A few weeks ago I spoke about the benefits of HIIT training – by now everyone must know I am a big fan, why waste 60 – 90 minutes a day pounding it out on the treadmill or doing repetitive RPM sessions, when in reality you could have your workout done and dusted in 12 – 25 minutes. I am all for streamlining things in my life, exercise included, less time working out = more time doing what I love.
However, if running really spins your wheels, don’t let me stand in the way, however, if you keep chugging away on the treadmill and you’re not getting the results you’re after, perhaps it’s time try something else. Einstein once said “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. I hear he was a pretty smart guy. Maybe there is something to that.
So what can you do?
Weight training – Don’t worry I promise you’re not going to turn into the incredible hulk (unless of course that is your desire, or perhaps you’ve been having a bit too much spirulina). Instead, it will boost your metabolism, even when you’re not working out. Yep, it’s like having your own little pocket rocket trainer churning away in your body helping you to shed body fat. Unlike traditional cardio, strength training causes you to continue burning more calories for up to 72 hours after the exercise is over through a phenomenon called after burn.
So if you want to have that extra scoop of organic ice cream without feeling guilty… lift weights. An animal study published in the Feb. 6, 2008 issue of Cell Metabolism, Boston University researchers demonstrated that type II muscle fibers, the kind you build when you lift weights, improve whole-body metabolism.
Resistance training has been shown to be an effective tool when trying to lose weight, conserving muscle mass. Additionally, it can also prevent the metabolism from slowing down, which is a common side effect of losing weight.
There are also other benefits to weight training, such as in reducing depression symptoms. A study published in The Primary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry in 2004, followed 40 women and found it to decrease overall symptoms.
With the ever increasing rise of type two diabetes, I particularly like weight lifting for reducing diabetes risk.Research funded by the National Institutes of Health and published in The Archives of Internal Medicine found that men who lifted weights for 150 minutes each week — about five 30-minute sessions — had a 34-percent lower risk of diabetes.
There are simple ways you can do this – for me I have a workout designed by my wonderful trainer at The Tailored Body which incorporates a simple 6 – 8 weight exercises, each exercise is carried out for 45 seconds, with 10 seconds rest, do 3 or 4 rounds of the 8 exercises, or super-sets meaning 2 exercises for 45 seconds each with no rest in between and repeat for the other exercises. Simple really!
Here is an example arm workout: (Links to youtube video clips)
I often hear people say the gym is an extra expense, however there are some very competitive gym rates being offered, if you’re not attending all the fancy classes why not get a membership at one of the council gyms, for example my local gym is only $11 a week, about the same amount as a glass of vino – and with much more benefits.
Have fun pumping your guns!