All too often, men and women alike resort to the “eat less, exercise more” mentality or opt for long, slow distance, steady state aerobic or cardio-style exercise as their preferred exercise of choice.
In my books, The Power of 4 and Fat Loss Revolution, I explain why excessive amounts of cardio may not be the best exercise of choice especially IF . . .
Cardio-style aerobic exercise (when done excessively, to extremes or as you only mode of activity) tends to increase inflammation, elevate cortisol, create excess belly fat, cause hormonal imbalances, accelerate the aging process, and can actually increase the risk of heart damage!
Most exercise programs are focused on utilizing slow-twitch (type 1) muscle fibers, which is primarily an aerobic physiological process that involves the aerobic energy system (type I muscle fibers) only, and neglects the anaerobic energy system (type IIA and IIB muscle fibers). Aerobic-style exercise programs do not take advantage of the surplus of growth hormone that could be produced by incorporating type IIA and IIB muscle fibers, such as the sprint 8 workout, intermittent sprints, strength training, metabolic training or other intensive bursts of activity.
If your goal is to change your body composition, spend less time exercising yet desiring the results that exercise can provide, and keep inflammation at bay, the smart exercise Rx of choice to achieve these results is an intelligently-designed strength training program and short burst interval training such as the Sprint 8 workout, balanced with parasympathetic activities such as leisure walking, yin and restorative yoga, breathing exercises, Qi gong, gardening or tai chi.
A study in the journal, Metabolism monitored two groups of people with the purpose of seeing how different exercise programs would affect metabolism and body fat. One group did steady state aerobic training for 20 weeks; the other group did interval training for 15 weeks. Although results showed that the aerobic group burned 48% more calories vs. the interval group, aside from the calories burned the interval group had 9 times greater subcutaneous fat loss (fat under the skin)!
Sarcopenia (age-related muscle loss) and dynapenia (age-associated loss of muscle strength) are a normal part of the aging process. Our ability to lose body fat and maintain metabolically-active muscle tissue can be especially challenging as we age. The decline in the cellular health of muscles associated with aging can be improved with exercise, especially if it’s intense such as the Sprint 8 workout, which also increases the number and health of your mitochondria!
Improving the health of your mitochondria is important for healthy aging. The age-related decline in muscle mitochondria and decline in the cellular health of muscle associated with aging (sarcopenia and dynapenia) can be improved with exercise, especially if it’s high-intensity interval training. Interval training boosts the ability of the mitochondria within the cells to generate energy by 69% in older folks and by 49% in the younger group, according to a Mayo Clinic study published in Cell Metabolism.
In order to increase the thermic effect for permanent fat loss to happen through exercise, you must increase the intensity, challenge yourself, and build and preserve metabolically-active muscle mass.
The traditional approach of “more is better” and spending long, endless hours at the gym is completely passé and results in a metabolic, inflammatory, hormonal disaster. The smarter approach: workout less, lose more fat, increase lean muscle mass with as little as one hour per week with the Sprint 8 Workout.
Pre-workout Nutrition: 40-60 minutes before your workout, consume a protein-rich meal, and 5-10 minutes before 10-20 grams of BCAA powder.
Dynamic Warm up. Warming up is crucial. Don’t neglect this important component. Perform at least 5-10 minutes of a dynamic warm up specific for sprinting – Leg swings (front and side), lunge walk with rotation, hip circles, side lunges, shoulder circles, leg cradles, dynamic calf bounces, butt kicks, 60% build up sprint.
Before starting the Sprint 8 Workout, choose your preferred method – cycling, running, stairs or stadiums, or perhaps jump rope or a rowing machine or even weight training. My favorite is sprinting at the local high school track or hill sprints. If you’ve been sedentary for years and just starting out, power walking, a stationary bike or a spin bike will be better options. The exercise must involve large muscle groups (legs and glutes).
Listen to your body. If you’re new to this type of workout, 2-3 sets may be plenty, and if you can do more than 8 sets of option #1 or 10 sets of option #2, you are not doing them with all out effort! Basically, you’re slackin!
Frequency. 2 to 3 times per week maximum on non-consecutive days. To achieve the increased growth hormone levels of 770% participants in the study averaged 3 sessions per week, which comes out to one hour. Researchers told the subject’s to start with 2 sprint cycles and work up to 8.
Cool Down. Static stretching, leisure walking or self-myofascial release using the foam roller
Post-workout Nutrition. No workout is complete without post-exercise nutrition. To optimize fat burning, protein synthesis, growth hormone, and muscle building benefits consume at least 25 grams of protein and BCAAs following your workout.
Sprint 8 benefits. Exercise-induced growth hormone circulates in the body for up to 2 hours afterwards. In just 8 weeks, at a frequency of only 3 times per week of doing the Sprint 8 workout, you can expect these profound changes:
| * Human growth hormone
||* Metabolism||* Body Fat and adipose tissue
|* Cardiovascular Health||* Fat Burning & Fat Loss
||* Cortisol and stress hormones
|* Muscle Strength & Growth||* Oxygen Utilization||* Inflammation|
|* Tissue Repair||* Mitochondrial health
||* Blood sugar and insulin
|* HDL cholesterol||* Stronger bones||* Triglycerides & LDL Cholesterol|
The Sprint 8 workout is motivating! You’ll experience increased energy, greater fat loss, healthier mitochondria, less belly fat, low inflammation, and so much more! For more interval programs and an intelligently designed 12-week strength training program, see Chapter 11, Fat Loss Revolution.