Bill Hicks, the American stand-up, had a great joke about jogging maverick, Jim Fixx. He described how Jim Fixx used to go jogging, talked about jogging, inspired everyone else to go jogging, wrote books about jogging and then died . . . from jogging. 😯
Some fitness professionals and medical doctors prescribe low-intensity aerobic training in order to prevent heart disease or lose weight. The actual prescription recommended by the American Heart Association is 30 minutes-to-1 hour of cardio 3 to 5 times per week in order to stay healthy . This is a popular belief and I have no doubt it is one of the reasons for the growth in popularity of long-endurance events such as the marathon and the triathlon.
Bonus: We have prepared a free workout at the end of this post for you to try. It is almost guaranteed to take your fitness to the next level.
Before you stick on a pair of jogging shorts pound the pavement for 10 hours a week, consider some scientific research. Many studies demonstrate that we would receive greater returns from short-sprint sessions instead of long steady cardio .
The most important part of any training programme is to vary it. This is because just like other animals we perform exercise in a stop and go fashion. It turns out this stop and go fashion is the most effective way for losing weight and building muscle. If you look at a 100m sprinter in the Olympics and compare him to the marathon runner of the same age, you will see that the sprinter will always have a more youthful and fuller look. A marathon runner usually looks aged in comparison.
Endurance Sports Produce Free Radicals In The Body
Scientists have known for some time that excessive cardio increases free radical production in the body, can wear-down joints, reduces immune function, causes muscles wasting, and can cause pro-inflammatory response in the body which potentially leads to chronic diseases .
Compare this with high-intensity interval training (HITT) which increases your metabolic rate, helps build a pro inflammatory response, makes a more efficient oxygen response .
With steady state cardio, the heart muscle is only being trained to be good at one thing and to handle one type of stress. It is not preparing people to respond to everyday stressors such as suddenly sprinting to catch the bus. HITT prepares the heart more effectively because the training puts different demands in terms of recovery and energy. Since HITT makes the heart stronger, it means your body is better able to handle the stress hormones such as cortisol which causes you develop junk food cravings and helps your belly build up more fat, creating that classic tyre shape midriff.
The most important part of HITT is the fact that your body gets better at eliciting a response from your body to sudden exercise.
In summary, the main benefits of interval training include: improved cardiovascular health, increased anti-oxidant protection, improved immune function, reduced risk for joint wear and tear, reduced muscle wasting, increased residual metabolic rate following exercise, and an increased capacity for the heart to handle life’s everyday stressors.
Most competitive sports such as football, basketball, racquetball, tennis, hockey, etc. are naturally comprised of highly variable stop-and-go motion. In addition, weight training naturally incorporates short bursts of exertion followed by recovery periods. High intensity interval training (varying between high and low intensity intervals on any piece of cardio equipment) is yet another training method that utilizes exertion and recovery periods.
For the past 10 years, I have been researching the best exercises and the best nutrition on an almost obsessive daily basis. Research paper after research paper, and best-selling book after best-selling book wholeheartedly argue for HITT training rather than steady state cardio. Yet, every new year, people who want to shed the xmas pounds, jog the pavement in vain for months at a time. Initially, some weight does fall off but eventually people hit a brick wall where the fat simply won’t budge. This is where a combination of weight-resistance and interval training come in useful because they actually raise your metabolism.
HITT and weight training combined with a sensible paleo diet will help achieve that lean body shape.
I have prepared a workout for you to get started on HITT training that I recommend to try twice a week for 4 weeks before getting a new workout. All these exercises can be done at home or in the gym.
||Medicine Ball Chest Pass
Steps To Follow:
- It’s 20 seconds for each exercise followed by 10 seconds rest.
- Go through the list until finished.
- Rest Two Minutes
- Repeat till you completed 3 rounds