WORKOUTS FOR THE PERSON WITH NO TIME
Time. It seems that these days few people have enough of it. For some, this has made exercising difficult. Let me walk that back a bit. People's busy lives have made them think they don't have time to exercise. It's created an almost built in excuse for those looking for an excuse not to exercise. What I've attempted to do with this post is remove some of those EXCUSES. I've shown you in the past that if you want to get in the best shape of your life you not only need to eat more, many of you probably need to exercise less (HERE). That's right, the good news for many of you is that research has repeatedly shown that when it comes to exercise, less is often more.
What this means, however, is that at least some of your exercise should be intense. I'm not talking about 'kill-yourself' intense, but many of you would do well by significantly shortening your workouts, while cranking things up a bit in the intensity department at least part of the time. What are some of the ways to do this for people who don't ever seem to have enough time? I've left you a list below, but honestly, if all you did were combinations of the first four bullet points, many of you reading this would be well on your way to a fitter future.
Naturally, some of these activities require more physical skills than others. With whatever exercise program you decide on, start slow and build up. But the point is to start. Get an ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER, create a written plan, and get started. It's Saturday for Pete's sake so you can start today. No; YOU ARE NOT TOO OLD. For those struggling with chronic health issues, consult your physician and take a look at THIS POST as well. Don't forget to visit our FACEBOOK PAGE, and if you like what you're seeing, be sure to show us some love by liking, sharing, or following.
BOUNCING ON A TRAMPOLINE
I used to run and now I'm on a long list for knee replacement. A comment to the below Yahoo article by someone calling them self AllisVanity.
The article starts out by saying that, "Any exercise is good exercise, but when it comes to losing weight, it's hard to beat running. After all, running is one of the most efficient ways to burn calories and get fit without having to restrict your diet." This entire statement is false. The truth is, there is a great deal of exercise that is not good. For example, although we have far too many folks here in America who are sedentary, there is also a large number of regular exercisers who are -- believe it or not -- overdoing it (the technical word for this is 'over-training'). Furthermore, the reason you workout is NEVER so that you can, "get fit without having to restrict your diet". If you are EATING PROPERLY, there are always things that should you should be restricting from your diet --- no matter what your weight is. We could start with SUGAR, JUNK FOOD, and TRANS FATS, and move from there to things like MSG, and ASPARTAME). I want you to understand that both diet and the kind / amount of exercise you do are critical for WEIGHT LOSS. Today, I am specifically going to show you that when it comes to the STRENGTH TRAINING -vs- CARDIO debate, Strength Training is a runaway winner.
Yahoo says that, "running works even when you're at rest". They then go on to tell you that running burns more calories at rest (after you have exercised) than does walking. I will buy this, but be aware that you are not being told the whole truth. Sprints are better than running for weight loss, and guess what is even better than sprints? That's right ---- Strength Training. And it's not even close. Runners increase their metabolism for about four hours post-workout. That goes up to well over 30 hours for those who engage in Resistance Training. Case in point (HERE). You can also click on the last link in the previous paragraph for more information on the subject.
The next point that Yahoo wants you to swallow is that, "running is time efficient". This begs the question of exactly what running is more time efficient than? Again, they compare it to walking. This is certainly true, as you will undoubtedly burn more calories running a mile than walking a mile. They also compare it to "The 7 Minute Workout". When it comes to working out, the scientific literature on the subject says that High Intensity / Short Duration is best. But 7 minutes? That might be a wee bit short. The secret to using your workout to lose weight is not the number of calories you are burning while you are working out ---- it is the number of calories you burn at rest (the amount by which you are able to increase your metabolism). For a review of this, please re-read the preceding paragraph.
The third on their list is, "running is convenient". I can buy this. According to the article, running is double convenient because you don't even need shoes (they tout barefoot running). However, is it really more 'convenient' to run than to do simple workouts like THIS? I say not! Click on the link because it defeats one of those old WORKOUT MYTHS I recently dealt with ---- you don't have to go to the gym to get a good workout.
And as for their last point, "the runner's high", are we to believe that running is the only form of exercise that releases "endorphins and morphine-like brain chemicals"? Not on your life! In fact, the authors themselves answer this question by saying that the link to the "runner's high" is not specifically with running, but with any form of, "moderate to intense exercise". All four of their points are busted!
The thing is, look at the source. The article originally appeared in Runner's World, and was actually written by their editors. This is not science. It is feel-good fluffiness. If you want more articles on this topic, you will find them HERE. Oh, and one more thing. For those of you who absolutely love to run --- great. I don't have a problem with it. Just make sure you don't go overboard, and add some simple Strength Training to your regimen. All it takes is 15-20 minutes, two or three times per week.
CROSSFIT, STATINS, AND RHABDOMYOLYSIS
No pain; no gain. Jane Fonda from her 1982 workout videos
Let me start by saying that I have never officially been part of a CrossFit program or gym. However, because I have a gym in the basement of my clinic, I am able to incorporate many of their training methods into my workouts. A few of the things my son and I do that could be considered "CrossFit-like" are KETTLEBELL SWINGS, all sorts of Burpees, several novel kinds of pushups and pullups, and pounding a tire with a sledge hammer as well as two five pound hammers (one for each hand). I am also getting ready to put up some rings.
I am sold on CrossFit's typically short duration, high intensity style of training, as well as the wide variety of atypical exercises. But, with any sort of physical training (running, powerlifting, swimming, gymnastics, MMA, etc, etc, etc), people can push things beyond what their body can withstand and repair ---- sometimes far beyond. It has taken me a lot of years to figure out that when it comes to getting in shape, sometimes less is more. I can remember Joe Wieder writing about over-training back in early 1980's issues of Muscle & Fitness. Although I did not "get it" then, I now understand just how easy is is to "over-train" and end up wearing your body down instead of building it up. Speaking of over-training; a few days ago someone sent me a link to a recent article called, CrossFit's Dirty Little Secret. The article, written by a Physical Therapist, was about the, "troubling trend among CrossFitters". And just what is this troubling trend? Have any of you heard of something called Rhabdomyolysis?
I'll get to exactly what Rhabdomyolysis is momentarily, but the thing to remember is that none of this is new information. For years, newspapers and magazines have been carrying headlines touting the dangers of CrossFit such as, "Getting Fit, Even if it Kills you" (2005, New York Times), Inside the Cult of CrossFit (2011 Men's Health), and "Lawsuit Alleges CrossFit Workout Damaging" (2008, Navy Times). There have even been a couple articles on the topic of Rhabdo by CrossFit's founder himself, Greg Glassman. I am not going to get into depth here (read the articles if you want), but if you are a novice who is trying to do advanced workouts; or if you are pushing your body to the realm of stupidity, you are headed for a breakdown --- probably sooner than later. It is only common sense to workout within your body's limits. I'm not in terrible shape now, and I used to be in really good shape. However, I would not even think of doing some of the workouts that I have seen others do. Again, know your limitations, and exercise your brain before exercising your body.
We live in a culture of excess. Americans take something like two thirds of the world's medications even though we are less than 5% of the world's population. We act like every meal is going to be our last (just look at OBESITY RATES here in America --- nearly 40% of the adult population). And when we do exercise, some of us really exercise. The hottest video workouts today are things like P-90X, Insanity, and other super high intensity routines, with every new video being touted as more intense than the one before it. Unfortunately, most of these could in no ways be considered to be "low duration". Low Duration Exercise. It is one of the things that drew me to the concept of CrossFit in the first place (many of their workouts last no more than 15 minutes).
The last several years have seen my workouts get progressively shorter. Why? Virtually all the peer-reviewed literature says that this is the best way to train (here are several articles on CARDIO TRAINING -vs- STRENGTH TRAINING). One of the first books I read on the subject (Bill Phillip's Body for Life), was talking about high intensity / low duration exercise a decade and a half ago. I even remember reading Arthur Jones talking about the famous "Colorado Experiment" with the recently deceased CASEY VIATOR back when I was in college, but blew it off assuming that his gains were all steroid-related. I guess the problem is that just like the disagreement we have over what "no pain, no gain," really means, we cannot seem to agree what either 'high intensity' or 'low duration' really mean either. But let's get back to the real reason you are reading this post ---- Rhabdo.
WHAT IS RHABDOMYOLYSIS
AND WHAT CAUSES IT?
Rhabdomyolysis can occur when overworked, abused, traumatized, or poisoned skeletal muscle rapidly undergoes lysis. The muscles cells rupture their contents as the tissue is broken down into its components. This releases muscle cells and their constituent parts into the bloodstream. Certain byproducts of this process such as the oxygen-carrying protein myoglobin, can damage the kidneys to the extent that dialysis is required for survival. But short of complete kidney failure, Rhabdo can cause permanent muscle damage as well a host of other nasty problems. So; how would you have any idea you might be dealing with Rhabdomyolysis? Just watch for the signs.
SIGNS YOU MIGHT HAVE RHABDO
- Dark Urine
- Decreased Urine Production
- Overall Weakness as well as Weakness in Specific Muscles
- Fatigue / Exhaustion
- Muscle Stiffness, Aching, Tenderness, or Pain
- Joint Pain / Joint Stiffness
- Generalized Weight Gain or Localized Bloating / Swelling
- GET TO AN EMERGENCY ROOM IF YOU SUSPECT YOU ARE DEALING WITH RHABDOMYOLYSIS: In case you have not figured it out, this stuff is serious. The diagnosis is made via a simple blood test (CPK). Don't gamble with this problem as it can be both permanent and deadly!
- DRINK LOTS OF WATER: One of the risk factors for Rhabdo is dehydration. Notice that I said to drink more "water". Sorry, SODA, juice, and Gatorade don't count.
- START SLOW AND KNOW YOUR LIMITS: Although many who develop workout-induced Rhabdo are untrained or under-trained, many are extremely fit individuals who simply pushed the envelope too far. As you get in better shape, push the envelope slowly --- a little bit at a time. A "Murph" (Named after Navy Lt. Michael Murphy, who was killed while serving in Afghanistan; the Murph consists of a one mile run, followed by 100 pull ups, 200 pushups, and 300 air squats, and then another mile run ---- all for time), is probably not the best place to start.
- REALIZE THERE IS NO DISHONOR IN BACKING OFF: If you think a certain workout might be over your head, modify it.
- LEARN MORE ABOUT STATIN DRUGS: I realize that this bullet point seems out of place, but you have to understand that the most common side-effect of Statin Drugs is "muscle pain / soreness". I recently asked two medical doctors what drugs they would never take. Top of the list for both? The ANTI-CHOLESTEROL drugs. To begin to understand why they would say this, pay attention to the words of world-renowned cholesterol expert, professor Flemming Dela from the Center for Healthy Aging at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark (the study was reported in the January 2013 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology). "A well-known side effect of statin therapy is muscle pain. Up to 75 per cent of the physically active patients undergoing treatment for high cholesterol experience pain. This may keep people away from either taking their medicine or from taking exercise....... The effect of statins is marginal for these patients. In a previously published Cochrane analysis only 0.5% reduction in all-cause mortality was detected, indicating that for every 200 patients taking statins daily for five years, one death would be prevented." This research was done because 40% of the Dutch over the age of 65 are on Statin Drugs, with a whopping 75% of these complaining of muscle pain.
Should you stop taking Statin Drugs? Only you and your doctor can answer that question. However, once you learn that CONTROLLING YOUR BLOOD SUGAR is the best way to deal with all sorts of blood lipid issues, dropping the dangerous drug might just be an option for you (HERE is more information on the blood sugar / cholesterol link with Dr. Oz, and HERE are some diet tips). Should you do nothing but wimpy workouts? No way Jose! Even the intense CrossFit workouts can fantastic when done correctly. Never let your trainer or instructor push you into something you are not comfortable with. Use some good old fashioned common sense when you are pushing things to the max.
COULD YOUR CARDIO WORKOUT
BE MAKING YOU FAT?
(OR AT LEAST PREVENTING YOU FROM LOSING WEIGHT?)
Are you interested in losing weight? Then you should cut back on classic cardiovascular exercise. Shun it, even. Abolish it. Throw out your treadmill or better yet, give it to someone you don’t like as cardio doesn’t work if your goal is long-term weight loss.
Jim Karas used to have a weight problem. Today he is a celebrity trainer who has several best selling books under his belt besides a regular guest on numerous TV programs --- including the Dr. Oz Show. Last week he wrote an article for Yahoo called, "Is Your Exercise Making You Fat?". I surely don't agree with everything Jim espouses (one article about a day in his life had him drinking DIET COKE for BREAKFAST), but as far as this topic goes, he largely hit the nail on the head with his article. The quote at the top of the page was taken from the first paragraph of his article.
Some of you like to run for the sake of running. Far be it from me to discourage you. Just be aware that there are some serious myths floating around about the benefits of running / Cardio Training (I wrote about some of these in depth in my numerous posts filed under CARDIO TRAINING -vs- STRENGTH TRAINING). Jim's biggest beef with using Cardio Training as a weight loss tool is that it causes the loss of lean body mass ----- i.e. muscle tissue. According to the scientific literature, he is correct. Why would anyone perform exercise that is known to make you lose muscle mass when muscle mass is so tough to acquire in the first place? They buy into all those old WEIGHT LOSS MYTHS.
I have always heard that after the age of 30, people are losing 10% of their muscle mass per decade for the rest of their life ---- unless they are actively and specifically doing something to combat it (and as is usually the case, women are affected by this phenomenon significantly more than men). How do you combat this muscle loss? There is only one real way ---- STRENGTH OR RESISTANCE TRAINING. You see; loss of lean body mass presents an ugly metabolic dilemma once you realize that muscle burns more energy at rest than does an equal amount of fat --- far more energy.
Why is this weight gain happening? It's simple—muscle loss. When you lose muscle, your metabolism is destroyed. You are also decimating your metabolism by dieting without exercise or dieting with cardio. Your successful weight loss formula is dieting plus strength training. Period.
Are you interested in gaining weight? If you are, perform cardiovascular exercise, and a lot it.
You never want to worry about the calories you burn during exercise. More important are the calories burned after exercise, called EPOC (Excess, Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption). You get up to 38 hours of EPOC from interval-based strength training.
WORKING OUT CORRECTLY
STOP WASTING TIME, ENERGY, AND MONEY
- IT'S ALL ABOUT DIET: Far too many people want to read all about the latest "workout secrets" in Men's Health or Cosmo, while ignoring their diets. Sorry, it does not work that way. Especially once you're on the back side of thirty. If you are not eating some form of LOW CARB DIET, you are setting yourself up for future problems, and sabotaging your efforts in the process. Take just a moment to learn why CONTROLLING YOUR BLOOD SUGAR while getting ample high quality protein is not only the best way to eat to get in great physical shape, it is the best way to eat if you are interested in defeating CHRONIC PAIN and / or CHRONIC ILLNESS as well.
- BACK OFF OF THE CARDIO: I realize that this will upset some of my regular readers. Before you start throwing rocks and bottles, just listen to me for a moment. Cardio Training is not nearly as effective as helping you lose weight or get in shape as is Strength Training. I think that some Cardio Training is great (especially when you combine it with your Strength Training --- Crossfit style or in the form of Intervals). But a little goes a very long way. Instead of getting mad at me, read the last decade's worth of research on the topic and use it to your advantage. Short workouts are all that is required to get in great shape. Learn the hows and the whys HERE --- especially if you are a woman.
- HARDER, FASTER, HEAVIER, SHORTER: I am not necessarily advocating that you start training for the the World's Strongest Man / Woman competition. In fact, I don't train nearly as heavy as I used to. But the fact remains that far too many people (especially women), don't lift hard and heavy enough if they are even lifting at all. I will not belabor this point, but ask you to click on the link above. Let me give you an example of an intense Cardio / Resistance workout that can be done in your own home in less than 10 minutes. Do a set of 10 KETTLEBELL SWINGS followed by 10 Burpees. Immediately follow it with 9 Kettlebell Swings and 9 Burpees. Immediately follow it with 8, 7, 6............ Make sure you have a trash can near by if you are not used to working out like this.
- DEAL WITH UNDERLYING CHRONIC ILLNESS: If you are finding it all but impossible to make any headway with your efforts, you may be one of the millions of Americans dealing with some sort of Chronic Illness. HERE is a great starting point as far as figuring out what may be going on.
A LITTLE EXERCISE GOES A LONG WAY
THE CHOICE IS YOURS
"A single, short bout of high-intensity exercise three times a week led to significant health benefits in slightly overweight men.... Participants saw changes in oxygen cost, blood pressure, and fasting glucose [blood sugar]." Dr. Arnt Erik Tjonna from the May 29, 2013 issue of PLOS One.
Simply dealing with this LARGELY MISUNDERSTOOD HEALTH PROBLEM will improve your overall health (and weight) by leaps and bounds --- and the study showed that this form of exercise does just that. Listen to this sentence from the study's Abstract, and let it sink into your brain. "A growing body of evidence suggests that exercise training with low-volume but high-intensity may be a time-efficient means to achieve health benefits." These people were on a treadmill for a 10 minute "warmup" at 70% of their max heart rate. They then kicked the intensity to 90% for one minute, followed by three minutes at 70% and a five minute "cool down". Add it up. That is 19 minutes, with only a single minute of what we would truly call "high intensity" exercise.
I get it. You don't have the time to do do the entire hour to hour and a half of P-90X or "Insanity". You don't have the money for a gym membership. You don't have room in your house for a bunch of bulky gym equipment. The thing is, these individuals saw huge changes in only 10 weeks, while exercising for less than 20 minutes three times a week --- walking / jogging / running. No one, and I do mean no one can tell me that they do not have 19 minutes, three times a week. All you have to do is crank your heart rate up. You can accomplish this in any number of ways. But if you really want to boost your results, try doing the same amount of time with some modified RESISTANCE TRAINING. I promise that your results will be even better!
One of my favorite success stories of High Intensity / Low Duration exercise is TRACY REFKIND'S crazy body transformation that took place over a period of about three months. All she did was perform Kettlebell Swings two or three times a week for an average of 20 minutes or so (in "interval" fashion, of course). Coupled with a LOW CARB DIET, she lost 100 lbs in 100 days and now runs a Kettlebell Fitness Studio.
If you are CHRONICALLY ILL or dealing with CHRONIC PAIN SYNDROMES, you will not be able to jump right in and go. But do something. The health benefits of just a little bit of exercise are too good to pass up. Not to mention, I have never one time heard a person say that they started exercising and feel worse. You can do this. Simply make a plan and stick to it. Oh; just one more thing. If you have great results, let me know so that I can share them with everyone.
YOUR HEALTH IS UP TO....... YOU!
GYM EQUIPMENT CAN QUICKLY DATE ITSELF: THE TITANIC'S FITNESS ROOM
I find it interesting how people think. You would be surprised at the number of people I see who believe that since the Affordable Care Act was passed, they can finally be healthy. False! Your health is and always has been completely up to you. I get it; some people were unfortunate enough to be born with genetic diseases, physical defects, or other severe inborn health problems. In the big scheme of things, these are RARE. I am speaking to the rest of you. It is time you take what God gifted you with and take care of it! Don't tell yourself that you will start next week. Start today.
Remember my EXCUSES post from last week? I want to give you some things that you can do on your own to take care of your body, and spend as little time as possible doing it. As far as working out / exercising is concerned, HERE is my short post on the best way to lose weight and keep it off forever. As you already know, I am a huge believer in STRENGTH TRAINING. Sure, I think think that Cardio Training is great, but if you simply look at the research, you'll see that a little of it goes a long way. This is to your advantage! You do not have to be a gym member, nor do you have to spend 1-2 hours a day doing workouts like P-90X (or running mile after mile after mile) to achieve incredible results. If you'll cut the JUNK and SODAS, and eat a diet based on WHOLE FOODS (specifically think PALEO HERE), you can spend a brief time working out (emphasis on brief) --- in the privacy of your own home if you like --- and achieve incredible results quickly (HERE).
How good of a workout can you get without being a member of a gym? Believe it or not, you can possibly do better than you could in many gyms. And all you need are an EXERCISE BALL and some light hand weights (dumbells), and if you are really motivated --- a HOMEMADE KETTLEBELL. The Exercise Ball (they go by lots of names including balance ball, fit ball, fitness ball, gym ball, physio ball, Pilates ball, sports ball, stability ball, Swedish ball, Swiss ball, therapy ball, etc, etc, etc) is simply a large inflatable ball that can be purchased at Cramazon or Mal-Wart (make sure to spend a few more bucks and get the 'burst resistant' heavy duty ball).
The real advantage to incorporating the Exercise Ball into your strength training is that the instability of the ball builds strength and stability into all parts of your body ---- particularly your CORE. Instead of working out on a stable surface (a bench or floor), the ball forces the body to engage many more muscles just to maintain balance (which is great PROPRIOCEPTIVE TRAINING). Not only is this great for your body, it is great for your brain as well (HERE). There is arguably no better (or easier) core strengthening program than to spend time on the ball. Simply head on over to YouTube and check out their videos on how to do strength and proprio training on a ball.
SIMPLE (QUICK) BALL WORKOUTS YOU
CAN DO IN YOUR OWN LIVING ROOM
Dr. Schierling completed four years of Kansas State University's five-year Nutrition / Exercise Physiology Program before deciding on a career in Chiropractic. He graduated from Logan Chiropractic College in 1991, and has run a busy clinic in Mountain View, Missouri ever since. He and his wife Amy have four children (three daughters and a son).
Brain Based Therapy
Can You Help
Cardio Or Strength
Cold Laser Therapy
Death By Medicine
Degenerative Joint Disease
D's Of Chronic Pain
Evidence Based Medicine
Gluten Cross Reactivity
Ice Or Heat
Jacks Fork River
Leaky Gut Syndrome
Number One Health Problem
Platelet Rich Therapy
Post Surgical Scarring
Re Invent Yourself
Rib And Chest Pain
Scar Tissue Removal
Sleeping Pills Kill
Stay Or Go
Stretching Post Treatment
Tensegrity And Fascia
The Big Four
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Whole Body Vibration