exercise — it changes during recovery. Anything to enhance recovery will enhance and accelerate your progress.

In tomorrow’s lesson, Myths And Facts About Muscle, we will cover the three muscle fiber types: Type 1, Type 2a, and Type 2b. This may sound a bit mundane, but once you realize what is theoretically possible when it comes to altering muscle fiber composition, it will become clear why this information is crucial to understand.

For today, I will use these terms in explaining the fibers recruited. Tomorrow’s lesson will cover what this means to you as a trainee and more about the fiber styles in detail. However, before I give you the science behind muscle fibers, I wanted to give you the practical use first. So consider this Part 1 of a 2-part lesson if you will.

Let’s get started.

Resistance Training

Resistance Training is any form of exercise that demands resistance to perform. That can be resistance from gravity, as in bodyweight exercises where your own body’s weight is utilized as resistance, or weight-resistance exercise using gym-style equipment. I prefer the latter for faster gains, but bodyweight exercise can be a powerful substitute when you cannot get to a gym or simply do not want to train in one.

When most people think of exercise to burn fat, they think of endless hours on a bike, treadmill, or perhaps running. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact I place cardiovascular work well under resistance training when it comes to fat-burning power, and certainly when body recomposition — burning bodyfat and gaining muscle — is the objective. Nothing comes close to resistance training for the average individual when you want more muscle and less fat. Resistance training burns up to twice as many calories per session if done correctly as compared to cardiovascular training. This is not just seen during the activity, but in the post-workout recovery, where resistance training wallops cardio, burning more calories far longer post-exercise.

Resistance training also creates fat-releasing, fat-oxidizing, and hormone-friendly metabolic changes in the body that cannot be compared with cardio training alone. Growth hormone levels, testosterone levels, and LPL are are seen in much higher amounts post-exercise from resistance training as compared to cardiovascular training.

Resistance training has also gained more acceptance in the medical community as being equal to or even more important than cardiovascular training for heart disease prevention and rehabilitation. It is a vital form of exercise for the prevention of osteoporosis, Type 2 diabetes, and all forms of cardiovascular dysfunction.

And nothing reshapes your body as fast as resistance training. Those “buns of steel” you see? Broad shoulders? Great arms? Resistance training is the key.

This said, the fastest way to recomposition is through a combination of nutrition, resistance training, cardio and supplementation. Using one over the other is a mistake, and one seen in both camps of exercisers.

The “cardio bunny” does hours of cardio work (often in one day!) and wonders why she cannot lose those last twenty pounds, or why her arms are still flabby. Some see no changes at all as they never increase the resistance of their cardio training. (More on that later.)

The opposite of this is the “gym rat” — a guy or gal who does nothing but lift weights. Unless he or she is genetically gifted, the results are usually more size on top of body fat, making them look worse. Even when a proper diet is followed, resistance training alone is often not enough of you are genetically heavier or have a lot of body fat to lose. You must pull out all your weapons, and those weapons include cardio and supplementation as well as resistance training and cardiovascular training.

One more word about frequency. I prefer to have my clients train 3-5 times per week with a mixture of resistance and cardiovascular training and optionally include a day or two of adjunct training. I personally train four days per week in the gym using my popular 7 Minute Muscle Level II and/or a combination of 7 Minute Muscle with more traditional bodybuilding-style workouts. My workouts last anywhere from 14-40 minutes depending on the day, my energy, and my focus. I enjoy my gym time, so sometimes I’ll train longer for the fun of it, but I can get everything I need done in 14 minutes, even as an advanced weight trainee, using 7 Minute Muscle.

I enjoy my 45-minute walks almost every day, and use a form of interval training for cardio called “GXP” 2-3 times a week. My entire week’s workout time is less than five hours on average; more if I am preparing for a photo session, less if I am maintaining. In fact, I could easily maintain my physique in 20 minutes a day, 5 days a week — or less than two hours per week of total exercise.

Most people can train only two hours per week and improve their physique if they are beginners or intermediate trainees using 7 Minute Muscle-style training, although I do recommend the walking for overall health and for burning body fat.

Since I am mentioning 7 Minute Muscle throughout this section, you may want to pick up a copy if you have not already…

7 Minute Muscle

There are three styles of resistance training recommended for long-term bodyshaping. Power Training can be used with body weight but not without a great deal of effort. The options are to train in the gym or use 7 Minute Muscle.

Power Training

One of the most underutilized form of resistance training is power training, or training with lower repetitions for maximum strength. The stronger you become, the more apt you are to build muscle mass. Strength and muscle mass, however, are not always directly related. For instance, Olympic lifters are extremely strong but achieve their strength without adding a great deal of muscle mass. On the other hand, bodybuilders are no where near as strong as powerlifters or Olympic lifters (by and large) yet carry far more muscle mass. The reasons for this will become apparent as we progress in today’s Course.

Power training for our purposes will be defined as using repetitions in the 1-5 range. You would use a weight (or resistance) that allows only 1-5 repetitions before reaching momentary muscular failure. This stresses the Type 2b muscle fibers, or fibers that are easily fatigued. These fibers contain large amounts of stored sugar (glycogen) yet recover slowly in comparison to other fiber types.

Power training should be a part of your training routine in some form. Using 7 Minute Muscle this process is built-in so you don’t have to think about it. However, if you are not using 7 Minute Muscle then you will need to structure this into your workouts.

One approach commonly used is periodization. This is where you break your workouts into periods. For example, you train 4-6 weeks using lower repetitions, then 4-6 weeks using higher repetitions, then repeat. This is a very basic periodization scheme used for illustration purposes, and far more elaborate periodization routines are used for various athletic and body recomposition endeavors.

I prefer to keep it simple and use my 7 Minute Muscle routine, but you may wish to employ something more complex. It is up to you.

There are several concerns when it comes to power training — one of which was the foundation behind my 7 Minute Muscle System of training; that of injury. This is especially true for the athlete or trainee over the age of 30. This concern can be compensated for by using power training infrequently or after an extended warm-up period.

But there’s a better way: The system I use in 7 Minute Muscle which forces the recruitment of the Type 2b fibers with weight that is normally used for moderate intensity training. Your muscles have no idea how much weight is on the bar. All they ‘know’ is the level of intensity required by the nervous system to lift that weight from point A to point B. For example, you could use a weight that you can normally do for, say, ten repetitions, and create enough resistance through shorter rest intervals between sets to make that weight so relatively heavy you can only get 1-5 repetitions after a few sets. You can also slow down — lower the weight much slower (5-7 seconds down) and make the weight relatively heavier. The end result is the use of a weight that is not so harmful to your joints, nor dangerous to get out from under if training alone, but one that still stimulates the power fibers.

Increasing strength has many advantages. Muscle mass can be the result of a muscle that is forced to become stronger if your nutrition is in place (as covered in Days 1 and 2.) Also, strength is one of the main components in anti-aging. One study demonstrated that the stronger you are in the legs, the younger you feel. This makes sense if you think about how quickly most older folks’ legs tire during even average exertion. Keeping your legs nice and strong helps keep your back strong and your spine more erect as well. Your posture improves and you walk with more confidence. Indeed, there is more to strength and power than just “lifting heavy weights.”

One other word of caution: Never just “lift” a weight unless you are a powerlifter. For body recomposition and reshaping, weight “lifting” is really a misnomer. The goal is to use your mind and the muscle you want to train to forcefully move the weight from point A to point B usually with explosive force but still well under your control, with a peak contraction at the top of the movement. Then lower the weight at least twice as slow as you raised the weigh.

I recommend a four-second lowering phase and a 1-2 second explosive up phase for virtually all forms of resistance training. This combination recruits the most amount of fibers and inflicts the most amount of damage (good damage that we need to occur) to the muscle fibers, encouraging them to respond by growing. This also helps ensure safety.

Simply “lifting” a weight does little if anything for body recomposition. Check your ego at the door. You will lift less overall weight, but your results will double over those of the guy or gal next to you just interested in getting the weight up at any cost. Never arch, swing, or cheat unless you are an experienced trainee and know how and when to do so without risking injury or ruining your form. And always remember to contract forcefully at the top of each movement. This technique alone can force greater muscle growth and definition — something all of us require in order to achieve the body we desire. This also means you will be lifting less weight as contraction like this tires the muscle faster. But that’s okay — it’s not about the numbers on the bar, it’s about the look in the mirror.

All of this and much more is covered in 7 Minute Muscle if you want a System that outlines how to do it specifically in just 7, 14 and 21-minute sessions.

Density Training

If I had to pick one form of training to do at the expense of all others, density training would be my choice. Of course, that choice is not necessary. One can and should do all forms of training for maximum progress. But density training is that powerful. It is the most effective overall style of training that I have ever come across, and it is the foundation of 7 Minute Muscle.

Density training uses medium to medium-heavy weight or resistance, multiple sets with very little rest intervals, and “static” weights (the same amount of weight on the bar or the same resistance used throughout every set). The goal is to tire the muscle out in the fastest period of time.

Density training works off the idea of aggregate volume. For example, rather than performing three sets of bench presses using a traditional set/weight scheme of 10 reps, 8 reps and 6 reps (again, this is just an example) and getting 100 pounds for 10 reps, resting 1-2 minutes, getting 110 pounds for 8 reps, resting 1-2 minutes, and ending with 115 pounds for 6 reps, density training would go something like this:

Starting weight: 80 pounds
Repetition goal: 8 per set
Rest between sets: 15-20 seconds
Sets performed: 5

Look at the difference. Using less weight over less time you have actually performed far more work and demanded far greater energy to do so.

Using my density example, you would have done a total of 40 repetitions with 80 pounds in only about five minutes total time. This is an aggregate volume of 3,200 pounds lifted in five minutes.

Using the traditional scheme illustrated before, your aggregate volume is only 2,570 pounds and took longer than five minutes to perform. Which do you think will cause the greatest muscle gain? The density scheme, of course.

Now, look at the advantages to density training:

1. Far less weight is used, protecting your joints and your tendons.
2. Far more energy (kcals) and intensity is required, which burns more calories.
3. Less time is involved, despite more “mini-sets” than traditional training.
4. Greater volume is performed, helping capillary formation.
5. Far more mental focus is required, therefore ensuring your mind is on your training.

That last point will be covered on Day 7 in detail — and it is by far the most important element in physical progression!

Density training also covers an important facet of muscle growth: Volume. Volume is the amount of work done for a given muscle group over a specific period of time. Most people think of volume in terms of doing “more sets”. While this is true, it is not the most efficient way of increasing volume and can lead most people into radical over-training. Over-training is where you push the body too hard and it fails to recover, leaving you without muscle gains, overly tired, and unenthusiastic about your training sessions.

The fine line we walk between volume training and low-volume training is in time scale. Condensing the most amount of volume into the least amount of time protects the nervous system from excessive stress and allows you to recover between workouts, reaping the benefits of both styles of training. We will cover Intensity Training next, which is also a valid way to protect the system from over-training, but has several drawbacks which we will discuss.

Density training increases muscle mass by tapping into Type 2a fibers, as well as (debated, yet slowly being accepted) helping to convert Type 1 and Type 2b fibers into the more plentiful Type 2a fibers.

Again, if you want a program designed around density training that is even more progressive, more effective and less time-consuming than the example above, check out 7 Minute Muscle.

Intensity Training

Intensity Training is often referred to as High Intensity Training (HIT). It is the theory that a muscle only requires 1-2 sets in order to achieve enough stimulation for maximum growth to take place. It was popularized by the late Arthur Jones in the 1970s, by the late Mike Mentzer in the 1980s and 1990s, and by multiple Mr. Olympia champion Dorian Yates in the 1990s.

A typical HIT workout would be conducted using a weight or resistance that you can do for, say, 10 repetitions only. Your goal is to achieve those 10 repetitions and then either (a) stop upon complete positive failure, or when you can no longer lift the weight without assistance; or (b) continue on with “forced repetitions” and “negatives” for even more fiber damage. Forced repetitions simply means that you have someone helping you get a few more reps at the end of your set. This is usually followed by negatives, where you lower the weight slowly and then have help to return the weight back to the starting position.

Needles to say, this is an intense method of training. Frankly, it’s not for everyone. Nor does it work for everyone. About half the people who try HIT-style training progress with it. This is mostly due to the mental stress induced in the workout and pre-workout states. Knowing that you have to push beyond your absolute max every time you walk into the gym can be draining. However, if done for 3-4 weeks at a time, HIT can really foster some impressive gains in both strength and muscle mass. This is due to the fact that a muscle needs only so much stimulation in order to grow. And, it is true that this stimulation can occur in one or two hard sets. However, HIT discounts the benefits of volume training (capillary expansion, mental and physical ease, etc.) in favor of forceful adaption.

HIT stresses both Type 2a and 2b fibers, but done traditionally the stress is more on the 2b fibers. This is one reason most people report strength increases more readily than muscle mass increases using strictly HIT methods.

Again, 7 Minute Muscle incorporates a form if HIT into its ongoing System that allows for less mental stress. While requiring more volume than traditional HIT protocols, 7 Minute Muscle does so by using what most trainees would consider a proper warm-up. It is by far the safest and fastest way to implement all three styles of body recomposition training: Power, Density, and Intensity.

Cardiovascular Training

There is probably more debate and confusion over cardiovascular training (or “cardio” for short) than any other form of exercise. Questions range from, “Will cardio push me into over-training if I weight train as well?”, to “Should I do long cardio or short, intense cardio for fat loss?”

The confusion is rightfully earned. Many studies on cardio training conflict with one another. What I plan to cover today are the two forms of cardio I recommend as well as the science behind both recommendations.

Long Duration, Medium Intensity Cardio

In more journals and studies than I can recall, the statement that “brisk walking is the best fat-burning exercise there is” appears over and over again.

Is this true? Yes, and no.

It is absolutely true that moderate cardio, which is defined as cardio performed under your lactate threshold burns almost exclusively body fat for fuel after blood sugar is tapped. Intense cardio, the cardio most often performed which is usually above the lactate threshold, burns more sugar (both blood sugar, ingested carbohydrates, and glycogen).

It seems obvious which form we should choose, correct?

Again, yes and no.

Both forms of cardio have their place in bodyshaping, and we need to understand why and how to implement them for maximum benefit.

People who dismiss LDMI (Long Duration, Medium Intensity) cardio fail to understand the scope of the studies done to suggest that high intensity, short duration (HISD) cardio is superior. There are many other factors involved other than calories burned (higher in HISD) and the increase in the fat-burning and fat-diverting LPL (lipoprotein lipase) which is produced in greater amounts within muscle tissue during intense exercise.

LPL has a wonderful effect on body fat by both liberating it from its cells to be used for immediate energy and preventing it from being stored (as LPL levels rise over time) through the ingestion of food.

Intense exercise is sounding better and better, isn’t it? As well it should — it’s a vital component to body recomposition. But not at the expense of LDMI cardio.

Here’s why.

First, LDMI cardio most certainly burns more fat for fuel than any other form of exercise. So, if performed during a time of the day when fat for fuel was more readily available (rarely done in studies which downgrade LDMI) then LDMI becomes a virtual weapon when it comes to fat loss.

This is what I recommend in ALL of my books and in the Radical Fat Loss System: LDMI cardio done with specific supplements and on a fasting state. The supplements help liberate fatty acids to be used for fuel. The fasting state helps ensure that blood sugar is already very low and quickly bypassed for the more preferable fatty acids (stored fat in our case) to be used as fuel. The result is far greater fat loss than simply doing LDMI cardio any time in the day.

The optimal time is after a prolonged fast, again with the inclusion of specific supplements to help promote faster fat release and decreased muscle breakdown. However, you can still see positive benefits after a 3-hour fast. Doing LDMI cardio three hours after your last meal and prior to bed is a good way of seeing 80% of these benefits.

Second, LDMI cardio does not stress the CNS (central nervous system) and therefore encourages muscle recovery. Ask any bodybuilder if intense cardio is beneficial for muscle recovery and they will probably say “NO!” Many bodybuilders mistakingly avoid cardio altogether to avoid muscle loss, but this is not necessary if the recommendations in this Course are followed.

LDMI cardio — for example, brisk walking or any form of cardio done under the lactate threshold, or at about 60% of your maximum heart rate for 30 minutes or more — will aid in your recovery between weight workouts. This means more muscle, which means more LPL, more calories burned while not exercising, and so-on. In short, all the benefits listed for HISD cardio but without any of the negative effects. LDMI helps the body rid itself of toxins and excess lactic acid, a byproduct of resistance training that can cause excessive soreness if not excreted properly.

Third, LDMI is easy to do. Never underestimate the mind when it comes to progressing physically. If you think something is easy, you are more likely to do it. Given the fact that the dietary and resistance protocols are not “easy”, you need a physical AND mental break in order to keep enthusiasm high. LDMI cardio clears the mind and helps you reinvigorate yourself for the next workout or the next day’s meal plan. It’s a fantastic form of self-meditation.

Fourth, LDMI can be a great time to spend with your self or with your loved one. Again, we need to make exercise enjoyable and a lifestyle process. Doing something with your mate, your friends, or just spending quality time alone in a relatively low-stress activity can work wonders for your mind and your body.

Putting all of these factors together, along with the fact that LDMI cardio burns almost exclusively body fat, and you see why I highly recommend it. The only drawback to LDMI is the length required. At least 30 minutes is required, and preferably 45-60 minutes, 4-5 times a week. Still, if you look at this as the longest period you will spend exercising (and it is) as well as time to spend with your loved ones or your self, it is a low-cost investment in the future of YOU. I highly consider you take that investment to the bank!

High Intensity, Short Duration Cardio

HISD cardio, often referred to and utilized in interval training, is an extremely effective way of burning calories and stimulating greater fat loss post-workout. It is also very heart-healthy as it forces the heart rate above 75% maximum for a short duration, which has been shown to decrease heart disease substantially and lower blood pressure for those who are cleared to exercise at this level.

HISD increases LPL within the muscle, which as you recall is a very good thing if less body fat is your goal. It also burns more calories in the same amount of time as LDMI — up to three times as many calories per session. This is due to the fact that the body is removed from its pure fat-burning mode (found in LDMI) and put into an anaerobic state during HISD sessions. Usually this is cyclical — moments in an aerobic state, others in an anaerobic state.

Aerobic simply means “with oxygen.” If the body does not go into great enough oxygen debt, fat is used more for fuel. If you are breathing really heavy, chances are your body is using less fat and more sugar for fuel as it cannot meet the demands for oxygen otherwise. Fat burns in the presence of oxygen, but when the body sense a need that requires more oxygen than normal, breathing becomes the primary concern and fat-burning takes a back seat. This does not mean that fat-burning ceases; merely that it is relegated to a second-tier demand. It is the combination of these state shifts and the energy required to perform the exercise that creates a greater caloric burn.

But what about fat? Fat-burning during HISD cardio is relative to the duration of the intensity. Like anything else, the body adapts quickly to HISD and attempts to overcompensate by preparing for this form of exercise the next time it is demanded. In order to continue to see progression, intensity must be increased.

This presents a real problem for most people as the intensity required can often be reached relatively quickly (within a few months for most) but cannot be increased without risk of cardiac problems. Raising your heart rate too long for too great a period of time is simply not safe nor recommended. Triathletes and marathoners are among the top sub-sections of individuals who die from sudden heart attacks. This is staggering given the supposed “shape” of their heart, but the body has its limits. These individuals often push those limits, and worse than that feed the body excessive amounts of carbohydrates to fuel them. This is unhealthy, even if the carbohydrates ARE used for fuel. They still cause problems in higher quantities for many people, burned or not.

The solution to this problem is to prevent adaption through the use of interval training. Interval training is the only form of HISD I personally use or recommend. For starters, it is mentally and physically easier. I save my mental and physical energy for the gym and for my nutritional needs — both of which require enough mental and physical energy. This does not mean to say it is “easy”… far from it. Nothing productive that changes body composition is “easy”. But it is easier, as well as far more attainable for the average person to perform than long bouts of high intensity cardio.

Interval cardio began gaining popularity after the infamous Tabata Study, conducted at the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo, showed dramatic improvement in fat-burning and oxygen uptake in shorter periods of time using “bursts” of intensity (often all-out) for very short periods of time followed by longer periods at a moderate pace. Fat-burning increased both during exercise as well as post-exercise (some myths about how much exist, but the bottom line is fat-burning improved substantially) and adaption was not as readily apparent. The body cannot adapt to frequent change, and interval training is viewed more as “frequent change” than “static exercise” by the body. The net result is more fat loss in less time, and with less negative impact on the nervous system and cardiac tissue.

Some people overdo this principle. They go for an all-out sprint and jog back to the starting point. If you are in good shape, this is an excellent form of interval training. If not, you could die of a heart attack right on the spot, or pull a hamstring before any fat is burned at all.

Knowing this, and also suspecting that the Tabata methods could be improved upon, Dr. Richard Winett developed his GXP Method, or “Graded Exercise Protocol.” This is the interval training used in the 7 Minute Muscle program. It takes as little as nine minutes to perform, and it never takes your heart rate much above 85% maximum, making it safer to do at any age and in virtually any condition (as always, check with your doctor first.)

GXP is simple: A three-minute warm-up on a treadmill or other exercise device that allows altered resistance, followed by three minutes at or about 85% of your maximum heart rate, followed by three minutes of cool-down. How simple is that?

GXP has been tested at the university level against traditional cardio, including HISD, and shown to be equally effective at increasing oxygen intake. You are not going to get the calorie-burning effect of HISD or LDLI cardio with GXP, but you will get all of the heart-healthy, oxygen-producing benefits that lead to greater fat-burning over the long haul. And you get them in nine minutes. You can also vary this and do 5/5/5 for fifteen minutes, or even two or three cycles of 3/3/3 as I recommend and actually surpass the calorie burn of any form of cardio. You are still done in about 20 minutes (as opposed to 30-60) and you’ve burned more calories than any other form of cardio without the stress and without faster adaptation.

Adjunct Training

Adjunct training refers to any other form of exercise that is beneficial to the body with an emphasis on muscular dynamics and body recomposition. For example, raking leaves may be “beneficial” as compared to sitting around and watching football, but it’s hardly causing any form of body recomposition.

Examples of adjunct training include yoga, Pilates, and stretching. There are many others, but we will focus on yoga and stretching, as these forms of exercise have the most rapid effect on both recovery and body recomposition.

Yoga

I do not profess to be a yoga expert, but from my limited exposure to it I can tell you one thing — it’s not easy! Yoga is very challenging when done at a high level. When performed masterfully, yoga can actually replace other forms of resistance exercise if you want to maintain your body shape. However, I recommend it as an adjunct to resistance and cardiovascular exercise as it helps recovery, elongates the muscles (making for a more sleek appearance), helps detoxify the body, and creates a wonderful calming “quiet” state that eases the mind.

Stretching

I do recommend that you pick up a book on stretching, as this Course is not sufficient to cover it in detail, nor am I an “expert stretcher”. I can tell you that stretching really helps with balance, muscle growth, recovery, posture, and of course flexibility. I recommend stretching between exercises or groups of exercises as a part of your routine.

The Absolute Key: Progressive Resistance

Every form of exercise found above has one thing in common: Without progressive resistance it is futile. Your body is an adaptation machine. Unless you force it to adapt continually, it will settle down, set its “thermostat”, and all progress will be halted.

The typical example of this is the guy or gal who does the same weight workout all the time, never increasing the weights or changing the exercises. They wonder why their body never changes. After all, they are getting a “good pump” (blood flow to the muscle) and working hard…so what gives? The answer is simple: The mind knows what to expect, as does the body. “Oh, here comes those 20 pound dumbbells again… ho-hum….” Picture your subconscious mind having this conversation with your biceps and perhaps you’ll bump that weight up a bit.

The key to progressive resistance is to do it slowly and consistently. A few years ago when I created 7 Minute Muscle I decided to create one of the first systems that literally forced progressive resistance without thinking. That is probably why so many people see such tremendous gains from the program: It has progression built into the system, and you do not ever need to think about when or how to do it.

If you do not have the benefit of 7 Minute Muscle, then a few simple rules will help you in your workouts. First, maintain a journal. It is well worth the effort. You will know exactly how much weight you lifted last week, or how long and at what resistance your cardio workout was. Without these numbers, you are guessing. Worse than that, your mind cannot connect as readily to your objective. We will cover that on Day 7, but know this: What your mind sees your body believes. Seeing progress in writing creates a can-do momentum that is hard to stop. In fact, I write down my exercises before I go to the gym. I do this down to the sets and reps (or “AR” in 7 Minute Muscle) I plan to get. Once I started doing this my gains shot through the roof, and I rarely skipped a part of my workout no matter how spent I was feeling.

7 Minute Muscle

Next, create a goal for every body part and your cardio for each 10-week segment of training. I like 10 weeks because it gives you a few weeks of “fudge room” when you are breaking your workouts down into quarterly increments. You may not be able to train as hard or as frequently as you like during certain times. If you plan for this ahead of time, knowing that you have 2-3 weeks of “maintenance workouts” (or even no workouts at all) it will really help you stay on track and get back on the path once your schedule resolves.

Finally, make a simple goal: One more rep, a few seconds less rest between sets, or a bit higher setting on the treadmill for each workout you do. Just doing this will take you infinitely further than simply “going to the gym” and hoping things fall into place.

Tomorrow we will continue our conversation about muscle, including all the myths that surround it and how you can use it to your benefit to lose fat even faster.

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