I Wish I'd Have Known THIS When I Started...
I'd open my eyes, questioning how it was possible. It felt like I'd just gone to bed.
Yet the annoying jingle - AKA my alarm clock - that I couldn't ever be bothered to change...would be going off...
I'd sit there for a few seconds and tolerate the annoying sound before going into "robot" mode...
On my mission to lose fat and get lean, I'd pretend to be enthusiastic about the morning jog I was about to do...
"No pain, no gain" <<<< I used to fall for that one too...
I'd think to myself, "it'll be worth it, it's getting me closer to my goal of getting beach lean"
But the thing is, I didn't enjoy jogging. It hurt my knees, meant I didn't sleep as long as I wanted to...and took increasing amounts of TIME out of my day.
Because I gathered that if i wanted to progress, I would obviously have to do more (so I was on the right track there...)..
But doing more meant more TIME. It meant less sleep. It would sometimes mean less weight training sessions...which I actually enjoyed but thought I shouldn't do too much of because I only wanted to get lean so I should do more cardio.
It also meant I would compromise my work OR social life - something would have to give - unless I just gave into the:
"I don't have time" excuse...which is often an excuse for when our programme doesn't fit our lifestyle and WHAT WE ENJOY.
You see just like I hated my annoying alarm clock, I hated jogging. It got on my nerved but I couldn't ever be bothered to do anything about it. And the sad thing? I was no longer enjoying exercise...
It was only when I could be bothered to consider other options (and alarm clock ring tones) and through years of study at university, making a load of mistakes myself, and helping tons of other guys lose fat and get lean...that I realised:
The BEST "training" or "diet" programme is that ONE you'll DO
The one that you enjoy, fits your lifestyle and DOESN'T get in the way of the things you actually want to do in life.
And this is when I really got into lifting weights and high intensity interval cardio work.
High intensity interval training refers to short bursts of sprints, jumps, skipping, battlerope, sledge pushes etc. There are a variety of ways you can do it. 1 minute on, 1 minute off. 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off. 20 seconds on, 2 minutes off. There’s no right or wrong way.
It was quick, fun and progressive. I could progress:
GET FASTER (I'm still slow...always will be but I got fastER)
Without it taking more TIME
You see, there's no right or wrong way to lose fat and get lean.
I'm sorry for going all vanilla on you now, but it's just how it is.
If you burn the same amount of calories in the session (including the ”after-effect” in the case of high intensity exercise) your fat loss results will be the same.
Here's a few things to consider.
High Intensity Exercise, like interval training, can:
- Be stressful - you have to WORK HARD
- Impair recovery - this could mean your next training session is poor because of a lack of recovery
- Make you more prone to injury due to the high intensity required
That said, high intensity interval training is also:
- Quick - you can burn a lot of calories over the day by doing an intense 10 minutes
- It's convenient to do - you don't need any equipment. You could do tuck jumps, burps, or any body weight movement FAST and it will work
When it comes to low intensity exercise, such as jogging, you have to consider that:
- It will generally take longer to burn the same amount of calories
- It can be monotonous and boring
- It will mean spending more time working out
That said, low intensity exercise is:
- Less stressful
- Doesn't impact recovery as much so could be done more often and allow you to burn more calories in the long-term
- Can be quite a productive task - you could answer emails, do some work, listen / read, watch TV / sport whilst doing it...just make sure the pedals are still going round! Shouting at the ref on the TV doesn't count as exercise...
For me personally, I don’t like to spend longer in the gym than I have to.
When my training programme has me doing resistance exercise and cardio, I prefer to focus on my resistance exercise at the start of the session and then get my cardio - in the form of high intensity interval training - done at the end in QUICKLY so I can SAVE TIME and get on with my day…
I'll sometimes do it whilst I’m waiting for dinner to cook (tuck jumps in the kitchen…even Dora - my dog - joins in).
Here’s an example of a high intensity interval protocol:
Use a stationary bike:
5 sets of 30 seconds sprints.
1-5 seconds – sprint as fast as you can with little resistance
6-30 seconds – bump up the resistance on the bike so it feels like you’re suddenly stuck in the mud and KEEP SPRINTING ALL OUT until you get to 30 seconds
Rest until you’re breathing is getting back to normal and go again!
Do what you enjoy. Do what fits your lifestyle. Why?
Because there's no happy ending to an unhappy journey
Why spend time doing stuff you loathe when you COULD do stuff you enjoy more or at least take less time doing?
PS. If you haven't don't so already, you can grab a copy of the toolkit I've used to lose fat and get lean for free using the form below