12 Jun

Get Fit For Summer – Day 1

So we have just 7 weeks now until we go on holiday and as usual… it’s kicked in… The desire to look half-decent on the beach so when we don our Wet Suits my Fiance and I don’t look like a pair of Walrus’s! It’s time to start a little hard work, watch what we eat and get more active to try and shed those few extra pounds and possibly gain a few pounds of muscle in the process.

I’m starting pretty easy, but we’re going for quick and intense training over the coming weeks. Sprints, weights & body-weight exercises will be the order of the day, so here goes.

A note of nutrition during this 7 week period: For the first two weeks I’ll be eating what I normally eat, but being mindful of what’s going in. Sticking to wholegrains, minimising the bread and wheat intake though, and eating plenty of fruits and salads. Still having a blowout though at the weekend with the usual crisps and chocolate. Just not overdoing it. We’re not starving ourselves. The idea is to get our Metabolisms boosted to try and shift the extra pounds, not starve ourselves!

Day 1 Workout

Gently easing into it, these are done at your own pace, throughout the day, but putting plenty of effort in as you do them. Each of these exercises can be fitted into your working day with ease as they only take a few minutes.

  • 10 Pull-ups
  • 3×10 Chair dips
  • 2x 100 Metre Sprints – Flat out, no holds barred
  • 4 minute belly buster
  • Set an interval timer app on your phone for 12 x 20 second intervals. Then do 20 secs on each of the following. No rest in between.
    Mountain Climbers / Plank / Crunches (putting the rest in between). Pushing hard during each work period to get as many in as possible.
02 Jun

Can running make you fat?

I was reading an article in the paper yesterday about exercise and the various conflicting theories about how much and which type of exercises you need to do to actually burn body fat. We recently took up running, primarily in the hope of shedding a few pounds before our summer holiday, but also to improve our level of cardiovascular fitness.

6 weeks on, how do things look? Well, both Tina and I have been running 3 times a week for between 20 and 30 minutes per session and the routes we’ve taken have been varied to include running up and down hills, grass, asphalt and gravel. Our general fitness levels have increased considerably a we can both now run for the full session holding a conversation, and neither of us are ready to completely collapse from exhaustion on our return. Recovery time is also far reduced too, with the whole experience leaving us both energised afterwards and ready to face the rest of the days challenges.

Weight loss wise though, it’s a different matter. Neither of us have seen any weight loss at all. In fact I think I’ve put on a pound or two. So the question is what do you have to do to get the burn that body fat? According to the article and the guys at R and O Group it’s to do with the bodies reaction to prolonged exercise or at least exercise that stresses the body out too much. Stress through exercise causes your body to produce the stress hormone, Cortisol. In short, this puts your body into Fat Storage mode! Not something we’d expect from exercising.

Change of approach

A change of direction is therefore required. In their Weapons of Fat Destruction post on their blog Ruben and Ozzie recommend Sprinting over jogging or running for stimulating fast fat burning. Here’s what they recommend…

6 Sprints a day, 6 Days a week. Combined with healthy eating and some resistance exercise which can be done at home using just bodyweight – Push ups, Pull ups, Sit Ups, Squats etc.

Sprinting Program

Work (sprint) Rest No movement
20 seconds 20 secs
20 seconds 15 secs
20 seconds 10 secs
20 seconds 20 secs
20 seconds 15 secs
20 seconds 10 secs

They also reckon that fantastic results can be achieved in just 4 to 6 weeks too… so we’re going to give it a go, see how we get on!

15 May

Learning to Run!

Believe it or not it’s taken me ages to come up with a title for this post! Do you really learn to run? I guess you do.

I’ve never been a sporty person, always dabbled with a bit of weight training, the occasional game of squash, the odd swim here and there, but nothing serious. Anyway, last month, Tina suggested we started running, with a view to maybe taking part in a 5k run, then maybe a 10k or even a half marathon at some point. We both seem to have reached a point in our lives where our health is of real concern. Ensuring we’re on this planet for as long as possible to support our beautiful daughter and give her the start she needs in life is incredibly important to us. So getting fitter through running seemed like a good idea.

Starting Slowly

We tried running this time last year, and we did the usual – This is easy, flat-out legging it as fast as we could and I think we both managed to keep it up for a week, two weeks max. This time, we started slowly:

Walk for 3 minutes

Jog for 2 minutes

Repeat 3 times

Sticking to a pace that’s comfortable when jogging worked well. Just fast enough to get your heart pumping, but not so fast you’re ready to collapse at the end of each 2 minute session.

One Month On

We’re both really please with our progress to say the least! We’ve progressed 3 mins walk – 2 mins jog to a constant 25 minute jog at a very reasonable pace indeed! I don’t think either of us have ever ran that far in our lives. Plus our recovery time is now down to less than a minute when we do decide to push ourselves which is incredible.

There’s little or no weight loss yet, not that either of us need to lose a great deal, we just need to tone. But we’re certainly seeing the benefits in our overall fitness.

Golden Rules

  • Do Start slowly
  • Do Little and often – Do the above regime 3 times a week
  • Don’t go out and buy new running gear

An old T shirt and Joggers will be fine. And wear your most comfortable, old trainers. When you’ve proved to yourself that you’re going to stick at it, maybe 2 – 3 months in, go invest in some decent running gear. Splash out too early and there’s an increased chance that swanky new running vest and those high-tech trainers will just gather dust until you decide they can go to the charity shop.

Prove to yourself you can stick at it, then reward yourself with new gear when the time is right.