High intensity interval training gets fast results!

If you are interested in getting fit using the minimum of effort (like me!) you must have heard about high intensity interval training. The original idea came from a Japanese gentleman by the name of Izumi Tabata, but many people have looked into his ideas and tried different variations on the same idea..

I found a study which really surprised me. I know that intervals can get quick results, but this was unbelievable!

In case you have no idea what I’m talking about, interval training means repeating short bursts of very intense exercise a number of times. But the idea is that the total amount of time taken is much less than you would need to put in to obtain the same results from conventional training.

The thing that shocked me about his study was the time span required to make real differences genericoitalia.it. It was SO short. In just 2 weeks, exercising 3 times a week, the participants in the study managed to increase their speed by 10.1% in a cycling study. The exercise sessions weren’t even that extreme. Each one consisted of between 4 and 6 ‘sprints’, each lasting about 1 minute, and separated by around 4 minutes rest. That’s a total time outlay of around 25 minutes, 3 times a week, plus warm up and cool down time. If you’ve ever tried to improve your speed or endurance before in running or cycling, you’ll know that 75 minutes a week is far too little to make that much difference.

In fact, this study actually defined what you would need to do using conventional training to achieve the same results. They found that ‘normal’ intensity exercise could achieve the same results in just 2 weeks (which again surprised me!) but in this case you would need to spend between 90 minutes and 2 hours on each exercise session. So it’s theoretically possible…but who has that much spare time these days.

Now don’t get me wrong – I don’t think that intervals can completely replace endurance training. To build up to a marathon you will need to do some long runs. And if you want to burn some fat, the total energy burn of endurance training significantly outweighs that possible with interval training. Also, interval training can be so intensive that you run more risk of overuse injuries to muscles and joints.

But as a way of giving your performance a great boost in a short period of time high intensity interval training can make a huge contribution. You just need to be careful not to push too hard. As always – push, but listen to your body, especially when it say ‘NO!’.

Don’t let the bad weather stop you getting fit!

The summer is here and there is no excuse for not getting out and enjoying the sun!

I hope that you are having a great summer, getting out and about, and doing so much exercise without realising it that you are really beginning to feel the benefit.

However, I feel some of you may be suffering like us – down in deepest South West UK the weather for the last 2 months has been….lousy.

For all you people planning a late holiday in Cornwall, I’m sure the weather will improve – honest! But so far it has been pretty wet (the grass and bushes are growing like crazy), and it hasn’t even been very warm – maybe 16 – 18°C. In a ‘proper summer’ we should be having 25°C plus.

What has this got to do with getting fit? Well everything really. One of the most difficult things about getting fit can be finding the motivation to get out of your chair and start doing some exercise. Walking, jogging, running, swimming are great. But if the weather is foul it’s easy to think ‘Maybe tomorrow’. Unfortunately, this year that would have meant staying in and never getting any exercise at all.

There are two things that can help, though. Firstly, if you have got your motivation properly worked out, you will have written down your goals, and why you want to achieve them. When you are struggling to get out of the door, think about your goals, and why they are important to you. Think how good it will be when you have achieved them. This should help to give you the extra kick you need to get started.

For more information about how to get your motivation sorted so that you WANT to get fit, go to www.getfitfeelgreat.co.uk

The second point may be more difficult to believe – but once you’ve tried it numberswiki.com

you will know it is right. Going for a walk or run when it’s raining actually makes you feel better about yourself than going when the weather is nice.

Don’t get me wrong – I love running in summer. Blue sky. Sunshine show. The world is just such a great place to be! And when you get home again and have a shower, you feel great.

When the weather is awful though, it really is worth persevering. Firstly, as you will be exercising, you will warm up. If the weather has been awful it may be the first time that you’ve warmed up all day. I know this works for me.

Also, the sense of achievement when you get home is HUGELY more than if you go out on a nice day.

You have overcome the elements!
NOTHING can stop you from achieving your goals!
You are getting fitter despite everything!

Trust me – this really works. One time I had to cut short a run because the strength of the wind was so high that the rain drops actually hurt my forehead as they were blown into it.

When I got home, I was REALLY wet.

But I felt GREAT!

Really invigorated by the exciting weather. And with a real feeling of achievement that I actually went for a run in really nasty weather. It helped my fitness. It helped my motivation to keep going even more.

I’m not suggesting that you give up the nice weather walks, jogs or runs. But just try going out sometimes when the weather is awful. You won’t believe how good it can make you feel about yourself!

Find out more about how to get fit, fitness motivation and feeling GREAT!

Here’s hoping that you won’t have to try my idea for another few months (but expecting that you will…).

Rob Knowles 18 August 2009

Exercise and diets – How to get both right

Newcomers to the world of fitness frequently are unsure about how exercise and diets go together. Most people who decide that they want to get fit are a little out of condition, and usually a bit overweight. There is no doubt that the maximum gains to be had from a fitness regime come from attention to three areas: cardiovascular training, resistance training (e.g. building muscle by weight training) and nutrition. Dealing with any one of these in isolation will have a positive benefit to your health. But dealing with all three is best.

In practice, I find that those starting out need to concentrate on cardiovascular training (e.g. walking, jogging, cycling…) and nutrition. Only after they have starting making improvements to their fitness should they start thinking about asking Santa for a set of dumbbells!

I’m always talking about the cardiovascular (CV) side of things, so today I thought I’d give you a few ideas about modifying your diet to support your new fitness regime. It’s difficult to give specific advice as I don’t know you, but assuming that you want to lose a few pounds whilst getting fit, here are some good general guidelines to follow:

  1. Try to eat less fat in your diet. That means more white meat (e.g. chicken, turkey) and less red meat (beef or lamb). Also stir-fry or grill the meat rather than deep fry or roast it, as these cooking methods minimise the amount of fat left in the food when you eat it.
  2. Try to reduce the amount of sugar you consume. That means no cola (or at least diet cola if you can’t live without). No sugar in hot drinks (use a sweetener if you need one). No chocolate snacks (try a single square of dark chocolate to overcome chocolate cravings).
  3. Try to eat more vegetables, fruit and nuts than before – you need the nutrients, and a good varied diet is essential if you are increasing the amount of exercise that you do.
  4. Be VERY careful about diet foods. Always read the carton before buying a diet food in the supermarket. For example, many low fat yoghurts being sold as healthy options are FULL of added sugar. You can find ones which don’t have all this sugar, but you need to check the nutrition panel before you buy it.
  5. If you drink alcohol, try to drink wine instead of beer or lager. If you must drink beer, try to go for ‘lite’ beers. You’d be amazed at how many calories a single pint of beer contains (around 200!).
  6. Finally, if you are doing more exercise than you are used to, you will probably need to eat more protein in your diet. That means a bigger portion of meat or cheese than before, but stick to the low fat versions.

I hope that this is helpful. My eBook Get Fit, Feel GREAT! has more information about exercise and diets, should you be interested. Click here to find out how to get fit and lose weight and enjoy the process!

If you want to find out more about nutrition, my wife Eleanor has written an eBook : www.EatLeanNotMean.com. It goes into a lot more detail about what is in food, what you need to eat to be healthy, and how to modify your diet without giving up the things that you love eating. It’s not a diet book – it is designed to educate you about food, so you can make the right choices yourself. It even tells you how you can eat some of your old favourites, but without heaping on the pounds. Click here to find out more about nutrition and how to cook yourself thin!

I hope that this helps explain the connection between exercise and diet – changing either one will help make you more healthy – changing both together works even better.

Rob Knowles 7 April 2009

Does jogging to lose weight really work?

Welcome to the new Get Fit, Feel GREAT! blog.   Here I’ll be putting up articles which I hope will be of interest to anyone who wants to get fit.   Please feel free to contact me if there is anything I can help you with!


People often ask me whether jogging to lose weight really works.   So many websites say that any cardiovascular (CV) exercise is a waste of effort.   And I know many people see obese joggers and think to themselves ‘That sure doesn’t seem to be working!’.   So what’s the truth?  


Jogging really does help people to lose weight.   You may lose more weight if you modify your diet as well, but jogging on it’s own still works.   Here’s why:


  1. Jogging uses up a lot of calories while you are doing it.  
  2. When you finish jogging for the day, your body’s metabolism continues running at a higher rate than your normal resting metabolism for some hours.   So even when you are sitting at home you are still using up more calories than usual.
  3. When people start jogging the amount of muscle in their legs and lower body begins to increase.   All that exercise quickly builds up muscle bulk.   When you are resting, muscle burns more calories than the rest of your body.   Jogging has found another way for you to burn more calories even when you are watching TV!
  4. I find that running allows me to think about all the things that I want to do, as well as enjoying the countryside, and the fresh air.   So I don’t tend to spend my life thinking about food.   And I’ve found that the less time you spend thinking about food, the less you tend to eat web link.
  5. When I get back from a good run, my wife is convinced I’ll be starving hungry.   But in fact the opposite is true.   I’m just not hungry for some time afterwards.   So again you tend to eat less.
  6. Finally, as you start to feel fitter, notice that your clothes start to feel looser, notice that you have some muscles developing after all, you get a real boost.   Then you find that you want to learn more about what’s more healthy to eat, and you end up eating better.   Again, less calories!  


All of this adds up to a great recipe for losing weight.   In fact everyone I’ve ever met who started running or jogging has lost weight.   That’s why I’m sure that it can work for anyone.   All you need to do is start out carefully (you don’t want to injure yourself before you start, do you?), follow the basic rules of starting exercising, and you can look forward to a great new you! 


And what about the fat jogger?   They are almost certainly just starting out on the road to getting fit, and losing weight.   Keep an eye out for them in future, and see how fast they morph in to a normal (i.e. thin) jogger.   They deserve praise for taking their long term health into their own hands.   Don’t you want to join them?


To find out more about how you can start jogging to lose weight, and what the basic rules are go to http://www.getfitfeelgreat.co.uk  There you’ll find all you need to know to start changing your life for the better.

Rob Knowles 30 March 2009