Fitmark Ambassador Kim Keeler talks about making changes.
Challenging yourself to change your fitness routine, work habits, eating habits or anything else in life can always be a challenge but it doesn’t have to be that way. Change can be hard but change is always good. It may take time to see that the changes are for the better or that they are working at all. I faced this same challenge about a year ago. I went to the gym religiously 7 days a week. I would do the same thing day in and day out, week after week. My goal was to shed weight and get more toned. Week after week the scale would not change. I started to think maybe I needed to do more cardio so I would gradually increase the amount I did. It got to the point of where I was doing 90 minutes of cardio every day and then would lift a few weights here and there. I never saw any change at all, I weighed the same month after month and I never got more toned.
In January of 2012 I decided I was ready to make a change, I needed a challenge, I wanted to get in the best shape I possibly could. I started out at 128 pounds, 20 percent body fat and was carrying about 57 pounds of muscle. I wanted to see more definition and be more toned. I hired a trainer to workout with just once a week to really push me on my leg day. I wanted my legs to become stronger and leaner. The first thing my trainer told me was you have to cut the cardio and cut it drastically. I thought he was out of his mind. I told him i needed to do that much cardio to stay in shape and be fit. He said you are wrong and going forward you are not allowed more than 30 minutes of cardio a day. I was use to running 13 miles every Thursday morning at 3:30 a.m I would go to the gym get on the same treadmill I got on every day and set the speed to 8.0 mph and would run for 99 minutes straight. I wasn’t sure that I could give this running up because it was a mental thing for me. I slowly and gradually started cutting back my cardio week after week. I’m not going to lie, it was difficult to do at first, as a matter of fact, it took me about 6 weeks to cut it down to 30 min a day. This 30 minutes a day included a 10 minute warm up and then 20 minutes of High Intensity Interval Training, commonly known as HIIT.
When changing up your cardio routine it causes your body to constantly adapt to new equipment, terrain and different energy systems being used. Introduce interval training to your routine-alternating periods of high intensity with periods of low intensity or recovery for 10-20 minutes daily. Interval training allows you to work harder in a shorter period of time, but burning off twice as many calories. The problem is most people don’t know how to push themselves. When doing interval training you should not be able to carry on a conversation with the person next to you. Finally it is important to alternate minute to minute intervals with 45 second high intensity with 15 seconds of rest or 30 seconds of high intensity with 30 seconds of lower intensity. This keeps your body constantly guessing what you are doing and will help boost your metabolism over the next 24-36 hours after you have completed your training. These short intense workouts provide improved athletic capacity and condition, improved glucose metabolism and improved fat burning. Running, stair stopper, jumping rope, high knees, sprints, hills, biking and rowing are all great exercise to perform when you are using HIIT. An example of HIIT is: sprint the straightaways and walk the curves, sprint 200 meters, walk 200 meters, sprint 400 meters walk 400 meters.
The benefits of HIIT training is it usually only last 20 minutes. This allows almost anyone to be able to do it even if you have limited time. These workouts will be some of the toughest you do if you do them right. Not only will you burn fat during your HIIT session you will continue to burn fat throughout the day through excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. EPOC results in an elevated fat loss for up to 24 hours after you finish your exercise-something low intensity cardio won’t do. After your HIIT training you should be tired, short of breath and sweaty. I challenge you to try this type of training on a gradual basis. Start doing it a few times a week and increase it to daily if you like the results you are seeing. After 10 short week of doing HIIT training I was able to drop my weight from 128 to 119 and my body fat from 20% to 10%. I have never looked back since I started this training, it literally took an hour off of my daily workout and helped give me more balance in my life and a little more sleep. Remember if it important to you, you will find time to fit it in. My workout are daily at 3:30 a.m because it is the only time I have free during the day! Change is good, challenge yourself to try it!
Fitmark Ambassador 2013