Do i need to work more than 20 mins to burn fat?

Jean brought up a very interesting point today, she said that she always took it that you needed to work for at least 20 minutes before she starting burning fat. In theory, she is right and your body will start burning it’s carbohydrate and simple sugars first, then after the 20 minutes stage depending on energy levels in the body, fat can then be used as a fuel source so that does work-in a perfect world.

What happens if nothing is going to plan that day, we need a quick workout and we can only fit in a 15 minute run, is it worth it? We can only do 20 press ups, 20 arm dips. 20 squats, and 70 squat thrusts, is it worth it? What if you can only get a 10 minute walk in with the dog as you have to go back to work, is it worth going even you put in a light jog? Is it worth going for 15 minute bike ride when we usually do 45 mins? Will we burn fat if we do any of these things?

The answer must be a resounding “yes”! Of course, we would spend a little more time warming up and getting into the workout, it’s not good to rush in and go 200% all the time! What i am saying is that any exercise is good, and i have had some of my best workouts in under 10 mins. Breaking 9 minutes for the first time whilst doing 2500 metres on a rowing machine nearly half killed me! Usain bolt does his best workouts in under 10 seconds! What about the guys and girls who do the run up the stairs every february in the empire state building in new york? There are 1575 stairs and the women’s record is 13 minutes 12 seconds, the men’s rec0rd is 9 minutes and thirty three seconds.

Do you think that any of these workouts/events burnt any body fat or not? Of course they did and often pushed our bodies to new levels of achievement and conditioning.

The key is you are pressed for time is to raise the intensity to suit the workout. For instance, if you are used to running for 30 minutes on a flat surface and that gives you an effort of 8 out of 10 then great. Do make a workout of 15 minutes much more intense, incorporate hills or interval training, do some sprints with minimal rest, in fact do anything that makes it harder and really try and take rest out of the equation.

P.S. To clear up my home workouts post yesterday, my example workout was exactly that, an example. For instance if your best test on your own was 20 press ups, 30 arm dips, 60 squat thrusts etc, your circuit you do 3 times should be half of that. Therefore, it would be 10 press ups, 15 arm dips and 30 squat thrusts. Effectively, you are halving your personal best totals but doing them a total of 3 times instead of once. This will make a very effective workout indeed. Any problems let me know.

Training at home

Training in the house

You should be looking at doing 3 workouts on your own if training in the house, and by that I mean working with resistance. That doesn’t have to be massive weights, or a stepper you never ever use, I’m talking about honest, simple exercises using your own bodyweight that work you very effectively indeed.

You need to pick 6-8 exercises when you are used to doing your home circuits, but even 4-5 exercises to start can be highly effective. The great thing about circuits too is that you are only limited by your imagination when designing your workouts. The goal is to work each body part in each workout and this is always easier than you think.

A press up for instance works not only your chest, but your shoulders, arms, back and legs even, and the all important core of your body (especially your lower back and stomach).

If you do a squat, it not only works your legs but your whole body in a way because of the energy demands it makes, your legs are your body’s biggest muscle group and therefore require most energy to work them, which in turn burns more calories. Also, when you develop your lean muscle tissue, your body demands more calories because one pound of lean muscle tissue burns up to 50 calories a day. One pound of fat for instance only burns two calories per day.

You can see that being leaner, and more shapely has many more benefits than you thought and starting a home fitness programme will very much get you on that track.

I’m going to give you plenty of options for your home circuits, and ones that are guaranteed to work every time, and get that all important metabolism going at a very quick rate, something a lot of you may not have experienced for a long time.

That’s 3 days a week covered (typically Monday, Wednesday and Friday), the other 2 days at least, I’m going to ask you to do some heart and lungs work (easiest way to describe it). This could be brisk walking, running, cycling, swimming, anything that gets your heart and lungs going. This again gets your metabolism going again, puts a lot of vital oxygen in your blood, and gets the all important process of fat-burning going again, just as the inside workouts do.

Again, the range of heart and lungs activities you do are only limited by your imagination and pick out your favourites. There are huge benefits though by mixing them up too. For example, you could do a cycle on a Sunday, and a swim on a Thursday? Or if you are running, mix your routes up to make it more fun, and combine longer routes with some shorter sprints, which really confuse the body and help you blast through plateaus.

Over the coming days, as I said, you will have lots of options thrown at you, if you are new to exercise, always make sure you get doctor’s approval before beginning any exercise programme. For the rest of you, no matter how experienced you are, it’s important to have a good structure in your exercise programme, once you have, you can then measure your progress. If you are improving most weeks or at least making a decent improvement every month, you will know your programme is working and this helps keep you motivated.

You will see a million faddy exercise gadgets and programmes, just like you will a million faddy diets, this one will work because the fundamentals of it are sound, based on science and tried and tested.

Keri.

Do i take my kit or not?

After a weekend in london, its always great to have been away, but great to have arrived back too. The main point of this post is about the eternal question;

1. Shall i take my kit on holiday/weekend break?

2. Do i even think about taking my kit?

3. I always take my kit away!

You can possibly guess that i now always take my kit away, in the past, often i didn’t and paid the price when i came home. The “price” would be a wheezing chest, shortness of breath, weight gain and generally feeling not so good and sluggish. That is exactly the reason i take my kit away, i simply want to FEEL better when i come back, its that simple, and i really don’t want to be a few pounds heavier after just a couple of days away!

So the bottom line was i did two runs, both at 5.45am on saturday and sunday, only for 25 minutes and after a shower, i felt incredibly better after pounding oxford street when only the cleaners were around, and some coming home after a night out!! It was freezing in a pair of shorts but that feeling only lasted around 5 minutes, and it did have some strange looks!!

Another question you may ask, why are you so “boring” to run on a break? First of all, it’s part of my lifestyle and i want to feel better and well, as listed above, and isn’t it more boring to whinge about how many pounds you’ve put on after a trip, and complaining how bad you feel? Not exactly entertaining is it! I’ve been in both camps and i can assure you that feeling great is number one by a mile!! When you make the commitment to look after yourself, you take every opportunity to look and feel your best, i didn’t always have this mindset, but so glad i do now!

We all eat richer food on holiday, we may drink a bit/lot more. It needs to get worked out of our systems sometime or another, there’s no time like the present so let’s make it happen!

Keri

Saturday’s calories challenge!!!

Ok, we have got through friday night, we have reduced our takeaways or not even had them at all!! What about today, i never really do fried breakfasts but what about you?

What about eating out lunch time, or the weekly visit to the chip shop?

What about the binge you usually do on a saturday, the extra beer, the extra wine, the extra starter, main course and dessert?!! Saturday night pizza anyone?!

What about all the extra stuff you do whilst you shop, “that won’t hurt, that doesn’t really matter, and there’s only 200 calories in this ready meal”!!

Once a week, the “cheat meal” doesn’t really matter as it will keep your sanity from the rigours of the week but i’m telling you now that as most of the people i have trained notice, once you eat well, you’re not so tempted to go mad ALL weekend because you will have negative side effects, like i said i suffer from wheezing from sugary/fatty food, and by sunday night i will feel like a 90 year old who has smoked all his life, if i have 3 days of eating badly, plus i can easily put on a few pounds, and then monday morning runs are not a great feeling at all, in fact they can be downright horrible and a massive struggle.

I encourage you this weekend to feel what it’s really like to cut down a little bit if you have an excess weekend, and let me know how good it feels on monday morning? Do you feel lighter, do your workouts feel better, are you motivated to do better because things are suddenly “easier”?!

Let’s work through this weekend by analysing each day, this is saturday so let’s see what happens!!

P.S. If you are in the supermarket, have a look in other people’s trolleys and look at the person pushing it, the trolley will be full of good or bad food, this will often tell you if that person is in shape or not! A fun game for you this weekend!

Have fun whatever you do!

Keri

How much should i lose?

Regular poster on here Cyril has asked some very important questions this week, and i think everyone needs to know the answers.

He asks “how much should i lose in the programmes posted here”?

The answer would be that the best way to think about it is in times of inches and body fat. We all have become slaves to the scales over the years, judging our success by a few pounds lost here and there, and when we put a few on, we shoot ourselves in the foot by “stress eating” again. It’s always better to look at your weight maybe once a week, or even once a month.

Once a month i measure clients and if you’re doing this at home, measure key things like your waist, or even better get someone to do it for you. Measure your waist and here’s a good test. If your waist is less than half your height in inches, then you are fit and healthy and likely to avoid serious disease, or at least improve your chances significantly!

For example, if Cyril was 5 ft 10 inches, that would be 70 inches. If his waist was 40 inches, he clearly needs to bring that down under 35 inches to really be close to his better health. If you were 5ft 4 inches, that would be 64 inches, so you would need to be 32 inch waist or below to be really healthy.

This is a simple guide to being healthy and takes all of 2 minutes, if that! Try this test and let me know how you get on. Waist to height ratio has a direct relationship to heart health so this is pretty important you check on this regular.

Plus this won’t play games with your mind! As long as your waist is coming down to the healthy range, then you are making good progress. Chances are too that your weight will eventually come down in relative terms! And you will feel MUCH, MUCH better!

The other question i was asked was about lack of motivation this time of year. The days are short, we are having an unbelievable amount of rain, wind and cold and it’s not even proper winter yet!!!

I would go back to one of my first posts under motivation. The DRIVING FORCE post was pretty powerful i think, and it will remind you of what you really want in life, what makes you do things and i will tell you one big thing i tell all my clients, this time of year IS THE TRUE SECRET of getting in shape. While others are giving up and saying “what’s the point”, here’s the time to absolutely put 200% effort in and really raise your standards!!

Another plus is that you won’t have the post christmas blues of ill health and being so overweight, you will have had a great run in to christmas and really be proud of yourself that for the first time in a long time, you managed to stick to something really worthwhile and you will reap the benefits before and after christmas, TRUST ME!!

Another SECRET for you, motivation doesn’t last!!! Strong structures do and that’s what i am encouraging. Nobody gets out of bed every day feeling amazing, but if you eat healthily, cut out the rubbish, don’t drink alcohol in the week, get to bed early, workout 4-5 times per week, the chances of you feeling amazing are SIGNIFICANTLY better!!

So in summing up, don’t see this time of year as a barrier, see it as another challenge that when you overcome it, YOU WILL GET HUGE AMOUNTS OF SELF-ESTEEM AND SELF-CONFIDENCE!! Please, please, please, try it out and let me know every day, every week until Christmas (5 weeks friday) how you get on, are you ready for this challenge and ready to change your life for good?!!!!

KERI