Friday, April 27, 2007
*Strength train as close to every other day as possible
*Alternate HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) and SSHI (Steady Strength High Intensity) daily, but replace ABOUT 1-2 times per week with easy cardio.
*Warm up and cool down 5 minutes each for each HIIT/SSHI session. The session itself must be at least 20 minutes, not including warmup/cooldown.
*Stretch after each workout.
*Total workout time should be as close to 60-90 minutes per day as possible. This includes cardio, strength training, warm-up, cool-down, and stretching. If time needs to be increased I can always switch over to easy cardio after a HIIT or SSHI session.
HIIT: Alternate 1 minute work intervals (increase duration over time) with 4 minute recovery periods. Work intervals = heart rate reaches 168-191. Recovery = heart rate reaches 131-146.
SSHI: Keep heart rate at 146-168 (the higher within this range the better).
Easy cardio: Can read a magazine, be less careful about monitoring heart rate, time can be short or long, whatever!
Friday, April 27, 2007
I just read a bunch of articles on SparkPeople and the Weight Watchers website about heart rate. Using the Karvonen Formula (more accurate than the standard 220-age), plus Weight Watchers' definitions of intensity levels (for calculating activity points), here's what I got:
Low intensity: 100-122 Beats Per Minute (40%-54%)
Moderate: 123-145 BPM (55%-69%)
High: 146-168 BPM (70%+, but I am capping at 85% due to another article)
Anything under 99 really can't count toward APs, and anything above 168 is anaerobic (which will be useful for HIIT, see below). I need to memorize these numbers. I will also need to recalculate if my resting heart rate changes (I used 40 BPM as my RHR) and when I turn 30.
The formula, by the way, was Maximum Heart Rate (220-age=191) - RHR (40) = 151. 151 x (intensity as a decimal) + RHR (40).
In other words, to calculate 70% intensity, the formula would be (151 x 0.7) + 40 = 145.7.
Here are some other numbers from various articles:
Beginner/low 50% - 60%
Average 60% - 70%
High 75% - 85%
Another article (on SP) said moderate is 40%-60% and vigorous is above 60%, and yet another said that aerobic activity starts at 60%+, but I have to go with WW's percentages to calculate WW's activity points!
The standard formula gives me all lower numbers than the Karvonen formula. Here are my Karvonen numbers:
40% = 100.4
50% = 115.5
60% = 130.6
70% = 145.7
75% = 153.25
80% = 160.8
85% = 168.35
My program will include 2 days a week of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) - see my favorites for the link. I think the elliptical would be the most reasonable type of cardio for this, but we'll see.
1. Always start with a 5-minute warmup. Bring heart rate to 131-146.
2. Work Interval (Maximum intensity). Push as hard as I possibly can. Start with 1 minute and every 3 weeks add 30 seconds to a maximum of 5 minutes. I can alter the time/rate of increase if I need to. Basically push until there is a serious burn and you can't push to the max anymore. Elite athletes go 3-5 minutes.
3. Recovery. My heart rate should return to 131-146 within 4 minutes. If it doesn't, I should either reduce the work interval or increase the recovery period (time-wise, not intensity).
4. Repeat. The article I read has a schedule of the number of times to repeat (2 first week, 3 second week, 4 third week, back to 2 4th week, 3 5th week, 4 6th week, 3 7th week, 4 8th week, with recommendation to increase beyond), but I think I'll just go with a) how much time I have and b) what I can handle. Minimum 20 minutes per session, max may depend on mileage - if I'm training for a 10K I must keep my mileage in mind!!!
5. 5-minute cooldown - bring heart rate back to 131-146.
The article recommends doing HIIT twice a week plus 1-2 steady state sessions. However that would add up to only 3-4 cardio sessions per week and I want to do cardio every day, though it doesn't always have to be high intensity. So, I will do HIIT twice a week, steady-state with a heart rate of 146-168 twice a week, and free choice three times per week.
HIIT: Twice a week. (Elliptical?)
*5 minute warmup: heart rate should reach 131-146
*1+ minute work interval (max. effort, heart rate should go over 168!)
*4 minute recovery
*repeat. Reach 20-60+ minutes of work intervals/recovery periods.
*5 minute cooldown: heart rate should reach 131-146 (or lower).
Steady-state: Twice a week. (Outdoor running?)
*5 minute warm-up to ge heart rate up to 131-146.
*20-60+ minutes with heart rate at 146-168 (closer to top, the more I will improve)
*5 minute cool-down: heart rate should reach 131-146 (or lower).
Free choice: Three times a week.
*At least one free choice should be either HIIT or high-intensity steady-state for at least 20 minutes (plus warm-up/cooldown).
*At least one free choice should be something lighter - low or moderate intensity AND/OR shorter duration.
Remember FITT - Frequency (3-6 times per week), Intensity, Time, and Type
Also keep in mind things I already was trying to incorporate into my program:
*Vary types of cardio
*Remember 60-90 minute per day guideline, but as far as I know that includes strength training and stretching.
*Strength train as close to every other day as possible.
*Stretch after cardio and maybe even after the warmup?
*No magazines for HIIT and steady-state high intensity. Focus on my workout and heart rate. If I want to, I can switch over to lighter intensity after 20 minutes and read then. Do the tough stuff first, though!!
*On strength days, do cardio first. It's OK to keep cardio shorter on strength days, because my strength workouts take an hour!!
*Probably best to avoid doing HIIT two days in a row. Maybe I should just alternate...HIIT, SSHI, FC, and back to the beginning. In fact, yes, that's what I will do. However, if life intervenes and I end up off schedule, that's OK, just be sure to go back to the schedule the next day. I'm thinking of something like a day scheduled for HIIT ending up being a day I go for a long bike ride instead. That's how I currently treat my strength workouts. It works better for me than scheduling something for certain days of the week.
OK, so change of plan from what I said earlier. Here's the new plan:
*Continue to strength train as close to every other day as possible.
*For cardio I THINK I want to alternate days of HIIT, SSHI, and FC. Although I'm thinking of changing that YET again. I think I would confuse myself with that schedule. Instead, I will think of it as alternating HIIT and SSHI, BUT when I need to I can take it easy 1-2 days per week (never in a row).
Here's a sample week (just to see if this works):
Monday: HIIT + strength training
Wednesday: Easy cardio + strength training
Friday: Easy cardio + strength training
Saturday: SSHI (extended)
Sunday: HIIT + strength training
I like this - this works! I will just need to remember whether the previous day was a strength training day or not (if it wasn't yesterday, it is today, and vice versa) and whether yesterday was HIIT or SSHI. Today do whatever I didn't do yesterday. I will also need to keep track of how many "easy cardio" days I've had so that I don't do more than 2 per week, but now that I write this I'm wondering if I really need to be that strict. We'll see how it goes. I don't want to take it too far in either direction - either ending up doing too much or too little. Just like I don't go crazy with a strength training schedule, I don't think I need to go crazy with a HIIT/SSHI schedule, either.
What counts as easy cardio? Anything, I guess. I was going to write a list, but I don't want to drive myself nuts. On easy cardio days I shouldn't worry about heart rate, though I will need to calculate APs so I guess I need a general idea. Memorize the numbers: 100-122 (low), 123-145 (moderate), 146-168 (high). It's a really good idea to teach myself to recognize how I feel at each level, so I can estimate without having to check my heart rate all the time.
I'm going to sum this all up in a different entry. This is getting too long!
Friday, April 27, 2007
I've been picking up some new tricks for both diet and exercise lately.
Diet: (and I mean that in terms of what you eat, NOT "being on a diet") - Use delay tactics! Hold off with a drink, gum, a mint, or just a distraction. Delay before a meal or a snack. Eat a little, then delay some more. That way I won't run into the problem of eating my whole day's food before noon like I have in the past. It's really nice to have it be 4 p.m. and know that I still have a snack AND dinner left to eat! And it somehow makes me less hungry throughout the day, too!
Also for diet: VEGGIES (and fruit) take your daily calorie intake farther, gotta get in that olive oil, and USE SPICES!!
Exercise: With a heart rate monitor I can get a really quality workout anywhere. With outdoor running I can stay comfortable with my heart rate in the 150s by slowing down when it creeps into the 160s. (Likewise I'd speed up if it gets to the lower 150s.) I still have to do some research to really get some exact numbers for my heart rate, especially for INCREASING my cardiovascular fitness level, endurance, and speed. I CAN do a 10K!!!!! I've heard good things about the Falmouth race in August and the Tufts race for Columbus Day weekend!!
I really can't do a high intensity workout while reading a magazine. Sometimes a moderate workout is fine, sometimes I need high intensity.
If I do cardio before strength training, I will have a higher heart rate during strength training. This is good for honestly calling the strength training a moderate intensity workout.
So.....why the heck did my scale say 137.0 today?? Having 2 scales is driving me crazy. Yesterday the other scale said 134.8. My scale at home has been creeping up....Monday 136.0, Wednesday 136.8, Friday 137.0. I know I am doing everything right...so I'm taking it with agrain of salt...(actually I'm not - low sodium!!)... unless somehow my very low calorie gum/diet drinks/mints are making me gain weight?!? A more probable theory is that the bloating I was experiencing from eating too much fiber made my weight higher. I really don't think I've gained FAT mass.
It will probably rain all weekend, but if not I'd love to go for a long bike ride. Barry (my brother) suggested a trail from Bedford to Somerville - I think he said 25 miles (can't remember if that was round-trip or 1 way!), he also suggested biking around my parents' area to get my dad to come with us. I'd get Jess in on the action too. :) I also am loving the idea of outdoor running now that I have my heart rate monitor and can prep for races better. It's fun too, now that I look good it's fun to run in a busy area in a little workout outfit and have people see me! Heehee, whatever gets me going, right??
So I hope it doesn't rain all weekend!!! If it does I have to go to the gym....and something tells me if I don't I'll be spending a lot of time in Boston.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
5 Superfoods for Weight Loss
by Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS
I won't write the whole article here...just want to take notes so I remember for the next time I am at the grocery store!
1. Grapefruit - 1/2 grapefruit (39 calories) before a meal helps people drop weight. Fights cancer, red grapefruit lowers triglycerides.
2. Sardines - Protein helps stabilize blood sugar/feel full/stimulate metabolism. Omega-3s strengthen cardiovascular system/boost mood. Convenient, easy to find, cheap. Contaminant-free.
3. Pumpkin - Canned pumpkin is loaded with fiber and has 40 calories. Add splenda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and almonds.
4. Grass-fed beef or buffalo burgers. High protein and omega-3s. Low contaminants.
5. Green tea - Rich in antioxidants, promotes heart health, aids digestion, regulates blood sugar and body temperature. Raises metabolic rate, speeds fat oxidation. Five cups a day is the magic number for weight-loss. Natural de-stressor.
What a great article!!! I think I will try all 5 items! (I already drink green tea but will increase to 5 a day.)
Thursday, April 26, 2007
If my weight seems to zigzag up and down on alternating days it's because I am now using two different scales. This week Monday was 136.0 at home, Tuesday was 135.0 at Jess's, Wednesday was 136.8 at home, Thursday (today) was 134.8 at Jess's! Who knows what's "real" and what isn't. Who cares - I'm looking great and feeling even better. :)
PS - To those who come to my page, thanks so much for ALL your kind words! I have gotten so much encouragement from people's comments on my page!!:)
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