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

 

After my children were born, I was completely out of shape. I had been active before my first pregnancy in 2008. I saw a post on social media about a charity event that was hosted at the gym. It prompted me to check out the JKC website. I was immediately impressed by the professional content and decided to give it a try. The professionally crafted and uniquely tailored work outs, as well as the sense of accountability and commitment that they foster. I have not missed a workout since joining – contrary to other experiences I have had when purchasing gym memberships. The flexibility of booking and rescheduling workouts, made easy by an online app, also contributed to my success in meeting my fitness goals.

I enjoy every session, working out with Jon, Thomas and Craig, as well as the “JKC Community”. Anytime someone achieves a personal best, I enjoy the celebration and support everyone gives each other. For me, I fondly remember achieving personal bests on bench press, chin ups and the sled push, in particular.

I originally joined JKC because I was anxious about passing out and embarrassing myself since I hadn’t weight trained in a while and I’d hoped to find somewhere sympathetic. My husband @terry_hussey had been training at JKC and his success there made me miss the achievement you feel from a good workout. I went to meet Jon and immediately knew it was going to be a safe space for me. I was never judged for the fears I had and where I was starting from. Jon and Thomas made sure to check on me often, and found a way to challenge me but make me feel secure at the same time, and Terry and I were able to book sessions together, so working out became a shared win for us!

JKC is different from other gyms because of the personal growth you have outside JKC (the sessions inside JKC creates a great positive feedback loop!). You gain self confidence, learn how to show up for yourself, meet a community of newfound friends, and get the support of your trainers who are behind you 100%. I’ve left a scattered workout so proud of myself I’ve honestly shed a tear in the car on the drive home. JKC is the mental health relief valve I need to stay positive, and keep my anxiety and health related fears at bay.

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’m 40 years old & started training at JKC in 2015. The gym I was working out at closed and my husband recommended JKC. JKC meets you where you are in your fitness journey and tailors the work to help achieve your goals. I’ve trained with Jon & Thomas pre pregnancy, while pregnant and now post baby and they have helped me enormously to stay fit through all life phases.

I joke with the guys often that I’ve seen no change in my fitness level since joining the gym, but the reality is I’m in far better shape at 40 than I ever was at 30 thanks to them.

I’m 36 Years Old and started with JKC in 2013. In the past I’d often have motivated spurts of a gym routine but they would usually only last a month or so. It’s pretty easy to press the snooze button at 530 am when there’s no one waiting for you. The fact that the guys are always on time/prepared and motivated for your session adds a level of accountability to your shoulders to “get out of bed” and bring your best effort each time. From the pressure free trainers to the camaraderie that you create over time with the individuals you’re working out with, JKC is able to offer an experience many other gyms cannot.

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