Maximum results – minimum time

February 8, 2009 at 12:24 pm Leave a comment

Think you have to do LOTS of cardio to speed up your fat loss? Think again!

Tell me, have you noticed anything about those people you see at the gym on the exercise bike or on the treadmill doing hours of cardio (usually with their headphones on)? Do they look the same today as they did last week, last month (last year)? If fat loss is what you want, then long slow and steady sessions of cardio work are not going to do it for you. Traditional cardio does little to boost your metabolism. In fact during a long cardio session your body begins to become more efficient by breaking down muscle for fuel. You DON’T want to lose muscle!

My tip – try Tabatas. Tabatas are short burst, high intensity interval training, so called because they are named after their creator, Izumi Tabata, PhD, a former researcher at Japan’s National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Kanoya.

You will get greater fat loss and more improvement in your fitness level from a four minute exercise session using Tabatas than from 60 minutes of steady state aerobics!  Intervals are the perfect solution! The shorter, more-intense your session, the more calories you burn. You also preserve lean muscle, which will make you look tight and lean as you reach your body shaping goals. In addition, the shorter, more intense sessions will have a more profound effect on the calories you continue to burn 24 hours after completing your interval session.

It’s not about time… IT’S ABOUT INTENSITY! Great news for those of us who don’t really have time to exercise!!! Can you find 4 minutes per day??? Then you can do TABATAS.

It is recommended that you do a 5-minute warm-up before you start, but if you are short of time this is optional and you can skip it. Note: in later years (40+), the warm up and stretching then a post-workout cool down and stretching again becomes more important.

This is how the TABATA session goes:
– You will alternate between 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest
– You will perform this 30 second interval 8 times, taking a total of 4 total minutes

Sounds easy, doesn’t it? During the high intensity 20 seconds you need to be working at MAXIMUM EFFORT. You will be amazed at how hard it is to keep going at high intensity for 20 seconds. You will really get your heart pumping and you will get a sweat up over the 4 minutes, believe me. Tabatas are challenging!

You can do any mode of cardio exercise that you like (eg outdoor/treadmill running, cycling, etc). You can also use exercises like jumping jacks and squats.

Here is a link to a site where you can see a video of someone doing TABATAS using various exercises.

Here is a link to a site where you can download a TABATAS MP3 file which you can use for yourself at home. It is very helpful to have someone telling you when to go and when to stop. Saves messing around with a stop watch.

Have a go at TABATAS. Email me if or leave me a comment on this blog and let me know how you go with it.

Here’s to your success.


Entry filed under: Fitness. Tags: , , , .


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