Project Scale Down: Day 4 & Interval Training

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Interval training involves alternating periods of intense exertion with periods of rest or lighter exertion. HIIT is an acronym for High Intensity Interval Training. Research shows that high intensity interval training is the best way to burn fat and is more effective in shorter intervals than longer sessions of moderate-intensity continuous training. It’s even more effective when combined with a Mediterranean diet.

via Shape.com

[R]esearch announced at the recent National Obesity Summit in Montreal has found that a simple mix of interval training and a healthy eating plan results in substantial weight loss and health gains.

Sixty-two participants in the nine-month program committed to take part in two or three weekly supervised interval-training sessions of 60 minutes each. Subjects also attended five individual meetings and two group meetings with a dietitian where they learned the basics of a Mediterranean diet. By the end of the program, the average participant lost almost 6 percent of his or her body mass, reduced waist circumference by 5 percent and had a 7 percent decrease in bad LDL cholesterol, as well as an 8 percent increase in good HDL cholesterol.

Want to start interval training? Find three programs on Shape.com here.

Day 4:

  • 18 minutes on treadmill (5 min. warm up; 1.5 min @ 3.8 mph; 7.5 min @ 5.0 mph; 1 min @ 6.0 mph; 3 min cool down) 
  • 12 minute Lauren Brooks Full Body Blast Interval Kettlebell routine (see my DVD review here) with 15 lb bell 

My abs, thighs and glutes are burning, stiff and clenching, but I’m starting to feel that post-workout euphoria from knowing those feelings mean that my body is telling me, “Job well done.”

“Pain is just weakness leaving the body.” 


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6 responses »

  1. I love HIIT. I do it on the spinning bike at the gym which is better for my balance issues (I have MS). I started going HIIT about seven years ago and haven’t looked back. That and power lifting is all I do fitness wise.

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  2. Hey is there a substitute for the kettle ball training? Is it hard on the knees? I can’t do anything that is hard on the knees or that I have to bend my toes like dips. Unfortunately, since the foot surgery my toes don’t get but 1/2 their range of motion now.

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    • Hey Michelle, all of the kettlebell routines I’ve done have involved squats. You also have to be careful if you have a shoulder injury or restriction as many of the moves require raising the bell over shoulder height and the swings actively engage the joints as well.

      Before I try to answer your question, have to ask, how old are your sneakers and what kind are they? Having the right shoes that aren’t worn is very important for the knees and feet (that post has been sitting in my drafts since July!). If you are running, running sneakers should be worn. If not, then a cross-trainer should be worn to support feet/joints during lateral movements.

      In regard to an alternative, are you exercising at home or a gym? What are you currently doing? What types of exercises can you do safely? Intervals can pretty much be done with any exercise/weights. It just involves going at full intensity for a short period and then resting for a short period. You can ride a stationary bike and do intervals … kick it up by adding hand weights and doing shoulder presses or curls.

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  3. How old are my sneakers? A year but they’ve been worn probably 5 times LOL I don’t wear sneakers unless I’m exercising and we all know how often that’s happened in the last year. They are at work so I can’t remember what ones they are exactly. They are New Balance but I know when I bought them, I was told they are good for exercise because of the arch protection.

    Exercising at home. I can do anything safely except for hard on the knee stuff. I have an elliptical machine, Total Gym, free weights and a large ball

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    • Your sneakers sound fine then. When I injured my knee a few years ago, my Ortho said that the elliptical is bad for it. Though you don’t have impact like you do on the treadmill, the range of motion (ROM) brings the knee up on an elliptical. When walking or running, your knee just bends backwards. So, I’d suggest that you to not use your elliptical (verify with your doctor). You maybe should invest in some work-out DVDs or you can use YouTube! I firmly believe you have to have all pistons firing to lose weight … so diet, cardio and resistance training. You’ll need some type of cardio and the total gym and free weights will provide your resistance. The ball can help with core strength. But, as I’ve never used one of those, can’t make any suggestions about it.

      Given what you have, you could do intervals with your weights (1 to 1 1/2 minutes of reps on a machine and then walk, march in place, do jumping jacks at a low intensity for 30 secs to a minute, then go to the next excercise and repeat for 10 exercises).

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  4. Oh no, I have to disagree on the elliptical. It’s great on my knees and your knees don’t raise very high on it. I don’t know what that ortho is talking about. Every trainer I’ve been to (back in the days) recommend it over the treadmill if your knees bother you. The thing with my knees is not that they are bad but that I have too much weight to be bouncing on them. Once I lose I can have more pavement contact.

    Oh and get this I have TONS Of DVDs and tapes. More than 20. i am just not real interested in them right now.

    March in place? What do you think I’m a woos? LOL I can still do some of Jillian Michaels workouts. I just need to sleep for a day after.

    Oh and I have this oh so fun belly dancing DVD but I refuse to do it with my belly hanging LOL that’s just not sexy. Maybe later.

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