In my practice, I educate clients that every intelligent weight loss program needs three core elements: Nutrition, resistance training (bodyweight, free-weight &/or kettlebells), and cardiovascular training. Lean, muscular, flexible, pain-free, healthy and vital are the goals. The weight training helps us build strength and increase muscle mass (see my 20 minute workouts); the cardiovascular training increases endurance and improves the function of our cardivascular system (see my 20 minute workouts). The nutrition is as important as any. When intelligent nutrition is combined with intelligent training, results are amplified. The results have been exceeding realistic expectations: lean muscle mass is dramatically increased, body fat is dramatically decreased. Every health goal can be enhanced by increasing muscle mass and by decreasing body fat percentiles. Want to fit into your favorite pair of jeans again? Increase muscle and decrease body fat. Want to run faster? Increase muscle and decrease body fat. Want to look better and feel better? Increase muscle and decrease body fat.
I don’t have all the answers but I am certain that to elevate our health we need to utilize nutrition, resistance weight training, and cardio. You cannot overemphasis one aspect of the three elements to the near exclusion of the other two. Realistically and empirically, the dramatic progress comes from concentrating on weak points and not continually playing to our strengths.
Within cardio, there is three types 1) steady state 2) interval 3) sustained strength:
Steady State cardio is when you seek to attain a smooth pace during the cardio exercise session. These cardio sessions are usually long. The idea is to keep the muscles relaxed while keeping the oxygen requirement low so you don’t exhaust the muscles. Watching a Kenyan marathon runner or Michael Phelps swim 10,000 meters, the observer is struck by how effortless and graceful the athlete seems – the steady state purposefully relaxed propulsion mode enables athletes to go far longer than they would were they to “power’ their way through selected mode.
Interval cardio, is when you use intermittent bursts of muscle contractions to sprint, bound, leap, lift or run as fast as possible for a short period of time – 20, 30. 40, or 60 seconds and then come back to a normal pace for a minute or two, and then repeat the burst cycle. The benefit of interval training is that it creates an ‘afterburner’ effect and creates oxygen debt. The burst must be followed by a rest period to allow lactic acid to be cleared; at that point the athlete can burst again. Intense games such as basketball, soccer, football or tennis are examples of burst cardio.
Sustained strength) splits the difference between steady state and intervals. The idea is to engage in a cardio mode that requires muscular contractions for a prolonged period of time. My 20 Minute Workout combines cardio and resistance. You will use bodyweight, a dumbbell, a kettlebell, bands and balls to create sustained strength resistance.
Nutrition + Weight training + Cardio