Idaho Falls…I have nothing against you, but I wasn’t thrilled to spend hours in your tiny airport when my flight to Salt Lake to Cali was diverted. Apparently weather in Salt Lake shut down the airport, so all flights got to visit other exciting destinations. The five people working the Idaho Falls airport were a little overwhelmed with the nine planes sitting on the run way. Good times and air travel…
Eventually I got to California. It’s all about the journey, not the destination right? (I kept telling myself that as I looked out into the snowy runway when I could be looking at palm tree…)
Question: I’m a cardio junkie. I find the more I challenge myself with cardio workouts, I get fit but it’s not doing anything for my chubby tummy. I know I should incorporate more strength training in my plan. I watch some of your challenges and I’m pretty reluctant to try those as I know I’m not as strong as I need to be. I can’t even do one pull up. Where do I begin? Kate
Answer: Kate, you’re not alone. I hear from a lot of women that have the same issue. It’s not a matter of not training, it’s a matter of doing the right thing and training ‘smarter’.
In a study published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings (Vol. 87(6):587-95), researchers concluded that there are potential harmful effects from excessive endurance (cardio) exercise. In fact, this sort of training can actually harm your heart, the very ‘muscle’ you’re trying to improve. On top of that, you’re at risk for over use injuries. Those are the health concerns over excessive cardio workouts.
Now let’s address the lifestyle implications of excessive cardio….do you have time for it? Do you have an hour or more a day six days a week for this? Probably not.
Take a look at this study from the Journal of Applied Physiology in Nutrition and Metabolism (Volume 37(6):1124-31). Canadian researchers at Queen’s University tested a bodyweight style workout program against 30 minutes of long cardio.
In the experiment, 22 college-aged women did 4 workouts per week for 4 weeks in one of three groups.
Group A did 30 minutes of treadmill running at 85% max heart rate
Group B did 8 rounds of 20 seconds of a single bodyweight exercise (burpees, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, or squat thrusts) with 10 seconds of rest between rounds.
Group C did nothing (they were the non-training control group).
Both training groups increased their aerobic fitness levels by the SAME amount (about 7-8%). That’s right, the short bodyweight workouts (of 4 minutes) worked just as well as 30 minutes of cardio even though they were SEVEN times shorter. Shocking.
BUT…it was only Group B – those that did the bodyweight exercises – that also increased muscular endurance in common exercises like chest presses, leg extensions, sit-ups, and push-ups.
And finally, this short, burst style of training used by Group B also resulted in greater overall workout enjoyment compared to the cardio group.
The scientists concluded that “extremely low volume bodyweight interval-style training” will boost cardiovascular fitness just as well as cardio while giving you BETTER improvements in muscle endurance.
Guess what? More muscular endurance equates to an increase in metabolism with really means MORE fat burning. This is good news for your belly fat…say good by to it.
I’m excited about a new program just released by my mentor and friend, Craig Ballantyne. I highly recommend it.
Here’s one of the workouts that will help you burn that belly fat, get your cardio fix and increase your muscle all at once:
Workout # 2: The TT Metabolic Revvin’ 7
Do the following circuit 2 times, resting for 1 minute between circuits:
• Lunge Jumps (6/side)
• Chinups (6)
• Run-in-Place (30 secs)
• Pushups (15)
• Bodyweight Squat (20)
• Spiderman Climb (10/side)
• Total Body Extension (20)
If you like this, you’re sure to like over 50 FOLLOW ALONG videos that you’ll get when you grab Craig’s TT Home Revolution.