jon-erik kawamoto personal trainerDo you want to lose weight (fat)? Most people do. We used to be concerned about how many calories we were burning DURING the workout. That’s how the fat burning zone was popularized. However, what’s more important is how many calories we burn DURING and AFTER the workout. When working out, don’t worry about what fat burning zone you should be in…the fat burning zone is so 1980s and early 1990s.

Same goes for people who run. Now, don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t apply to people who race and compete. This is targeted to people who want to look good naked! Long slow running is an aerobic (using oxygen) exercise that people usually do to lose weight. Same goes for people who use the stair master, spin bike or any other cardio equipment. Go to any gym bright and early and you’ll see all the cardio equipment full with very few people in the weight room. Well, that’s great, good for you for getting out there…but there is a better method.

Working anaerobically (without oxygen) means the intensity is cranked. When you train anaerobically, aerobic fitness is also improved, but the reverse doesn’t hold true. This method also increases EPOC…no…not a character from Star Wars…something referred to as Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption.

EPOC is the amount of calories you burn AFTER your workout. This process helps you recover and recuperate back to the state were before the workout. Some of the things included in EPOC is returning the blood glycogen levels (carbohydrate storage) back to normal, returning the heart rate back to normal and the removal of lactic acid. Therefore, the harder your session…the higher the EPOC. So, female or male; it doesn’t matter…put down those pink dumbbells and pick up some real weight!

A very popular protocol to ramp up the intensity has been termed the Tabata Protocol, after Dr. Izumi Tabata, PhD. Dr. Tabata has done some interesting research out of the National Institute of Fitness and Sport in Tokyo, Japan. He did a 6-week study in which one group of subjects (control group) rode the exercise bike at 70% of their maximal oxygen capacity for 5 days a week for 60 minutes per session. The experimental group cycled at 170% of their maximal oxygen capacity for 20 seconds followed by a 10 second easy recovery. This procedure was carried out for 5 minutes or eight 20-second bouts.

The control group’s aerobic fitness improved by 10% with no improvement in their anaerobic fitness. The experimental group’s aerobic fitness improved by 14% and their anaerobic fitness improved by 28%! Therefore, aerobics is inferior to improving overall fitness than hard interval training.

Keep in mind that the 20 sec hard and 10 sec easy protocol can be manipulated to suit your current fitness level. For example, 15 sec hard and 15 sec easy or 20 sec hard and 25 sec easy…it’s really up to you. Your mental toughness will really shine in these types of workouts because the intensity is so high, you’ll want to stop after the first 20 seconds!!

Another method to increase the intensity of your workout is called Escalating Density Training. Charles Staley explains in his book, Muscle Logic, how 15 minutes per exercise pair can improve strength and burn fat simultaneously. The idea is to find two antagonistic exercises, say the barbell bench press and the barbell row (muscles on the opposite side of the shoulder joints).

In this 15 minute time frame, which Staley calls a PR-zone, you’ll use a 10-RM (a weight that you could use for 10 repetitions) weight, and see how many reps you can bang out. You don’t perform 10 reps per exercise…if you do, you’ll be toast after the 2nd set. To control for fatigue, Staley has you perform 5 reps per exercise with your 10-RM. So, let’s say for example your 10 RM for the bench press is 185 lbs and your 10 RM for your bent over barbell row is 160 lbs. You would start your timer and perform 5 reps of the bench press with 185 lbs and then 5 reps of the bent over barbell row with 160 lbs. You would keep alternating this pattern for the full 15 minutes. Keep track of how many reps you perform per exercise with that weight and see if you can increase the density (how many reps you perform) the next time you do this workout. (Use the same weight). You can chose 3 antagonistic pairs and finish a great workout in just under an hour. To find out more about his technique, you can read his book.

So, check your program…are there areas that can be improved to challenge your metabolic threshold? Metabolic disturbance training is a great way to train, but you should always check with your doctor before taking part in such a demanding exercise program. The intensity is very high and all pre-program precautions should be covered.

Thanks for reading,

-JK

I’m 35 and I started at JKC in November of 2019. I was coming off the win of the Royal St. John’s Regatta in 2019, and our crew was chomping at the bit to be stronger and faster for 2020. The reputation of JKC leached into our group and away we went! Unfortunately the regatta was cancelled due to COVID-19, but I just loved JKC so much I stuck around. JKC is different from other gyms because the level of experience the team has is unparalleled. Jon, Thomas and Craig all mesh well together and mentor me in a way that I know they love what they do and are genuinely excited to guide me towards my goals (and beyond). I really enjoy the atmosphere, the sense of community and all the positive vibes that I experience in every session. There’s never a time I don’t want to go because I’m motivated by the team’s coaching style and I get results.

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 ❤️.

JKC was recommended to me by my good friend Casidhe Dyke. Cas had been training with JKC for a while, and both he and his father had seen great results from the personal training that Jon and Thomas were giving them. I was and still am primarily a triathlete and I’ve always struggled with injuries. I was talking to Cas about incorporating more strength training in my program to try and prevent injuries going forward and Cas suggested that I give JKC a try. I reached out to Jon not long after, and the rest is history! After working with Jon and Thomas for a few months, I was getting stronger, faster, and most importantly, I was staying injury-free. I ended up being able to train the whole season without significant injury and posted a personal best at Ironman Copenhagen in 2018. A big part of that was due to the strength training and coaching I received at JKC.

I started strength training at JKC in the Spring of 2021. I am in my 60’s but happy to say I feel much younger since joining this gym. I joined JKC upon the advice of a doctor. I went through some difficult medical issues last year, that’s when one of my doctors recommended strength training at JKC. I have been physically active most of my adult life but mainly running and completed many road races as I am a distance runner. Strength training has definitely benefited me by increasing my stamina and energy. It sure has enhanced my recovery over the past year. I have the added benefit of becoming a stronger runner as well.

I’m 34 and started at JKC in 2015. My wife joined while I was working away in 2015 and started making amazing progress while also completing exercises I’d never perform on my own. I felt I was missing out so I signed up. JKC helps in establishing goals while also having clear direction of what to do, and how, in each session. They also measure your progress which is another means of motivation! At other gyms I wouldn’t have a clear plan and would just use whatever equipment was free, it was hard to see any results. Between setting some personal bests and making good friends its hard to identify a favorite memory.  One that does come to mind was when I hit my target goal/PB in both bench and squats in the same session, big day.

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