Thursday, July 25, 2013

Increase your cardio and fire-up your metabolism!

As we know the GCWCC Statistics Cup soccer tournament is in August and this fall Statistic Canada will feature a 5K run in October.  As an employee and participant I decided to give my fellow civil servants some help to prepare.
If you're planning on participating in these activities or if you just want to increase your level of fitness for your own personal goals, here is how you can boost your metabolism using interval training which will help  fat loss and to increase of your endurance. 

Before I get into the details, many people assume that doing your traditional cardio (steady state cardio) will help you burn fat.  Research shows that this is simply not the case!
Doing an hour on the elliptical or a treadmill will burn approximately 600 calories, but keep in mind that all of the different machines typically overestimate calorie expenditure.  Also, it does not increase your metabolism to the same degree as interval training or strength conditioning programs.

What is interval training?  It is a form of cardio in which you repeatedly alternate periods of high and lower intensity effort.  For instance, someone can repeatedly alternate a 30-second sprint with a 90-brisk walk which is a form of interval training.  This is optimum for raising your metabolism as well as your cardiovascular.  You will notice the effects of your metabolism being increased throughout the day as well as the following day and you will realize you don’t fatigue as quickly and your recovery time is quicker which a sign of improvement in your cardio.

If you are just a beginner then I recommend starting with steady-state cardio as you want to slowly condition your body into doing interval training.  Spend time in building your baseline of cardiovascular fitness with steady-state cardio.  Below is a breakdown of 3 different phases.


Do your traditional steady-state cardio gradually moving into low-intensity interval training.  For instance perhaps start with 10 minutes and gradually increase your time so you are able to do 30 minutes of one of this type of cardio. 

·         Walking
·         Jogging
·         Biking


Once feeling confident and you know your body is conditioned then attempt the first phase of interval with 20 seconds on and 60 seconds off. 

·         20 seconds on/60 seconds off x 8-10 repeats
·         30 seconds on/90 seconds off x 6-8 repeats
·         60 seconds on/180 seconds off x 3-4 repeats


This is a more advanced style of high-interval training.  Note:  I do not recommend this if you have never done any interval training!

·         30 seconds on/60 seconds off x 8-10 repeats
·         60 seconds on/60 seconds off x 6-8 repeats
·         90 seconds on/90 seconds off x 3-4 repeats
Follow these protocols and you’ll decrease your body fat level and increase your cardiovascular in no time!

Mike Azzi, C.P.T.
TopShape Fitness Inc.