interval training

I was wrong.

By | Balance, Challenge, Flexibly, Health, Strength, Uncategorized

This weekend, I am headed to Phoenix, AZ for the Function Aging Institute.  A fitness conference bringing the brightest minds in the world together who look to serve those 55 years old and above. It happens to land on my birthday (June 13th), but spending my birthday learning practical ways to help you improve the quality of your life is a pretty awesome way to spend a birthday if you ask me. I turn 32, and it has given me an opportunity to reflect back on the past 10 or so years of my personal workouts and the workouts I provide to my clients.
Back in my early 20s I would consider my workouts to be “bodybuilder” type workouts (although I never achieved massive muscle gains).  I would lift as heavy of weights as possible for 8-12 reps, 2-3 sets, most days of the week breaking my body up into “parts” and avoiding cardio like it was a toxic virus. While there was nothing inherently wrong with this type of training (and a lot of things right) it didn’t give me the same results as I am seeing now.
Call me old, but I am now more focused on WHAT I can do, rather than HOW I look. Don’t get me wrong, I still have some vanity and want to keep a 6 pack as long as I can, but HOW I feel and HOW I MOVE has become much more important.
I came across an old pic from 10 years ago (left) and a pic that was taken last week (right).


You can see in the pic from 10 years ago, I was a little more muscular, definitely had a bigger chest, and maybe a bit bigger arms. But looking back now, I wouldn’t consider myself to have been in great shape.  I could hardly run more than a couple blocks, my cardio was so bad, my legs were very weak (I skipped leg days), and my balance and agility weren’t great.
Fast forward 10 years, and I can MOVE better and FEEL so much better.  My joints don’t hurt anymore, I have much better endurance, and my resting heart rate is lower.  I am better at sports then when I was in high school and college, and I am more well rounded. I certainly can’t bench press as much as I use to, but I realized unless I am crushed under a car or trying to show off and do push ups with a girl on my back, it doesn’t really matter whether I bench press 200 or 300 lbs.
Why am I sharing all of this with you?
I encourage you to shift your focus from what your body looks like, to how it feels and moves.  Our bodies are our most valuable vehicle. When we move it the right way (exercise), and fuel it with the right foods, it will take us to amazing places and not limit us in the future.
I have created an online 6 week program that gives you the EXACT done-for-you workouts (you still need to do the workouts of course), and eating plan that I use and my clients use to get a body that looks great, but more importantly, moves and feels great. ->-> Click here to learn more. <-<-
If you are local to Madison and over the age of 55 and are looking to feel and move better our sold out program is now accepting 5 new clients.  Click here to learn more and to apply if you feel like you are a good candidate.

Aerobics = Fat Storage

By | Cardio Workouts, Uncategorized

sprintingI harp on this topic a lot and I apologize if it gets old!  But this is one of my BIG points regarding exercise that I want to ingrain into your head about cardio.  You DON’T and SHOULDN’T do long distance cardio if your goal is fat loss.  If you want to run a marathon for the challenge, the endorphins and the goal, by all means do it!  I am also not saying that everyone who runs long distance is overweight, there are many thin runners as well.  As a society that doesn’t exercise enough I have a hard time telling people not to do standard cardio, don’t get me wrong any movement is better than NO movement!

marathoner_sprinter2But there are millions of people out there, pounding the pavement in misery because they have been led to believe that this is THE BEST way to lose fat.  Unfortunately the research and evidence that I have seen by countless clients is that they are actually running into more fat!  Even if long distance runners aren’t overweight, many (who don’t do some weight training and core training) are very frail and weak because the body eats the muscle away to use for energy.

I have talked a few times about a far more effective type of training that burns fat up to 9 times faster than the steady state cardio.  I attribute this type of training as one of the biggest factors in getting the results and reputation I have gotten the past couple years.  Keep in mind, most people coming to my Fit Fun Bootcamps and MamaTone are people who already exercise and are frustrated with their results or lack there of.  I also get a lot of clients who are just looking for something different that is fun and new!  Just think how much more challenging it is to get someone results who is already extremely active compared to someone who has been sedentary, but these are the results that we get!

A guy that I follow and have lots of respect for is Dr. Pompa out of Philadelphia.  He specializes in helping those who are weight loss resistant.  I have found that about 80% of those who come to see me who are overweight or obese, I am able to help.  Another 5% don’t listen to what I say, and the other 15% seem to be doing everything right and still not getting results.  It is very frustrating for me as well as the client.  These types of challenges keep me up at night.  Dr. Pompa has some interesting things that he does and he believes many of the problems are due to poor hormonal communication or too many toxins, both biotoxins and metallic toxins.  I encourage you to check his research out.

Anyways back to the topic.  In this 10 minute video Dr. Pompa explains very well the point I was just making about why you should do interval training over standard cardio.


Besides the great weight loss effects, this style of training will greatly improve your 5K run times.  I have never met a bootcamper who hasn’t shattered their records from months or years prior by adding this type of training.  It will blow you away!

Please leave a comment!  What are you feelings towards this?  Do you agree or disagree?  Do you have any questions?  Please comment below.

Interval Training: The 21st Century Fat Loss Solution

By | Blog, bootcamps, Cardio Workouts, Uncategorized

If you have been following me for any length of time or have trained with me, you know the first thing I do with a client who sees me for fat loss and has been a chronic long distance cardio person, is tell them to stop immediately!

For many looking to lose weight long slow intensity cardio just doesn’t seem to work.  I don’t have all the answers to why, but just look around at everyone in the gym who is on treadmills or ellipticals at a very slow speed.  Many are overweight, not all of course, but many.  I am not saying running an hour per day 5 days a week will turn you fat, but for many running an hour a day won’t cause much if any fat loss. Read More

How To Burn Fat 10X Faster Then Tradional Cardio: Part 2

By | Blog, Cardio Workouts, Uncategorized
There were so many questions and requests from the first article and video that I felt it necessary to do another post on the topic of burst training. In particular, some were wanting the workout on the video, in writing, as well as some more beginner types of workouts.
I don’t want people to get stuck on numbers so much as intensity… there are no right or wrong ways to do these. Here are some general guidelines. Starting out a 3:1 rest to work ratio is appropriate. As you get more fit, lower it to 1:1 work to rest ratio. It doesn’t matter what mode of exercise you use… you could lay on your back on the ground and kick and punch, like a kid having a temper tantrum. It doesn’t matter, as long as at the end of the given work interval, you are COMPLETELY exhausted. If you could have continued another 30 seconds at a given intensity, it was too easy.
Here is the approximate workout Abby did. It is quite advanced, but a great challenge for those in good shape!
1. 3-5 min warmup
2. 30 sec at 8 mph @ 10% incline
3. 30 sec rest
4. Continue that 30 on 30 off at that speed for 10 minutes.
5. 15 sec on at 12 mph @ 10% incline
6. 45 sec break
7. Repeat for 8 minutes
8. Cool down for 5 minutes
9. Stretch after
10. Pat yourself on the back for finishing an extremely intense workout
The next three burst training programs I found on www.menshealth.com. I like how it shows some variations that you can try.
Interval Variation I: Standard

The following is a typical interval workout. You alternate the same period of low intensity with the same period of higher intensity.

1. 3 – 5 minutes warmup (light jog, low intensity, gradually increasing at the end of the warmup period)

2. 1 minute moderate or high intensity followed by 1 minute low intensity (repeat 6 – 8 times)

3. 3 – 5 minutes cooldown (light jog, low intensity, gradually decreasing by the end of the cooldown period)

Interval Variation II: Pyramid

This pyramid structure allows you to start with short bursts of speed, and then you’ll peak at the longest surge of energy in the middle of your workout before coming back down.

1. 3 – 5 minutes warmup

2. 30 seconds high intensity, 1 minute low intensity

3. 45 seconds high intensity, 1 minute low intensity

4. 60 seconds high intensity, 1 minute low intensity

5. 90 seconds high intensity, 1 minute low intensity

6. 60 seconds high intensity, 1 minute low intensity

7. 45 seconds high intensity, 1 minute low intensity

8. 30 seconds high intensity

9. 3 – 5 minutes cooldown

Interval Variation III: Sports Conditioning

Sports are unpredictable. This interval simulates some of that unpredictability by having you doing different times and different intensities. You can mix and match the orders and repetitions as much as you want. Rest longer after the periods in which you use the most energy.

1. 3 – 5 minutes warmup

2. 2 minutes moderate or high intensity followed by 2 minutes low intensity (repeat once

3. 30 seconds high intensity followed by 30 seconds low intensity (repeat four times)

4. 60-yard sprints (or 10 seconds if not running) followed by 90 seconds rest (repeat 6 – 10 times)

5. 3 – 5 minutes cooldown

In conclusion, beginners should rest for longer periods of time but still work at a high intensity. Intensity is all relative to the individual, so go more based off of heart rate max and perceived exertion, then specific speeds and inclines on a treadmill.

I would love to hear your feedback and questions about burst training. Try these workouts out and let me know how they go!

Burn Fat 10X Faster Then Traditional Exercise

By | Blog, Cardio Workouts, Uncategorized

I have gotten the reputation of being anti-cardio. It is true, that I think long slow cardio is a waste of time if your goal is fat loss. Long slow cardio has very little effect on overall fat loss. All long slow cardio does is slow the metabolism, by eating away the muscle, which in turn, directly decreases the metabolism. In order for the person to lose more weight with this technique, they must increase their time and distance. This becomes an ongoing battle with the bulge, that most people will lose.

Instead of doing cardio at 65% or less then max HR, try doing intervals, or a newer technique called “Burst Training.” Sprinters have known this all along. Sprinters do no more then 45 seconds of cardio at one time, yet they have the lowest body fat of any athlete. It is this intense training that gets results. Not only does it get results, but according to research, it gets results up to 10X faster then steady state low intensity cardio. In a society that doesn’t make the time for exercise, finding techniques that are more efficient is very important. I am not saying that long slow cardio can’t work, but works for very few people!

About a month ago I introduced you to a “Cardio Queen” named Abby. Her story resignated with many of you and is this most visited post to date. Check out Abby’s weight loss story. In short, she had been spending up to 8 hours a week running, and only got more overweight. It wasn’t until she stopped her cardio obsession, started intense weight training, burst training, and eating better, that she dropped 23 lbs.

So check out abby as she demonstrates her new type of cardio training that takes her less then 10 minutes 3X per week! I challenge you to keep up with her!

Answers To “How To Lose Weight”

By | Blog, Cardio Workouts, Lowerbody toning, Uncategorized

Awhile ago I asked everyone to share with me 3 questions you have about how to lose weight.  I got a lot of great responses and I apologize for just now getting back to answering some of them.  Every once in awhile, I will pick a couple of these questions and give my opinion.  Check out the previous post about questions and feel free to add your own questions for me to answer

#1 is from Rebekah: One thing that would be interesting to know is if you stop working out, how long (or how little) does it take to lose muscle? I’ve heard that it takes as little as a month for your body to revert and to be back at square one, so to speak.

Rebekah, it is true that if you stop working out for awhile you will begin to lose muscle and could put on fat depending on your nutrition.  A one week break won’t be a big deal, and in fact, I encourage you to take a week off of lifting every 3-4 months.  This can help heal any small injuries you might have and allow your body to recharge and get refocused.  From a cardio standpoint you will notice a decrease after a week, things might be a little tougher and you will be out of breath for a bit.  It takes a couple weeks to a month of not working out to really see the muscle start to decrease.  It depends on how long you have been working out, to go back to square one.  It would take longer then 1 month to revert back to before assuming you have been working out for more then 6 months.

This is why it is so important to make working out a lifestyle rather then a short term fix.  The good news is something called “muscle memory” which means that your muscles are able to get stronger, quicker if they had been there before.  I am amazed at how fast muscle and strength increases on someone who has been fit before and just slacked off for awhile. Read More