LAC hours for Easter Sunday, April 16 2017: 1pm-5pm
Playroom and classes are canceled.
Keep a food log.
“For individuals who are trying to lose weight, the No. 1 piece of advice based on these study results would be to keep a food journal to help meet daily calorie goals. It is difficult to make changes to your diet when you are not paying close attention to what you are eating…”
Keeping A Food Diary Doubles Diet Weight Loss, Study Suggests.
- “Study of nearly 1,700 participants shows that keeping a food diary can double a person’s weight loss. The study found that the best predictors of weight loss were how frequently food diaries were kept and how many support sessions the participants attended. Those who kept daily food records lost twice as much weight as those who kept no records.”
It’s the 90’s, use an app to log your food.
“We believe — and medical studies prove — that the best way to lose weight and keep it off is to simply keep track of the foods you eat. Gimmicky machines and fad diets don’t work, so we designed a free website and mobile apps that make calorie counting and food tracking easy.”
And finally, just eat Real Food.
“If you eat food direct from nature, you don’t even need to think about this. You don’t have to worry about trans fat or saturated fat or salt… If you focus on real food, nutrients tend to take care of themselves. A diet of minimally processed foods close to nature, predominantly plants, is decisively associated with health promotion and disease prevention.”
P.S.: If we had to choose one eating plan, This Would Be It.
Group Exercise classes are included with your membership at LAC, even Yoga.
Check out the new Yoga Basics class starting this Saturday.
The latest study shows that HIIT tops steady-state when it comes to enjoying your workout.
If you looooove the feeling of almost dying during your workout and silently cheer when burpees are on the menu, you’re officially not a psychopath. (You know what might make you one? Staying friends with your ex.) Turns out, you’re more likely to enjoy and stick with a workout routine if it’s kick-you-in-the-butt tough instead of a “meh” intensity.
If you’re starting a new exercise program, you’re more likely to continue to enjoy it if it’s high rather than moderate intensity, according to new research done by kinesiologists at McMaster University in Canada. (And that’s just one of the proven reasons you should make your workout routine harder.)
Researchers recruited about 40 young, healthy (but sedentary) adults, and had them exercise on a stationary bike three times a week for six weeks—half doing high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and half doing consistent, moderate-intensity exercise. The HIIT group alternated between 1-minute sprint and recovery intervals for 20 minutes, and the moderate-intensity group cycled continuously at about 70 to 75 percent of their max heart rate for 27.5 minutes. Researchers monitored things like their VO2 max (aerobic endurance), heart rate, and total power output throughout the study, and at the end of each week the exercisers rated their workouts on an enjoyment scale.
By the third week of the program, HIIT exercisers enjoyed their workouts more and their enjoyment levels continued to increase each week. Meanwhile, the moderate-intensity crew’s enjoyment levels remained relatively stable, and consistently lower than the HIIT group. The researchers also found that HIIT is altogether a more effective workout—which we already knew was one of the benefits of HIIT.
So why exactly are tough workouts more fun in the long run? The researchers found that increases in total power output predicted exercise enjoyment—meaning the stronger the participants got during each workout, the more likely they were to enjoy it. This could be because feeling competent (that “I got this!” feeling) is a key driver of positive workout feels. However, the increase in their VO2 max—or aerobic endurance—didn’t predict enjoyment in the same way. This could mean that strength gains mean more fun in the gym (yay muscles!) or the researchers hypothesized that it could be something else: Exercisers could clearly see and keep track of their total power progress from week to week, but couldn’t see their increased VO2 max. So the positive reinforcement of watching their progress might be a key reason they enjoyed it so much. Think about it: Knowing you were able to push a little harder, lift a little heavier, or bang out some more reps during your workout feels like a #win, which would definitely leave you feeling happy about your sweat sesh.
Consider this an excuse to hop off the elliptical and splurge on boot camp or a HIIT-specific class instead.
Want to try one of our Boot Camp classes at LAC?
Click HERE for a Free 4 Day Pass.
Click HERE for the Group Exercise schedule.
As of now, here’s the plan for January 6, 2017
LAC Hours: 5am-9pm
Group Exercise Classes: Canceled (See Snow Policy HERE)
Playroom: Regular Hours
Late last year, I introduced the idea of the minimum effective dose: the lowest dose to produce a desired outcome. Whether it’s calorie
intake, exercise, sunlight, carbohydrates, or work habits, we often think we need much more than we actually do to get the results we want. Why crank out those extra reps, put in those extra few hours, choke down another chicken breast if they won’t make you any more prepared to handle what life dishes out? Failing to heed the minimum effective dose costs you money, time, and mental real estate. Figuring out the minimum effective dose for the various inputs shaping our days can make us more efficient and open up the rest of our life to do the things we actually want to do.
What, exactly, are the minimum effective doses for exercise? How little do I have to train to stay and/or get fit? And what kind of effects can we expect to get from said minimal doses?
The answers to those questions will depend on who’s asking, but we have a few specific examples of people maintaining, improving, or radically transforming their fitness levels with minimum effective doses of exercise. Let’s take a look.
1. To maintain cardiovascular fitness.
Cardiovascular de-conditioning during the off season is a big issue in cardiovascular-intensive sports like soccer. The last thing many athletes want to do after a grueling season is to resume even more-grueling training on a regular basis. Understandable, but then they
come back a couple months later and suck wind for a few weeks until they’ve regained their endurance. What if there were a quick and dirty, efficient way to train and maintain your endurance in the off-season — or any season, for the average person who doesn’t want to work out more than he has to work out?
In 2014, semi-pro soccer players were placed on one of two off-season training regimens:
High intensity interval training, once a week.
High intensity interval training, once every two weeks.
Both HIIT regimens used identical training loads, and it was fairly brutal: five 4-minute high intensity rounds at 87-97% of maximum heart rate. No mention of rest intervals, but I’d imagine they were at least several minutes long to allow them to recover sufficiently. Whether they did it every week or every two weeks, the soccer players maintained their VO2max. There was no cardiovascular advantage to doing it every week. Those biweekly sessions would have been miserable, but they were over pretty quickly, leaving the soccer players plenty of time to work on sport-specific skills and other forms of training (or, you know, reading, going out to dinner with friends and family, hiking, watching good movies, etc). In fact, those players running HIIT every other week also trained a couple hours every week, mostly strength training; the every week group trained over five additional hours a week.
We all (think we) know how to improve aerobic fitness: cardio. Whatever that means. But cardio, at least how most people envision it, takes forever and is pretty darn boring. What if you could improve your aerobic fitness while also improving your muscular endurance — the amount of work your muscles can endure, the amount of time you can keep your force output high — in a fraction of the time?
Four times a week for four weeks, adult females performed a single four-minute Tabata protocol with a single exercise. Exercise choices included burpees, mountain climbers, jumping jacks, or squat thrusts. Another group ran on the treadmill for 30 minutes at 85% max heart rate.
After four weeks, their fitness levels were evaluated. While the treadmill group enjoyed a 7% improvement in aerobic capacity, the interval group improved theirs by 8%. And when it came to muscle endurance, the interval group saw massive gains:
- Leg extensions: +40%
- Chest press: +207%
- Situps: +64%
- Pushups: +135%
- Back extensions: +75%
Most importantly, the women found the Tabata exercise protocols more enjoyable and sustainable than the aerobic exercise protocol. Their “intention to engage” in exercise was higher than in the aerobic group.
All that in just 16 minutes of work a week.
What does “physical fitness” mean to you? In my book, it’s a combination of strength, strength-endurance, and aerobic capacity. The ability to go hard, go fast, and go long. A pair of researchers came up with a “7 minute workout” designed to improve these physical capacities in as little time as possible. The exercises are basic, but effective (as is always the case, right?). Each one is to be performed for 30 seconds with 10 seconds of rest in between exercises.
- Jumping jacks
- Wall sits
- Running in place with high knees
- Pushups with rotation
- Side planks
Solid list of movements, eh? This year, researchers tested the 7 minute workout. A cohort of men and women were divided into three groups. One group did a 7-minute circuit training workout three times a week, another group did a 14-minute circuit training workout three times a week, and the third group was sedentary. The 14-minute and 7-minute groups performed the same circuit exercises; the 14-minute group just did them twice.
Both exercising groups enjoyed improvements in muscular endurance. The males in both groups also got stronger, while the females improved their aerobic capacity. Training for 14 minutes (which is fairly minimal to begin with) wasn’t necessary to obtain results.
4. To increase metabolic health.
You’ve probably heard me discuss mitochondrial biogenesis: the creation of entirely new mitochondria. This is important because mitochondria are the power plants of the cell and ultimately the body. They metabolize fuel and convert it into useable energy. The more mitochondria you have, and the better they work, the more fat and glucose you’re going to utilize. And since energy overload is toxic to our cells and predictive of many disease states (diabetes, inflammatory conditions, etc) having more mitochondria on hand will keep you healthier for longer. How much exercise do you actually have to do to promote mitochondrial biogenesis?
Not a huge amount, but you will probably have to sprint. In the short term, a workout consisting of four 30-second all-out cycling sprints activated mitochondrial biogenesis in the skeletal muscle of human subjects in one study. Shorter sprints work, too. In fact, a program consisting of three sets of five 4-second (yes, four seconds!) treadmill sprints with 20 seconds of rest in between each sprint, done three times per week for four weeks up-regulated molecular signaling associated with mitochondrial biogenesis. You could do that during a commercial break.
I’ve also talked about the importance of maintaining good insulin sensitivity and how exercise can hep in that regard. Turns out that it doesn’t take much to see a positive effect. Research indicates that four to six 30 second bouts of all-out sprint cycling with four minutes of rest done three times a week improves insulin sensitivity in already-active and sedentary young adults. Measurements were taken 72 hours post training, just to be sure that the improved insulin sensitivity wasn’t a result of acute exercise effects. That’s 6-8 minutes a week of actual work for massive improvements.
5. To control blood sugar.
Visit most fitness communities online and walking gets short shrift. Walking isn’t exercise, they’ll say. It’s a poor substitute for “real” movement that invariably involves grunting, heavy weights, gallons of milk, and chalk. Not to take away from the heavy lifting, because that stuff is indispensable. But walking isn’t useless; it’s essential. There’s even evidence that a tiny amount of walking at a moderate pace — 15 minutes’ worth, to be exact — is enough to blunt the postprandial spike in glucose that can occur in people and lead to real problems down the line. Make that walking “brisk” and you can cut the necessary volume down to a single 21 minute bout while enjoying beneficial effects on postprandial insulin.
So don’t let anyone tell you those short post-meal strolls aren’t helping. They are. They represent a minimal yet highly effective dose of movement that improves your ability to handle blood sugar spikes after meals and regulate your fasting blood sugar throughout the day. More intense, higher volume training certainly improves blood sugar control, too, but a short walk after meals is the simplest, easiest, and most minimal.
Let’s briefly review:
- To maintain your cardiovascular fitness, do 5 4-minute intense intervals once every two weeks.
- To improve your conditioning and muscular endurance, do standard protocol Tabata burpees (or mountain climbers or any of the other exercises listed) a few times a week.
- To become more fit overall, a 7 minute continuous bodyweight workout is sufficient.
- To increase insulin sensitivity, go all out on the bike four times for 30 seconds with four minutes of rest, three times a week.
- To grow more mitochondria, five 4-second all-out sprints with 20 seconds of rest, three times a week might be enough.
- To reduce blood sugar spikes and improve fasting blood sugar, walk for 15 minutes after each meal.
Furthermore, many of these protocols will have crossover effects with each other. You don’t have to — and probably shouldn’t — do all of them, because then you’ve just constructed a high volume training regimen.
Not so daunting, is it?
What are your minimal effective doses for exercise? How little have you gotten away with while enjoying improved health, fitness, and vitality? I’m always looking for ways to cut back on training while retaining the effects, so have at it down below!
Thanks for reading, everyone.
via Huffington Post
Maybe you’re convinced you shouldn’t lift weights because you prefer not looking like The Hulk. Maybe you figure you just wouldn’t like it, since you’re not one of those CrossFit types.
We hate to be confrontational about it, but frankly, you’re wrong. Despite a prevalent allegiance to cardio machines for things like weight loss and overall health, strength training not only builds muscle but can prevent disease, improve mood and — really! — help you lose weight.
Here are 13 smart reasons to include a little work with the weights into your fitness repertoire.
1. You’ll live longer.
While most forms of regular exercise can add years to your life, strength training in particular has big benefits. As we get older, the more muscle mass we have, the less likely we are to die prematurely, according to 2014 research from UCLA. “In other words, the greater your muscle mass, the lower your risk of death,” study co-author Arun Karlamangla, M.D., said in a statement. “Thus, rather than worrying about weight or body mass index, we should be trying to maximize and maintain muscle mass.” And what better way to maximize those muscles than by pumping iron?
2. For better sleep.
Regular exercisers — especially those who truly push themselves — report the best sleep, and weightlifting is no exception. In a small 2012 study in older men, researchers found that resistance training reduced the number of times the study participants woke up during the night, as compared to a control group who performed no exercise.
3. Your progress is so noticeable.
There’s nothing that feels quite as rewarding as setting a goal and crushing it. If you’re new to strength work, you’ll find that a weight you once thought was impossible to lift starts to feel easy sooner than you might imagine. And then, you’ll feel like a boss.
4. To protect your bones.
Weight-bearing exercise and particularly strength training is thought to increase bone density, reducing the risk of fractures and breaks among older adults.
5. To boost your balance.
Of course, one major cause of bone breaks as we age is falling. Some of weightlifting’s benefit in protecting against osteoporosis may be improved strength and balance, resulting in fewer falls. Indeed, research suggests that various resistance routines can reduce an older person’s rate of falling by around 30 percent.
6. It can make you happier.
Like many forms of physical activity, a little lifting can work wonders for your mental health. Strength training has been linked to reduced anxiety and depression symptoms as well as improved self-esteem, and it may even give your brainpower a boost.
7. To look better in your skinny jeans.
Now, we don’t suggest you lift weights (or do any exercise, for that matter) solely for appearance — there are just so many other benefits! — but when it comes to slimming down, endless hours on the elliptical may not be getting you any closer to the results you desperately seek. In fact, building muscle may help you lose fat more effectively than simply doing cardio. “If you’re looking to lose fat, go with strength training,” trainer Nick Tumminello, author of Strength Training for Fat Loss told Business Insider. “Watch your diet to reveal your shape, and strength train to improve that shape.”
8. To burn more calories.
Simply having more muscle on your frame helps your body burn up extra calories — even when you’re sitting completely still.
9. You can do it in under 30 minutes.
Adding strength work to your regular exercise routine doesn’t have to eat up the tiny bit of free time you had left in the day. In fact, lifting is one area where more is not always better — around 30 to 60 minutes a week, total, is plenty, according to Runner’s Times.
10. And you don’t even have to go to the gym.
We’re using the term “lifting weights,” but the world of strength and resistance training includes a whole host of options outside of what you’d find at the gym. You can “lift weights” with cans and jars you find in your kitchen. You can “lift weights” using only your body. You can buy a pair of five-pound dumbbells and lift along with a DVD in the comfort of your own living room, where the only person checking you out in the mirror is you. In fact, if you’re new to strength training, many moves are safer if performed with just your bodyweight until you can get the hang of perfect form. Plus, many of those machines at the gym aren’t adjustable enough for the wide range of bodies that use them.
11. To run faster (really!)
Or swim longer or bike harder or get better at just about any other athletic endeavor you fancy. Why? Because you’ll be cultivating stronger, more powerful muscles to then put to good use. Also, strength training can help prevent injuries in other athletic pursuits, by helping correct muscle imbalances that in turn throw your form — even just while sitting or standing — out of whack.
12. To help your heart.
Despite the name, cardio isn’t the only form of exercise with cardiovascular benefits. A resistance training routine has been shown to lower blood pressure, in some casesas effectively as taking medication. The American Heart Association recommendsadults aim for at least two strength training sessions a week.
13. Because then you can wear shirts like this.
Image via RedBubble.com