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12 Days of Fitness 2012 – Day 7: 3 Surefire Ways to Get the Physique You Desire

December 16, 2012 0 Comments

www.womenshealthbenefical.blogspot.comToday’s holiday fitness tip is short and to the point, just as it should be when you approach your workout.  Forget about thinking you need to put in an hour at the gym or making the excuse that you just don’t have the time. Get at it and get on with your day.

#1: Use High Intensity Intervals

Contrary to what mainstream fitness has been saying for decades, long slow cardio is not the most direct route to fat loss. It’s true that moderate intensity, steady state exercise uses primarily fat oxidation as fuel, but that isn’t the total picture. Why are high intensity intervals so much more effective? Interval circuits place such an intense demand on the system that it takes your body up to 36 hours to work its way back to homeostasis (a normal state). That means you’ll incinerate calories for hours after you finish training, even if you’re just lying on the sofa. That aftershock of fat burning potential is called EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption). Plus, high intensity interval training is fast! You no longer have to spend 30 minutes to an hour jogging your life away on a treadmill. You can spend more time doing other things.

#2. Train With Full-Body Movements

A complex movement is an exercise that involves multiple joints and muscles working in a single movement (i.e. squat) versus an isolation movement which only requires one joint and generally one muscle (i.e. biceps curl). Putting it all together hits the body harder than training a bunch of isolation exercises, and it requires greater resources to recover from, which means you get a greater training effect. If you’re used to conventional gym routines, this will blow you away as you’ll be able to do more total work in less time. A properly programmed full-body routine ensures that your body remains balanced. You won’t waste time dealing with overuse injuries, or overcompensations created by doing the same repetitive movements in the same planes day after day. And you won’t have to mess around with split routines (legs one day, upper body the next, chest and back day, etc). You can hit it and forget it all in one session.

#3. Don’t Get Stuck In Simplicity

If you’re not teaching your nervous system new tricks, you’re losing the body composition battle on two fronts. First, you’re limiting your output. If your nervous system isn’t firing on all cylinders, you won’t be able to lift, push, explode and pull as much or as fast as you should. That means less muscle gain and reduced fat loss. Second, learning a new skill is much more CALORICALLY EXPENSIVE than repeating a skill you’re good at. If you don’t add new skills, you severely limit your fat burning potential. But there’s a fine line to walk. If you just throw random new skills at your body without developing long term motor coordination, you’ll only get random results — and you’ll limit the performance capacity..

Til next time, train smart, eat well, and be better.

See you tomorrow for Day 8 of the 12 Days of Fitness

My 2012 Fitness Challenge personal update – 35, 000 push ups done as of publishing time



About the Author:

Jeff Harrison is a fitness coach based in Pottstown, PA. He received a BS in Exercise and Sport Science from Penn State University and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), NSCA Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-CPT) and ACE Advanced Health and Fitness Specialist (ACE-AHFS). Jeff's articles have been published in peer-reviewed journals as well as consumer oriented websites and magazines.

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