Nearly half way through the 2006 MidWinterMakeover challenge at my local gym. I won this challenge last year by losing 12.5 kgs in 10 weeks of intensive exercise and a new eating programme. I have no illusions this time. I won't lose 12.5 kgs again. I won't win again. I will lose weight. I will be fitter.
I've been concentrating this time on increasing my cardio work. I still do weights training twice a week but also do cardio work for 30-45 minutes 5 days a week. Last year I learned about the EPOC theory. At a seminar last week they taught us again. Can I explain it?
So many people who go to the gym to lose weight get on the cycle/treadmill/crosstrainer and see a program called "FAT BURN". 'That's me!" they think and set to aiming to raise their heart rate to around 65% of capacity. Basically it's a pretty comfortable workout. You get a bit fitter - you burn a few calories. Best way to lose weight? Wrong!
Set your machine to CARDIO. Make yourself work harder (work it out - 220 beats per minute less your age x 85%) is your target heartbeat. For me my target is 152 beats per minute (though I can usually work out in the 160s for about 10-15 minutes. A factor can also be your resting heartrate but that can complicate things). Working at this level I can answer questions with two or three words but I can't really carry on a conversation. If you do this you will not only burn more calories but raise your metabolism/oxygen consumption etc so that after you finish exercising your metabolism will be raised for about 12 hours (instead of one or two after a FAT BURN session).
Lesson 2 - So if you can read a magazine while you are working out then you are not working hard enough.
Here's a link to the technical stuff.
OK so that's the theory - putting it into practice is my aim these next 6 weeks. Watch this space.