Health & Fitness
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Exercise

A Simple, Cheap Tool No One Is Using In Your Gym – and It Will Melt Fat Like A Knife Through Butter

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Let’s cut to the chase. The tool is the simple jump rope!  Trust me, keep reading!

A jump rope workout is a fantastic way to burn a lot of calories, improve your overall conditioning, and use as part of a metabolic resistance training program for some serious fat loss.

Two of the great things about a jump rope is you can take it anywhere and you don’t need a lot of room to get in a workout.

You can also use the jump rope as part of your training program, whether you’re using weights or just using bodyweight exercises in your training.

You’ll get a lot more out of a jump rope workout that’s only 10 minutes long than you will doing 45 minutes on the stationary bike the way most people do it.  You know what I mean; the people at the gym who pedal, pedal and pedal some more while reading a magazine or watching television, yet they never even break a sweat.  What a waste of time!

As you can see, there are a lot of things you can do with the jump rope.

If trying to jump rope for 10 or even 5 minutes straight is daunting for you at this point, a great way to get started is using the Tabata Protocol of performing an exercise for 20 seconds as hard as you can, rest for 10 seconds and then repeat.  You do this 8 times for a total of 4 minutes of working out (less, since one third of that time is resting)!

Once you can do that, try adding a second cycle of the Tabata Protocol.  Do 8 sets of 20/10 (again, 20 seconds of exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest), rest 1 to 2 minutes and then do it again.

Once you can do this, you can start adding more time to your jump rope workout and also start adding different techniques like jumping on one foot for 10 jumps, then switching feet, alternating feet, doing double jumps, etc.

But get the regular old two foot jump down first!

You can also combine jumping rope with other bodyweight exercises.  Here’s an example:

30 seconds – Push ups

10 seconds – Rest

30 seconds – Jump Rope

10 seconds – Rest

30 seconds – Alternate Forward Lunge

10 seconds – Rest

30 seconds – Jump Rope

10 seconds – Rest

30 seconds – Bodyweight Squats

Rest 2 minutes.  Perform 3 to 5 sets

Another great way to use the jump rope is to incorporate it into your resistance training sessions, whether you’re using bodyweight exercises or weights, or both.

Instead of resting between all your sets, do some cardio, like the jump rope!  You’ll burn a ton more calories.

The Secret To Cardio Training That Could Double Your Results in Less Time!

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Traditional long form cardio is getting bashed all over the place nowadays.

It’s not my favorite form of exercise either, nor do I think it’s the best option for fat loss and overall health and fitness.

At least not if that’s all your doing.

But cardio can definitely be effective and have it’s own place as part of a well designed fitness program.

Cardio should be one component of your program, not the only component.

Then the question that gets asked a lot is, “if I’m training for fat loss, when should I do my cardio, before or after my weight training session?”

Great question!  You’re on a roll!  Oh, wait!  That’s just the same question asked again!

So, weights then cardio, or cardio then weights?

Weights then CARDIO!

If you want a complete training routine to maximize your fat burning results, you’ll want to include the following:

1.  Strength Training

2.  Conditioning or Metabolic Training

3.  Metabolic Finisher

4.  Strategic Cardio

And this does NOT mean you need all four in the same workout.  Just using two of them in a workout can be extremely effective and more than enough.

Very rarely will you use all four components in one workout.

So why resistance training first?

For starters, if you do cardio first, your weight training performance (and results) will suffer.

Here’s a dirty little secret cardio bunnies and makers of “aerobics” dvds don’t want you to know.
Intense, high quality weight training is MORE effective for taking fat off and keeping it off than cardio!

Hit the weights while you’re fresh, then move to your cardio.  Yes, of course, you can do a few minutes of a general warm up if you need it.

Glycogen Depletion

By hitting the weights first, you’ll also deplete your glycogen stores, leaving your body primed and pumped to dip into its stores of excess body fat to fuel your the cardio portion of your workout.

The flip side of that is that fat is not an efficient fuel for weight training.  Glycogen is the preferred source of fuel for short, intense muscle contractions.

By hitting the weights first, you’ve allowed your body to have the preferred muscle fuel available and primed it to burn fat as soon as you start your cardio.  NICE!

If you want to be efficient and MAXIMIZE your results, it’s strength training first, then cardio!

Psycho Fat Burning

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If you’re looking for lots of serious fat melting, calorie crushing, ab revealing results from your workout, this is for you.

There are a lot of reasons to hit a workout like this, including travel, or just being plain busy, or you can’t make it to the gym.  Or hey, maybe you’re just tired of paying that monthly gym membership!

We’re going to fire up two exercises and 30 minutes of your time.  The two exercises are bodyweight squats and push ups.

The idea is to get as many reps as possible in 30 minutes.  A cycle may go like this.

Bodyweight squats – 30 reps
Push Ups – 15 reps
Repeat (resting when necessary)

In order to get a little static contraction back work in as well, be sure to hold your arms straight out in front of you for all your squat reps. Or lightly lace your fingers behind your head and do the bodyweight squats in “prisoner” style.

On the squats, go as low as you can on each rep, under control.  Pause for a second at the bottom of the repetition.

Now, your strength level may vary a lot so I’m going to give you a list of bodyweight squat and push up variations so you can make this routine tougher or easier on you, as needed.

Strength levels can vary widely for people in bodyweight exercises.  While someone may crank out 50 push ups non stop, someone else might only get two.  So here are some variations for you.

For bodyweight squats you can do the following:

*  Half Squats (don’t go down all the way, stop around top of thighs parallel to ground)

*  Full Squats (down as far as you can go)

*  Close Squats (feet turned out about 45 degrees with heels an inch apart, or touching if you can handle it). Arms pointed straight out in front of you.

Push Ups:

*  Wall Push Ups

*  Incline Push Ups (standing and leaning forward into a bench or table, so you’re lower than leaning
into a wall)

*  Kneeling Push Ups

*  Half Push Ups (put something like a ball or stack of books under your chest)

*  Full Push Ups

You could do:

Bodyweight squats – 20 reps
Push Ups – 10 reps
Repeat (resting when necessary)

OR:

Bodyweight squats – 10 reps
Push Ups – 5 reps
Repeat (resting when necessary)

Give this routine a try for 20 minutes, or 30 if you’re up to it.  See how many reps you can get (30 may be too much on the squats.  Try 20).  You can adjust the push up number as well.

Even 20 minutes might be too brutal to start.  You’d be surprised how much you can make 10 minutes of this hurt!

Next time you do it, try beating your rep total.

If you have one simple piece of equipment (a chin up bar) you can make it a tri-set with Bodyweight squats, push ups and pull ups (or inverted rows if you can do that).

You can also flip it.  Instead of trying to hit a certain number of rounds in a set time, you can set a rep total and go for time, trying to beat that time in a future workout.

So maybe you go for 200 squats and 100 push ups (whatever variation you choose) with the same rule of double the squat reps to push up reps each time before going back to squats.

Really feeling it? 400 bodyweight squats and 200 push ups!  Come on, Rocky!

Brutal, short and effective.

How HIIT Really Works For Accelerated Results Every Time, Lean Muscle and Sexy Abs

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HIIT = High Intensity Interval Training

HIIT training has really exploded in popularity in the last few years.

And with good reason.  High intensity interval training works!  But if you want HIIT to work for you, you need to know how to make it part of your exercise routine.

You see, long, slow, boring cardio isn’t the best way to lose fat and bring out that sexy, lean muscle you have hidden under there.

Old fashioned cardio can be part of an overall program that helps you burn fat, but the “bang for your buck” isn’t as great as HIIT.

If you don’t know what high intensity interval training workouts are, in the most basic form, you perform short bursts of high intensity exercise (like sprints), with brief periods of rest.

For example, you might sprint the straightaway of a track and slow jog the turns and repeat for 8 or 10 “sets” (intervals).

It’s not an easy way to work out, but your  workouts will be shorter and you’ll love the results.  If you do HIIT correctly.  And this is where a lot of people run into problems with interval training.

Regular cardio doesn’t burn nearly as many calories as most people think it does.  Want to know how many calories are burned during a marathon of 26.2 miles?  Sure, it varies from person to person based on body weight, lean muscle mass, how fast you run, etc. but on average a marathoner burns about 2,500 to 3,500 calories running one marathon.

There are 3,500 calories in a pound of fat!

Let’s say that’s how many calories you would burn running a marathon.  So if you eat the exact number of calories your metabolism burns off in a week all you have to do is add a marathon every week and you’ll drop a pound a week!

That sounds great, doesn’t it?  There’s also the small problem that a good percentage of that weight would be muscle, you wouldn’t lose just fat.

Have you seen what a marathon runner looks like?  Is that the body you want?  I didn’t think so.

And that’s assuming that your calorie intake and calorie burn are equal.  Most people start exercising because they’ve gained weight, ie, are eating more calories than they are burning off.
And let’s face it, if you did run a marathon every week, you know you’d be eating a lot more than you are right now!

So if you don’t want to run a marathon or two every week AND you actually want to get results from your exercise program, what’s left?  High intensity interval training workouts, of course! (and yes, some changes to your diet, too!)

With interval training, you get a one two punch of calories burned DURING your workout, as well as calories burned AFTER your workout (up to 39 hours!)!

Due to the high intensity nature of HIIT training, you will see an increase in excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC).

What this means is that your metabolism will stay elevated for many hours after you are finished the exercise, allowing you to burn more calories even while doing nothing.

There is little to no EPOC from a low intensity session, meaning your metabolism does not rise, and you burn few, if any calories after the exercise session is over.

Another study had individuals perform either an endurance training (ET) or interval training routine for a period of 15 weeks.

The interval training group experienced 9 times as much fat loss as those performing the endurance training program.

Numerous studies have shown that HIIT increases both one’s aerobic and anaerobic workout capacity while endurance training just improves the former.

It has also been shown that intense interval training actually increases aerobic capacity to a better degree than traditional low intensity aerobics.

So how do you use HIIT training effectively?  This is very important, because improper training will lead to over training, burn out, injury, a loss of muscle mass and a slower metabolism!  My guess is you aren’t working out and eating right to get those kind of results!

Interval training is intense, and while you will improve your aerobic and endurance capacity, you also highly tax your anerobic system as well.

It’s much more like a weight training workout, as far as how it affects your muscles.  This means you shouldn’t do interval training workouts more than 3 or 4 times per week, you shouldn’t do them two days in a row, and these workouts should NOT be long!

Interval training focuses on quality over quantity. Forget 45 minute or 60 minute sessions.  Not with HIIT you don’t.

Heck, the most famous study done on interval training, by Dr. Tabata on speed skaters, involved all out work for 20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated 8 times.  Yes, that’s a FOUR MINUTE WORKOUT!

And the speed skaters all significantly improved their aerobic and anerobic capacity.

One of the other great things about hiit is that you do not need equipment.  Sure, you can do it quite well on a stationary bike or treadmill but you can also go outside and do sprints (hill sprints rock!), perform jump rope workouts (okay, technically that’s a piece of equipment) or do bodyweight exercises, either in a circuit training routine, or just one killer exercise like burpees for a number of intervals.

And if you follow the rule above about limiting your workout sessions so you don’t over train, you also won’t have to worry about burning away your lean muscle mass, wreaking havoc with your metabolism and looking like a marathon runner.  Wouldn’t you rather look like a sprinter?
What type of workout do you think sprinters do?  That’s right!  High intensity interval training workouts!

Add two or three hiit training sessions a week, along with a good quality resistance training program and you’re on your way to fat burning, lean muscle building success!

STUDIES:  R. Bahr, et al., “Effect of Intensity on Exercise and Excess Post-Exercise O2 Consumption,” Metabolism 40.8 (1991):836-841.

J. Smith, et al, “The Effects of Intensity of Exercise and Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption and Energy Expenditure in Moderately Traine Men and Women,” European Journal of Applied Physiology 67 (1993): 420-425.
A. Tremblay, et al, “Impact on Exercise Intensity on Body Fatness and Skeletal Muscle Metabolism,” Metabolism 43.7 (1994):814-818

G. Rhodas, et al, “A Short Training Programme for the Rapid Improvement of Both Aerobic and Anaerobic Metabolism,” European Journal of Applied Physiology 82.5-6 (2000):480-486