Eve's Health & Fitness

DOB: October 27 CURRENT RESIDENCE: North Eastern Oklahoma OCCUPATION: Certified Group Fitness Instructor HEIGHT:5'1"; WEIGHT:105 lbs.; BF%:14.3% bodyfat FAVORITE BODY PARTS TO TRAIN: Back, abs FAVORITE CHEAT MEAL: Mexican and any dark chocolate CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Featured as a fitness role model in Chad Tackett's Global-Health & Fitness website: http://www.global-fitness.com/ DESCRIBE MYSELF: Competitive, energetic, persistent, focused, consistent, and driven.

Monday, May 01, 2006

6 Fitness Truths

1. Exercise does not require a hefty time commitment. The number of days you work out does not constitute level of fitness. I see a lot of people in the gym five to six days a week, and they’d be better off playing ping pong. Consistency and level of effort is the key. I'd rather see someone work out three days per week with enthusiasm and intensity, than five inconsistent days of lackadaisical effort.

In addition, long workouts are counterproductive. Numerous studies prove that more than one hour of an intense workout increases cortisol levels. Cortisol is a catabolic hormone that, among other things, will assist in destroying muscle. Obviously an elite athlete has to work beyond this mark, but I am referring to the average workout enthusiast.

2. Change your workout. There is no best and only way to work out. In reality, it's all good if it works for you, but you don’t want to stay with any of it for too long. The body will adapt to any exercise routine in approximately four to six weeks. The body will become efficient at any workout you give it. At that point, it becomes time to change the workout and get the body challenged again. The muscular system and cardiovascular system need to re-learn new movements when you change a workout. That’s when progress accelerates.

3. "No Pain, No Gain" is a myth. There is absolutely no reason to cause pain in the gym. Natural progression is a smart method to ensure progress. This refers to slow and systematic increases in weight training, gradual increases in cardiovascular endurance and slow but steady flexibility progression.

"No pain, no gain" will only put you at risk for injury and diminish your ability to use precise exercise form. I'm not saying you shouldn't challenge yourself, only that you should not view your workout as a form of punishment.

4. Weight-training musts. Vary the volume of sets, time between sets, reps, exercises, etc. Manipulate your routine every three to four weeks and view change as the key constant. Performing the same workout for months is ineffective. You have to not only challenge your muscles but change the adaptation. This takes time to learn, but once you get used to changing your workout every three to four weeks you’ll make great progress.

Beginners should follow a structured program, which provides a full-body workout on three alternate days per week. This will help to provide a foundation for future progress.

5. Cardiovascular tips. We've been taught that performing cardiovascular exercise for 20 to 30 minutes at a target heart rate of 60 to 80 percent is a great way to lose fat. Yes, it can be. But, what do you do when you know it’s not working anymore?
One of the methods I've found successful is interval training. Interval training is best described as incorporating higher-intensity exercise with lower intensity. This method helps stimulate and speed metabolism. Intervals can be applied to any form of cardiovascular exercise and although it's been a widely used technique for training competitive athletes since the '50s, the concept grew into mainstream fitness in the '90s.

The beauty of interval training is that you don't have to work out for long periods. Unless you’re training for a competitive event, anything longer than 25 to 35 minutes is unnecessary, and that includes warm up and cool down.

Let me show you how it's done.

The following is a protocol for interval training using the treadmill as an example:

Begin with a warm up of 5 minutes at level 3.0 intensity (3.0 miles per hour):

A. On the 6th minute increase to 4.0 mph (light jog)
B. On the 7th minute increase to 5.0 mph
C. On the 8th minute increase to level 6.5 or 7.0 mph
D. For the next 2 minutes (minutes 9 and 10) return to 3.0 mph
E. Repeat A-D two additional times, but increase the level of intensity one mile per hour on each phase.
F. Cool down for 5 minutes at 3.0 mph

Total workout time (including warm up and cool down: 25 minutes. A-D above represent one cycle. In this example, you perform three cycles of higher-intensity training. If you're at a more advanced fitness level, then you'll need to adjust the speeds and times accordingly to make sure the intensity is somewhat demanding at the higher levels.

This workout can be done on the stationary bike, Stairmaster, walking outdoors or using any other form of cardio. For the experienced cardio group, don't think you can jump right into this type of training. Moderation and natural progression are vital. In the morning, you wouldn't get in your car, start it up and immediately try to reach 80 miles an hour.

The beauty of this type of training is, based on the fact you have stimulated your metabolism to such a high degree, you continue to burn calories the day after your workout. Most people are obsessed with how many calories are burned during a workout, but one of the keys to losing fat is making sure your body continues to burn lots of calories 24 to 48 hours after the workout.

Another way to play with your cardio program is to perform interval training for three weeks, followed by longer duration, moderate cardio for three weeks. I like this method because it avoids the adaptation. As you can see, the key is to keep thinking change after three to six weeks.

6. Mind/Body Exercise. It may not be an exercise tip per se, but we sometimes forget we should move toward activity we enjoy. Exercises such as Pilates, Yoga, stretching and martial arts bridge the gap between simple movement versus movement that also has a calming effect. Even if you don’t venture into this arena, you still want to make sure that you improve your level of flexibility by using a stretching program.

As you move toward your goal, you can never forget that dietary consistency will be important. a nutritionist can arrange a healthy and delicious meal plan for you that will place you at low enough calocalories to shed fat, but high enough to sustain your energy. Combine this with any online fitness plan that provides great workouts as well as my six top tips and you’ll be on your way.

As always, check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.


Eve :-)


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