As the warm days of summer start to wind down you may be beginning to worry about how your progress in the gym will be affected by the numerous food holidays coming up: Thanksgiving, Halloween, and the nuclear bomb of eating events, Christmas, with all its parties and events.

 

Maybe you think that the best approach to combat excess weight gain while still enjoying the events is countless hours of steady state cardio, you know, long runs on the treadmill, torturous climbs on the stair master and endless cycles on the spin bike.

 

***Or, you could try a much more efficient approach***

Interval Training!

 

What is interval training?

Interval training is high intensity bursts of activity interspersed with lower intensity active rest breaks. A very simple example would be running up a long set of stairs very quickly then walking back down and repeating.

Why do interval training?

The main advantage of interval training is the short amount of time it takes to elicit excellent benefits. In fact, a recent review paper that looked at the benefits of high intensity interval training (Carrasco, 2017) found that in most cases, interval training resulted in approximately twice as much weight loss as traditional steady state training.

So how much should I be doing?

The review paper referenced above looked at eight research studies all of which used varying interval lengths and total times. Essentially, it makes little difference as long as the intensity is very high. Shoot for about 90% of your max heart rate during your high intensity interval.

How do I calculate my max heart rate?

 

Your max heart rate is based on your age. It is calculated as: 220-Age
For a 45 year old individual, their max heart rate is 220-45 = 175
Using 90% would give:175*0.90 =158
So…our hypothetical trainee would try to get their heart rate up to about 160 beats per minute during their high intensity interval

 

Making interval training work for you:

  • Aim for intervals of about 10 seconds of high intensity pace (fast running, cycling, swimming, etc) and 20 seconds of lower intensity rest (Walking, etc).
  • Try to sustain this effort for about 7-8 minutes
  • Be sure to warm-up and cool down for about 5 minutes before and after the intervals
  • If you want to increase your calorie burn, add resistance. This could involve pushing a sled :), using a resisted bike, such as a fan bike, or performing loaded carrying exercises such as farmer’s walks.

The Take Home Message

  • Interval training is a fast and effective way to experience awesome fat loss results.
  • For it to be effective though, the intervals must be very intense. You definitely should not be able to speak while doing the high intensity portion.
  • If you have any questions about how to incorporate interval training into your routine, please ask Jon and Thomas. They are happy to help!

 

Reference:
Carrasco, L. (2017). The effect of sprint training for reducing body fat in women. Strength and Conditioning Journal, 39(4), 89-96.

Prepared for the JKC Blog by Coach Thomas

 

I had virtually no real experience using weights and felt intimidated going gyms. I avoided gym-goers using free weights, especially when hearing that loud crash, as they would drop weights to the floor. I thought this was to show everyone around them that they owned that area and that I shouldn’t go anywhere near! So I guess I just wanted to learn how to lift weights safely in a gym environment.

I spent over 18 years in the British Military, so I got to use some nice gyms. 99% of my time and experiences in those gyms was spent doing cardiovascular workouts, because I could just jump on a treadmill, plug in my head phones and do my own thing! JKC is different, because they have given me the confidence to use free weights and equipment that I had feared for years. Their demonstrations and knowledge is impeccable and I thank them for their continuous belief and support they show me at every session.

My original reason for joining JKC was to get some sage advice to help with my running. I had been looking for awhile, came across Jon, met for an assessment, and was quite happy with how that all went. Apart from the running specific strengthening and conditioning approaches, JKC is different from other gyms as I am a fan of the small group sessions where everyone has their own goals and individualized programs. As well, the run coaching is super. All the coaches go the extra mile to make sure you get the best out each training session. They are fantastic motivators! My favourite memory is deadlifting 330lbs. Making a lot of great friends and meeting some really cool people is pretty high up on that list, too.

I originally chose JKC to help me rehab following back surgery. JKC was the first gym where a trainer took the time to help me identify my goals and tailor my workouts to achieve them in a safe and doable manner. 🏋🏼 Jon & Thomas are both highly professional and knowledgeable. 👨🏼‍🎓 With their guidance and informative explanations 🗣 they have enabled me to reach my ever evolving goals. At JKC I’m guaranteed fun 😆, interesting 🙃 and diverse workouts, with Jon & Thomas forever supportive and encouraging. 👏🙌👍👊

Not having much if any experience with professional gyms I though it would be along the lines of going to a facility and doing your own thing, getting some instructions from time to time, if you asked for it, and for most part working out on your own, in a large impersonalized setting. I was a bit apprehensive as I figured I’d be standing around a lot looking at all this equipment wondering what to do with it, or worst doing something to hurt myself. Well I couldn’t have been more wrong. Both Jon and Thomas are very attentive, professional trainers, who lay-out an exercise program, from start to finish, for you. They demonstrate the exercise they want you to do and then watch you do it to make sure you got it right. Jon and Thomas are very thorough, patience and non-assuming.

I have never previously seen the passion and level of care that Jon and Thomas bring to everyone who works out at JKC. Their knowledge, insight and skills are extraordinary, and they work with everyone individually to ensure the best possible results. The attention to detail and to every person’s specific requirements and goals, and the incredible, constant encouragement they provide, is, in my opinion, what truly distinguishes JKC from any other program in which I’ve participated. I am extremely pleased with the progress I’ve achieved thus far, and it’s largely attributable to Jon and Thomas and the approach they take to training and working with people.

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