Endurance training vs HIT training

Whether you’re a  runner,  cyclist, mountain biker, swimmer, triathlete, or just someone who wants a great body with supreme fitness, it is all about becoming more versatile in your fitness training by doing Cross Training with high intensity interval training instead of endurance training.

Here are the Benefits of doing High Intensity Interval Training ( HIIT ) with Cross Training

  • You’ll save more time and won’t have to workout as long as you have been used to
  • Increase in Cardiovascular Function
  • Have a better physique, decreased body fat, increase in muscle mass
  • Increase In Your Strength, Power and Speed
  • Less chance of injury from over training
  • Variation makes your workouts less boring


There are a number of  reasons and side effects from slow boring low intensity endurance training. This applies to you if you consistently do only one form of training or a combination of things where you don’t do anything at high intensity!!

99% of everything you do will be training. Races and competitions are just roughly 1% of the actual load or cumulative effects on your body. Activities of daily living are the rest!   So, stop doing the long slow and boring low intensity endurance training ALL THE TIME, and mix it up! Depending on the type of energy system you are training for you should have specific intervals you do in your training depending on your sport.

If running makes you feel good just being outside, continue to do it. But don’t just run slow and steady all the time. Do running intervals or biking intervals. Just by upping the intensity you’ll get way more benefit out of running and it will take less time!

Your workout plan should consist of 3 days of exercise each week, for the rest of your life. Choose the best days you can stick to! Each day should either be filled with a cross training workout, an interval training workout, along with your choice of strength exercises and/or body weight training! Pick and choose what you would like to do. Maybe you want to combine kettle bell training with bodyweight workouts. Or combine strong man training with Bosu balance and strength training. Its up to you, its your program. The key though is to mix it up! Starting with those 3 days is easier to commit to and stick with long term.  Keep in mind though, that you should still be somewhat active on your days off but make sure you get plenty of recovery time.  There are many different variables you should always be mixing and changing in your workouts. A workout should never be the same. Don’t commit to any one thing: low reps only, high reps only, long rests, etc.

The real secret for having an effective fitness training plan is taking stuff from a variety of things like gymnastics, powerlifting, interval training or whatever it is and blending them in and making it fun!

Calories! The truth behind the numbers!

The Truth About Calories

WHAT ARE CALORIES:, The more calories we take in, the more flab we add, and if we cut back on them, then the flab starts to recede too, right? Well at face value calories seem to be the factor by which all foods should be judged. But if that were true, 500 calories of carrots would equal 500 calories of double stuff Oreos.

Do CALORIES FUEL OUR BODIES?: ACTUALLY, they don’t.  A calorie is a simple unit of measurement for heat. It was used to explain the theory of heat conservation and steam engines.  Calories are now defined by carbohydrates, protein and fat content.  1 gm of fat has 9 calories, 1 gm of protein has 4 calories and 1 gm of carbohydrates has 4 calories and 1 gm of sugar has 4 calories. 1 gm of alcohol has 7 calories.  Every muscle cell that you gain is like a little factory that constantly burns calories for you, even while you sleep, and revs up when you exercise.

What you should do: Track your carbs, fat and protein, not just your calories.

ARE ALL CALORIES ARE CREATED EQUAL? NOT EXACTLY. Our fuel comes from the above mentioned three sources: carbs, fat and protein.  They are each handled differently in the body. “Calories in =calories out” theory is misleading, as each have different effects on our bodies.  For example: for every 100 carb calories you consume, it takes your body 5-10 of those for digestion. With fat, this is a little less. So, the calorie burning champ is protein.  For every 100 protein calories you consume, your body needs 20-30 of those for digestion! Carbs and fat give up their calories quick and easy. They are made to supply quick energy and they yield more usual energy than protein. There are no “fat-burning” foods. You might’ve heard that certain foods (e.g. celery and grapefruit) increase metabolic rate, but it’s just a myth.[1} While some foods and drinks such as red peppers and green tea have been studied for their potential metabolic rate increasing properties, there is no conclusive evidence that whatever influence they have on metabolism is significant enough to result in weight loss.[2] However, it has been proven that all foods do have what is called the thermic effect. Foods with protein have a 30% thermic effect, and are the most thermal of all foods.

What you should do: If you want to lose weight, make protein a priority at EVERY meal A good guide is a palm size amount of protein at EVERY meal.

A CALORIE INGESTED IS A CALORIE DIGESTED?: Back to the “calorie in = calorie out” theory. Just because the food is swallowed doesn’t mean it will be digested.  it passes thru your stomach and then reaches your small intestine, which sucks up all the nutrients it can get.  But 5-10% of calories pass through unabsorbed. fat digestion is relatively efficient as fat easily enters your intestine walls.  as for protein, animal sources are more digestible than plant sources so a top sirloin’s protein will be better absorbed than tofu.  Different carbs are processed at different rates too. Glucose and starch are rapidly absorbed, while fiber lingers in the digestive tract.. in fact, the insoluble fiber in some complex carbs, like veggies and whole grains, tends to BLOCK the absorption other calories!  So with a very high fiber diet, say of 60 grams per day you might lose as much as 20% of the calories you consume! So, a useful measure of calories is difficult. You could find a piece of candy and a piece of broccoli have the same number of calories. But in action, the broccoli’s fiber ensures that the veggie contribute less energy. A study in the Journal of Nutrition found that a high fiber diet leaves roughly twice as many calories undigested as a lower fiber diet does. And fewer calories means less flab!!!

What you should do: Aim to consume at least 35-40 grams of fiber every day

DOES EXERCISE BURN MOST OF OUR CALORIES?: NOT EVEN! Even the most fanatical fitness nuts burn no more than 30% of their daily calories at the gym.  most of your calories burn at a constant simmer, fueling the automated processes that keep you alive. That is your basal metabolism.  If you want to burn fuel, hit the gas in your every day activities.  60-70% of our total calorie expenditure goes to normal bodily functions. This includes brushing your teeth, transporting oxygen, washing your hair, etc.  For men, these processes require about 11 calories per pound of body weight a day, so a 200 pound man will incinerate 2,200 calories a day – even if he is sedentary.  Now, this does not mean you should be a couch potato! Increasing your basal metabolism requires lean muscle mass!  In the simplest terms, your metabolic rate is the rate at which your body burns calories. Very few people have a fast metabolism. Surprisingly, overweight individuals have relatively fast metabolism because they weigh more, but if their weight is staying constant then their metabolism is not fast enough to offset their caloric intake.[3] The bottom line is that increasing your metabolism will enable you to level your diet and weight.The more you move, the more you burn! A conscious effort to spend more time on your feet and moving can increase your calorie burn exponentially! Different activities burn different quantities of calories, but the important thing is to raise your heart rate and sustain the activity for approximately thirty minutes. Muscle burns more calories than fat does (73 more calories per kilogram per day, to be exact)[3] so the more muscle you build, the higher your resting metabolic rate (RMR) will be. This is the only way to increase RMR, which accounts for 60 to 70 percent of the calories you burn daily.[4]

RMR is often used interchangeably with basal metabolic rate (BMR). Although they are slightly different, estimating either is sufficient for the purpose of losing weight. What these equations will show you is, that if you weigh more, your RMR will be higher! There are many places on line that can calculate this for you ://www.caloriesperhour.com/index_burn.php

Your RMR will tell you how many calories you need to maintain your body at rest.

What you should do: Take frequent breaks from your desk and couch and move your body and burn bonus calories! do not exceed your maintenance intake or have a caloric intake lower than your calculated RMR.Count calories by recording what you eat and looking up how many calories each food item contains (either on the food packaging or in tables provided in books or online) and choose food with GOOD calories!

DO LOW CALORIE FOODS HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT?: NOT ALWAYS. Processed low calorie foods can be week allies in the weight loss war.  take sugar free foods.  Omitting sugar is perhaps the easiest way to cut calories, but food manufacturers  generally replace those sugars with calorie free sweeteners such as sucralose or aspartame. Artificial sweeteners can backfire.  A study at the University of Texas found that consuming as few as three diet sodas a week increases a personals risk of obesity by more than 40%! Another study at Purdue showed that rats that ate artificially sweetened yogurt took in more calories at subsequent meals, resulting in more flab.  the theory is that the promise of sugar without the calorie payoff may actually lead to overeating. Too many people are counting calories instead of focusing on the CONTENT of the food.  What you should do: Avoid artificial sweeteners and load up your plate with bonafide low calorie saviors: FRUITS AND VEGGIES!

HYDRATE!!  As with food, depriving your body of water can encourage it to “hoard” rather than “burn”. When you drink ice cold water, your body burns calories warming it to body temperature. More than ninety percent of the chemical reactions in your body occur in water, so make sure you drink an appropriate amount of water!


2.↑ Slow Metabolism: Is It to Blame for Weight Gain?

3 ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/guide/make-most-your-metabolism

4.↑ Boost Your Metabolism

Happy New Rear!

So, your resolution is to lose a few pounds?  Maybe it’s two. Maybe it’s 20. Maybe it’s way, way more than that. Running is a great way to get you started on that goal. So, how far? As far as you want, as long as you feel great at the end, no fatigue, no abnormal pain, no injuries. For some of you, the distance may be 50 feet. For others the distance may be a mile or more. Pick a pace that is comfortable to you but not so easy you don’t feel like your doing anything. Remember, your goal is to get that new butt so when your body tells you it’s ready for an increase… MOVE it 🙂 Learn to listen to your body. It will tell you when it is tired. It will tell you when it is feeling fine. If, at the end of a walk or run, you’re huffing and puffing or you feel tired or fatigued, you’re doing too much and need to slow your pace or decrease your distance. Keep in mind that walking, jogging, running, swimming, biking, any physical movement in fact, put stress on our bodies. When you are ready keep your increases small, typically 10% or less, and stay at each new level until you feel comfortable with it.   Rest! It takes 48 hours for our bodies to adjust to heavy applications of stress, such as the stress from a heavy session of walking or running. Since a day only has 24 hours, we need to follow a heavy run with a rest period to give us the 48 hours needed for recovery. A rest period  is not necessarily a day without running. You can cross train on those days, which can include swimming, biking, hiking, resistance training, or a fitness class.  So, treadmill vs the great out doors! It all depends on you, what you enjoy, and what you have available. You will stick to what you enjoy, so do what you like, and like what you do! So, if you need that little bit of extra motivation, get a friend to join you! It always helps to have someone to share your goals and the added encouragement, motivation and accountability benefits you both! So, get started on those New Years fitness goals!! Running is easy, and free! So get moving on those goals and run your butt off for a Happy New Rear!

Healthy Holiday Smoothies!

Well, if you’ve been trying to avoid all the holiday sweets and treats, but are missing a little of the Christmas flavor, why not add a little Christmas flavor to your smoothie this year and not sabotage all you’ve done!!  Just adding a few holiday flavors to your favorite smoothie can still give you that festive flavor without the guilt and keep those holiday sweets in check! Here are just a few of ideas!

Peppermint! Adding a drop or two of peppermint extract to your favorite vanilla smoothie can give you that candy cane sweetness:


  • 2 cups fat free vanilla yogurt
  • 2 cups fat free milk
  • one or two drops peppermint extract (to taste)
  • 1 1/2 cups of ice

Another one of those Christmas treats is eggnog, so why not combine that eggnog flavor with a smoothie

  • 2 cups low fat eggnog
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt or soy yogurt
  • 1/3 cup of non fat milk
  • 2 cups of ice
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Pinch of cinnamon

Blend until the banana is part of creamy texture!

And of course the desserts! Apple Pie Smoothie!

1/2 cup frozen apple juice concentrate
1 cup non fat vanilla yogurt or soy yogurt
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 cup ice
garnish: sliced apples and cinnamon

No need to sacrifice those cravings! You CAN enjoy the flavor of the season and not undo all you have done!  Enjoy the Holiday and stay well and healthy!! 


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So, you find yourself done before you even started that workout? Sometimes you just wuss out. You can FOCUS on your fitness goal and weight loss goals. All you have to do is concentrate on one way of getting to where you want to be and then follow that course until you are successful. We … Continue reading

Healthy Holidays

Ok, so you’re busy, you’re stressed out, and baby, it’s cold outside! So why not just take a break from your fitness program until the New Year?

You can always come up with some excuse not to exercise. But slacking off on your fitness program during the holidays will only leave you with more pounds — and more stress — come the New Year.  This time of year is difficult for many people trying to stick to an exercise program, lets keep you focused and motivated! You can make adjustments that will help you stay fit during the season. For example, if you usually take exercise classes only offered at a certain time, skip the classes and take a hike or a swim at an indoor pool instead.Take an honest look at your schedule, and instead of trying to squeeze exercise into your schedule, take other things out! Your goal should be not to do more, but to do less, but do it all well. Keep fitness a priority! Be flexible when you get busy. Instead of blowing off your usual 5:30 pm workout at the gym to go to that party, why not get up early and go for a run before work? Instead of that lunch at the desk, take a brisk walk. Not only will you feel better, you will also feel better knowing you did not miss your workout and every time you fit even a little bit of exercise in, it all adds up!   If you are feeling bored with your routine on top of all the stress and not being able to get that workout in, try mixing up your routine. If you usually run 3-4 days a week, try running one day and swimming another and a resistance weight lifting two or three times a week.  The addition of new exercises will hopefully be a stronger motivator than having to do that “same ol’ thing”.  If time is a factor, try combining exercising with those family commitments! Hauling those kids up a hill for sledding can be as beneficial as a good jog! Get that family inside the great outdoors! Winter doesn’t have to keep you in! It can be a great way to learn a new sport of snowshoeing, x country or downhill skiing or snowboarding and  ice skating, provide quality time with those loved ones!   For those days you just can’t make it to the gym, try simple at home, no nonsense exercises that require no equipment! You can do crunches, pushups and many others! If all else fails, take a walk!! Walking is an exercise that can go anywhere, from your couch to the mall or just around the block to look at the xmas lights! Remember, even if you find yourself simply too bogged down to exercise at all during the holidays, that’s no excuse to stay inactive! If you fall off that exercise wagon, get back on and get back into that healthy routine!

Give the gift of fitness!

Well, it’s that time of year again! The holiday season is here!  What are you are going to give those people on your “hard to shop for” list? Instead of another tie for your dad, appliance for mom, music for siblings,  why don’t you give them a truly unique and invaluable gift? I’m talking about the gift of fitness! The gift of fitness is something that you can give to everybody on your shopping list – friends, family, including grandparents and even your children. And it’s a gift that is invaluable. After all, who doesn’t want to look better, feel better, and live better? And, it’s a gift that you can truly feel proud to give. When you give someone the gift of fitness, you are helping them open a door to better health (both physically and mentally). I can’t think of a more thoughtful gift. It’s a gift that genuinely shows them how much you care about their well-being. By giving the gift of fitness you are providing them with unlimited health benefits! A great gift idea for someone who’s serious about their health is a gift card to a wellness or fitness center.  This will allow them to meet with a certified personal trainer, a registered dietitian, even a licensed massage therapist. If the idea of a gym intimidates them, get a gift certificate from a personal trainer! Some, like myself, offer a “come to you” service! Either way, these experts will work with their schedule to provide the individual attention needed to meet their goals.  The encouragement and the personalized plan they provide is something you just can’t buy at a store. Whatever motivates a person to stick with exercise and good nutrition is worth the cost! The gift of good health is truly priceless!

Mid Day Energy Crash?

Feeling like you hit the wall mid day after lunch when you  just feel like you  can not do another thing without falling asleep?  Make that mid afternoon snack protein! Protein keeps your energy up as well as mental alertness. Avoid processed sugary carbohydrates as they only tend to make you crash and burn back into a sloth like state, and you don’t need that extra sugar! Beware of the “energy” drinks for the very same reason! They can tack on those unwanted calories, even from the sugar free varieties! Instead, go for a healthy dose of protein – try a hard boiled egg, celery with peanut butter, (yes peanut butter, excellent choice and peanut butter is shown to be a mood lifter!), low or non fat yogurt. Avoid mindless munching. A snack doesn’t have to be sweet, chocolate-dipped, or more than 150 calories. It should be real food and food that gets your metabolism and mind going!  Packing your own healthy snacks is also a great way to stay accountable and not give into unhealthy temptations.  Get Moving: Another great way to refresh and energize your  sluggish state is to get moving!  Take a five minute break to get up from the desk and get the blood flowing. Talk a short walk and be sure to stretch as well. This will reduce fatigue and refresh the mind!

After Thanksgiving Blues?

Overindulged on Thanksgiving dinner? Do you wince as you remember that extra piece of pie or that glass of wine you wish you could take back? If you ate more than you wanted to, you are not alone. You can’t  un-eat what you ate, but you can do some damage control and get back on track. You may even  feel sick, have cramps and dizziness, and may not even feel like getting out of bed. Mentally and physically, you are just feeling lousy. The worst side effect of eating too much is the guilt that comes after. Guilt is sometimes inevitable, but you can use that feeling to motivate yourself into something better. Make a plan for the next few days for how you’ll get back on track with your eating and exercise.  GET HYDRATED!  Drink water. The bloating you’re experiencing can be due to an overload of salt, which can cause water retention.Water is essential and helps restore the pH balance of our bodies. Help your body lighten up by eating foods that are rich in fiber. Fiber will aid digestion. Go green! Eating those leafy green and other nutrient rich veggies will get you back on your way, and drinking tea will also promote good digestion! Now get moving! Black Friday can be a great motivator to get out and get moving. Make a plan to not repeat the over indulgent eating at the food court at the mall! Pick a healthier alternative that offers lighter healthier meals which will also keep you feeling better as you work your way through those sales! Truth be told – one meal with a few extra calories won’t completely sabotage your figure. It’s the post Thanksgiving meal, the pre-meal nibbles and going back for seconds that will do more damage. Forgive yourself and commit to getting back on your healthy fitness and eating program! Stay focused on those goals and don’t undo all you have done!