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

 

sumo deadlift

I had always wanted to start lifting weights and get stronger, but didn’t know where to start. I was looking not just for a gym, but for training on proper technique to prevent injury and a program designed for my specific goals. I also wanted a fun and supportive atmosphere to keep me coming back. JKC delivered on all of this and more.

Jon and Thomas have a wealth of knowledge that help their clients get the most out of their time in the gym. Programs are continuously modified to keep the workouts challenging. Even through everyone’s program is unique, you always have the coaches and other clients cheering you on and pushing you to achieve new bests.

I am turning 67 next month and I started my journey with JKC in 2018. Seven years ago I experienced significant foot pain which had a negative impact on my day to day activities. I learned that issues in other parts of the body need to be addressed to achieve a positive result. My doctor (Dr. Jessica Wade) suggested, along with some other therapies, that I could  benefit from the conditioning JKC had to offer. I previously had not trained in any gym. I observed how many gyms operated and had a sense that JKC would be more my style: training in a small group setting, having such personal attention, and a program meeting my specific needs is fantastic! I love the atmosphere at the gym. Everyone is accepted and you feel supported and comfortable.

The people and the training set JKC apart from other gyms or programs I’ve tried in the past. Truly Jon and Thomas meet you where are and help you get to where you want to be. There are no expectations and never any judgement. You can go there having the worst day and you always leave feeling better. Truly JKC has given me a level of strength and confidence I would not have had otherwise ❤️.

I saw an article in Men’s Journal that quoted Jon in about 2018 while traveling and was impressed that someone in St. John’s made that international magazine.  Jon spoke about an exercise called the Farmer’s Walk and I started working that into my routine at the YMCA. I tore that article out of the magazine and kept it, meaning to make contact, but got busy. Then I had lunch with an old friend Bruce Dyke. I hadn’t seen Bruce for a while and I remarked that he looked super healthy and fit. He told me about his, and his son Cas’, experience at JKC and then I remembered the Men’s Journal article! No coincidences!

The experience is unique on many levels – great people, camaraderie, passion, purpose, and dedication. Jon and Thomas are attentive, precise and understanding.  Their teaching has unlocked a new perspective for me with what our bodies are capable of. I still appreciate the YMCA, wonderful place, but I can’t imagine working out without Jon and Thomas now.

lisa jumping onto a box

JKC was recommended to me by a fellow runner. I was experiencing injuries, and feeling weak and fragile. When I started with JKC, Jon asked me about my goals and my focus. I wanted to concentrate specifically on running, and preventing injury. Jon developed a program for me that has enabled me to focus on my form and strength and has been flexible enough to enable me to train for many different races. I have been training with JKC for six years, and during that time I have enjoyed Jon and Thomas’s expertise in a very warm and supportive atmosphere.

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