Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Are you maximizing your workout time or wasting it?
You see people in the gym, doing cardio, for hours on end. They attend an hour of step class, then they get on the treadmill and then on to the elliptical machine and then on to the stairmaster. And they never seem to look any different. I have witnessed people doing this for years. It is insane!
Disclaimer: If you enjoy spending hours working out, have hours to spend everyday and are happy with your progress and results - then by all means continue doing what you are doing. But if you are tired of spending hours in the gym, don't have hours to spend working out, want more results, faster, then this pertains to you.
Let's talk about using your workout time wisely. First, some historical info from my personal experiences.
For the past three decades, I have spent many of those years working out one to four times a day. Usually, two to three times a day at least.
During my martial art days, I would run (30 min), lift weights (1 hour), meditate (45 min), stretch (45 min) and then attend martial art training (2 hours). So roughly 4 hours a day.
And then during my 20 years in the Army, I would do PT (cardio: run, ruck march, bike, swim) in the morning (1 hour), then do strength & conditioning training in the afternoon (1 hour) on average. There were many times when we would also do hand to hand combat (1 hour) and swim or bike for an additional hour. So 2-4 hours a day on average.
So in order to survive each day, I had to fuel the machine with high carbs constantly. And during the last 30 years, I experimented with every major type of diet (high carb, high protein, ketogenic, carb cycling, raw, paleo, on and on) to see what would work best with the workload I endured every day.
The only thing that got me through each day was an extreme amount of carbs. Of course, this kept me flabby. I was thinner but I could never get cut or ripped and my strength always suffered.
It was about performance, not my physique. As long as I performed at optimal levels in cardio, that was all that mattered to the world. I was never happy with my physique and I figured with all the insane amounts of cardio that I did every day, I should be ripped. But I wasn't ever.
Then I got hurt and my world changed. I hurt my knee on a parachute jump. I strained my MCL and then developed problems in my other knee from overcompensating so much. Of course, they continued to make me run and jump out of planes, which killed any chance of healing and rehab.
So my knees got worse. I had to stop running and jumping out of planes. Then I was considered unworthy and substandard by the jumping runners committee. But then I began to heal up. And my training and nutrition changed.
Afghanistan and Iraq got in the way. My knees were pretty banged up by the end of Iraq. But still I minimized my running to focus on strength and conditioning. By the time I was finishing my last tour of duty at Fort Benning, I was a certified personal trainer and a certified sports nutritionist. I decided to help people get healthy and fit as my post Army career. In 2006, I started my own fitness business.
I studied and took many courses. I realized the error of my ways for so many years. More is not always better. Quality vs quantity started to make sense. My training became much smarter and my nutrition got way better. I started healing and getting stronger. The fat was melting away and the muscle was building. I learned how to train around injuries. My knees were healing. By the time I retired in 2007, my knees were healed up and I was starting to move some heavy weight.
My workouts became short bouts of heavy weightlifting and fast body weight training, with lots of intensity and variety. In and out, total body workout in less than 45 mins a day.
Science has proven that short, high intensity workouts are superior to long, slow steady state endurance training for physique training. The days of hours spent in the gym are dead for the informed people.
The old ways work if you eat right. Most people do not. But it is still inefficient when you are busy and pressed for time.
This is me with no cardio at all- present day. I am healthier, stronger and have a much leaner physique at 45 yrs old by training no more than 45 min a day than when I was at 25 yrs old training 4 hours a day.
High intensity interval training, Tabata training and similar metabolic conditioning methods are vastly superior in regards to time spent vs results. Of course, runners and cardio queens will argue that point to death.
Studies have shown that exercising for more than 45-60 minutes dramatically cuts into any gains or progress that you could make. There are several reasons for this. Hormonal and metabolic effects of blood sugar levels, cortisol and other hormone fluctuations can bring your progress to a screeching halt. You flux back and forth between anabolic (muscle building) and catabolic (muscle breakdown) zones throughout each day. You are usually in a catabolic state during a hard workout. After about 20-30 minutes, your blood sugar levels are dropping and your body starts using other stuff to fuel the machine - protein and fat breakdown and conversion to sugar (I'm leaving out big fancy words on purpose like gluconeogenesis). Once these things start happening, you aren't really heading into a place where results are found.
Shorter, high intensity workouts using total body, multi- joint, compound movements hit all the major muscle groups and using interval protocols, your cardio output can be very high. You burn calories for extended periods of time through big words like EPOC. To get results from these shorter workouts, the intensity has to be very high. It would be hard to last an hour training at this level of intensity.
Everyone involved in serious body transformation training follows these modern science based methods. Stop the old ways of long pointless workouts with hours wasted trying to burn 800 calories in an hour, when you could be burning calories for up to 36 hours, from one 20 minute workout - if you do the work. Your body will thank you in the long run.
If you want to learn how you can burn up to 10% body fat in 4 weeks and lose up to 5 inches in as little as 10 days, message me.
Dempsey's Resolution Fitness