I am so sick of clients doing excessive cardio – I mean mindless long runs, or bouts on the bike or eliptical. I hear about clients doing 60 minute cardio sessions and they are stiff as a board and in pain. The part that ‘kills me’ is that they won’t stretch or even listen to me when I talk to them about doing some weight lifting. I know cardio is one fat burning strategy, but it is time consuming and the reality is that aerobic activities burn far fewer calories than you think. After doing 20-30 minutes of cardio you may feel as though you’ve burned 600 calories but the cold reality is far different. For example, researchers measured the number of calories burned when walking versus running. The study showed that the average man burns just 124 calories when running a mile and only 88 when walking the same distance. So by running three miles you can expect to burn about 396 calories and by walking three miles you will burn about 240.
Figures for other aerobic activities are shown below (these are calculated using a man who weighs 190 pounds).
· Stationary bike (light): 474 calories per hour;
· Walking uphill (3.5 miles per hour): 518 calories per hour;
· High impact aerobics: 604 calories per hour;
· Stationary bike (moderate): 604 calories per hour;
· Jogging (light pace): 604 calories per hour;
· Running (5 miles per hour): 690 calories per hour;
· Stationary bike (vigorous): 906 calories per hour;
To lose one pound of body weight – you have to burn 3000 calories through exercise activity, or decrease your intake of food calories by approximately 3,000 calories. One strategy I use is to decrease 250 calories of food daily and increase your activity by 250 calories per day to reach the 3,000 calorie mark each week to lose a pound a week. Make sense? You can do 30 minutes of cardio (I prefer intervals = sprints) to burn body fat or do some weight lifting to build muscle which automatically burns more calories during rest. I like to teach my clients to do a combo of cardio + resistance. That’s what I personally do.
Too much aerobic exercise will burn calories from fat but can burn fuel from muscle cells too – resulting in a loss of muscle mass – now you are screwed. The reason this happens is that periods of aerobic exercise cause the body to shift into survival mode. In this state, it strives to preserve access to fat cells by also burning fuel derived from muscle cells. It does this because the body is incapable of understanding our motivation for doing cardio. As far as it is concerned, it just needs to maintain fat reserves for any pending emergency situations where we might not have access to food.
By combining your workouts with resistance + cardio activities, you can burn up to 44% more calories. The bottom line is that resistance + cardio workouts burn considerably more calories and fat than ordinary cardio alone.
Just tell me what you like to do and I can turn any of your activities into a cardio + resistance workout. For example, if you like to walk or jog you can pick up a set of dumbbells, some ankle weights or even a weight vest. If biking is your thing, just kick up the resistance. Whatever cardio activity it is that you like to do, I’ll show you how to add some resistance and not only will you burn more fat but you’ll also be able to maintain more of your hard-earned muscle mass
The first kettlebell maneuver I teach my clients is the swing. It is the most common kettlebell exercise. The swing should be viewed as the foundation exercise and I like to see clients master the swing before other kettlebell exercises are introduced.
Once clients can perform the 2-handed swing, this is a typical progression I teach my clients in the office:
One-Arm Swing. Grasp the handle with one hand in overhand grip with slight elbow bend. Position feet slightly wider than hip width, and assume athletic stance. Upper body should be upright, with chest lifted and shoulder blades retracted. Free arm should be out to side of body. Rotate body slightly, allowing kettlebell to hang between legs. Initiate swing by rocking hips (versus using shoulders to lift bell). Raise bell upward with momentum, and give forceful hip thrust at top of movement. Bell should go no higher than eye level, with bell pointed away from body at end of arm. Allow gravity to bring bell downward in controlled manner. Keep spine at neutral, rather than rounded, at bottom of movement. Perform 10 repetitions in each hand.
One-Arm Alternating Swing. Repeat steps above (one-arm swing), but switch to other hand at top of movement. Perform 10 repetitions in each hand.
Around-the-Body Pass (at waist level). Grasp handle with both hands in overhand grip with slight elbow bend. Position feet slightly wider than hip width apart, and assume athletic stance. Upper body should be upright, with chest lifted and shoulder blades retracted. Release one hand from bell, allowing opposite hand to bring bell behind body. Free hand should grasp bell at back of body and complete the rotation. Grasp kettlebell firmly to avoid dropping it. After 10 repetitions in one direction, repeat 10 reps in the opposite direction.
Figure Eight (between the legs). Grasp handle with right hand in overhand grip with slight elbow bend. Position feet slightly wider than hip width apart, and assume athletic stance. Upper body should be upright, with chest lifted and shoulder blades retracted. Left arm should be out to side and ready to accept kettlebell. Begin movement by handing bell from right hand to left hand through legs from front of body to back. Left hand then brings bell around from back of body to front of body. Continue this figure-eight pattern by passing bell through legs again from left hand to right hand. After desired number of repetitions, repeat in opposite direction.
These exercises provide a good cardio and fat-loss workout, creating a great foundation for other exercises. After a full-body warm-up, perform each exercise for approximately 30 seconds or 10 reps. Do one exercise after another and rest at the end. Repeat the circuit 2 or 3 times depending on your condition and the amount of time you have to train.
For a one-on-one in-depth kettlebell session, please call my office at 310-473-2911.
Chronic back pain can ruin your life. Dr. Tucker suggests that a targeted program of DMS, warm laser & corrective exercise training can accelerate recovery.
I hate when clients have to miss work or workout days because of low back pain. I have experienced low back pain and I understand the misery, pain and frustration it causes. Debilitating back injuries can be helped with controlled activity, movement therapy, warm laser and Deep Muscle Stimulation (DMS). First I get rid of the acute back pain and swelling with the warm laser. Then I use the DMS on the back spasms. I still use other treatments such as moist heat, therapeutic ultrasound, massage and electrical stimulation because these have positive effects too.
Part of recovery is the continuation of normal daily activities. Bed rest is only recommended when you can’t get out of bed because it hurts too much to move.
As soon as possible I like to see clients begin corrective exercise. We begin with gentle controlled movements that usually use just your bodyweight. Then we can progress to band or stability ball therapy lessons. Eventually I train my clients in kettlebell maneuvers. Kettlebell training helps with fat loss, core strength, and range of movement. If you like Pilates and yoga or wanted to learn these methods, you will love Kettlebells. Training the ‘core’ has become a popular focus in recent years, and I’m all about improving the “core” to prevent future episodes of low back pain.