Total Body Wellness: Work out Smarter, Faster PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ashley Berlin   
Wednesday, 14 April 2010 13:27

Total Body Wellness: Work out Smarter, Faster
Use these cutting edge workout techniques from our brand new fitness columnist to cut back on hours spent in the gym and get more out of the time you do put in.

Editor's Note:
"Total Body Wellness" is Cincy Chic's newest column. This weekly column will cover healthy fitness from both the nutrition and exercise standpoints. To submit topic ideas, e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


If you've lived in Cincinnati long enough, you've heard the same lame joke about how, if the world ends, you want to be in Cincinnati because it'll happen here 10 years later than everywhere else.


I now have solid proof that's wrong.


A couple weeks ago, I opened up my Cincinnati Enquirer, sat down to skim through it, and almost fell out of my chair. "High-intensity interval training is twice as effective as normal exercise," the article read.


It went on in the next sentence, which said, "We should immediately throw out the old way of exercising."


Thud. I got up off the floor, sat back down and felt absolutely ecstatic. Interval training is the future of exercise, and that day, the future just happened to collide with the present. I'd been teaching this stuff to my clients for a long time, giving them as much research as possible and letting the results speak for themselves. And finally we had a local media outlet spreading the word to the community so that they could learn the benefits as well.


Interval training is exactly what it sounds like: You perform short bursts of activity. You work extremely hard, then take a break. You can use this type of training with anything — running then walking, on the elliptical or lifting weights. The goal is to bring your heart rate up and bring it back down.


Look, we're all busy people. If someone showed you how to have the results of your hour at the gym in a half hour, it'd feel like Christmas came early. If you're going to spend the time to exercise, it should be the best type of excise you can do for yourself. .


Within the realm of interval training, there is a specific type that emerged in the field that would be beneficial for everyone to throw into their training routine anywhere from once a month to once a week. It's from a Japanese scientist, Dr. Tabata, and his team of researchers at the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo. .


Here's the skinny (literally): First, pick one exercise that utilizes a large muscle group. Think squats, burpees, kettle bell swings or rows. (Confused? YouTube it for a demo.) You also can use it with sprints, swimming and other cardio-based exercises. If you use weights, make them light. Start your exercise and go as hard as you can for 20 seconds. On a scale of one to 10, you're at an 11. When the 20 seconds are up, rest for 10 seconds. Repeat eight times. So you only take the time to do eight sets of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off.


Why is Tabata training so amazing? Within these four minutes, you'll build as much muscular endurance as 45 minutes of normal cardio training. You'll increase anaerobic capacity and aerobic fitness. This versatile method of training is great for both athletes looking to maximize their quickness or the majority of us that are looking for good, old-fashioned fat loss.


And always remember to consult a doctor before starting any exercise routine.

Ashley Berlin -

Ashley Berlin is the health and fitness columnist for Cincy Chic and the owner of BEAT Personal Training in West Chester. Want more information about something you read here? Send her an e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .Read More >>

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