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Attaining the Beach Perfect Body using 6 Minute Cardio Sessions

How long can you exercise at your top speed before you need to stop and rest?

Maybe 5 or 6 minutes?

Aim for 6 minutes if you can.

Lets pretend that your goal is to get a "Beach Perfect Body" by shedding some unwanted fat around your middle. Spot training doesn't work losing fat (it will actually bulk up that area with added muscle) so your only real choice is cardio - running, jogging, swimming, cycling, etc.

So you really need to burn lots of calories doing cardio. But maybe you don't have a lot of time in your day (or at least that is the excuse you keep telling yourself).

It is true that 1 hour is only 4% of your day... and that 30 minutes is only 2% of your day... And 15 minutes is only 1% of your day.

But every percentage of your day that you spend exercising - especially at your top speed - boosts your metabolism, kickstarts the Afterburn Effect, releases adrenaline into your blood, and burns calories.

6 minutes is only 0.4% of your day. It is a TINY percentage of your daily activities. But imagine if you use those 6 minutes to do vigorous jumping jacks you will burn 60 calories* right there.

* calorie estimate based on a weight of 165 lbs.

Do that 6 minutes of every day for a month and you've lost 1,800 calories - a little over half a pound.

If you are in an hurry you have to realize that you are not going to get a "Beach Perfect Body" by doing only one 6 minute session of jumping jacks every day. But what if you did them 10 times per day, spaced out evenly? Three times in the morning, twice during your lunch break, twice when you get home, and three times between 7 and 9 PM.

Well then you'd lose "at least" 18,000 calories - a little over 5 pounds. I say "at least" because you might burn a lot more if you managed to kickstart the Afterburn Effect multiple times during the day.

The Afterburn Effect is a heightened metabolic state which causes your body to burn through fat in an hurry in order to replenish your body. It is often triggered following periods of intense exercise - preferably a period of at least 5 minutes during which time you raise your heart rate dramatically.

Which means doing 6 minute cardio sessions - intense bursts of exercise - multiple times per day can give you multiple Afterburn Effects which will really burn calories fast and leave you feeling invigorated and wanting to do more because you will be on a bit of an adrenaline high.

So lets pretend that every year you wanted to lose weight for the swimsuit season... say 15 pounds. Then hypothetically you could go jogging for an hour every day for 3 months and you would shed the weight. But jogging might not get your heart going fast enough to kickstart the Afterburn Effect, which is why you can actually get better results by using the same amount of time to do high intensity exercises like sprinting, vigorous jumping jacks, basically any kind of high intensity exercise.

The adrenaline combined with the Afterburn Effect will leave you feeling very energetic and after a few days of doing the exercises you will want to do them more often - and even look forward to them.

In which case you won't lack for motivation as you shed the pounds and aim to get that Beach Perfect Body.

The Dangers of "Skinny Fat"

Are you one of those people who only seem to gain weight around your middle while your arms and legs stay skinny looking?

Blame it on your genes. Research shows that thin people with fat paunches are at a higher risk of diabetes and cardiac disease than other people.

If you have skinny legs and a bit of a paunch but think that’s okay because your pot belly doesn’t really show with the baggy shirts and tops you wear, think again. You are prone to collecting fat around the abdominal area caused by a biochemical abnormality known as Metabolic Syndrome.

So, never mind the skinny legs because collecting fat around your abdomen is not a good sign as such fat is deadlier than subcutaneous fat which is distributed evenly beneath the skin. This is because increased belly flab means increased visceral fat found between the organs in the main torso. Visceral fat is more active and drains directly into the liver. Free fatty acids into the liver resist the action of insulin, a hormone that helps absorb the glucose from the blood stream. The end result is what causes diabetes.

Contracting diabetes leads to an elevated risk of a whole lot of other health problems including cardio-vascular diseases and kidney problems.

Skinny Fat Quotient

Worldwide, Body Mass Index or BMI is a commonly accepted measure of body health. A BMI of over 25 indicates that you are overweight or obese. But the "skinny fat" abnormality makes people more susceptible to diabetes even though their BMI is well within the international limit of 25. Therefore there is a need to more closely monitor people who have the skinny fat abnormality for diabetes - and some doctors are arguing that people with the skinny fat gene should be worried if their BMI is over 23 instead of 25 because of the greater risk of diabetes.

But we shouldn’t trust BMI alone to assess risk for diabetes. Instead doctors are encouraging patients with skinny fat to measure their weight using their waist circumference, measured in centimeters (cm). A measurement above 80 cm for women and 90 cm for men is a matter of grave concern.

Those people with a waist measurement above those numbers are more likely to have Metabolic Syndrome and a higher risk of cardiac problems than those who have normal subcutaneous fat under their skin.

Metabolic Syndrome symptoms and signs include low levels of HDL cholesterol (known as the good cholesterol), high triglyceride levels (a type of fat found in the blood), high blood pressure, diabetes and other cardio-vascular diseases.

Metabolic Syndrome effects young and old alike too. People with rich diets, low physical activity, spend all day working at a desk and dismiss a paunch as an aesthetic issue. But it’s more like a warning sign that they will get diabetes if they don't watch their weight.

Doctors and scientists recommend that people with "skinny fat" consider a change in diet to reduce saturated fats, a brisk walk for 45 minutes per day and a background check into your immediate family history of obesity or diabetes.

Culturally, we associate fat with prosperity and wealth, hence the term "Fat Cat". But those "Fat Cats" are developing insulin resistance and abdominal obesity at a young age because they are not exercising, dieting and watching their weight.


Last Friday (May 31st 2013) I may have saved a man's life who went into diabetic coma while on a TTC bus here in Toronto.

I was en route to pick up new arrows at Tent City in North York when I got on the 60 bus at Finch station and I noticed a young man sleeping on the bus. At first I thought he had just fallen asleep and didn't know he was at Finch station. I said something to him and he didn't respond. I shook him gently. I shook him roughly. No response.

I then notified the driver and he tried to wake the comatose man. We checked to see whether he was breathing. Still breathing. The driver called for paramedics and the bus went out of service.

Diabetic coma can be deadly. So hopefully he made a full recovery. I got on the next bus so I don't know how the story ended. I hope he turned out okay.

What scares me is what if I hadn't noticed him? When would someone have noticed the poor guy wasn't moving or responding?

Are personal trainers worth the expense?

Do I need a personal trainer? Are personal trainers worth the expense?

These are two commonly asked questions by people contemplating whether they should get a personal trainer - and whether it is worth the cost.

Well, ask yourself the following questions...

#1. Am I making definite progress at a speed I find satisfactory?

#2. Am I struggling to find the motivation to stick with my exercise and dietary goals?

#3. Do I need an external push to make more of an effort?

When in doubt talk to some people who have previously hired a personal trainer to help them make accelerated progress and ask about their impressions, whether they felt it was worth it, etc.

Why is first hand references better? Well, first of all they cannot be faked, whereas client testimonials on a website could be faked and misleading. You are asking someone you already know to give their honest opinion - and they will either say it was a waste of time and/or money, or they will talk about how awesome it was having a personal trainer.

And to be fair, some people don't need a personal trainer. So there is always going to be some people who say personal training is a waste of time and money - because for them, it is.

But for the people who difficulty finding the right rhythm with their exercise routine, are not challenging themselves enough, don't feel motivated, and need an extra push then hiring a personal trainer is totally worth the expense.

Thus even if you don't hire me as your personal trainer in Toronto, I still fully endorse hiring someone else if you are the type of person who needs to be challenged and motivated to try harder.

Keep trying as hard as you can. Every little bit helps!

June Exercise Motivation Quotes

"Exercising is more than just a workout. Its a way of life. Changing your lifestyle, and making it a permanent change by choosing exercises you enjoy doing, is the key to grabbing control of your health and making the most out of your life."
-Charles Moffat

"The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible."
-Arthur C. Clarke

"You cannot plough a field by turning it over in your mind."
-Author Unknown

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit."

"Fortune favors the brave."
-Publius Terence

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."
-Albert Einstein

"To know your limits is a state of self-delusion."
-Bill Purdin

"He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else."
-Benjamin Franklin

"When you are looking in the mirror, you are looking at the problem. But, remember, you are also looking at the solution."

"There is no satisfaction that can compare with looking back across the years and finding you've grown in self-control, judgment, generosity, and unselfishness."
-Ella Wheeler Wilcox

"Our central nervous system contains from 10 to 100 million cells, each one of which has a storage capacity equal to that of a large computer."
-Dr. Alexander Rich MIT Biophysicist

"The ultimate creative capacity of your brain may be, for all practical purposes, infinite."
-DRW Ross Adley - Brain Research Institute UCLA

"As long as you think you're green, you'll grow. As soon as you think you're ripe, you'll rot."
-Scott Horton

"The way life treats you is a merciless mirror image of your attitude toward life."

Building a Stronger Grip using Grip Exercises

Building a stronger grip is really a specialized form of weightlifting / resistance training, and usually the result of someone some form of hand injury wherein their hand was in a cast for a month or more and they need to rebuild the muscles in their hand.

There are a variety of other reasons why people might want a stronger grip in their hands (eg. people who are into rock climbing), but their goals will be roughly the same - to build the muscles in their hand so they can strongly and firmly hold something in place. For bodybuilders having a good strong grip is also handy when lifting the heavier weights.

Some people also build stronger forearm muscles, which also effects grip, so absolutely that is another reason to be doing grip exercises.

There are essentially two ways to do this...

#1. Sports Hand Grips and Weightlifting Grips

You've probably seen them in stores before. Its basically just a device with a spring that you squeeze together. Its not complicated or expensive to purchase them, and they do "most" of the job they are advertised to do.

When buying grips you will want to start with a low number - like 30 lbs or 40 lbs. You can even get adjustable grips where you can change the tension in the spring.

The more heavy duty weightlifting grips start at 100 lbs and go up to 300 lbs, but that is more for serious weightlifters.

#2. Old School Frugal Grip Exercises

These are arguably the better way to attain a stronger grip. Why? It gives you more range and variety, offering you more of a challenge and will push your muscles further than any mere gadget will do. The types of grip exercises will give you different things to challenge yourself with - and the beauty of these exercises is that are not only better for you physically, but they're easy on your wallet too.

Look at the visual examples below of various grip exercises you can try. You won't need anvils or weights to do some of these exercises. When lacking in equipment try using books and heavier objects in your home or garage. Rope climbing is an excellent method too as it uses your body weight instead of the weight of the object.

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