Fast and furious wins the race
This is the second installment of my R.I.S.E.TM exercise training routine I introduced previously (see, “RISE Up!” and “Before and After”). As a reminder, “RISE” is my acronym for Resistance (R), Interval (I), Stretching (S), and Endurance (E) training. Each routine is designed to target a specific health and fitness related component.
Resistance training (R) has been shown to reduce belly fat and increase lean body mass (muscles) and lets you play like a kid again!
Interval training (I) is great for improving cardiovascular (heart) fitness, increasing metabolism (calorie burn), reducing body fat and increasing muscle mass.
Stretch training (S) is ideal for improving balance, muscle tone and flexibility, lowering blood sugar and enhancing mood.
Endurance (E) training is best for lowering blood pressure and increasing feelings of happiness, it’s a great “stress buster”.
In this blog, I will explain the “I”, or interval sprint training, component.
I recommend you perform each routine 1 day per week for a total of 4 days of exercise per week. However, after the first 4 weeks feel free to choose one of the routines to perform a second time but I recommend not to exceed 5 days of exercise per week because your body needs time to recover, replenish, and rebuild. Always perform the dynamic warm-up before and a gentle cool-down after each session.
**Before engaging in any exercise program, please obtain medical clearance from your primary health care provider. Dr. Paul recommends that all physical exercise be performed properly and safely so you avoid injury and allow yourself to make the most health and physical performance benefits.
“Slow and steady wins the race” is an often repeated saying that reminds us to slow down and take our time.
This, of course, comes from the famous Aesop’s fable of the tortoise and hare in which the overconfident, speedy rabbit challenges the turtle to a race and, despite sprinting away from the turtle at the start line, ends up falling asleep during the race and eventually loses to the slow moving turtle. As a result, one take-away message is that it doesn’t pay to “sprint” through life.
However, when it comes to your health and fitness, ‘sprinting’ in the form of high-intensity interval sprint training is one of the most effective and efficient types of exercise to burn fat, build muscle, strengthen the heart, and increase metabolism.
Interval training is often shown using a ratio of exercise:rest or work:recovery.
Choose any type of exercise you prefer such as walking, jogging, running, cycling, swimming, elliptical, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, jumping rope, rollerblading, rowing, etc.
Choose one of two options for the Interval routine:
- Perform 5-7 sprint Intervals for 30-seconds “all-out” at intensity level 10 followed by a 4 minute recovery at Intensity Level 2
- - Perform 8-12 sprint intervals for 60-seconds “almost all-out” at intensity level 8/9 followed by a 2 minute of recovery at intensity Level 2
At the beginning and end of each Interval session perform a 5-minute dynamic warm-up (see “The Before and After”) and gentle stretching cool down, respectively, so that each session is completed within 30-40 minutes.
Example of an Interval sprint exercise routine:
1. Perform dynamic warm-up for 5 minutes
2. Sprint at Intensity Level 10 for 30 seconds using Option 1 or level 8/9 for 60 seconds using Option 2
3. Recover at Intensity Level 2 for 4 minutes using Option 1 or 2 minutes using Option 2
4. Repeat 2 and 3 for 5 – 7 reps using Option 1 or 8-12 reps using Option 2
5. Perform a gentle cool down for 5-7 minutes at Intensity Level 2
As stated above, this exercise routine has been scientifically proven to strengthen your heart, burn body fat, build muscle, and increase your metabolic rate (burn more calories) leading to improved overall health. It is also one of the most time efficient forms of exercise you can perform. However, because it’s an intense exercise routine, be careful to not overdo it and allow at least 4 days between Interval sessions.
In a short time, you will be well on your way to a healthier, leaner, and fitter you!