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Showing posts with label Running. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Running. Show all posts

Maximum Results + Minimum Time

A lot of people in North America really only exercise for one reason: To Lose Weight.

But they don't want to work hard to do it. Exercise? That sounds too much like work. It is that kind of pessimistic and lazy attitude that causes people to become paralyzed by "I'll do it later."  It is therefore no surprise that America has an obesity epidemic when you considered a combined lifestyle of bad diet and lack of exercise. Also to blame is all the nutritional / exercise misinformation being pushed at them by the food industry and even people in the exercise industry who really just want to sell you something.

Well to be fair, I am selling something too. Personal Training. But I am also a strong believer in giving away free information so that people can go the Do-It-Yourself route.

One of the things people are always looking for is ways to maximize their weight loss... but they want to do it in the minimum amount of time required.

This to me is the typical male approach to getting a task done. If you give a guy three boxes and tell him to carry them upstairs one at a time he will look at you funny, stack all three boxes together and then try to carry them up the stairs all at once. Its not lazy, its male logic. "I can carry all three at once and therefore accomplish the task in one shot."

Part of it might be male ego and testosterone, that is for psychiatrists to decide, but the analogy is good.

So how do we apply this to exercise?

#1. You want to maximize calorie loss per minute.

This means you're going to have to compare exercises and pick one that burns a lot of calories in a hurry. The obvious choice is running because that burns the most calories more than any other exercise, but depending on your goals you might also choose weight lifting, a specific sport, skipping rope, jumping jacks or even yoga.

#2. At the same time you want to be able to keep up the activity for the stated length of time.

So for example if your plan is to only exercise for 15 to 30 minutes per day then you ideally want to be burning a lot of calories during that time period and not stopping to rest. So you want to pick an activity that you're certain you can do. eg. Jogging for 30 minutes.

#3. You want to push your limits in order to maximize results.

One way to do this is via Interval Training. So to take the example of running and jogging you could do the following:

Sprint 1 minute, jog for 2 minutes. Repeat 10 times. Total time 30 minutes.

And if you're still not tired after the 30 minutes, sprint for an additional amount of time until you're ready to quit.

The same method can also be used for weight lifting and mixed cardio.

30 lb bicep curls 2 minutes, jumping jacks for 2 minutes.
Pushups 2 minutes, jumping jacks for 2 minutes.
Chin-ups 2 minutes, jumping jacks for 2 minutes.
25 lb bicep curls 2 minutes, jumping jacks for 2 minutes.
Pushups 2 minutes, jumping jacks for 2 minutes.
Chin-ups 2 minutes, jumping jacks for 2 minutes.
 20 lb bicep curls 3 minutes, jumping jacks for 3 minutes.

Total time 30 minutes.

#4. The Fun Factor.

Running and weightlifting can be pretty boring however. That is why it is important to mix it up with music and other things to make them more interesting. Try and pick music that makes you feel invigorated.  Eye of the Tiger, Super Trouper, Hungry like the Wolf, TV theme songs... whatever gets your heart and mind racing.

If that still isn't enough fun for you my recommendation is to take up a sport every day for 30 minutes (or longer). If its truly fun you will lose track of time and want to do it every day. (This is why I got into archery and boxing in the first place. They're sports I never get bored of.)

If you can find an activity you enjoy that you can do every day for 30 minutes and it doesn't feel like a chore or work, awesome. Then all you have to do is push yourself to your limits in an effort to maximize your results / calorie loss.

Eventually you will hopefully lose track of time and your worries over "minimizing time and effort" will disappear.

#5. Variety.

Always try new things.

If the only things you are doing is running or weightlifting, your body will stagnate. You will reach a plateau where you can't cross an endurance barrier. To get around that you need to try new things and use muscles you aren't used to using. Yoga is good for this, but you can find many other activities which can activate those rarely used muscles. Once you do so you will be able to push your "maximum" to new heights by awakening muscles you never knew you had.

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.

Running - Calories Per Hour

Running burns a lot of calories in a hurry, although it really depends on how big you are and how fast you can run.

For the most accuracy its recommended you run around a track at a local school or park, that way you can accurately measure how fast you can run in an hour. You don't have to do this constantly, but it is nice to do once in awhile so you can get a measurement of how fast you are.

Using a watch start running and count each time you do a lap of the track. When the hour is done take your total number of completed laps, determine using math how many miles that was (eg. 24 laps on a quarter mile track = 6 miles), and then find the calories burned on the chart below. You can also find more detailed calories burned calculators online.

Remember to take Powerade or Gatorade with you and stop periodically and take 1 or 2 gulps before you resume running. You don't want to get dehydrated, but you also don't want to over-drink and become winded. Don't carry the bottle with you, leave it beside the track and stop there whenever you need a gulp.

Running on a track once per month for an hour and measuring/comparing your progress each month can become an excellent motivator to keep up your running routine. You will feel a great sense of accomplishment each month as you see you are getting faster.

Exercise & Calories Burned per Hour
130 lbs
155 lbs
180 lbs
205 lbs
Running, 5 mph (12 minute mile)
Running, 5.2 mph (11.5 minute mile)
Running, 6 mph (10 min mile)
Running, 6.7 mph (9 min mile)
Running, 7 mph (8.5 min mile)
Running, 7.5mph (8 min mile)
Running, 8 mph (7.5 min mile)
Running, 8.6 mph (7 min mile)
Running, 9 mph (6.5 min mile)
Running, 10 mph (6 min mile)
Running, 10.9 mph (5.5 min mile)

Running Marathons: Fun and Challenging


You've started running regularly and you're beginning to feel the benefits of having a healthier body.

You can run farther and faster. You feel stronger and less winded as your endurance grows. You've even gotten that infamous runner's high (which is why marathon runners often get Exercise Addiction because the chemicals act like heroin). You are feeling so confident you want to try running a marathon...

If you think you are ready to test your new abilities and try out a marathon race you might want to ask around and get a 2nd opinion. Yes, you can do it. But is it worth it? Your first stop should be your doctor to get a complete physical.

You will have your options too. You don't have to do a marathon race, you could try sprinting or a mid-range race instead. With so many races scheduled each year, both locally and throughout your region, it may be hard to choose the one that's right for you. Here are some things to consider to make the best selection so that your first race is a great experience and encourages you to sign up for more:

The Marathon Course

Of course, one the primary considerations for race selection is the distance.

If you are a beginner, signing up for a marathon is not realistic. Since it's your first race, choose a small distance, such as a 1-mile fun run, the classic 5K (about 3 miles), or, if you're up for a challenge, a 10K (about 6 miles). Many marathons and half-marathons include a fun run or a shorter run as well. If you're interested in working up to one of these longer races, you can sign up for a 5K as part of a larger event to get a sense of the course and other race-day conditions. Also, keep in mind the layout of the course. Hilly courses can be much more challenging to complete as a first-timer. A flat course on a paved trail will make your first attempt a bit easier.

Time Limitations

Some races have a time limit. This means that you are required to finish the race within a certain time. Otherwise, you will either be disqualified or find yourself running along a road that has been re-opened to traffic. Be sure that you are able to run the distance within the time specified, based on your past training times. Check race rules for any other limitations that may detract from your experience. For example, some races do not allow the use of headphones or portable music devices. Some races do not allow strollers if you wish to run with your child. Others may have limitations on your dress or the support team that you can have with you. Be sure to review these rules in advance to be sure that you can have the experience you would like.


Do you prefer the roar of the crowd to get your adrenaline pumping? Or do you prefer a smaller group so that you can focus more intently when you run? Check out the anticipated attendance or the registration limit of the race to know what kind of crowds you can expect. Larger races can be overwhelming for beginners, who may feel crowded or pushed around on the busy streets. But if you feed on the energy of others, larger crowds can motivate you to your best performance.

Atmosphere + Weather

There are races for every type of running personality. There are races for the serious runner, which focus on the course and the competition. Then there are races for those looking to have a little fun. Many races allow participants to dress in costume -- particularly holiday-themed runs like a Turkey Trot or a Jingle Bell Run -- and others have a fun course (like the Walt Disney World marathon) or include entertainment (like the Rock n' Roll Marathon). Decide what type of course appeals to you best.

Weather is another factor you should pay attention to too. It could be raining or unbearably hot outside. You will want to practice running in different weather conditions.

Setting Goals

Finally, keep your personal goals in mind when determining your first race. Do you just want to finish the race? Or do you want to try to meet a personal goal, such as finishing within a certain time period or finishing a long distance? If you just want to put yourself out there and finish a race without a lot of pressure, choose a fun run with a lower distance or one of the themed runs with a party atmosphere. If you want to challenge yourself or meet a fitness goal, enter a longer race with official timing.

The experience you have with the first race you enter can influence the way you feel about racing in the future. Make sure you choose a race that complements your personal style and that will allow you to meet your goals.


You aren't going to be able to do that well in a marathon unless you train in advance. Having a personal trainer can give you extra edge during your training. If you live in Toronto and want to compete in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon then you could even hire me as your personal trainer.

Happy running!

The Benefits of Running Outdoors

If running outdoors is good enough for horses, cheetahs and other animals what makes us think the gym treadmill is so much better?

Because of air conditioning?


Get off the treadmill and get outside, and discover the hidden benefits of running and jogging outside!

#1. Fresh Air and Sunshine is a Natural Painkiller

Its true. Fresh air and Vitamin D from the sun acts as a natural painkiller, causing you feel less pain while running and jogging and allowing you to run harder and faster by naturally boosting your endurance.

#2. Varied Terrain

Running on different terrain is great for hitting muscles in different ways. Even better if you live near a beach and can run across sand and/or the boardwalk. Pound the pavement, grass, sand, wooden boardwalk and a hilly ravine and you will discover the differences it takes to go across uneven ground and different surfaces. Going uphill works the quads, sand sprints focuses on the hamstrings and sticking to the grass is easier on the overall impact of the run. This makes running outside better for toning and firming your leg muscles.

#3. More Jumping

You never jump while on a treadmill. Its more of a lazy stride that is regulated by the size of the treadmill itself and your fear of kicking the treadmill. Outside you can run and jump and you jump without even realizing it in the process of running. Jumping exercises the legs more like weightlifting and provides a better - deeper muscle - workout.

#4. It's More Progressive

Running on the treadmill installs somewhat of a psychological barrier. Seeing how fast you are running in a way, limits how fast you will run because it creates a fear factor. Most people won't run certain higher speeds on the treadmill because seeing that speed is intimidating, and they are a little afraid of falling off. And its so loud, the sound of your feet stomping on the treadmill constantly that it becomes bothersome. Running really fast outside in a park or on the beach doesn't make you feel like you're overdoing it, and a light jog doesn't feel like wussing out! And you certainly don't notice the noise so much either.

#5. Nobody Watching You

There are a lot of creepy guys at the gym sometimes and if you are a woman this can really decrease your comfort level. You half expect them to follow you home from the gym and peep at you, becoming all Crazy Joe Davola stalker like. Outdoors the only people who might notice you and be tempted to follow you is people who can actually keep up with you, which will be be comparatively few if you're fleet on your feet. And chasing a female jogger down the street is a sure way to get yourself noticed and arrested.

#6. Most Athletes Train Outdoors

And the reason is because they know the benefits of running and jogging outdoors. Given the option they train outside all the time, sometimes even in the wet and cold. Some sports, like Olympic wrestling, don't really work that well outdoors, but other sports like shot-put which could be done indoors is still practiced outdoors.

#7. It's Refreshing

Nothing is nicer than a run on a warm and sunny day. It's refreshing and revitalizing in ways that words cannot accurately articulate. Even better, a nice long run on a weekend morning, and you have already completed a workout, and ready to enjoy the day.

The treadmill really comes in handy when you want to run at 5am, or immediately jump to the weights before or after at the gym. Running outside is more challenging, better for firming and offers much more interesting scenery. If you run exclusively on the treadmill, try getting out once a week. It will be a change of pace that you may find easy to get used to!

Running Gear

FASHION - If and when you decide to take up jogging or running there is a list of things you will want.

#1. Running Shoes - ie. A good pair of Nike running shoes. Just do it.

#2. Comfortable Pants or Shorts - If its winter you will want something you can run in easily and has some kind of deep pocket to keep your house/apartments keys in so you don't get locked outside. (Speaking for myself, I wear camouflage army pants with big pockets.)

#3. A Hoodie - Because nothing says jogging like running around like Rocky Balboa in matching grey pants and hoodie.

#4. Gloves - If you're jogging in the winter comfortable warm gloves is a must.

#5. Scheduler - It doesn't matter whether you use a calendar, your alarm clock on your cellphone or a fancy dancy device specifically for joggers. Anyone who tracks their jogging is more likely to turn it into a routine and become successful in their goal of losing weight, running marathons, etc.

#6. Music - This is really optional, but a mp3 player or old fashioned walkman works just as well if you need extra motivation. I recommend including several songs from the Rocky soundtrack just for fun.

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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