Home workouts: Complete Guide to Interval Training

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It is quite a challenge to start training at home. Finding good home workouts online is not always easy. Everybody needs some guidance on home workouts from time to time, so I was happy to find this great infographic at www.greatist.com. It explains really clearly the basics of interval training. Incorporate these principles in your home workout today.

Cheers

Chris
The Complete Guide to Interval Training

More Health and Fitness News & Tips at Greatist.

Quick Kettlebell Home Workout

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I have a very busy day today so I need a quick kettlebell home workout.

I grab a 16kg kettlebell and do 10 snatches with my right arm and then 10 snatches with my left arm.  I don’t stop until I perform a total of 100 snatches.  I don’t rush, and I finish in just under 4 minutes.

I hit the shower.  Workout done.

 

Cheers

 

Chris

Home workout to Increase Metabolism

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Home Workout FlamesWhen you are trying to lose weight, increasing in metabolism will enable you to burn more fat without reducing calorie intake.  Find out here how you can boost yours using some basic home workouts.

What is Metabolism

Basically, your metabolism, or metabolic rate, is the rate at which your body uses up the calories it consumes.  Metabolism slows as we age so it is very important to boost metabolism especially past the age of 40.

 

Home Workouts to Burn Calories

The two main ways to boost your metabolism using exercise is weight training and high intensity interval training (HIIT).  Muscles burn fat, so increasing muscle mass increases the rate of fat burn. Overloading the muscles with weight training will increase muscles mass over time.

HIIT not only burns calories during exercise, it boost you metabolism so that you burn more calories 24 hours per day.  Almost any exercise can be strung together to make a HIIT routine, the key element is to train at near maximum capacity for short periods of time to get the benefits.

Here is a quick workout to get you started.

25 Burpees

25 Tuck Jumps

25 Press Ups

25 Body weight squats

25 Star Jumps

25 Lunges

Repeat this twice for a fat torching workout.

 

 

Cheers

 

Chris

 

photocredit: wwarby

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Hill Sprinting

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Hill SprintsHill Sprinting is a fantastic exercise to torch fat from your body.  It also strengthens the Glutes, Quads and Hamstrings.  Including hill sprints as part of your workout armory can really boost your metabolism and is not as injury prone as normal sprinting.

 

Glutes and Thigh Muscles

When you sprint up hill, your knees are carried much higher than on flat ground which really kicks in the use of all the leg muscles, especially the Quads, hamstrings and Glutes.  These are stabilization muscles and help prevent injuries.  With the knees bent, the Hamstrings can never be over extended.  In addition, working against gravity means that you never run as fast as you would on the flat.

 

HIIT

Hill sprints can be strung together to form an effective High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) routine.  Trust me.  These are hard, so you may want to keep to a maximum of three sessions a week, with at least one rest day in between workouts.

 

Typical Workout

Start of with a couple of warm-up sprints, at about 50% of maximum effort.  Then sprint up the hill 8-10 times at 100% of effort, taking the time to walk down the hill between sprints.  You should aim to be sprinting for 10 seconds each repetition; rest periods are about 30 seconds.  Warm down at the end of the session and stretch out the leg muscles.

 

Cheers Chris

 

photocredit:VinceHaung

Cardio or Weights: What’s Best for Weight Loss?

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Cardio or weightsMore often than not, when you start a new fitness routine you are looking for the most effective way to achieve results. That comes down to the right combination of diet and exercise. Leaving the diet part aside at the moment, of the many types of exercise available to you, which should you do to lose the most body fat and build muscle? Bodybuilders tend to follow a muscle building/bulking phase with a slimming period, pre-contest, to reveal the efforts of all their hard work. This means that most of the time bodybuilders look fat and bulky rather than lean and strong. For the average Joe, Jane or older keep fit enthusiast, what should they do?

The case for cardio
Cardio exercise means keeping your heart rate between 50% and 70% of your theoretical maximum heart rate. This exercise is then done for long periods of time to produce the desired weight loss and increase in aerobic fitness. Typical exercises would be jogging, cycling and swimming. These exercises are effective but have one major drawback. Time. It takes between 40-60 minutes to burn sufficient calories to result in significant fat loss over time. In the case of jogging, it is incredibly injury prone and can prove difficult in the older athlete.

The case for weights
Strength training using weights burns a little more calories during exercise but not enough to reduce body fat significantly. The key benefit is the increase in muscle mass. Muscle burns fat even at rest, resulting in more calories being burned 24 hours a day. Strength training also has the advantage of increasing bone density and the strength of connective tissues.

The Third Way
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has been shown to achieve similar gains in aerobic fitness, but in a fraction of the time taken by traditional cardio exercise. Combining weights and HIIT exercises is the best of both worlds

Step forward Kettlebells
Exercising with kettlebells allows you to complete both cardio exercise and strength training at the same time, in the shortest possible amount of time. Conducting three 20min HIIT sessions with kettlebells will increase your metabolism, build muscle and increase aerobic capacity. This turns your body into a very efficient fat burning machine, which is both lean and strong.

 

Cheers Chris

 

Photocredit:inafrenzy

Get a Dog and Lose 30 Pounds of Fat in a Year

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dog walk lose body fatAfter a lot of pestering by my kids, I finally gave in and bought a puppy.  I knew at the back of my mind that I would end doing most of the dog-walking, but since I also love dogs I was cool with that.

What I did not expect was to lose approx 30 pounds of fat!

This is how it happened.  I take my dog for a walk, twice a day, for 30 minutes each walk.  It is great to get out in the fresh air (rain or shine) and spend a few minutes letting my thoughts wander.

However, all this dog-walking has a great side effect.  The body burns about 300 calories for each hour walked.  This may not seem like much, until you realize there are 3,500 calories in one pound of body fat.  Adding this up over a year (300 calories x 365 days) amounts to 31 pounds of body fat (109,500 calories divided by 3,500)!

This is great!  I get to play fetch with my new best friend and burn fat at the same time.

Cheers

Chris

photocredit: sweetron1982

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Bowflex SelectTech 552 Review

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bowflex selecttech 552WARNING. Don’t buy these adjustable dumbbells unless you actually enjoy looking at racks of dumbbells on display in your home gym.

This post is all about my review of the Bowflex SelectTech 552. If you’re considering a set of adjustable dumbbells then these should certainly be on your list to checkout.

I looked around for a while before deciding on the 552s. I checked out the offerings from Bayou, Weider and Cap. But, somehow they did not give me the same feeling of quality and sturdiness.

Not only is it really easy to dial-in the required weight (5 lbs to 52.5 lbs, in 2.5 lbs steps), they look really good. They also pack away neatly under the bed. Don’t bother with the stand.

I have read that some people find them a bit long, but I didn’t find that a problem. They come with a good warranty and are a great brand.

These dumbbells aren’t cheap but they are flexible, space-saving, easy-to-use and look fantastic.

>>> Bowflex SelectTech 552 from Amazon <<<<

Cheers

Chris

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Full Metal Kettlebell

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This is my kettlebell. There are many others like it, but this one is mine. My kettlebell is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. Without me, my kettlebell is useless. Without my kettlebell, I am useless. I must swing my kettlebell true. I must snatch straighter than my enemy, weakness, who is trying to kill me. I must beat him before he beats me. I will. Before God I swear this creed: my kettlebell and myself are defenders of my health, we are the masters of our body, we are the saviors of my life. So be it, until there is no weakness, but peace. Amen.

 

Photocredit: gsfinland

Kettlebell workout Saturdays

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kettlebell workout saturdayThe weekend is here and there are lots of things to do.  The first thing I like to do is get a killer kettlebell workout done in the morning, to keep me metabolism stoked for the whole weekend.  I only have 20 minutes so this is what I do.

Two-armed swings for 20 secs, 10 secs rest x 8

Military press for 20 secs, 10 secs rest x 8

Goblet squats 20 secs, 10 secs rest x 8

Lunges for 20 secs, 10 secs rest x 8

Single-arm swings for 20 secs, 10 secs rest x 8

Hit the shower.

Have a great weekend

Chris.

Photocredit: andrewmalone

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Eat Carbs and still lose body fat

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Eat carbs and still lose bodyfatKill the carbs!  That’s the message of diets like The Dukan Diet and Atkins.  Kill the carbs in your diet and the pounds will just fall-off.  Does it work?  Hell yes!  But that is just half the story.  Low carb diets are hard to stick to, make you grumpy, difficult to follow at social occasions and after a while are very, very boring.  Here’s the thing,  Low carb diets are just low calorie diets in disguise.  When you realize this you can alter the proportions of Carbs, Fats and Proteins in your diet, lose weight and avoid the unwanted side effects of a low carb diet.

First some background.  Food is made of three main energy groups, Proteins, Fats and Carbohydrate (Carbs).  Your body needs all of these energy groups to function and help keep feeling well.  However, Carbs have attracted a lot of negative attention due to its ability to add on the pounds.  There is nothing magical about carbs as I will now demonstrate.

 

The approx energy (kcals)/100g of these food groups is as follows:

Fats 900kcal/100g

Carbs 300kcal/100g

Protein 100kcal/100g

 

So as we can see protein is by far the least calorie dense of these foods groups.  For many years low fat diets were pushed as the solution to our burgeoning waistlines, but the weight still piled on because extra sugar was added (and therefore calories) to compensate for the loss in flavor.  Later, carbs (especially in the form of sugar) was given the blame and low carb, high protein, high fat diets became all the rage.  What seemed to be forgotten over this time was the simple fact that the human body will store excess energy consumed as body fat not matter whether it came from Fat, Protein or Carbs.  By altering the balance of these three elements, but remembering to keep within your calorific requirements a more healthy and long-term diet can achieved and easily followed.

Photocredit: kre8tiv

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