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Showing posts with label Interval Training. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Interval Training. Show all posts

Off Season Training + Weightlifting

If you're like me the winter is your off season when it comes to sports training. In my case my primary sport is archery and during the winter I don't have many archery students and I am not doing personal practice as much either.

Plus with COVID going on it has put a damper on how many archery students I have had in the past year and how many people have currently signed up for archery lessons in 2021. (Many people seem to be delaying archery lessons until they have a better idea of what the COVID numbers will be.)

However that doesn't mean I just stop exercising when it comes to my personal fitness. I am a personal trainer/sports trainer after all, and I need to stay in shape too.

This is why I have a list of daily exercises that I do every day in order to stay in shape. They are:


100 Jumping Jacks
100 Sit Ups
100 Push Ups
100 Chin Ups
100 Bicep Curls
100 Tricep Lifts
100 Shoulder Lifts


Now you may have noticed that it is a relatively short list, but trust me the size of the list doesn't compare to the amount of time required to do these exercises.

I chose these 7 exercises because they give a full body workout and require the bare minimum when it comes to equipment. All you really need is 1 chin up bar and 2 dumbbells.

I also recommend MUSIC while you are doing these exercises. It will help motivate you and keep you going even when the exercises start to feel boring.

The first 4 things on the list are all body weight exercises designed to target my legs, arms, abdominals, biceps and shoulders. Only the chin ups require the use of the chin up bar. The last three are weight lifting exercises using dumbbells.

They don't need to be heavy dumbbells. I am currently using a 20 lb dumbbell, but my goal is to work my way up to 25 lbs and eventually 30 lbs as I build my endurance and strength. If you're a beginner when it comes to weightlifting I recommend starting with 10 or 15 lbs. It is better to start with a low number and then build endurance + strength first, and then when you get to the higher poundages it will be easier and you won't lose your motivation so easily.

Doing 100 jumping jacks is arguably the easiest and fastest of all 7 exercises. Takes less than 2 minutes to do them if you can do the full 100 jumping jacks all at once.

Doing 100 sit ups is more difficult if you're out of shape and not used to doing sit ups. You may need to do 10, 20 or 50 at a time and then take breaks.

Same thing goes with doing 100 push ups and 100 chin ups. Don't be afraid to separate them into smaller numbers.

If you have difficulty doing push ups you can do Wall Push Ups instead. They're comparatively easier and less stressful and you can control how much effort is required by standing further or closer from the wall.

If you don't have a chin up bar handy (or are physically unable to do a single chin up currently) then you can just skip over that one for now and just focus on the other exercises.

Similarly the 100 bicep curls, the 100 tricep curls, and the 100 shoulder lifts may need to be broken up into 10 sets of 10 or 5 sets of 20. I currently do 5 sets of 20. Nobody is expecting you to do all 100 all at once.

What about a Personal Trainer or a Gym Membership?

Having a personal trainer doesn't really make a lot of sense right now during COVID. Neither does a gym membership.

Anyone who is clinging to their gym membership these days should just give up and focus on doing exercises at home or buy a bicycle. Or buy a canoe. Or buy other sporting equipment for use outdoors.

Myself I like the sound of buying a canoe or kayak.

So save your money. Don't bother getting a personal trainer or gym membership for now. Spend your money elsewhere.

Eg. Get yourself some archery lessons in Toronto when the COVID numbers go down and you feel more confident about doing such things. Until then stay home, exercise at home, buy a bicycle, and maybe consider a canoe to be a fun investment.

How to do Interval Training

With the above exercise it is possible to play with the order and do Interval Training instead of just doing everything in their stated order. Instead try doing the following:

20 Bicep Curls, 20 Jumping Jacks, 20 Shoulder Lifts, 20 Sit Ups, 20 Tricep Lifts, 20 Push Ups, 20 Chin Ups

And then repeat the same order 4 more times, for a total of 100 each.

Or come up with your own order or change how many you do per set. You could do 10 rounds of 10 sets. Whatever works for you.

The idea of Interval Training is to alternate between different kinds of exercises that are more intense and more relaxing, so that you keep your heart rate elevated, but still allow yourself breaks in between the more intense exercises. Thus if you find one type of exercise to be too intense you will want to change the order to suit your needs.

Most likely you will find the 20 Chin Ups to be the most challenging of the bunch so I recommend taking a break before attempting that one. Many people won't even be able to do 5 or 10 Chin Ups at once so don't be surprised if you cannot make it to 20. Just try your best and then move on to the next exercise.

Just because you failed today doesn't mean that someday you won't succeed.

Each time you try and fail is just another stepping block towards succeeding.

Four Extremely Effective HIIT Workouts

Guest Post by

HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) is one of the best and most effective ways of shedding fat and increasing your overall fitness. The best thing about HIIT is it doesn’t take much of your time, making it a perfect workout for busy individuals. After successfully completing a HIIT workout, you’ll feel good and satisfied with a refreshed and clear state of mind.

Many studies have shown that by doing intense workouts helps boost your metabolic rate and ultimately burn more fat. If you are the kind of a person whose job is to sit more than 8 hours in front of a laptop or several hours at the office, then HIIT is probably the ideal cardio routine for you.

Here are five HIIT workouts that will definitely help you lose more fat and, of course, it’ll be very challenging – especially if you’re a complete newbie. Don’t worry, it will find a special place in your heart once you see those amazing results.

1. 8 Minute HIIT Workout

Let’s start with more resting time to allow your body to become used to the intensity and stress. You don’t need any equipment, belts or weights for this. There will be 8 one-minute rounds of 20 seconds of working and 40 seconds’ rest in between each exercise.
  • Jab Cross, Front Right: With your right foot in front of the left and hips facing towards your left, bring your arms in a boxing position and jab forward with your right arm. Finally, throw a cross punch with your left arm and allow your body to rotate towards the right.
  • Jab Cross, Front Left: Same as the above but with the opposite foot. Bring the left foot in front of the right one with your hips facing towards the right. Bring your arms up in a boxing position and jab with your left arm. Throw a cross punch with your right arm and allow your body to rotate towards the left.
  • Jumping Jacks: Keep your feet hip-width apart and arms extended by your sides. Now, jump with your feet out and swing your arms above your head. Jump back to your starting position while lowering your arms back down to your sides. Do as many reps as you can.
  • Bodyweight Sumo Squats: Slightly different from normal squats. Position your feet more than shoulder-width apart with your toes pointing at a 45-degree angle. Keep your back straight while lowering your body till your thighs are parallel to the floor. Drive yourself back up to the starting position.

2. 20 Minute HIIT Workout

An ideal workout for maximizing calorie burning and increasing your metabolic rate. There will be 20 rounds of 45 seconds of work and 15 seconds of rest in between exercises. When you hit the 10-minute mark, take a two-minute break and continue.
  • Push-ups: Using the normal push-up technique, do as many reps as you can. Keep your hands more than shoulder-width apart and don’t allow your back to arch.
  • Bodyweight Squats: Unlike the sumo squats, these are just normal-stance squats -- your feet under your hips.
  • Butt Kicks: Stand in an area where you'll have enough space around you. Now, jog in place and kick the left heel back so that it touches your butt. Do the same with your right heel.
  • Tricep Dips: Take a chair and place it against a wall for support. Now place your hands on the edge with your back towards the chair. Straighten your legs out in front of you while keeping the balance on your palms. Lower your body by bending your elbows and press up. Go for maximum repetitions.
  • Side Lunges: You’ll be putting your body weight on your heels with your toes pointing forward. Step towards your right in a deep, lateral lunge and keep your knee above your toes. Switch positions and do the same for the other side.

3. 5/10/15 HIIT Workout

This workout demands less time and is ideal for beginners. There will be only 5 seconds of rest in between exercises for maximum intensity.
  • 5 Pull-ups: Grip the pull-up bar with your hands wider than shoulder width. Now quickly perform 5 pull-ups without your body's momentum.
  • 10 Kettlebell Snatches: You need a kettlebell for this workout. Place it between your feet. Now bend your knees and push your butt back. Look in front of you and swing the kettlebell back in between your legs. Now, quickly reverse your direction and drive it through using your hips and knees. This way the kettlebell will be swinging in an upward direction. As soon as it reaches shoulder height, quickly rotate your hand and punch straight up.
  • 15 Kettlebell Figure 8's: Grab the kettlebell and place it between your legs. Bend your body in the same way as in kettlebell snatches. Now lift the kettlebell and pass it to your other hand between your legs in such a way that it forms an 8-figure.

4. The Quick 4-Minute HIIT Workout

Pretty easy, but will definitely make you sweat. Here is what you have to do without any rest in between the sets:
  • Plank: Drop down into a plank and hold this position for one minute.
  • Mountain Climber: From the plank position, get into a push-up position. Raise your hips, bend your knees and try to touch your right knee to your chest. Do the same with the left knee as quickly as possible.
  • Jumping Jacks: Use the same technique for jumping jacks and aim for maximum reps. and is the mecca for bodybuilding, fitness, gym motivation and, of course, hearty gym meme's. Regularly introducing fans to new trends in training, nutrition, gear and technology. Join over 3,000,000 monthly bro's and fit girl's today.

A Six Month Plan to Lose 10 Pounds using 6 Minute Exercises

Lets pretend you currently weigh 200 lbs and you want to lose 10 lbs over a 6 month period (or 20 lbs over the course of a year). What would you need to do to accomplish that using purely exercise and no changes to your diet?

Well, first lets look at the math.

10 lbs is the equivalent of 35,000 calories.

Divided up into 6 months, that is a goal of losing 5833.33 calories per month. Or 194.44 calories per day.

If you go for a simple 6 minute walk during which you walk 0.5 km, a person who weighs 200 lbs will burn 37 calories. (Admittedly that is a fairly slow and leisurely walk.)

The person in question would need to do that same walk 157.65 times per month to burn the necessary calories to meet their monthly goal. That would be roughly 5.25 walks per day.

So a 6 minute leisurely walk just isn't going to cut it.

But a slightly faster pace and more time, 30 minutes walking 2.7 km, that would burn 200 calories.

A significantly faster pace, jogging for 15 minutes a distance of 2.0 km, that would burn 188 calories. Counting the Afterburn Effect, it would end up being over 200 calories.

However if the goal is to get the Afterburn Effect, then you would actually get the best results with the least amount of effort by using Interval Training.

Sample Interval Training Routine

1 minute running or jogging, followed by 5 minutes of walking.
1 minute running or jogging, followed by 5 minutes of walking.
1 minute running or jogging, followed by 5 minutes of walking.
1 minute running or jogging, followed by 5 minutes of walking.
1 minute running or jogging, followed by 5 minutes of walking.

So the person is getting in 5 minutes of running/jogging, which gets the heart pounding hard, following by light exercise in the form of walking. By spacing it out into intervals it causes a combination of multiple hormonal releases and multiple triggers of the fat burning Afterburn Effect. Interval Training is also easier for people who lack stamina and endurance, and over time they can change the routine to add more time jogging and less time walking. As a result they are burning fat, and building endurance so that they will later be able to burn fat at a faster rate.

The above routine would burn over 250 calories, plus a bonus amount depending on the Afterburn Effect. In theory they could do less time, 25 minutes instead of 30, and still be burning the 200 calories per day.

So what about 6 Minute Cardio Routines?

Well, you are not going to burn 200 calories in six minutes. That is basically impossible. Even the most intense exercise won't be able to burn 200 calories in six minutes.

But a 200 lb person jumping rope (fast) for six minutes will burn 108 calories. That means that if a person did that twice per day (once in the morning, once in the afternoon/evening) they could burn 216 calories per day.

So it is possible to break the 200 calories per day mark by doing 6 minute cardio exercises, but you would need to choose a very intense exercise and most people will not be able to do an intense exercise for 6 minutes straight.

Other intense exercises and the calories burned for a 200 lb person:
  • 6 minutes of Jumping Jacks, approx. 73 calories.
  • 6 minutes of Sprinting/Running 8 mph, approx. 122 calories.
  • 6 minutes of Kettlebell Training, varies on the weight of the kettlebell. Approx. 90 calories.
  • 6 minutes of Kickboxing, approx. 90 calories.
  • 6 minutes of Cycling, approx. 103 calories.
  • 6 minutes of Rowing Machine, approx. 79 calories.
  • 6 minutes of Stair Climbing, approx. 64 calories.
Notice something about all of the above exercises? They are all exercises that use both the legs and arms. Want to know what else burns lots of calories? Swimming.

Here are the same numbers but for different kinds of swimming exercises, again calculated for a person who weighs 200 lbs:
  • 6 minutes of Leisure Swimming : 71 calories
  • 6 minutes of Backstroke : 82.5 calories
  • 6 minutes of Front Crawl (Slow) : 82.5 calories
  • 6 minutes of Breaststroke : 118 calories
  • 6 minutes of Front Crawl (Fast) : 131 calories
  • 6 minutes of Butterfly : 131 calories
So if a person really loves swimming, this is certainly an option. Doing the 6-minute Butterfly exercise 300 times over 150 days (5 months) would burn 39,300 calories or 11.2 lbs. Doable? It really depends on how much you love swimming.

What about dieting?

After seeing the amount of exercising many people may be thinking "Hmm, maybe I should just diet instead."

In which case you will want to reduce your daily intake of calories to a more reasonable level. Your best bet is to be calorie counting, as that multiplies your chances of success. Aim to be consuming 200 calories less than the normal amount of calories you need per day, which means you will be burning fat stores instead. So if your body burns 1800 calories per day, aim to eat only 1600 per day.

So yes, dieting is certainly an option.

Or you could do both, diet and exercise. The combination of both is a surefire way of burning more calories than you are consuming. It really depends how much you want to lose and over what time period. Trying to burn 10 lbs in 1 month is possible, but would be extremely grueling. Doing the same amount, but spread over 6 months is much more reasonable.

Happy Exercising!

Zen Relaxation between Exercises

If you are not already familiar with Interval Training it is the concept of alternating exercises in a routine so you are alternating between high intensity exercises and low intensity exercises. HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) for example is one brand of Interval Training.

One way of doing this would be:

Jogging for 5 minutes, walking for 2 minutes, Sprinting for 1 minute;
Jogging for 5 minutes, walking for 2 minutes, Sprinting for 1 minute;
Jogging for 5 minutes, walking for 2 minutes, Sprinting for 1 minute;

Do that for 40 minutes and then walk home and you've had a pretty productive workout.

The benefits of such a program means you are building endurance and speed, but you're not overtaxing your heart rate - it also means you can change it up regularly. Interval Training is very flexible in that you can change it and adapt it to whatever you want to do. The only really challenge is measuring the time you use for each exercise - I use music for my changes myself, each song is a different exercise, but there are also smart phone apps with buzzers that you can use that tell you when to switch to a different exercise.

For weightlifters for example they might alternate between heavier weights on barbells, and then switch to light weight dumbells, and then jog or skip rope for 10 minutes before hitting the heavy weights again. On any particular day they might vary how much time they dedicate to each exercise, or they might do the exact same exercise every day just because they love having the same routine and not having to think about it.

Using Zen relaxation techniques in-between different exercises, this is another way you could change the way you exercise.

Say for example a person wanted to create their own approach to Zen Archery training. They might do the following for two hours:

1. Shoot for 10 minutes.
2. Meditate for 10 minutes.
3. Shoot for 10 minutes.
4. Read zen poetry for 10 minutes.
5. Shoot for 10 minutes.
6. Breathing exercises (focus on deep belly breathing, do not use your chest) for 10 minutes.
7. Shoot for 10 minutes.
8. Light yoga for 10 minutes.
9. Shoot for 10 minutes.
10. PMR (progressive muscular relaxation) for 10 minutes.
11. Shoot for 10 minutes.
12. Meditate for 10 minutes.

And then pack up your archery gear and head home feeling relaxed, refreshed and the feeling of having accomplished something today.

I am just using archery as an example here, but the concept could be applied to any sport or activity. By mixing in meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, PMR and even zen poetry you can turn your exercise routine into a more relaxing and thoughtful process - making it the best part of your day.

The Piecemeal Workout

The concept of a piecemeal workout is simple. Divide however much time you have to workout into 1 minute segments and then do X different exercises, wherein X is the total number of minutes you have available.

So for example if you have 20 minutes available, you are doing 20 different exercises for 1 minute each. Or if you have 60 minutes to workout you are doing 60 different exercises (possibly with a few minutes break during that time).

I recommend including a couple minutes of doing different kinds of stretches in there too, closer to the middle and the end of the workout. That will reduce muscle fatigue and act like a relaxing exercise in-between harder exercises.

For fun you can also make it into an interval training workout, whereby you alternate high intensity exercises with low intensity exercises.

Or whatever you want to do. Just keep it simple and avoid too many pieces of equipment. It is better if you can limit yourself to say 4 dumbbells, a skip rope and a yoga mat.

You can make the focus of your piecemeal workout on weightlifting, or it can be cardio, or it can be a mix of cardio and weightlifting (like perhaps 70% cardio and 30% weightlifting). It all depends on whether your goals are more to lose weight, build endurance or build muscle or all three.

So for example lets say you did the following...

1. Yoga, 1 minute.

2. Burpees with push ups
, 1 minute.

3. Squats with weight
, 1 minute.
4. Push ups
, 1 minute.

5. Mountain climbers
, 1 minute.

6. 2 arm bent row
, 1 minute.

7. Punches
, 1 minute.

8. Alternating front kicks
, 1 minute.

9. Bicep curls on knees
, 1 minute.

10. Lateral raises
, 1 minute.

11. Walking lunges with weights
, 1 minute.

12. Jump rope
, 1 minute.

13. Jumping jacks
, 1 minute.

14. Side kicks, 30 seconds each side.

15. Overhead extension
, 1 minute.
16. Wall sit
, 1 minute.

17. Five Sun Salutations
, 1 minute.
18. Alternating low back extension
, 1 minute.

19. Bicycle Crunches
, 1 minute.

20. Front plank
, 1 minute.

If you are doing longer workouts you will need a longer list of exercises to do. In which case please browse for more examples of exercises you can add to your list. I have hundreds of different exercises listed on here, especially in the Frugal Exercises section since most of those are bodyweight exercises.

After your workout remember to do some light stretches. Helps reduce muscle fatigue.

The 2% Workout

If I was to write an exercise book I think I would call it "The 2% Workout".


Because 30 minutes is 2.08333% of your day.

The idea of the book essentially would be to that people should exercise for 30 minutes per day and burn as many calories as they can during that time period.

And since 30 minutes is only a little over 2% of your day there really isn't any excuses for why people cannot use 2% of their day to get fit.

Ask yourself:

"Are you willing to use 2% of your day to get fit 
and get the body you've always wanted?"

And if you answer yes, then it is time to start using that 2% to achieve your goals.


Once you say yes the next thing you need to is schedule the time.

That means you need to find 30 minutes in your day to exercise and do nothing but exercise (and maybe listen to music or watch TV while you exercise).


It also doesn't matter so much what exercise you pick - as long as it is burning lots of calories it is going to be beneficial. The list below is some popular / fun exercises that you can choose from or come up with your own.

Notes - I listed the moderate versions of various exercises because some people may not be able to do the vigorous exercises for 30 minutes. All calorie calculations below are for an 191 pound individual, which is the average weight of an American Male - since 67% of American men are overweight or obese, the average number should be closer to what many people are in weight. If you want more accurate calculations there are many calorie calculators available online and also apps for your SmartPhone.

Archery - 149 calories in 30 minutes.

Boxing Punching Bag - 258 calories in 30 minutes.

Calisthenics, Moderate - 195 calories in 30 minutes.
Cycling, 12-14 mph - 378 calories in 30 minutes.

Cycling, Leisurely - 172 calories in 30 minutes.

Fencing - 258 calories in 30 minutes.

Hatha Yoga - 120 calories in 30 minutes.

Hocky or Road Hockey - 350 calories in 30 minutes.

Jogging - 304 calories in 30 minutes.

Pushups/Situps/Etc - 206.5 calories in 30 minutes.

Swimming, Moderate - 264 calories in 30 minutes.

Weight Lifting, General - 149 calories in 30 minutes.

What this tells you is that if you want to do something more aggressive you might to choose activities like boxing and road hockey, because they burn a lot of calories because they are heavy cardio activities. Cycling, swimming and other cardio exercises also burn lots of calories and this will make a fundamental difference in burning fat.


The Afterburn Effect is a metabolic condition whereby your metabolism is raised far above its normal rate and your body burns roughly 500 calories more over the next 24 - 48 hours and you end up feeling really energetic and positive about yourself.

It is caused by raising your blood pressure up to roughly 85% of its maximum potential - which is more easily done through cardio exercises that get your blood pumping fast. Thus the really high cardio exercises like running, vigorous swimming, boxing a punching bag, sports like road hockey, soccer, etc... they can vastly increase your calorie burn because they are more likely to trigger the Afterburn Effect.

Thus lets pretend you spend 30 minutes every day boxing a punching bag. Each time you do this you put some serious effort into it and get your heart rate up to 85% roughly.

Math wise for someone who weighs 191 lbs, this will mean they burned 258 calories and will burn an extra 500 calories over the next 24-48 hours.

In a week they will burn 5,306 calories - or roughly 1.52 pounds.

In 30 days 22,740 calories - or roughly 6.5 pounds.

In a year (364.25 days), 276,101.5 calories or 78.9 pounds. Possibly more if you are eating healthier as you progress. (Less if you aren't eating healthy, or if you are doing exercises that build muscle through strength training or endurance-strength training because you will gain muscle weight during the same time period.)

Don't worry about your weight so much - go based on how you are feeling physically. Your weight can deceive you if you are gaining muscle weight while losing fat at the same time. If you want to measure progress use a tape measure around your middle.


Find ways to have fun while exercising. Sports like tennis, cycling, boxing, archery, fencing, martial arts - these are all great ways to exercise and have fun at the same time. You will not lack for motivation if you are doing an activity that you love.

The Afterburn Effect

The Afterburn Effect is a little known but very useful way to burn calories.

Whenever you get your heart rate up to approx. 80% of its maximum (for your age category) it kickstarts a chemical process whereby your body starts consuming more fat in your body. [Note: A similar effect is caused when you take cold showers, which starts burning brown fat.] This bio-chemical process will burn roughly 500 calories (exact results vary on the person and the exercise you did to kickstart it) over the next 24 hours.

Once started the Afterburn Effect burns through lots of calories and for the next 24 hours you feel really energetic and alive - and you are burning calories without realizing it. Over the next day you will feel less hungry and more energetic. The loss of hunger will be due to burning fat stores in massive amounts.


#1. Sprinting really hard for several minutes. Lets say you sprint / run as fast as you can for 6 minutes and then stop. You will be out of breath, but the Afterburn Effect will be triggered.

#2. Cycling really hard.

#3. Fast Jogging - Not exactly running, but not jogging either. It may take longer than sprinting, but it will eventually get your heart rate way up there. Jogging by itself is not a guarantee that you will get your heart rate high enough so you have to push yourself to go faster than normal.

#4. Swimming, the faster the better.

#5. High Intensity Interval Training - The more intense the exercise the better the Afterburn Effect will be.

Basically any kind of cardio exercise which gets your heart pumping really fast will cause you to kickstart the Afterburn Effect. Any kind of high intensity training, including interval training or adrenaline sport, can kickstart the extra fat burn.

If you do a cardio exercise, like boxing for example, and then reach a point whee you are out of breath and have to stop then you probably hit the point where you kickstarted the Afterburn Effect.


#1. Exercise FASTER at the beginning of your exercise routine.

#2. Use Interval Training to give yourself breathers in between intense exercises.

#3. Use a heart monitor so you can get a measurement of how well you are raising your heart rate.

#4. Exercise once in the morning, once in the afternoon and once in the evening around 7 PM. 5 to 10 minutes each time will do it, as long as the exercises you are doing are intense and getting your heart rate up.

Number 4 above is super important, because it can cause a Double or Triple Afterburn Effect, causing you to burn intense amounts of fat in an hurry. It won't burn 1000 or 1500 calories, but it can raise it above 500 to around 700 to 900 calories. Do that 4 or 5 days in a row and you've already lost a pound of fat. Every day for a month and that is about 6 or 7 pounds, all for doing 10 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes in the afternoon, and 10 minutes in the evening.


Honestly. It is the same excuses people usually give for not exercising. "Don't have the time." "My knees hurt." "I always forget to exercise." Things like that.

The solution therefore is to make a schedule, find the time in your schedule, and if your knees hurt or something like that then find a cardio exercise which doesn't hurt your knees (eg. boxing).

If you find the time you can burn the calories so fast you will be amazed by the results.

And what is better is that these high intensity exercises also work very well for people with thyroid conditions. So you've got no excuses people. Add some intensity to your daily workout and see better results!

High Intensity Interval Training pays off well - but is it for everyone?

Interval training is a great way to exercise. Nobody disputes that.

And high intensity interval training (HIIT) burns even more calories, and increases the Afterburn Effect which causes you to continue burning more calories throughout the day due to a heightened metabolism.

However HIIT is not for everyone. Especially people who are elderly, out of shape / overweight, have injuries (eg. knee injuries).

Which is why I have introduced Low Intensity Interval Training (LIIT) and Moderate Intensity Interval Training (MIIT) as options for my personal training clients. Why? Because on a regular basis the people who actually want to hire a personal trainer are in one of these categories:

Overweight / out of shape
Suffering from an injury (eg. knee)

And being told by a personal trainer that you can't do a specific workout becomes a whole Catch-22 scenario. In your head you think you can't lose weight / become fit without doing that high intensity workout. Except you can do the workout - but you need to do it a lower intensity: low intensity or moderate intensity. Especially if you have an injury you need to work around.

It is true that High-intensity interval training (HIIT) offers a bigger payoff from our workouts in less time. But if you can't physically DO the workout due to age, fitness level or injury then you need to do the next best thing.


High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) improves your current fitness level in short sessions, working to increase your metabolism and cutting your workout sessions to a fraction of the time. The goal is to alternate high-intensity bursts of exercise with periods of low-intensity exercise, or active rest.

So for example... Sprinting for 45 seconds, jogging for 45 seconds, repeated 10 times. Total time is 15 minutes and that would be a High Intensity Interval Training you could do at home / in your neighbourhood.

However sprinting / jogging for 15 minutes is a very intense workout. Many people wouldn't even be able to do the first 3 sprints without wanting to stop and rest for 5 minutes.

So a more moderate high workout may be called for.

Sprinting 30 seconds, jogging 30 seconds, walking 30 seconds, repeated 10 times. Total time is 15 minutes. That workout is more doable, but may still be beyond the reach of many people who are out of shape.

One of the goals of HIIT requires you to raise your heart rate up to 85% or more of its maximum capacity. You can calculate your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220. Multiply that by .85 (85 percent) and you have your target heart rate.

So for example I am 34 years old. 220 - 34 = 186, x 0.85 = 158.

So if I want to worry about my heart rate I will need a heart monitor on my wrist so I can track how high my heart rate goes.

However I don't believe heart rate monitors are for everyone. While it may help some people to gauge how hard they are exercising and forces them to exercise harder, I think that for people who are overweight / elderly that this is a potentially dangerous practice that could lead to heart attacks (or heart attack like events).

The goal of HIIT (possibly combined by using a heart rate monitor) is to ensure that you burn maximum calories during your workout, as well as maximum calories in the hours following. However burning maximum calories should not involve risking your health and life to do so. Most HIIT workouts last about 15 to 30 minutes.

Thus there is definitely a need for different levels of workouts...

Moderate High Intensity Interval Training (MHIIT)

Target Heart Rate is 70 to 80%
You will still have difficulty talking during this level of workout because you will be breathing so hard.
eg. A running MHIIT would involve a mix of sprinting, jogging and perhaps even some walking.
Aim to workout for 20 to 30 minutes.

Moderate Intensity Interval Training (MIIT)

Target Heart Rate is 60 to 70%
You will be able to talk easier during this kind of workout, but conversations will be dragged out.
eg. A running MIIT would involve a small amount of sprinting, be mostly jogging and some walking.
Aim to workout for 25 to 35 minutes.

Moderate Low Intensity Interval Training (MLIIT)

Target Heart Rate is 50 to 60%
You will be able to talk most of the time.
eg. A running MLIIT would involve intervals of jogging and walking.
Aim to workout for 30 to 40 minutes.

Low Intensity Interval Training (LIIT)

Target Heart Rate is 40 to 50%
Talking will be easy during this kind of workout.
eg. A running LIIT would involve intervals of jogging and resting.
Aim to workout for 35 to 45 minutes.

If a particular workout gets too easy for you and you aren't experiencing any pain / discomfort, try a higher level of intensity. Don't try to deliberately hurt yourself, but do try to challenge yourself as your fitness level progresses.

It is advised that elderly people with heart problems (eg. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown on the right) jog with a partner in case they develop any complications during their workout. When in doubt stick to a lower pace workout and avoid over-taxing your heart. (And yes, that was a pun on British taxes.)

The more intense the workout the more oxygen you consume. This increase in oxygen, in turn, increases your post-exercise metabolism - and results in you burning extra calories for anywhere from 90 minutes to 24 hours after the workout is finished. The higher intensity the workout the more benefits you see in terms of fat loss, increased oxygen consumption and improved anaerobic capacity benefits in less time.

While Interval Training is usually used for cardiovascular workouts to improve endurance, it can also be used in sport-specific workouts or weightlifting sessions.

You don’t have to be in amazing shape to add Interval Training to your workouts. Choose your intensity based on your fitness level. When in doubt start low and build your endurance / strength slowly.

You should check with your doctor before starting any exercise program, especially High Intensity Interval Training. If your doctor says you’re healthy enough to engage in HIIT then go ahead and try it. If your doctor advises restraint then you would be better off starting off with low or moderate intensity workouts and then progress slowly.

Why a Stopwatch is Important

If you don't have a personal trainer or an exercise partner who can time you, well then you should really consider getting a stopwatch for doing a variety of exercises - especially Interval Training.

Indeed. Some stopwatches are specifically made for Interval Training - one such stopwatch is the Gymboss Interval Timer which you can clip on to your belt during your workouts. You can also get stopwatches which has a light for early morning or late night running.

A stopwatch is a bit like your own little personal trainer, but without all the fancy motivational advice. Many people have the tendency to not push hard enough when working out at their own pace and they need more of a regimented approach to truly challenge themselves. They will complete a few sets of exercises, and then they wander around, and maybe looking into the mirror expecting to see some kind of instant results. Then they do another couple of sets, followed by writing a couple of text messages to friends...Well you get the idea. They're too relaxed and not really paying attention to their activity that much and sort of daydreaming about their end results.

Stopwatches can help put a stop to that (as fun as daydreaming is!) and take care of your mental focus, especially if you can set them on intervals. Here are some examples of how to use a stopwatch for a more intense workout:

Set your stopwatch to interval every 2 minutes and then 1 minute. The combinations will be endless. Think of the 2 minutes as intense exercise, and 1 for recovery / slowdown period.

Run 2 mins, abs 1 min
Lift weights 2 minutes, kick side to side or punch 1 min
Run 2 minutes, walk 1 min
As many push ups and crunches as you can do 2 mins, stretch 1 min
Weightlifting 2 mins, yoga 1 min

If your stopwatch doesn't do timed intervals, no problem! Use it for timed exercises such as planks, wall sits, pulsing lunges and for running up and down the stairs.

You can also use your stopwatch to time your workout exercises individual length, making sure you do each exercise for 1 minute. A 30 minute workout really adds up quickly, and since you will be racing against the clock each minute, it WILL be more intense.

Combining Circuit Training with Interval Training

Bored with your workout?

One alternative way of doing Interval Training is to try combining it with Circuit Training.

With interval training you alternate fast and slow (or high and low stress) exercises in order to give yourself time to breathe and capitalize on the "after burn effect" wherein your heightened metabolism keeps burning calories at a higher rate even though you've switched to a less stressful activity.

In contrast Circuit Training is just completing a circular route through different exercise equipment, not in any particular order.

To combine the two you need to make a circuit, but make every 2nd exercise a low stress exercise.


Circuit training integrates the cardiovascular exercise with resistance strength training in order to utilize every major muscle group within the body during one workout session while burning an efficient amount of calories. The name "circuit training" comes from the fact that these types of routines were conducted in a circle where participants altered between exercises that utilized different muscle groups.

A circuit can consist of anywhere from 5 to 15+ stations, each of which the participant engages in a couple of minutes doing a strength or cardio exercise. Rest intervals, only about 30 to 90 seconds, are typically allowed between each exercise station. These stations are usually arranged in a specific order that makes it so that one can alternate between muscle groups in order to give them time to recover.

There is a wide variety of equipment that is used to create each station to participate in different types of exercises. Cardio stations can utilize cardio equipment, such as a stationary bike, or be as simple as a jumping rope station. When it comes to resistance stations you may see large equipment like a weight training machine or smaller equipment like dumbbells, medicine balls, or resistance bands.

There are several reasons that circuit training is beneficial and may be exactly what you are looking for if you're bored with your workout. First of all, circuit training is one of the most efficient ways you can exercise as it requires you to use every major muscle group more than cardio-only exercises such as cycling or walking. Most circuit training routines utilize the following muscle groups at one point or another, chest, back, shoulders, quadriceps, hamstrings, triceps, calves, and biceps.

As far as overall exercise goes, circuit training is one of the most efficient ways you can get fit. Although, do keep in mind that most routines do not focus on building abdominal muscle because it is naturally engaged during the entire workout to maintain balance and support. If this is an important area for you, be sure to add in your own abdominal exercises on the side.

It is also safe for both your mind and body. As this type of training requires one to integrate several different types of exercises into one work out it is preventative against injuries. Switching up exercises helps to prevent the same muscles, joints, and bones from becoming stressed and overworked.

If you get bored with a particular exercise in your circuit you can also swap that exercise out for something new and more exciting... ooo shiny object chasing!

Another reason it is beneficial is because it ensures a balanced workout that equally builds strength while burning calories. Because of this it is a great choice for anyone who wants to improve their overall fitness.

Circuit Training is also a great choice for anyone who easily gets board with working out and craves variety. As circuit training requires you to change stations every few minutes, there's no way you are going to grow tired of the same repetitive movement.

Escalating Density Training

 Escalating Density Training (also known as "Escalating Intensity Training") is a solid concept that many personal trainers have been using for years because it is based on time based performance instead of focusing on quitting due to muscle fatigue - thus the focus is on muscle performance during a set time period. In the past personal trainers have been using this concept to train clients, without putting a cool name to the technique. The term Escalating Density Training was coined by personal trainer Charles Stanley and used it as a term in his fitness programs.

British commandos used the same technique during WWII while doing their speed-marches. Their goal was to see how far they could get on foot within a set period of time, all while carrying a 60 lb pack of gear on the backs. So while Charles Stanley may have coined the term, he certainly didn't invent the technique as a training method.

The method is actually pretty straightforward. The exerciser moves heavy weights, or the weight of their own body, in a quick period of time to boost overall power output.

Example #1.

Performing alternating squat and push up sets for 15 minutes and keeping a record of the number of reps performed. Then a week or two later the sequence is repeated and the goal is to increase the number of squats and push ups within that 15 minute time frame.

Example #2.

Doing Bicep Curls with 20 lb dumbbells for 1 minute. Count the number of times you did it. Then a week later attempt the same thing, but using 25 lb dumbbells and try to do the same number or even more in 1 minute.

Example #3.

Do as many jumping jacks as you can while listening to the Rocky theme-song "Eye of the Tiger". Count how many you did and track it for next time.

Example #4.

Go jogging and turn on your pedometer. After 15 or 30 minutes (you figure it out ahead of time) check the amount of steps you've taken on your pedometer. Try to beat that next time.

Example #5.

Flip a giant tractor tire end over end across a football field and count the number of times you managed to do it in a 5 minute period.

After completing a set of these exercises you then you take a break and do it again once you feel you are ready. Sometimes you don't do as well during the 1st set because you haven't warmed up your muscles yet and your metabolism is reacting more slowly, so the 2nd or 3rd set may actually produce your best results.

So it is basically Interval Training, with rest periods in-between intervals, and it is designed to build both endurance and muscle strength at the same time. You may only end up doing 2 - 5 intervals, so its not as long term as normal interval training, but your goal isn't to keep going until you are too exhausted to continue, your goal is to lift or do exercises for a specific amount of time and then each week you should be progressively stronger, faster and have a greater endurance.

This method offers the person the challenge of a numeric goal, and it's easy to plan workouts and track progress because you are aiming to increase both the number of reps, the amount of weight, or both simultaneously. Okay, only doing squats or push ups for 15 minutes seems quite ambitious, and BORING, and it is, but it will also be an intense workout if you do that 3 times in a single hour with 7.5 minute breaks between each set. 150-200 squats and push ups even without weights will cause plenty of soreness, at least at first. However, eventually your body adapts, weights are added and the muscle performance increases SIGNIFICANTLY!

Some key points of this system:
  • Form is of utmost importance. If one workout you are performing bench press with perfect form, and the next with lazy technique, the purpose of this method is defeated. Not to mention that with so many reps proper form will prevent injury.
  • Keep the exercises simple so you can use proper form without making things complicated.
  • Active recovery in between workouts with cardio and stretching is highly recommended. 
  • Drink and stay hydrated! Preferably Powerade or Gatorade or even a whey protein drink.
  • Keep track of everything, including lower numbers during each cycle of exercises.
  • Lift light at first with a weight that would fatigue at 10 reps. Do half if fatigued (5 reps) and alternate your exercises. Keep repeating this cycle for the 15 minutes.
  • The next workout the only goal is to do more reps!
Doing Escalating Density Training is tough and takes discipline to complete the full fifteen minutes if that is your goal but once you get the hang of it, you will look forward to these workouts and tracking your progress!

Going the Distance: Building Heart and Lung Muscles

Do you get tired easily?

Does taking the stairs at a friend's apartment building sound like a chore to you?

If your car broke down and you only had to walk for 30 minutes to get there, could you do it with a smile on your face?

The thing you probably don't know is that endurance is very difficult to measure because it really comes down to two things:

#1. The strength of your heat muscles

The human heart is composed of a series of intricate muscles which contract and squeeze the heart, thus pumping fresh blood (and energy) throughout our cardiovascular system. Some of the energy being transported is sugar, fat and even proteins, but another source of energy the blood transports is oxygen from your lungs...

#2. The strength of your lung muscles

Air is drawn into the lungs by the pharyngeal muscles. Breathing out is automatic and requires no effort, but breathing in requires a contraction of the pharyngeal muscles. Rapid breathing is the result of a rapid use of these muscles, resulting in more oxygen being sent from the lungs to the heart, which makes re-oxygenizes blood to make fresh blood. That oxygen is then transported all over the body to specific muscle groups which need it most.

So how do you make your heart and lung muscles stronger? The answer is quite simple: Cardiovascular Exercises (or Cardio for short). Running, swimming, cycling, jumping jacks, boxing and similar activities get your heart racing and your lungs working quickly. Such exercises don't just build up your muscles in your heart, lungs, legs, arms, etc, but they also burn a lot of calories (fat, sugar, etc). They also reduce your risk of heart failure as you get older because you have a good strong heart.

Additional benefits include: A boosted immune system, a higher metabolism, a more enjoyable sex life, a slimmer figure, reduced chances of cancer and many other health benefits.

When you hear about people who go jogging or running for 60 to 120 minutes on a regular basis you may wonder how they managed to get that way. Truth is they didn't start out they way. They built up their heart and lung muscles over time, years of jogging and running on a weekly basis. Compared to some people who can only run for a minute or two, it may seem mind boggling that some people are able to run that far over long distances.

But what if I was to tell you that was actually the norm during "cave men times"? No TV, no internet... everyone hunting and gathering for food. Exercise was part of daily survival and recreational sports. The human body hasn't really advanced much physically since then. We still have the same genetic codes for accomplishing such feats of strength and endurance. So you do have the genetic material inside you to become a caveman (or cavewoman) running machine. You just need to unleash it.

Learning How to Improve Your Endurance

1. Practice Often (Once a Week is Not Enough)

A huge factor in improving cardio endurance is not letting progress slip away by taking a week off. You need to be doing intense cardio at LEAST twice a week to see progress. Even though it is built back quickly, stamina is lost rather quickly if you stop practicing because your heart and lung muscles wither back to normal if you aren't giving them a regular challenge. When starting out, aim to train at least 2-3 times a week.

The BEST routine is to go jogging every second day. 15 days per month. Why? You need the day off in-between to rebuild muscles. If you try to do it everyday then your muscles will be damaged repetitively without enough time for them to repair themselves.

2. Always Reach Limits and Aim Higher

It will be difficult when you first start jogging and running. One way to improve your stamina in a quicker way is to turn your jogging routine into Interval Training Exercise. You alternate jogging for several minutes with walking for several minutes, increasing times for the jogging on a weekly basis until eventually you are jogging the entire time. See the image on the right as an example of how to do this.

3. Push Through your Mental Barriers

Psychologically it's not going to be easy to keep jogging. Nobody likes to lose their breath or have sore legs but you know what, it will get better really soon as you build up your strength and endurance! Keep at it and within a couple of months the less enjoyable parts of building endurance will be a distant memory.

And you will be so happy you did it and succeeded when you do reach that point where you've realized you have the endurance to do it and keep doing it.

Mind Body Fitness Vs Zen Exercising

There is a new trend in the fitness industry called "mind-body fitness" (or various other names) which combine tough physical workouts with lighter and less stressful components for what some personal trainers are calling "a total mind-body solution".

In reality mind-body is a misnomer. People like to use the words mind-body (or mind-body-soul) whenever they want something to sound New Age in an effort to appeal to people's more religious/spiritual sentimentalities.

Now there is nothing wrong with being spiritual and trying to look for moral guidance. Moral guidance can teach you to be less lazy, less gluttonous, more proactive, more patient about your goals... more virtuous and less sinful = More Exercise and a Better Diet. So nothing wrong with trying to be moral and virtuous, especially when it comes to exercise.

However just because something says "Mind Body" doesn't mean you should buy it. If anything you should instantly recognize it as a slogan / catchphrase, the same as "Authentic", "Traditional", "Old School", or anything else that screams "New and Improved".

Take for example Yoga: Traditional Yoga sounds pretty good, doesn't it? So does Mind-Body Yoga. New and Improved Yoga just sounds like the person is trying too hard.

Mind Body Fitness really is a bit like Interval Training... except Interval Training alternates the difficult and easy exercises multiple times instead of just one each. One Stressful, One Less Stressful. But if you repeat them both 5+ times then it IS Interval Training.

Anywho, back to my main topic: Some examples of this more stressful/less stressful so-called 'mind-body' trend include:
  1. Cy-Yo-One hour workout that combines spinning with yoga.
  2. YogaFit-Stength, cardio and yoga merged into one.
  3. Pilates-Yoga - The core strengthening benefits of Pilates combined with the full body + relaxation of yoga.
  4. Extended Stretch Sequence - Personal trainers may leave the last 10-15 minutes of every few sessions for a good, thorough (and more than likely, much needed) stretch.
  5. Jock Yoga - It's challenging enough for athletes but involves the relaxation that active people need to stay physically healthy.
So when you think of it you can basically combine any light exercise with any heavy exercise to make a combined 'Mind-Body' workout.

  • Weightlifting followed by Yoga
  • Cycling or Spin Class followed by Stretching 
  • Running followed by Surfing or Wind-Surfing.
  • Helping Your Friends Move all their Furniture... followed by tossing around a frisbee or football.
So really, pretty darn easy to do these things. But do they really engage your mind? Not really. The latter component is really just more physically relaxing compared to the previous activity.

How to Add Less-Stressful Exercises into Your Workout

Easy. Think of a really physical stressful activity that you don't like doing, but you know you should do (eg. intense cardio for 45 minutes). Then add an activity you enjoy doing which is more relaxing but still keeps you moving (eg. 30 minutes of archery).

So anyone can do this on their own if they choose to. It takes only a little effort to add it your daily regimen and what you will discover is that the enjoyable exercises make the whole thing worthwhile and enjoyable.


Well Zen is the idea of really focusing on what you are doing. You avoid thinking about other things (distractions) and your goal is to get really into the activity you are doing to the exclusion of everything else. Doing this will result in a more intense workout, create better harmony between mind and body (and better hand-eye control and reflexes.

So Zen Exercising therefore is a very different thing from Mind Body Fitness (which is really more about stressful / non-stressful exercises) because Zen Exercising really gets more into your mental state while exercising.

Some people like to exercise when they're angry. The adrenaline rush from their anger makes them stronger and more energetic. However if you only exercise when angry you probably won't be exercising very often unless you have some serious anger management problems.


Some exercises are really good for developing your mental abilities. Examples:

#1. Zen Archery. Archery combines physical strength and balance with your ability to aim and concentrate on the target. Even your breathing comes into play because if you breathe into your chest and move your shoulders your aim will be knocked off, so you need to concentrate on breathing into your stomach.

#2. Tight-Rope Walking. If you're not paying attention to what you are doing you WILL fall.

#3. Acrobatics / Gymnastics / Figure Skating. Many balance oriented exercises (like surfing) require full concentration.

#4. Yogic Breathing. Concentrating on your breathing patterns is more difficult than you think.

Thus someone wanting to add Zen to their exercise routine needs to be adding things which will cause you to concentrate on your balance, aim and breathing.

Understanding Interval Training

Targeting Maximum Fat Loss Through High-Intensity Interval Training

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a form of exercise that is growing in popularity. HIIT combines two of the most effective fat-burning methods.

The first method is high-intensity training, which pushes the body to maximum effort to achieve muscle fatigue and maximum oxygen use in a quick burst. Think sprinting or heavy weight lifting. The harder muscles work, the more oxygen they require. This is measured relative to one’s maximum amount of oxygen their body consumes during exercise. Working your body close to its oxygen max triggers the Afterburn Effect, where the body continues to consume oxygen (and burn calories) up to 48 hours after the workout (it takes approximately five calories to consume one liter of oxygen).

The second method is interval training, which alternates periods of intense effort with periods of moderate-to-low intensity effort. Interval training boosts metabolism significantly longer than a steady workout of equal or even greater length (for example, a 20 minute workout of alternating high/low-intensity periods burns more calories than a 20 minute workout of steady intensity). Interval training also builds lean muscle tissue faster than steady state training.

So instead of jogging for 30 minutes you alternate between sprinting and brisk walking for 30 minutes. Due to the Afterburn Effect it burns even more calories than plain jogging, even though the distance traveled and the time is the same.

By combining the above two exercise methods, exercisers can maximize fat-burning and muscle-building potential through significantly shorter workouts. HIIT also maximizes increased metabolic rate, optimizes muscle building and muscle retention during fat loss, and increases calorie burn during and after workouts.

The Science Behind Interval Training

HIIT taxes and maximizes both aerobic and anaerobic fitness, while light cardio addresses aerobic only. Aerobic respiration requires oxygen to generate energy in the form of ATP, while anaerobic respiration does not. HIIT affects muscle tissue at the cellular level, actually changing mitochondrial activity in the muscles themselves.

University studies indicate as little as 27 minutes of HIIT three times per week produces the same anaerobic and aerobic improvement as 60 minutes of steady state cardio five times per week.

Training to Run Long Distance

Are you hoping to run long distances and looking for a training routine you can use?

Here is a great graphic which shows a 9 week training program which will ready you for some long distance runs by using interval training to build up your endurance faster in the early stages.

Skipping to Fitness

Have you ever actually tried to workout by skipping rope?

Now I admit, most people haven't jumped or skipped a rope since Elementary School. A lot of people think of jumping rope as more of a game or a kid’s toy. Which is funny, because it takes a lot of energy to do and many adults have difficulty doing it. I think it is ironic because it is actually an extremely effective form of exercise that burns a lot of calories (hence why in Rocky films you see him skipping rope regularly).

Guaranteed almost everyone you know can take a brisk walk for 15 minutes... But try skipping rope for 15 minutes and the percentage of people who can jump rope for that long drops to about 1%. Most people would get too tired after just a few minutes.

Muscle Groups and Jumping Rope

So if skipping rope is so difficult, what muscle groups is it targeting?

The answer is just about every muscle in the body. Almost all of them, and even a few muscles you almost never use. Try jumping rope for 15 minutes and you will be sore in multiple, if not many, muscle groups. Especially in the calf muscles and abs. In fact, if you are really trying to get ripped abs, skipping rope will help you a lot. Your core muscles really gets worked hard since your abs have to contract to stabilize your entire body as it propels through the air... and its a cardio, so its good for burning a lot of calories and your heart muscles.

Jumping Rope Helps Release Human Growth Hormone

HGH is a hormone that your body releases naturally, which burns body fat like crazy while simultaneously promoting new tissue growth. Increasing your natural level of HGH in your body is your quickest route to burning body fat. Unfortunately, low intensity cardio won’t assist your body in releasing HGH. The proven way to increase HGH is to alternate high intensity cardio for 30 seconds followed by 30-60 seconds of rest…this is known as High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Jumping rope is a great way to get that high intensity and release HGH.

Tips on Purchasing a Jump Rope

A good rope will cost you $10 to $15, and you can even get a “Speed Rope” at sporting goods stores. They are basically plastic ropes without the beads. Look for one which is adjustable.

How to Adjust your Jump Rope

1. Place your rope on the ground.
2. Stand on the midpoint of the rope (an equal distance between the handles).
3. Grasp the handles and pull them up to your chest.
4. The top of the handles should reach about 6 inches below the collarbone (never as high as the collar bone or as low as the upper abs).
5. Adjust the rope so it is the correct length.

Note: With time and experience you may decide to shorten it a bit more.

Learning the Skills of Jumping Rope

If you remember doing this as a kid, maybe this part will be easy. But if your memory is foggy then you will need to work on it and hopefully some muscle memory will come back.

Most beginners “double bounce” with both feet during rotations. This actually allows them to rest their core a bit as well as their calf muscles in between rotations and means that they have a low level of core fitness. You will want to jump cleanly in between each rotation and keep the abs and core tight. As you progress you will want to try doing more difficult things like alternating feet and so forth.

Your arms should barely move when you jump rope. The rotation of the rope should come from wrist movement. If you want to increase the speed of the rotations, simply increase the tightness of the circles that your wrist is making (this will make more sense when you start jumping rope). The goal is to eventually work up to a point where you can jump rope for 5 minutes solid without having to stop and start again. This means that if you have to stop because the rope hits your feet, you have to start again from zero. You also want to be able to jump rope alternating feet, so it looks like you are running while jumping rope.

A Sample 15 Minute Jump Rope Workout
  1. Stand in front of a clock or timer of some sort - Jump Rope for 3 minutes to warm up
  2. Rest for 30 seconds
  3. Jump rope as quickly as possible for 60 seconds
  4. Rest for 30 seconds
  5. Jump Rope as quickly as possible for 60 seconds
  6. Rest for 30 seconds
  7. Repeat this alternating pattern for 15-20 minutes

If you want to jazz it up you can try alternating feet, spinning the rope twice for every jump, going as fast as you can, or even endurance jumping... like 60 minutes or something equally intense.

Why Hire a Personal Trainer?

If you have never tried working with a personal trainer, there's some serious benefits to trying out a few sessions. I'm not just saying that because I'm a personal trainer... You could just as easily hire someone other than me.

Five Great Reasons to Hire a Personal Trainer

1. Your Own Private Yoda

True, you won't learn any telekinesis uses of "the Force", but the teacher-student paradigm cannot be understated. Having someone to tell you what to do, how to do it, why to do it and so forth will help motivate you to try even harder. Do or do not, there is no try.

2. Better Judges of Limits

A personal trainer will push you further but a great trainer will push you at the right time when you are ready for a new challenge. The "art" of personal training involves the ability to give clients a good workout by exerting them within the range between comfortable and hard. There is definitely a balance between a workout that feels effective, one that is not doing anything, and a session that does too much and leaves you feeling aches and pains. If you search for complaints about personal trainers you will find complaints regarding both ends of the spectrum, but never complaints about those in the middle. "My last trainer was too hot," says one. "My trainer is too cold!" says another. What you need to look for is the trainer who is "just right" for you and still challenges you the right amount.

3. Personal Trainers Organize the Workout to Maximize Efficiency

Anyone can learn to organize their workouts with a little research, but a personal trainer knows how to do it so you get the most out of your workout. Often they will focus on training big muscle groups first, and then working over to smaller muscles so you get a full body workout without missing anything. However, a personal trainer will also learn about their clients as individuals and as we all know, there is no standard prescription to exercise. Some clients have the most energy at the beginning of the session, and their trainer will learn that this is the time to do the more exerting and difficult exercises. Other clients take a good twenty minutes to get warmed up and into the session. In such cases, harder and more cardiovascular based exercises too early in will not be as effective as they could be.

4. Interval Training

Personal trainers know a lot about the topic of interval training and can push your limits even further by giving you hard and soft intensity exercises which allow you to get your heart racing even further, up your adrenaline and metabolism and allow you to get more out of a workout than you would if you were training solo. If you are training for a competitive sport they can also give you cross-training tips and exercises you can do so you can up your game the next time you're in competition.

5. A Trainer will Adapt to their Clients Needs and Wants

This is really important. A personal trainer quickly learns likes and dislikes of their clients. Some clients just want to make sure that they are exercising twice a week to stay healthy, and want a general routine that is changed up often enough so they do not get bored. At the same time, they do not want to feel like they're training for the army or the marines. Others really want to be pushed because they can't force themselves to be trained hard on their own - and they want a military-like approach. Some clients have very specific goals in mind and hire their trainer for technical exercise knowledge, sports instruction and implementation. eg. Hiring a personal trainer who also teaches boxing lessons. Whatever the case, a personal trainer is a chameleon in the gym, and can be the type of trainer that their client needs them to be.

Just don't expect them to be all like Yoda.

Need a certified personal trainer in Toronto? Hire me!
Looking to sign up for archery lessons, boxing lessons, swimming lessons, ice skating lessons or personal training sessions? Start by emailing and lets talk fitness!


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