by: Manny Aragon
Last week I wrote about the metabolic and hormonal benefits of a properly executed IF (intermittent fasting) regimen and its ability to help transition your body to a more active, fat burning, model (with the correct diet of course). There are all kinds of tips and tricks to this process but the concept is simple (see last weeks article here). A more complete explanation and research links is here.
So now lets look at synergistic process that you can add to this IF regimen (or do as a stand alone instead of IF- I recommend using eating, IF, and specific exercise for synergistic and the best results). Today we are going to look at the addition of synergistic exercise to the mix. Now – know that the exercise regimen you add is very specific to the results you are trying to get.
For example, if you are shooting for cardio endurance than you are going to, at least, want to incorporate some cardio endurance type training into your program or, better yet, garnish your cardio program with HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) resistance training for strength and injury prevention. If you are going for a more muscular look, then you will want to focus on resistance training. For overall fitness, do a bit of both. But for the most efficient (minimal resources required- no gym memberships, no coaches, etc.) means to transform your metabolism, health profile, and body, use the bodyweight protocol that I am going to describe in the next few paragraphs…
This type of protocol can take you as little as 5 minutes a day (properly executed) to 20 min 4 days a week (for best results) so, as you can see, its quite efficient. There is one requirement to make it work, however, and that is that you engage the exercise with all out effort (85-100% intensity) for the given interval (from as little as 20sec-1min per exercise interval) followed by a rest interval. This does take some dedication and will test the strength of your will in the later intervals, for sure, but it really works.
Traditionally called HIIT (high intensity interval training), its minimalist cousin has been called “Burst” training- for the idea that you train in 1 minute increments at maximum intensity followed by 30 sec to 1 min of rest in between bursts. For folks in sitting jobs, this can be done as little as 1 min/hour of sitting (get up once an hour and burst for 1 min), but there is some added benefit to stacking several intervals one after another for both physical, metabolic, and psychological benefit. So I am going to explain that protocol today.
The basic protocol is as follows: warm your body up with whole body exercises like walking, stretching, jogging, etc. (especially if you do this first thing in the am as your body will be cold), then pick 3 different body weight exercises (for example “sprinters”, “mountain climbers” and “burpees”), do each for 20sec one right after another ( at full intensity) for a total of 60 seconds of exercise followed by 1 min of rest in between. Do 4-10 sets (for beginners do 4 sets, for more advanced, you may want to work in 3 sets of 3 exercises or do each exercise for the full 1min interval switching it up in subsequent intervals). There are a ton of HIIT exercises on YouTube (search “burst training”).
Whats best about this type of exercise is that you can do it anywhere. Travelling and don’t have a gym nearby? Find the closest stairway- you can run up and down stairs for a minute and do the complimentary exercises on the landing. Forget your workout gear? No prob, just take off your shoes and do bodyweight exercises in your office, bedroom, or hotel room. Heck, you could probably do this stuff on a trans oceanic flight- I used to do yoga on the back of the widebody jets while flying over to Japan and back in my martial arts days…
To learn more about how you can incorporate simple, efficient workouts into your busy daily schedule and still get the healthy results you want, join me on my upcoming webinar to get the full story on how you can jumpstart your new year with HIIT, healthy eating, IF, and other synergistic processes to get your body, brain, and health on track for success! REGISTER HERE!
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Little JP, et al. Low-volume high-intensity interval training reduces hyperglycemia and increases muscle mitochondrial capacity in patients with type 2 diabetes. J Appl Physiol. 2011 Dec;111(6):1554-60.
Talanian JL, et al. Two weeks of high-intensity aerobic interval training increases the capacity for fat oxidation during exercise in women. J Appl Physiol. 2007 Apr;102(4):1439-47.
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