Thursday, October 21, 2010


In Week One the goal was to get the group moving. They also focused on learning how much they were eating, by tracking their calories each day. In Week Two they focused on looking at the quality of what they were eating, and how to put together balanced meals.

This week our goal was to help them learn how to burn, by turning up the intensity of their exercise. In the first Friday night workout, they did 5 sets of 10 pushups, sit-ups and body squats, for a total of 50 each, followed by walk/running one mile.

Last week in the second workout, they did 4 sets of 15 pushups, sit-ups and body squats, for a total of 60 each. They also learned how to do walking lunges, and several different exercises for their abs on the stability ball.

This week we raised the intensity by having them walk/run to the water tower park. Once everyone got there, we did all the usual things plus some new exercises: burpees, windmills, mountain climbers, leg-lifts, and even a sprint across the park and back. Once they finished, they jogged back to the center.

So instead of just a mile after the workout, they ended up doing about a mile and a half. The intensity of the workout was higher because they ran before all the exercises, and then ran again afterward. All the new exercises helped too.

So how do you use this information to increase the intensity of your own workouts? The first thing is to start doing some cardio at the beginning. Ten minutes is a good start. Then, after you use the strength circuit, do another ten minutes of cardio at the end.

This works whether you’re using machines or free weights. Adding a run always increases the intensity. That’s why jogging and calisthenics have always been the backbone of physical training in police academies as well as the military.

Now if you’ve never done any running, that’s O.K. After a couple minutes walking to warm up, try a very slow jog for just a minute. You don’t need to go fast. Pick a pace that’s just fast enough that you’re not walking anymore.

Even then, it might be hard to get a whole minute in. That’s O.K. too. Do what you can. Then walk two minutes. Then try another minute jogging and another two minutes walking to recover. Try to do it several times.

The next time, try to do five or six intervals, then seven, and so on. At some point, you’ll realize you don’t need the entire two minutes of walking to recover. Start jogging again a little sooner. You’ll get to where you can do a minute on and a minute off.

Before you know it, you’ll be able to go longer than a minute. Then it will switch. Try jogging two minutes with only a one minute walk break. Then go three minutes and so on. It won’t take long and you’ll really be building up your time.

So that’s how to sandwich your workouts with cardio. Next week I’ll tell you how they built cardio intervals into their workouts! See you then.

This week’s Biggest Loser was a two-way tie between Janet Tyler and Nicole Shaughnessy, who lost 1.1% of their body weight. Janet lost 2.0 lbs and Nicole lost 1.8 lbs. Nicole Clodfelter and Shawn Bowers tied for second, losing 1.0% of their body weight. Nicole C. lost 2.2 lbs while Shawn lost 3.0 lbs. Next week we’ll introduce the group to free weights, so I’ll see you then!

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