"Sets are competitions with yourself. They’re finite journeys taken again and again. Broken down into reps and stacked together to form workouts, they’re training’s fundamental unit of measurement. They’re like miniature lives, beginning with vigor, but debilitating with time and repetition, and always, eventually, ending. They’re regimented periods of joy and pain, and, at their best, they deliver an aching sense of accomplishment we’ll call “joyous pain.”
- Flex Magazine-
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
But for those of us that don't get all hot and bothered over doing hour after hour of cardio, there might be another way. It's called intervals. I know it's a revolutionary concepts thats only been used for like......every!
Basically intervals mixes bouts of high intensity exercise followed by a recover period, then repeated. By high intensity I mean a level of intensity that you can only sustain for 30-60 seconds before you have to recover for 60-120 seconds. Look up HIIT training for more info. With interval type training you can burn the same number of calories in less time, which means more time for the important things like LIFTING!
Numerous studies have been done on interval training and fat loss. Here is an example of just one.
Interval training burns fat and improves fitness more quickly than constant but moderately intensive physical activity, according to research by a University of Guelph researcher.The study by Jason Talanian, a PhD student in the Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, was published in the Journal of Applied Physiology. It found that after interval training, the amount of fat burned in an hour of continuous moderate cycling increased by 36 percent and cardiovascular fitness increased by 13 percent. Fitness buffs and athletes have long used interval training — short bursts of intensive effort interspersed with more moderate stretches — to improve performance. But Talanian’s study shows that the practice also improves cardiovascular fitness and helps the body burn more fat, even during low-intensity or moderate workouts.Talanian studied women riding stationary bikes in hard-easy intervals in the training lab of his supervisor, Guelph Prof. Lawrence Spriet. The eight subjects included moderately fit women in their 20s as well as borderline sedentary subjects and an active soccer player. They trained every other day for two weeks. They alternated 10 sets of four-minute bursts of riding at 90 percent effort with two minute rest intervals. It did not matter how fit the subjects were before. After interval training, they experienced not only an increase in fat used and in aerobic capacity, but also an increase of enzyme activity in the muscleTalanian notes that faster fat burning and greater overall fitness may not necessarily mean immediate weight loss. The technique may improve someone’s potential to burn more fat, “but for weight loss, you need to consider a balance of exercise and a healthy diet,” he said.The message from his studies is to mix interval training into an exercise routine once or twice a week, particularly in running, swimming or cycling.
Source: University Of Guelph (2007, June 29). Interval Training Burns More Fat, Increases Fitness, Study Finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 24, 2009, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/
So for those of you that don't want to spend you life on the treadmill or elliptical, or who are at a plateau for fat loss, try mixing in intervals a couple of times a week.