Friday, February 08, 2013

Why do both strength training AND interval cardio each week….

Today's Post:  Friday, 2-8-2013

1.  The obvious and a very important reason is that it’s better to be both fit AND strong with all the benefits of both!

2.  Studies also show that people who do some of each every week get far more health benefits than people who do twice as much as either one!

3.  If the information on this in a recent Mike Geary email is correct, an important reason to do both is that although each kind of exercise does some of both  --

a)  Strength training particularly using heavier weights (or doing the super slow exercise style or both) and exercising your larger muscles such as your legs, lower back, upper back, chest and so forth releases the most testosterone.

The power lifting exercises of squats, deadlifts, and bench presses work well for this and so do leg presses on a machine.  No matter what your current strength, you can lift more and use more of your muscles in each exercise than you do in exercising smaller muscles and fewer of them at a time.

Testosterone builds muscle and strengthens and even helps repair your tendons.  With enough of testosterone, you feel better.  So it acts as an antidepressant.  You feel more like having sex and enjoy it more if you do.  And, having enough testosterone has recently been shown to protect your heart too!

Lastly, the high level of testosterone, which is an anabolic growth hormone and the lower level of growth hormone also released directly suggest that the rest of your body stays in better repair, you release BDNF to grow new nerves and brain cells too.  And from the research on using super slow repetition strength training to fight osteoporosis, we know it is effective at building or even rebuilding your bones!

b)  Interval cardio or variable cardio are quite similar. (I’ll start with what they are and how to do them.  More people have some idea of what strength training is.)

a) With interval cardio, you build up to doing a very fast exercise for a short time.  Rest until you have almost caught your breath and do another set of the very fast exercise for a short time, etc.

I do 3 sets of very fast jump rope for about 14 to 23 seconds to do each set.  This takes me about 4 or 5 minutes to do for all 3 sets and about 12 minutes from start of set up to all done.

I do that two evenings a week. Sometimes I only manage to do it once in a week.  Is it effective?

Yikes is it ever effective!! I also do variable cardio for a bigger block of time once a week on a Nordic Track.  Once I added the interval sessions of jump rope, I now routinely do something like 15% better than my all time record used to be on my Nordic Track sessions!

Mike Geary, for his interval cardio, starts at the bottom of a long hill and sprints up it until he is out of breath, then he stops until he almost catches his breath and does another sprint and then another etc.  Then he walks slowly down the hill.  (He is younger and fitter than I so he can do this more challenging kind.)

Doctor Al Sears has a program he calls PACE. He basically teaches people how to do a callisthenic exercise for several repetitions and then rest. Then he teaches people to gradually do each set faster and gradually reduce their rest time between sets.  He gets astounding fat los and health improvements in the people he teaches this to who follow this plan.

b)  Variable cardio is where you move briskly for a warmup for a bit and then do a very fast and intense section and then go back to moving briskly and repeat a few times.

On my Nordic Track I warm up for 1 minute and then in 8 minutes I do 9 such sets and finish with a 1 minute cool down.  That takes 10 minutes to do and about 25 minutes from start of set up to all done.

But you can even do short walks this way.  On a 20 minute walk, walk normally for a minute to warm up, then race walk or just walk at what for you is a very fast pace until you are just beginning to slow or feel winded or stressed; then slow down to a normal walk until you recover, move to a brisk walk and then a very fast walk, etc.

What is the special and extra benefit Mike Geary discovered of doing interval or variable cardio version of it?

It releases a LOT of the powerful growth hormone!

Having enough growth hormone builds muscle, reduces excess fat, makes repairs all over your body, and has anti-aging effects!


You can pay thousands of dollars a month to get growth hormone shots.  And, there are side effects because you can easily get more than your body needs.

But with interval or variable cardio, you get a just right amount.

Clearly having some of each every single week is a HUGE asset.

4.  Mike Geary and others have found that doing some of each every week maximizes your ability to lose excess fat and keep it off and avoid getting it if you don’t have it already.

This is even true for abdominal fat!

This is Mike Geary’s specialty. 

The best news is that super slow repetition strength training can be done in as little as ONE 30 minute session once a week.

AND, that you can do effective interval cardio or variable cardio as little as 15 to 30 minute sessions from start to all done and as little as 2 or 3 days a week.

If you get in some other activities or exercise at your desk to that can help.

But if you just do those two things every week, you get dramatic health and fat loss benefits.

AND you get antiaging effects too!

Does that mean a really busy person can do two 15 minute sessions of cardio and one super slow strength training session can be nearly as strong and fit as a professional athlete?

THAT’S exactly the case!

You CAN do the most important exercises to stay trim and fit and massively protect your health in a total of ONE hour a week!

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