We were featured in this weeks Telegraph, with our ‘5 top tips for atoned, healthy body’ article. Here it is.
“Although it is losing popularity, the myth that steady-state cardio in the so-called ‘fat burning range’ will give you a lean and toned physique still has a large following. There are plenty of fitness enthusiasts spending hours a week jogging or cycling at low intensity.
The truth is, steady-state cardio is good for one thing only – getting better at cardio. If you’re training for a long distance run or cycle, then go ahead and pound the pavement for ten plus hours a week. But if you’re hoping to look better on the beach, opt for conditioning over cardio and you’ll see much better results, in a far shorter space of time.
I’m not saying there’s no place for cardio in your fitness plan – there is. But high intensity intervals – short bursts of full-on activity like sprinting or cycling – will give you much better results than an hour on the treadmill. It’s more enjoyable and much more time-efficient too.
So if you’re looking for a strong, toned, healthy body which allows you to lift heavier things and sprint for the bus, as well as looking good in your swimming gear, here are some rules for you to follow:
Conditioning, not cardio
The best way to get your body working hard and burning fat is to do circuits of exercises at high intensity. It’s even better to choose movements that engage multiple muscle groups at once. Think 10 reps of squats, lunges, or deadlifts, times by three sets, all executed with a challenging weight and performed without too much rest between them.
Do the things you are not good at
If you do the same workout, week in, week out, for months on end, you will stop seeing results. This is because your body adapts to what you’re doing and no longer has to work as hard to perform the same exercise. You need to choose exercises that you find difficult, do them repeatedly, then switch to something else to keep the body guessing.
Make it progressive
In order to lose fat and become functionally strong, you need to keep upping the difficulty of what you’re doing. Remember, adaptation is the enemy of fat loss. So if you’re squatting with no weight for four weeks, add some weight for a few weeks, or perhaps increase your reps, or both. See your fitness regime as a constantly evolving beast, changing it up in terms of both function and intensity for best results.
Keep up the intensity
High intensity exercise not only burns calories while you’re doing it, it also elevates the metabolism, meaning that your body will burn more calories at rest for the next 24 hours. Think short, sharp, full-on bursts of effort with short rests in between. You do of course need a decent base of stability and strength before you get into this type of training.
Embrace invisible training
Invisible training is all the things that you do outside the gym. Eating right, getting enough sleep, giving yourself time to recover after exercise, and staying hydrated with plenty of water are key to keeping you in top form so you can push yourself hard in your workouts, as well as increasing your energy levels in general and improving your overall health. It’s all pretty boring stuff, but it matters, which is why people keep labouring the point.”