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Carb Cycling Followup

Thursday, October 25, 2012

I left things kind of vague in my last blog because I wanted to try this out for a couple of weeks before getting too detailed. It resulted in some very good questions, though. So I'll explain the concept of what I'm attempting.

Those of us who do low-carb primarily focus on lowering insulin levels in order to induce fat loss. However, there is another hormone that is instrumental in adipose fat tissue levels: leptin.

We are very complex biologic systems, so there are tons of biochemical interactions. The gist of it is insulin and leptin are hormones that directly effect the amount of adipose fat tissue we carry.

Elevated insulin levels turns on fat storage. Too much insulin circulating chronically can lead to insulin resistance.

Leptin is one of the hormones involved with hunger and satiety. It is also responsible for up and down regulating metabolic burn. The amount of leptin circulating is proportional to the amount of fat we have. Leptin lets the brain know that we have sufficient fat stores, so no need to eat anymore. Low leptin makes us more hungry, and slows down calorie burn.

However, just like insulin, when levels are elevated for prolonged periods of time, we can become leptin resistant. Our satiety switch doesn't work. We become chronically obese, and we can't burn fat. We have too much fat, and yet our brain keeps telling us to eat more and more.

I remember when I used to battle with 'willpower' to stop eating. It was always a losing fight. It's chemical. Obesity is a miscommunication of hormones that chronically increases fat and prevents fat burn.

Here are some ways leptin is lowered:
- Fasting
- Very low calorie diets
- Very low carb diets
- Insufficient sleep
- Strenuous exercise

Ever felt crazy hungry after a hard workout? Yep, that's lowered leptin levels compelling you to eat.

So how do you raise leptin?

Well, the bad news is leptin levels drop at a much faster rate than it increases. Once leptin levels crash, it is very hard to raise.

I've only recently started exploring the leptin theory, so I don't know all the ins and outs. The only thing I've seen on how to raise leptin is to not be hungry. When we feel 'full', enough leptin is triggered for our brains to say 'stop'.

That means:
- If you restrict calories, periodically have a high calorie day.
- If you low-carb, periodically have a high carb meal.
- Eat lots of fiber so you feel full, and leptin is stimulated.
- Have a rest day to clear out cortisol and other stressors (more about 'rest' days later!).

Once leptin levels plummet, it's an uphill, against the wind battle to restore it. So it's best not to get into that situation. This is but one reason why anorexics gain fat at an accelerated rate if they go back to eating 'normal' after prolonged severe calorie restriction.

Never EVER starve yourself to lose weight.

This might also be why chronic cardio goers tend to plateau despite vigorous exercise. Leptin lowers metabolic rate to counteract increased energy expended and decreased calorie consumption.

This is the idea behind carb cycling. Very low carb/calorie days clears out elevated insulin levels, but also drops leptin. High carb/calorie days raises leptin, but also raises insulin. Thus follow with very low carb. Wash, rinse, repeat as necessary.

Presumably this works better for people near goal weight because they are less likely to have issues with insulin resistance, which is a primary block to fat burn. For people just starting weight loss, an 'induction' period is a very good idea so there is a clean slate.

Some people may call this a 'cheat day'. I caution against that as an excuse to binge. I plan to use my high carb days to eat mainly starches: potatoes, sweet potatoes or rice.

As for why to sync up high carb with high intensity workouts, one reason might be because HIIT depletes glycogen stores. The more strenuous the workout, the more glycogen burned (and the more leptin dropped!). High carb/calorie, in theory, should replenish glycogen, and offset some leptin drop. Carbs/calories are used in a beneficial way, and hopefully less likely to be stored as fat.

This is what I'm attempting for the next few weeks. In my case, I'm hoping it will up-regulate metabolic burn.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MYLADY4 11/1/2012 8:03PM

    Thanks again for sharing. I was so guilty of low carb, chronic cardio and the hormones got so out of wack.

I will try really really hard to try carb cycling when I am done with my doctor supervised hormone reset program. I have it drilled into my brain that low carb strenous workouts were the key to losing weight and that failed me miserably.

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SALONKITTY 11/1/2012 7:18PM

    Great! I'm looking forward to hearing how you feel and what sort of results you see with carb cycling. It should work!

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BILL60 10/26/2012 9:41AM

    Good reading. Thank you for sharing.

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DEELB1 10/25/2012 9:45PM

  Printed out your blogs as I find them very interesting! emoticon

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BTVMADS 10/25/2012 9:07PM

    I'm very curious to see how this goes for you. I've often noticed that when I've hit a plateau, an indulgent day followed by several strict days would break the plateau. Unfortunately, it also lead to more sugar cravings down the road for me. I hope this experience gives you everything you need!

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GETSTRONGRRR 10/25/2012 7:49PM

    Thanks.....I'm going to await the results of your N=1 trials.....hope my leptin stores can take the wait!

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NEILITHICMAN 10/25/2012 3:19PM

    Good luck, let us know how you get on.

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MICHELLE73101 10/25/2012 2:07PM

    I'll be doing carb cycling as part of my plan in 5 weeks. Thanks for the insight! emoticon

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Carb Cycling

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

When you get into the single digits left for weight loss goals, losing even .5% bodyfat is cause for celebration and dancing in the streets. I *only* have 7-8lbs to lose as a goal milestone, but I've been stuck for over 3 months.

When I had 40lbs to lose, just cutting out soda and walking more was enough to lose weight.

When I had 30lbs to lose, I needed to eat cleaner. I eliminated processed and fast foods.

When I had 20lbs to lose, I had to cut back carbohydrates. 160g carbs was simply too high for me. Eating less than 100g carbs trimmed off fat nicely.

Now that I have less than 10lbs to lose, what to do?

I'm experimenting with carb cycling. This is a technique used by bodybuilders to trim fat before competition. While I am not even close to a bodybuilder, I thought it might do the trick to kick start fat burn again.

Basically it works by alternating no carb, low carb, and high carb days. No carb clears out fat storage hormones (insulin). High carb resets leptin and muscle growth hormones. Both of which can get out of whack on very low carb and very high carb diets. Carb cycling, the theory goes, juggles the hormones around to optimize fat loss. It's supposed to work better when a person is already at normal or low body fat levels. So I'm giving it a try.

I'm also upping the intensity of my workouts with circuit training to increase both calorie burn and resistance. I'm all about efficiency, and circuit training is more bang for the time buck. It's been pretty brutal this week, but I think it's working.

My plan is something like this:

No carb (less than 40g): Veggies/Protein
Low Carb (less than 80g): Veggies/Protein/Fruit
High Carb (approx 100-120g): Veggies/Protein/Fruit/Starch

"No carb" isn't exactly 0, and "high carb" isn't exactly high for my purposes.

It's cycled like this:

Mon: No Carb
Tues: Low Carb
Weds: High Carb
Thurs: No Carb
Fri: No Carb
Sat: Low Carb
Sun: High Carb

That means a couple of days a week and on weekends I can indulge in a side of mashed potatoes, rice, bread or even a small dessert.

My exercise routine is alternating between short, high intensity (elliptical/spinning/circuit x30mins) and long, low intensity (walking/cycling x1hr+) - 3x HIIT and 4x LIIT.

Mon: HIIT
Tues: LIIT
Weds: HIIT
Thurs: LIIT
Fri: HIIT
Sat: LIIT
Sun: LIIT

I'll let you know in a few weeks if this does the trick.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IRP1114 10/28/2012 10:45PM

    Lowering carbs does seem to do the trick for most. Hope it works out for you. I like that you are varying to your energy needs :-)

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MRS.CARLY 10/28/2012 9:51PM

    I've always done well on carb cycling diets! Good luck!

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VHALKYRIE 10/25/2012 12:48PM

    EGALITAIRE: Excellent questions!! I was going to wait to explain more of the concept until after I tried out the n=1 experiment on myself for a couple of weeks. I don't know if this will actually work, so I was holding off on getting too deep into it until I had more 'evidence' in my trial. But you all are getting into some very, very good questions and ideas, so I'll try to compile all this into a follow up blog.

Great discussion, all!

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EGALITAIRE 10/25/2012 12:28PM

    This is a great discussion - I love hear all the different perspectives and experiences.

I am interested in the concept of needing extra carbs on a high intensity exercise day - what would happen if one didn't carb load - that being a relative term.

My carbs are between 40 and 80 most days, but I don't cycle intentionally, just vary the menu.

I am increasing the number of Tabata protocols I do each week, and I do a long (2+ hour) ride each week. I don't notice feeling like I need extra carbs on or after those days - for those of you who feel you need extra carbs - what are the indicators?



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VHALKYRIE 10/25/2012 12:17PM

    LadyRose: I think you and I have the similar ideas about "rest day". :)

Hmm...I think this would be a good topic for a blog!

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DEELB1 10/25/2012 12:05PM

  emoticon interesting

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LADYROSE 10/25/2012 11:52AM

    *whew* didn't want you to think I was knocking your plan! :)

"What do you think? Does rest day mean 'sedentary'?"

Honestly, I truly believe you need some total down, do nothing time. I know that a lot of people get fidgety and antsy when they just sit and/or are still. Most people just don't know how to be still (count me in that) but by constantly feeling like you need to be doing - again, fast track to burnout.

The big thing on a 'rest' day to keep in mind: it's about recovery - mind, body and spirit. If you enjoy taking a stroll on the beach, by all means do it - stop, look at shells and rocks, laugh, throw sand at each other (if you're walking with the hubby or a friend) or just take the time to be in nature and don't think about heart rate, number of miles/steps, etc. And if you can do a little bit of stretching along the way, even better!

I think about the life pre-industrialization: people worked hard, then came in for the night, had dinner, then sat and talked, prayed, laughed with family, then went to bed at a decent hour to start it all over. They usually had 1-2 days where they did the minimum, then just hung out the rest of the day.

That all make sense?

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BILL60 10/25/2012 8:01AM

    I agree with SALONKITTY's remark. I do high intensity cycling 3X weekly and have to repair by consuming some carbs. I couldn't limit my carbs on those days. Let us know how it goes. And BTW, you're doing incredible well. The very best to you.

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ADZY86 10/25/2012 4:56AM

    I'm really intrigued to see how this is going to pan out. Keep us posted. Right now I just do low carb cos I find it easier, but I've read time and time again that you do need to 'confuse' your body to keep it burning. I do this with my workouts, but not yet with my food.
Hope it works out.

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GREENGENES 10/24/2012 11:46PM

    Nice idea if you can stick to it. I couldn't keep track of that kind of program but then I'm lucky if I can remember what day it is.

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EGALITAIRE 10/24/2012 11:28PM

    Yes, also looking forward to seeing how this works for you. I am in a somewhat similar place - with more to lose - but have plateaued for a few months after dropping weight quickly and regularly.

My main goal is health, so I am patient with finding out what will make the scale move - I have been tweaking my exercise, although not as scientifically as would be needed to actually know what's working and what's not.

I have not really changed my diet much.

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VHALKYRIE 10/24/2012 8:56PM

    They're always coming up with something, aren't they? I read it on a bodybuilder forum. The more extreme measure is the ketogenic diet. I've been trying to avoid it, but if carb cycling doesn't work, then that may be a last resort.

"Keeping the body guessing" is why I'm cycling high/low carbs AND exercise!

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MYLADY4 10/24/2012 8:37PM

    Good luck with this and I am curious to see how it works. I have tried it before but just could not committ to it fully. It was just easier to eat low carb. Maybe the new year.

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GETSTRONGRRR 10/24/2012 8:35PM

    Sounds like an interesting concept, hadn't heard of it (although my son, the "Bodybuilder", heralds the concept of "keeping your body guessing" by constantly changing his workouts.

you mentioned a while back that the Low Intensity of long walks, hikes etc. of more than an hour or two were most effective in burning fat. Maybe a long leisurely work on the weekends....

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VHALKYRIE 10/24/2012 7:50PM

    Great thoughts, LadyRose! The strength training is included in my circuit training. "Rest" days are included in the LIIT - very leisurely activities like walking around a park. :) I didn't think of rest days as necessarily sedentary.

What do you think? Does rest day mean 'sedentary'? By low intensity I mean very low, like walking. The weekend walks on the beach and cycling are at a very leisurely pace - like 50-55 HRM.

Comment edited on: 10/24/2012 7:58:52 PM

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LADYROSE 10/24/2012 7:19PM

    Good call SalonKitty... was just going to mention that... with the HIIT workouts, you'll be burning through your glycogen stores pretty quick, so will need to put the high carb day before those workouts and maybe the day off, or at least as part of your post-workout meal, then you can drop the carbs.

Can't wait to see how the experiement works!

PS - You ARE a bodybuilder! You're doing the work to build an awesome, healthy body!!

PPS - that brings up a question: where's the weights in your exercise routine? I'd suggest 1-cutting a couple of LIIT days and making those weight training days (doesn't have to be complicated, just some body weights or if you're at the gym, lift really heavy things.) and 2 - add a rest day in there! Not a 'doing less' day, an actual rest day to allow the body to recover. All -IIt and no rest is an equation for overtraining.

Comment edited on: 10/24/2012 7:22:52 PM

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VHALKYRIE 10/24/2012 4:23PM

    Great point, SalonKitty! The research I did on carb cycling didn't mention exercise, so I'm kinda fitting this in with some of my fitness goals. I think you are on to something, though, that perhaps I should sync up my high intensity days with higher carb. Thanks for the thought!

Comment edited on: 10/24/2012 4:24:16 PM

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SALONKITTY 10/24/2012 4:18PM

    I think it's a good idea to give this a try, Vhalkyrie...what I am curious about is if the no/low/high carb days should be somehow sync'd up with the types of workouts you're doing...did you find any info suggesting that, or does it not matter?

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Stepping Up the Exercise

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I can't believe October is almost over. How did it go so fast?

Here in the south, the weather is just now getting lovely. DH and I have been enjoying weekend walks on the beaches without fear of blistering sunburns.

For my October goals, I've done pretty well on my diet. After eating a bunch of birthday cakes in September, I went through a few weeks of reboot.

Exercise, though, I'd only rate myself as fair. While DH and have been getting our weekend exercise, I need a stronger effort on the weekdays. I retooled my plan starting yesterday. My schedule is going to look something like this:

Monday: 30 mins HIIT elliptical (done!)
Tuesday: 30 Day Shred DVD (done!)
Wednesday: 60 mins indoor cycling
Thursday: 30 Day Shred DVD
Friday: 30 mins HIIT elliptical
Saturday: 2+ hour beach cycling
Sunday: Easy walk around park or beach

I'm mixing it up. I'll be doing my best to carry this routine into November, hopefully heading off any weight gain going into the holidays!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BILL60 10/24/2012 8:33AM

    Great plan.

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DEELB1 10/24/2012 2:45AM

  emoticon

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KAYOTIC 10/23/2012 10:09PM

    Nice workouts there, emoticon

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NEILITHICMAN 10/23/2012 3:21PM

    I'm the opposite way round. I've been good with my exercise but slipping on my diet. I think it's because of the weather this month. This has been one of our wettest ever Octobers, and when it's cold and grey outside you just want to sit and eat.

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What Shows Are You Watching?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

I enjoy watching TV shows on my iPod Touch while working out. I'll be honest and admit that I find treadmills, ellipticals and the like to be a drag. I'd much rather be on my real bike with the wind in my face, but as we all know, realities of modern life doesn't make that possible regularly. So, in order to get my exercise, I have to do what makes it bearable. That means TV, movies or music on my iPod. TV shows are ideal for getting my 30-45 minute workouts done.

I watched "Lost", "Desperate Housewives", "Heroes", and "Battlestar Galactica" during my workouts in the past. But I don't watch a lot of network TV, so I'm out of the loop on what's the latest and greatest. I'm not a big fan of reality TV. The last reality TV show I watched was "Real World: Seattle"!

Are there any shows you are particularly enjoying these days? Since I will be watching them in a public place, the show needs to be PG-13, so no HBO series, unfortunately!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JOLIE_ 10/29/2012 7:34AM

    I like watching the voice and Dancing with the Stars while on the treadmill as gets me some music as well as tv :)

I also can't wait for Biggest loser to start as that is motivating to work out to.

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IRP1114 10/28/2012 10:43PM

    I also watch shows during cardio :-)! Watched all of Heros and Lost all on the treadmill. Actually finished watching every last episode of Lost during my last pregnancy lol! Don't know why they cut off Heros like that. I was also looking to start watching Dr Who. been hearing a few good things about it. And definitely watch episodes of biggest loser. That is very motivating to watch. I know you said you don't enjoy reality much but I love watching survivor. We actually watch it as a family but since I don't hear most of what goes on with the little ones I end up watching it again on the treadmill in the mornings. Plus there is always more of it to watch online ;-)

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THINRONNA 10/24/2012 4:24AM

    I just thought of another one...

The Newsroom...really good...only ine season so far and it comes on again in June...the waiting!

emoticon

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BTVMADS 10/22/2012 1:09PM

    House, up until season 7, and nature documentary shows. David Attenborough's various shows (Earth, Life, Madagascar, etc.) are all gorgeous to watch and utterly fascinating! I don't watch any TV, but I've got 7 different nature shows on blu-ray.

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VHALKYRIE 10/20/2012 10:52AM

    Thanks for the suggestions! I'll see if I can't check them out!

emoticon

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LOTUSLIFE 10/19/2012 3:29PM

  Sons of Anarchy (not for the faint of heart emoticon )
Revenge
Army Wives
Felicity
Grey's Anatomy

I've watched all of these on Netflix so if you have that...you can too!

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NAYPOOIE 10/19/2012 12:59PM

    Doctor Who.

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FANGFACEKITTY 10/19/2012 12:27PM

    I rarely watch TV, the only show I'm watching right now is The Walking Dead on AMC. I watched the entire Season 1 on Netflix while using the stationary bike at the gym.

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SEXBOBOMB 10/19/2012 10:48AM

    BBC's "Sherlock" and "Downton Abbey" are emoticon
(Sherlock's got a tiny bit of nakey every rare once in a while, but no more than what you'd see on nighttime network TV)

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 10/19/2012 6:20AM

    Music is my drug of choice while on the treadmill or elliptical.

Most recent acquisitions:

Feel Good Inc. by Gorillaz
This Is Why We Fight by Decemberists
First Dance by Never Shout Never
Monster by Skillet
Cheap and Cheerful by The Kills


Have a great day and keep ...

-::-
)) -::-
. .))
((. .. Spreading the Spark!-::-
-::- ((.*

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THINRONNA 10/19/2012 3:11AM

    On my way in to work I thought of a few more:

The Good Wife...I know there are some racy scenes but I don't think there is actual nudity...Great show.

Harry's Law...sadly only ran a few seasons but soooo good!

Nikita...fun, exciting but a tad bit sappy at times

Downton Abbey...English...really good

The Firm...only lasted a few seasons but it is good twisty fun also



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DEELB1 10/19/2012 2:47AM

  I enjoy the oldies like Star Trek and Desperate Housewives.

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GETSTRONGRRR 10/19/2012 2:09AM

    Not a big TV watcher, but if you want to rev up your workouts check out the apps by Lolo. They are available for elliptical, treadmill, stationary bike and are awesome!

It scans your music library and, without altering the pitch, can tailor a workout altering the BPM of your music. It can design 15, 30, & 45 min workouts replete with intervals, climbs, etc

Get 'em all!

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THINRONNA 10/19/2012 1:05AM

    I have to download all my TV too so I am also really interested in what people are watching...also very out of the loop!

Here are some of what we have found...we watch one evening a week.
Scandle...very fun and twisty

Smash...so surprising that a musical would work on TV but it does

Damages... quite dark but kind of fun with Glen Close

Revenge...maybe for a younger crowd but we find it fun

I have to get to work but I will probably think of more once the coffee has had time to work!

p.s. I loved Heros! So sad it didn't take.




Comment edited on: 10/19/2012 3:13:00 AM

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HOUNDLOVER1 10/18/2012 9:50PM

    I tend to get bored in the gym. But I get just as bored with most of what is on TV. So I try to exercise outside whenever possible. If I have to use the gym I do something like change the incline or speed on the treamill or elliptical every minute to keep it more interesting. On the recumbent bike I'll read a book while doing an easy workout.

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VHALKYRIE 10/18/2012 9:48PM

    LADYIRISH317: Me too! Those are the few shows that I do watch on TV! But I don't watch them while working out because it makes me hungry - haha!

NEILITHICMAN: I haven't watched the Biggest Loser in a long time, but I found it very motivating for me too! I heart Bob - he is great.

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NEILITHICMAN 10/18/2012 9:45PM

    I watch biggest loser while riding my bike sometimes. Seeing those fatties working out motivates me to work out. Sometimes I pretend Bob is screaming at me to go faster rather than the contestants.

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LADYIRISH317 10/18/2012 9:39PM

    I live on the Food Network. Chopped is my favorite, but I also love Iron Chef America and ANYTHING with either Bobby Flay or Alton Brown.

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Exercise: High or Low Intensity?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Over the years, I've experimented with intense exercise for short periods and low intensity for long periods for weight loss. 30 minutes 'jogging' on the elliptical versus 1 or 2 hours cycling, for example. Which one was better?

In the beginning when I first started, it was either. Just getting up and doing anything seemed to work. But I eventually reached diminishing returns.

These days, a mix of both is ideal. From my observation, though, I'm going to say low intensity exercise for longer time works better for losing fat.

There's a lot of controversy about the so called 'fat burning zone'. Exercising at low intensity burns a higher percentage of fat than high intensity. But high intensity burns more calories.

From my perspective, HI helps more in maintenance as the calories burned will be less likely to persist as stored fat. But when weight loss is the goal, LI is ideal for trimming off stored fat.

However, LI exercise requires more time invested, which is prohibitive for many people with jobs and families to juggle. Higher intensity exercise can reap benefit in 30 minutes. Studies consistently show that the true fat burning efficiency from low intensity exercise doesn't kick in until at least a hour. This seems to explain why my 4 hour day hikes on the weekends used to shred fat at a superior rate to my weekday gym rat schedule.

Spark and most dietary opinions believe that short but high intensity exercise is just as good as long and low intensity. There are countless articles about the 'fat burning zone' myth. If you are short on time, definitely some exercise is better than none, and I am certainly a fan of HIIT. However, my personal opinion is to not completely dismiss the low intensity exercises. Just make sure to do them for a longer period of time. A two hour walk on the beach or at the park with the dog or kids may just be the trick to boost a weight loss stall.

But as I've repeatedly stressed, the best exercise still won't reap reward without a good diet to go with it.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BTVMADS 10/22/2012 1:06PM

    I definitely agree that HI is better for maintenance. This is especially important to remember as folks grow older -- less muscle means a slower metabolism. But if we can keep our bodies strong, our metabolisms won't slow down as much.

And, of course, it's also important to think about what each kind of cardio does for your body. Long, moderate workouts help build stamina and endurance, in addition to burning a higher proportion of calories from fat. High intensity training helps build strength and speed, in addition to providing a quick calorie burn. I know you already know that, but it's good to remember!

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CTTAGENT 10/18/2012 11:27AM

    I usually find that I end up at about an hour or so total time, with 20 minutes on the treadmill and the rest with strength training. Mine is usually a slow long workout because I do not run on the treadmill, but I put the incline up to at least 2.5% and am slowly working up from there... It all depends on how my body is feeling for that day.

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KAYOTIC 10/17/2012 10:00AM

    I like both, if I have the time long, steady state workouts are great (and I love to hike....) but for efficiency when time is limited and good HIIT workout does wonders too.

And a healthy diet is key...

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GETSTRONGRRR 10/17/2012 2:28AM

    double-post bummer!
emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/17/2012 2:29:17 AM

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GETSTRONGRRR 10/17/2012 2:27AM

    I think both are important, but time constraints drive me towards short/hi-intensity workouts.

The other benefit of getting your heart rate up higher though is increased cardio-vascular stamina, better known as "wind". When I work hard at hi-intensity levels, I can tell that many other things (e.g. climbing stairs, carrying groceries, etc) are much easier too, so it does have an added fitness benefit

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BALLOUZOO 10/16/2012 11:10PM

    I try to balance both too! i think they both have different things to offer.

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 10/16/2012 9:15PM

    Thanks for the reminder that, yes, I can out eat any amount of exercise! I find a variety of styles and intensities is better for my ADD addled brain!

But if I don't sweat, I find it hard to count as helping me to lose weight or gain muscle.

Comment edited on: 10/16/2012 9:16:04 PM

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SALONKITTY 10/16/2012 3:10PM

    I haven't tried it lately, but what seemed to work really well for me when I was not overweight at all but looking to shed body fat was doing two workouts a day. I did a longer workout in the early morning, the bulk of which was strength training, but in the evenings I would do something a bit less intense--a 45 minute jog, a nice bike ride, something of that nature. Of course I was in my mid twenties then, in great shape, and not married (had more time on my hands and nobody to cook dinner for/entertain). I don't think I could get back to the same volume of activity I was doing then, but as I whittle down, I may try to incorporate split workouts again and see if they still do the trick for me.

Right now I'm doing HIIT style workouts 3-4 times per week made up of a variety of bodyweight and kettlebell exercises. On the other days, I either do more of a strength-focused kettlebell workout that is a bit slower/longer, or a high volume cardio type kettlebell workout (also longer). I'm also lifting weights, but am having to take a little break at the moment as I'm in the process of quitting one gym and joining another. I'm still managing to walk to and from places a whole lot more than I was before, which has been great.

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BILL60 10/16/2012 8:43AM

    I schedule both during the week. Hill repeats and speed intervals for the short and long rides for the long.

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SHAMAYO 10/15/2012 6:07PM

    I feel you. When I have extra time I love doing a long walk at a brisk pace. But, as a single mom, working, I also love it HIIT stuff too! In the morning when I know it is going to be a crazy day I love my Turbofire 15 HIIT DVD Bam! I'm in I'm out I'm done. Sometimes I even find time later in the day for low intensity stuff.

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NEILITHICMAN 10/15/2012 3:37PM

    I like spending a lengthy amount of time doing my exercise. Simply because it gives me time to myself to spend in my own thoughts. It's a bit harder to philosophise when you're working hard out doing high intensity and it's even harder to do when you're zombified in front of the TV or computer.

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