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HIT Training Sample (Part 2 of 2)

Sorry for the delay!

This one will be brief but I promised a sample HIT program. Remember that the goal with this style of workout is to workout for a shorter period of time with a higher intensity level. This will help rev up your metabolism and improve your cardiovascular function way more effectively than traditional cardio training.

You can use any of the regular activities you enjoy. Running, cycling, rowing are all good examples. My favorites include jumping rope, running stairs, and plyometric jumps (jump onto a 6-14 inch box or step).

How do you make this a HIT program? There is no one set pattern, you can put it together an infinite number of ways. For this example we will use time blocks.

Continue reading HIT Training Sample (Part 2 of 2)

HIT Training (Part 1 of 2)

What is HIT training? This is simply a term used to describe workouts that actually provide you with a significant benefit in a reasonable period of time.


Have you ever watched friends or family members slave away on a treadmill or exercise bike for hours and hours? Ever notice how after a few weeks they stop doing it and after a few months they still have not improved their health and fitness level?


This is usually because they are not really doing enough to force their body to get stronger. Unless you are challenging your body with new stresses and placing demands on it that are above and beyond what it is used to, then it is not going to respond. It doesn’t need to.


Instead we want to increase the intensity of your program so that your body has a new stimulus to adapt to.


Assuming you have no injuries and already have a decent base level of conditioning you can begin HIT training. If you do not meet those criteria you should seek the assitance of a personal trainer or fitness coach to make sure that you initiate a fitness program that will keep you injury free and prepare you for a HIT program.


What is a HIT program?


Here is the simple answer: it is exercise that makes you sweat and breathe hard and forces you to limit your workout to 30 minutes or less.


Doesn’t sound too easy does it?


That is because it isn’t easy. Easy programs are lazy programs and lazy programs are ineffective programs.


A HIT program pushes the limits of what you can do. It forces your body to adapt by getting stronger and more efficient, which increases your metabolism and improve your cardiovascular health


Many people think that the best way to lose body fat is to exercise at 60% of their maximum effort for 45-60 minutes. Where does this come from? Those stupid stickers on the treadmills that show the ‘fat burning zone.’ That is some of the best marketing the fitness industry has ever conceived!


Sorry, but this is not the case! Read on and I will do a few math calculations for you.



We will use a 180 pound, male around 30 years of age as our example. If you are older, younger, heavier, lighter, or a different sex, than the base metabolic rates and calories used numbers will be a little bit different, but the principles will be the same.


So our case study wants to burn off body fat and keep muscle. So he decides to incorporate some cardio into his program. To preserve muscle he is going to stay at 60% of his max heart rate and do an hour long session on the treadmill.

            Treadmill, 60 minutes @ 4mph: Overall calories burned = 340

                                                             60% calories from BF = 204

                                                             40% calories from glycogen and muscle catabolism


Now let us say that our guy decides that he hates watching Oprah for an hour 5 times a week and wants to shorten his time on the treadmill. He ups his intensity to 80% of his max heart rate, which is not sustainable for a solid hour, so he is going to do a half hour session. This means that with commercials Oprah viewing is limited to a mere 20 minutes.

            Treadmill, 30 minutes @ 6.5mph: Overall calories burned = 450

                                                                 40% calories from BF = 180

                                                                 60% calories from glycogen and muscle catabolism


Well you might say at this point, more fat burned during the lower intensity session it is a better way to decrease body fat. This is the reason that many have decided to use the less effective system. There are other variables that we need to consider with this example.


1.      There was only a total of 24 calories less BF burned with the high intensity set, that’s only 3 dietary grams of fat.

2.      Don’t ignore the fact that the high intensity program is HALF AS LONG, only 30 min.

3.      While the amount of non-fat calories is higher, with the shorter duration, the majority of those calories will come from stored muscle and liver glycogen, not muscle catabolism. It is at high intensities longer then the 30 minute mark that the muscle catabolism becomes an issue, and then mostly if the right nutrition is not in place.

4.      The cardiovascular system would have to work at a much higher level during the shorter and higher intensity workout leading to more health benefits for the heart and lungs than the low intensity program provides. 

5.      He couldn’t even pay attention to Oprah because he was working too hard.



There are other important aspects that need to be recognized as well. Intense exercise has been shown to increase metabolic rate much longer then low intensity exercise and the positive hormone response from intense exercise.


We will use the conservative estimates for our purposes. Exercise 70% or higher of maximum intensity has been shown to increase metabolic rate from 5-19% for up to 38 hours after the cessation of exercise (‘Impact of energy intake and exercise on resting metabolic rate’, Mole et al, Sports Medicine, vol 10, pp 72-87). Exercise below 70% does not have the same effect.


If we use our example above and say he experiences a 10% increase in base metabolic rate for 12 hours he will create an additional calorie deficit of 157 calories, based on a BMR of 3140 calories. This is in addition to the calories utilized during the session. If the extra calories are just over 100 per session we could drop a full cardio session from the 5 times a week schedule and burn almost the same number of overall calories over the course of the entire week.


If all the stuff I just wrote bored or confused you, don’t worry, next post will be on sample HIT programs!!!

Walking is Not a Fitness Program

I perform a lot of one on one health and fitness consultations for our corporate clients. There is one thing in particular that comes up all the time that drives me a little crazy. Walking.


When I am talking to someone new I need to know what their current activity consists of, what they think they should be doing from an activity perspective, and what they can see themselves pursuing for physical activity.


At least a few time a week I am told that the person is going to start walking or has already started walking. Even more entertaining for me is when I am told that they started walking for fitness but they no longer do. Why is that entertaining? Because this is a great example of the inability of walking as a primary exercise source to make you healthier and keep you healthy for the rest of your life!


Your going to start walking? When did you stop walking? Don’t you already walk all the time everyday? When you go to the kitchen, go to your car, go to the bathroom, or go pretty much anywhere else during the course of your day?

Continue reading Walking is Not a Fitness Program

The Problems with Personal Trainers

Personal training will be one of the best investments you can ever make in your entire life. Of course this is largely based on the fact that you are choosing a skilled, educated, and high caliber personal trainer. Unfortunately 80% of the trainers out there (no that is not an official stat, it is simply based on my experience) are not worth your money and time investment.


Imagine this. Your car just doesn’t seem to be working properly. So you stop in at the auto mechanics, park in the front lot and sit down in their office. After a brief talk about what you think may be wrong with the car the mechanic recommends a series of parts replacements and services for you and attempts to make you purchase those services immediately.


That is ridiculous.


What if there is nothing wrong with your car? What if what you think is wrong with your car is not accurate because you do not know very much about your how cars work? There is absolutely no way a mechanic can know how to fix your car without a thorough history of the issue and a hands on physical assessment of your automobile.


Trainers should do the same thing. They should do a thorough physical assessment of your body and mind before every prescribing a program for you. They should get to know your goals, expectations, time frame and needs through a sit down discussion. They should examine your health and fitness history. And they MUST do a physical assessment of your body. They need to be aware of any biomechanical imbalances, limitations, and injuries. They need to assess injuries and your current fitness level.

  Continue reading The Problems with Personal Trainers

How sad, we can’t even say ‘fitness’ anymore

            I am the first to admit fault when it comes to using the word ‘fitness’. When I am making new marketing materials or writing for various other outlets I often hesitate before deciding to use that word.

            Why? It has come to carry and almost harsh feel to it, reminiscent of words such as, ‘tough’, ‘difficult’, and ‘strenuous’. There are other connotations stemming from the word fitness, unfortunately they tend to include: ‘unpleasant’, ‘tedious’, ‘boring’, and ‘unobtainable’.

            Often I fear using the term fitness will scare people away form what we are writing or lecturing. If you call something a ‘fitness program’ most people tend to instantly tune out and ignore the rest of the message or the program pitch.

            Instead we devote out time to finding synonyms that seems less daunting and are less likely to turn people off. Inserted into the mainstream are terms like, ‘conditioning’, ‘shape’, ‘health’, and ‘lifestyle’. These terms are less threatening and appeal to the trend of producing less strenuous programming in order to appease the laziness of the masses.

            Because that’s really what we are talking about. Laziness. People hear the term fitness and groan. They assume that whatever follows will be unpleasant and the will have to make sacrifice and maybe push their bodies harder than they are used to. We do not want to exert ourselves. We want to finish work and relax. We want to have dinner parties and not think about what we are eating. We want to snack at night without consequence. We want to be entertained.

            It is assumed a ‘fitness’ program is going to be difficult. It is going to require too much sacrificing the ‘good things in life’. And we are not all ready to do that. It is also assumed that a ‘fitness’ program is going to be boring. Everyone has done some kind of fitness program before and usually the reason they are no longer participating in it is because it was so mind-knumb-ing-ly boring that they would rather drop a rock on their foot, a heavy rock.

            Well I am done. I am done pacifying laziness and catering to the childish excuses that our population has come to find acceptable. I am going to use the word fitness. I am going to use it proudly. Yes, it is going to require some hard work and dedication. It mya even require a little bit of self sacrifice. But our glutinous lifestyle needs some fitness injected into it.

            We all need to grow up and take responsibility for ourselves and our bodies. Welcome to the start of your new fitness program.

Voluntary vs. Involuntary Muscle: Major Consequences for your Health

When it comes to maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle it is very important to truly understand some of the key difference in your muscle anatomy.

            Understanding the simple differences between the main two muscle categories will have dramatic effects on your health, body fat, energy, and overall sleep patterns. It is unfortunate that this simple explanation is not provided to more people and that the majority of health professionals tend to ignore that these classifications exist.

            In the health and fitness world most professionals spend their time promoting unachievable programs and unrealistic expectations. Many professionals including, personal trainers, doctors, nutritionists, physiotherapists, and chiropractors spend a lot of their time coercing and trying to convince their clients and patients to follow healthy diet and exercise programs without delving into the most important aspect of adherence to those programs.

            If we were to spend more time paying attention to one simple and important element that drastically affects your diet and exercise we could truly make an impact on our population’s health and fitness.

   Continue reading Voluntary vs. Involuntary Muscle: Major Consequences for your Health

Making Comments and sharing your thoughts

So far I no one has made any comments on my postings, which tells me a few things:

1. Everyone agrees with me, which is fantastic!

2. No one wants to register and take the time

3. People disagree with me so much that they are too mad to typs a comment

4. No one really wants to

Regardless, if you would like to make a comment, either to agree, disagree, add some other information, provide another perspective, or anything else, I would love to see some posts and comments!

 At the bottom of each entry there is a make a comment link, click and register. Or you can register by clicking the link on the right hand side of the page. You can make an anonoymous name if you like, I can not see the details of the subscribers.

 Look forward to getting some feedback, opinions, and ideas!

Healthy Food has no Nutrition Labels

Healthy food doesn’t have nutrition labels.

There is so much talk about learning to read nutrition labels and to always compare the labels of different foods when deciding what to buy. Here is something to think about…healthy food doesn’t have nutrition labels.

(Let me note that there are exceptions to this rule and I will get to them for sure!)

Here is the easiest thing you can do in the grocery store: choose the food that is label free.

Let’s think about it for a moment. Fruit and vegetables – no nutrition labels. Meat and seafood – no nutrition labels. Fresh bread and grains – nutrition labels.

Continue reading Healthy Food has no Nutrition Labels

Women! Stop lifting weights or you will get huge!

Here is one of those exercise myths that truly needs to stop being perpetuated.

 Looking over the past 10 decades or so there are numerous examples of truly inaccurate information that people believe wholeheartedly.

 Remember when women were told not to ride bicycles because it would prevent them from having children? How about the notion that eating fat would make you fat? (If you believe that one still you need to keep reading my posts). Eating only soup is the diet answer, the grapfruit diet, the ab roller, the thighmaster, the jiggle your fat off systems. The list is not only long but extremly comical.

Somewhere in the last 20 years women have been taught that lifting weights will make them huge, muscular, hulks with deep voices and 5 o’clock shadows. OMG, this is ridiculous.

 Female clients are always telling me that they do not want to ‘get huge’ or ‘bulky’. Even better is when they tell me that within a few weeks of lifting weights they notice such large gains in muscle size that they stop the program.

 I have a deal with all of my clients that if they ever wake up, look in the mirror and think, ‘wow, I have too much muscle and look too jacked’, I will give them $100 and free training for a year. Six years of training, ten years of dispensing advice, and I have yet to pay out on that offer.

Continue reading Women! Stop lifting weights or you will get huge!

I do not accept your excuse

What is the definition of an excuse?

Excuse = something that is offered as an explanation in order to obtain forgiveness or justify action we know is unacceptable.

    What is the key point in my definition of an excuse? It is the fact that we know that our action (or inaction) is unacceptable. Lets be honest and upfront for a moment (alright, I always am).

    Everyone knows that doing little to no physical activity is not good for them. We all know that eating processed and deep fried foods is not good for us. But we continue to do it anyway and make excuses for it. Becasue that is what an excuse is, asking for others (or ourselves) to forgive us for our actions that we KNOW we should not be partaking in.

     What are some of the most common excuses I am innundated by? By far the most common one I hear is that people do not have the time to fit in activity. This is simply not possible. Everyone I know is caught up on at least one TV show or regularly watches or reads a news source. My rule is this: if you can find the time for that you can find the time to fit in some kind of fitness activity.

    Continue reading I do not accept your excuse