Tabata Interval Training – Sample Workouts

February 12, 2010

Tabata is a form of high intensity interval training. The Tabata protocol is made up of 20 seconds of work, immediately followed by 10 seconds of rest, then complete the sequence 8 times! That gives you a total of 4 minutes!

3 reasons why Tabata interval training works:

  1. It allows you to effectively manage your time and plan the perfect workout.
  2. You can use any exercise whether it’s cardio or resistance based to put into the Tabata format.
  3. High intensity interval training such as Tabata is best for fat loss. It increases calorie expenditure during and for up to 38 hours after exercise due to excess post exercise oxygen consumption – EPOC. (See the article Steady state aerobic training vs anaerobic interval training – https://chelmarchioli.wordpress.com/2010/02/12/interval-training-is-the-best-for-fat-loss/)

 Here are 3 different situations you may be in where you can use my sample tabata interval programs depending on equipment and location. Remember the 4 minutes is made up of 20 seconds of work, followed by 10 seconds of rest, x 8! Take a minute break after each exercise to rest and change over and set up for the next set of intervals. All three work outs can be completed in 30 minutes. If you had more or less time to workout then you can add or take an exercise away, Just allow 5 minutes per exercise.

Gym:

Bike – seated climb (4/8) sprints (4/8) (4 mins)

1 min rest

Lat Pulldown (4mins)

1 min rest

 Rower – sprints (4mins)

1 min rest

Chest Press (4mins)

1 min rest

Cross trainer – sprints (4mins)

1 min rest

Leg Press (4 mins)

No Equipment:

Running – (4 mins)

1 min rest

Push ups (4mins)

1 min rest

Burpees (4mins)

1 min rest

Mountain climbers (4mins)

1 min rest

Dynamic lunges (4mins)

1 min rest

Step ups (4mins)

 

Boxing equipment:

Boxing – Jabs  (4mins)

1 min rest

Push ups (4mins)

1 min rest

Boxing – hooks (4mins)

1 min rest

squats (4mins)

1 min rest

Boxing – Uppercuts (4mins)

1 min rest

Bodyweight – abdominal brace (4mins)

Ok, now you’ve got the idea you can go ahead and try some of these workouts for yourself. You can put anything you like into these workouts to target specific goals you may have. One advantage to have would be a gym boss interval timer or some other kind of timer you can set this up on. You can buy them from Hart Sport Australia or get the FREE application on your iphone.

Let me know how you go and if you’ve got any other great workouts that you may have done or created yourself then please leave a comment. Have fun!!


Why anaerobic interval training is the best training method for fat loss

February 12, 2010

 

Have you ever wondered what the best , most time efficient wat to lose fat is?

Have you been told totally different things about what is the best training method for fat loss?

Read this article from Ultrafit Magazine and it will hopefully clear this issue up for you.

Commonly, interval training has only been used as a time efficient way to increase anaerobic fitness or sport-specific power endurance in the final weeks before competition. However, new research on interval training has shown it to be a very efficient method of fat burning.

Consider some of the following on steady state aerobic training and fat loss:

  • A 1996 study showed that the addition of 5 x 45 minute sessions of aerobic training sessions per week for 12 weeks had no effect on fat loss.
  • A 2007 study showed that 5 x 50 minute of aerobic training per week for 6 months had no effect on fat loss.
  • A 2008 study showed that 3 x 40 minutes of aerobic exercise per week for 15 weeks actually resulted in a fat increase!

 And now consider the following about interval/anaerobic training and fat loss:

  • A 1994 study actually showed that interval training reduced body fat by nine times more than traditional cardio training, despite using few calories during the session and taking less time.
  • A 1999 study showed that the addition of a resistance training program to fat loss increased its effectiveness by 35% over diet and purely aerobic training.
  • The same study showed that 3 x 50 minute sessions of aerobic training for 12 weeks (36 sessions) increased fat loss by only 450g over diet alone.
  • The rise in metabolism after anaerobic training (Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption – EPOC) results in further calories being burnt for up to 38 hours after the finish of the session.

 

The indicators are clear: this type of information should go a long way in helping fitness professionals design and implement effective fat loss programs. It’s not the workout – it’s the effect of that workout on EPOC.

EPOC is defined scientifically as the “recovery of metabolic rate back to pre-exercise levels”. It can require several minutes for light exercise and several hours for hard intervals.

In layman’s terms it means you keep burning calories at an increased rate after a workout.

If you can imagine a big forest fire, you understand that it doesn’t just burn for an hour and then burn out – it gradually burns out so that over time there is no fire anymore. The peak of the fire may have been a long time ago but there are still flames being produced for a long time afterwards.

We call this the afterburn – metabolic disturbance – elevating EPOC to maximise calorie burn for the 23+ hours per day. Is there much of a real world effect of burning 300 calories per workout (e.g. aerobic work) if we don’t elevate EPOC??

If we could elevate EPOC even an apparently insignificant ¼ of a calorie per minute for the 38 hours that the study showed, then that 31 minute resistance workout would burn maybe 300 calories during the session plus the extra 570 calories over the next 38 hours. That becomes very significant.

In the past, fitness professionals and researchers have looked at how much fat is burned during the exercise session itself. This is extremely short sighted.

As American conditioning guru Alan Aragon said “Caring how much fat is burned during training makes as much sense as caring how much muscle is built during training.”

Think about that. If we looked at a weight training session that started at 9am and finished at 10am – how much muscle would we see built if we stopped at 10am? None.

In fact we’d see muscle damage. We could make the conclusion that weight training does not increase muscle – in fact it decreases muscle, right? It’s only when we look at the big picture – and look at the recovery from the session – that we find the reverse is true – weight training builds muscle.

Fat loss is the same way. Someone talking about the benefits of the “fat burning zones” or “fasted cardio” is a sure sign that the individual has stopped looking at the end of the exercise session. They have come to the conclusion that, lower intensity steady state exercise burns the most fat and made the massive leap of faith to suggest it’s the best for fat loss.

Using that same logic, these same people would suggest avoiding weight training if you want to grow muscle.

Take home message – focus on the afterburn, not just what happens during the exercise session

There is another, more subtle reason why intervals are superior to steady state training.

The body does the opposite.

If you don’t drink enough water your body will retain it. If you drink too much water your body will excrete it.

Article from Ultrafit Magazine

Issue 123 Jan/Feb 2010


How to boost your training performance and get results

August 11, 2009

It seems like a real waste to do all the hard work, like getting to the gym, training hard, or going for a long run or cycle, and not getting the best rewards you could be for your hard work. Everyone would love to get the best results possible from their hard work and there are a lot of products going around all with various claims of how much they can help you. Knowing how beneficial they are is the hard thing and sometimes you’ll try many different products and combinations before knowing what is best for you. I was reading an article in a magazine and thought I would share some of the information.

Whey Protein

Protein has certainly become a major player in weight management, muscle building and recovery. More importantly however while research has shown eating a little more protein can be beneficial, research into whey protein has shown some rather solid results especially when it comes to preserving lean muscle mass as well as building it. Why? Protein from whole foods, while beneficial and still integral to a healthy balanced diet, take many long hours to digest. Whey protein, the left over product from cheese manufacturing, is ‘pre-digested’ and 8-10 grams can be absorbed. What’s special about whey protein is that it contains a high level of branch chain amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine. These escape digestion in the liver and are transported straight to the muscles. The benefits are bigger muscles, a decrease in muscle loss and even appetite suppression and weight/loss maintenance.

There are many variates on the market. Find one that tastes good, has high protein content and fits your budget. Whey protein taken straight after a workout, in between meals or even as a snack will yield the best results, especially at two doses a day. You don’t need to over do the dose size. 15-30 grams each dose would be sufficient.

Creatine

How does creatine work? More ATP in muscles means more energy to lift weights, so rather than getting 8 repetitions in a set you may get 10-11. After your first set ATP has been used up therefore you’re left with ADP which isn’t much use when you have another few sets to complete. More creatine means more ATP because phosphate is donated to ADP to produce ATP. Supplementation of creatine in the diet means there is an increase in the amount of creatine in muscle. This means the next set rather than getting 7 repetitions without supplementation; you would most likely get 9-10 repetitions. What this means is greater training intensity, and therefore more lean muscle mass.

What type of results can be expected?

Specific improvements are;

  • Short-term creatine supplementation has been reported to improve maximal power/strength (5-15%)
  • Work performed during sets of maximal effort contractions (5-15%)
  • Single effort sprint performance (1-5%)
  • Work performed during repetitive sprint performance (5-15%)
  • Long-term creatine supplementation appears to enhance the overall quality of training, leading to 5 to 15% greater gains in strength and performance.
  • Nearly all studies indicate that “proper” creatine supplementation increases body mass by about 1 to 2 kg in the first week of loading.

Summary

There are numerous products on the market; however whey protein and creatine have consistent sound evidence behind them to support their use. The best way to use these is to find products and doses that work best for you. This is a trial and error process and may take some time but is very beneficial in the long-term.


Setting goals works – how it can help your weight loss

July 15, 2009
Goal setting works! It’s as simple as that. It’s essential for anyone who wants to lose some extra weight no matter if its 5kg or 50kg you want to lose, goals are a necessity.
Here are some simple steps to planning and achieving your fat loss goals.

1. Write down your main goal. This is generally the total amount of weight or % of body fat you want to lose.

2. Give your number one goal a time frame. Setting a time frame is so important. Your time frame is predominately based around how much time and energy you can dedicate to reaching your number one goal. Ask yourself how important is achieving your goal to you on a scale of 1-10? From your answer decide how much time you can put towards achieving it.

3. Once you have your time frame you can break it up in to smaller goals. For example your goal is to lose 12kg in 3 months. You can set yourself smaller goals that are stepping stones towards your main goal. This may be ‘lose 1kg a week over the 3 month period’. By setting smaller goals that lead up to your number one goal you can monitor your progress and see what is working and what isn’t straight away.

4. Once you have your goals planned out on paper it’s time to do something about it. Get to the gym, sign up for a boot camp or exercise program, create a better eating plan, get out of the house more and do what you need to do to reach your goals! You need to make these lifestyle changes and stick to them for long term fat loss success.

5. The SMARTER your goal is the better!

Specific – the more specific your goal is the better. It gives you direction!

Measurable – you need to be able to know if you’ve achieved your goal. Lose weight isn’t a measurable goal. However lose 5kg in one month is very measurable.

Accountable – who is accountable for reaching your goals. 99% of the time you are!

Realistic – unrealistic goals will lead to discouragement. Not good for successful fat loss!

Time frame – decide on how long you will take to achieve your goal and stick to it.

Exciting – you should be excited about what it will be like when you reach this goal.

Recorded – record your progress somewhere that you see every day to keep you on track.

Whether it’s fat loss goals or any kind of goal using a method like this increases your chances of achieving it.


The importance of fitness testing

July 15, 2009

Fitness tests allow us to identify physical strengths and weaknesses and also monitor increases and decreases in specific components of our fitness. Conducting a fitness assessment allows us to create a program that is suitable for our clients. Without fitness testing how would we know if we were neglecting weaknesses and only improving on what are already our strengths? How would we know if the program we designed is working if we didn’t test our fitness components regularly?

The answer is we wouldn’t know. Without any proper testing in the right environment it’s near impossible to tell. How can we tell if a client has lost body fat if they do both cardio and resistance training? They may get discouraged by looking at the scales at home thinking I’ve put on weight, I’m failing. They may not realise that they’ve put on some lean muscle mass and decreased their body fat %. This is just another reason why testing is so important.

It doesn’t just show that you are doing a good job and have the ability to help people improve their fitness. It shows and motivates your clients to keep working hard because they know that when they do they achieve the goals they set themselves.

When should we test?

Testing should be done regularly, whether it’s done every 2 weeks, 4 weeks, 6 weeks, whatever you do don’t leave it longer than 8 weeks! If you leave it too long clients can get off track and don’t know how they are traveling and if you make it too short they may get discouraged by not achieving much as you leave little time for the body to change. You need to keep them focused and I prefer to test on a monthly basis, anywhere between 3-5 weeks I think is good because it gives your clients time to improve on their previous set of results.

What should I test?

Keep the tests specific to the client’s goals. Not much point doing a VO2 max test on someone who just wants to increase their lean muscle mass. It’s a waste of your time and theirs. It would be better to stick to muscular tests and measurements and body composition tests. There are plenty of tests for particular components of fitness out there. You just need to have a look around.

Are there any areas you don’t know how to test?

What time frame works best for you when it comes to regular fitness tests?

Feel free to let me know.


The Benefits of boxing for fitness

July 14, 2009

I don’t blame people for getting tired of the same old cardio machines when you use them day after day, week after week! It’s always great to try something different. Boxing for fitness adds that extra fun into your workout and also delivers great results.

Here are 5 ways boxing can help you!

1. Increase your fitness levels – boxing is based around high repetitions with rest in between work efforts. It’s a great interval training session and, when done with correct technique, will give your whole body a good workout.

2. Help you achieve your fat loss goals – boxing is great for losing that extra fat. Its high intensity and gets plenty of muscles moving and burning lots of calories. With the right format to your session you will see great results.

3. Increase your muscular tone – punching bags or pads requires your muscles to be working pretty hard throughout the session. If you’ve ever done a one on one boxing session you know the feeling of how hard your arms have to work towards the end of a one minute round of high intensity effort. By losing that bit of extra fat and toning up your muscles through boxing training you’ll soon be seeing the results.

4. Improved coordination and agility – technique is really important in boxing. Once you know the main punches your trainer can combine these punches into combos which can include weaves between certain punches.

5. Reduce stress – we all know when we get really angry we like to hit things or take our frustration out in some way. Boxing is a feel good workout. After a long hard day in the office there isn’t much better than letting it all out and having a fun, solid workout to make you feel great and put everything else behind you.

The best way to get started with boxing for fitness is to ask about it at your gym and get a trainer to take you for a few sessions or join a group boxing class to learn the right technique and good session formats.


Cardio challenge – are you up for it?

July 13, 2009

Are you bored doing the same or similar cardio workout/s every week?

Are you finding that no matter how many times you program the “fat burn” option on the treadmill each week, you still see little or no results on the scales or in your figure?

Then maybe it’s time to try something different to mix up your training and leave the one dimensional approach to your training behind.

Think of your goals in your head right now. What is it that you want to achieve? Make sure your goals are achievable but challenging and if your goal is long term then try to break it up into smaller goals so you don’t forget what it is that you’re heading towards. The first step to achieving a goal is knowing what that goal is and writing it down!

This workout is not only physically hard but will also need you to be motivated so if you’re serious about achieving your goals then give this a try once or even twice a fortnight and see if your results are improving over each fortnight. Make sure you record your score in each section and then calculate your total score at the end. Your total score is a measurement of YOUR fitness – who needs to be compared to the population or anyone else?! This result is the benchmark that you’re going to measure off and see the improvements.  If your score is improving fortnightly or even monthly then you will see and feel the results.

You will need a cross trainer and a rower (keep in mind you could use any piece of cardio equipment). It’s also important you do light total body warm up + dynamic stretch before commencing the challenge as you’ll need to be ready right from the start.

OK, here it is!

1. Cross Trainer – complete 3000 metres – record your time

1 minute change over time

2. Rower – complete 1500 metres – record your time

1 minute change over time

3. Cross trainer – complete 2000 metres – record your time

1 minute change over time

4. Rower – complete 1000 metres – record your time

1 minute change over time

5. Cross trainer – complete 1000 metres – record your time

1 minute change over time

6. Rower – complete 500 metres – record your time

Total distance = 9000 metres

Make sure you calculate your total time and use this figure as your bench mark and look to use your training to improve on the initial result. There are also many variations to this challenge. You could use a bike or treadmill instead but I’ve chosen the rower and cross trainer because you get a better total body workout and make the most of your time in the gym.  You also have the option of varying distances and change over periods to suit your current fitness level. Whatever you do just make sure you do it the same each time you test it otherwise you’ll find it hard to know how much your improving each time. (This also means using the same levels each time. For example: rower on level 10 and cross trainer on level 12)

It’s always good to follow a tough workout like this with some light exercise and a good quality passive or static stretching routine for the whole body.

Feel free to let me know how you go with it, even send in your best time and any other great cardio workouts or ideas you have or use.

Enjoy!