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Exercise Questions

  • My resting heart rate is 67 beats per minute. So, to perform HIIT, I would have to do at least 100% more, right? That would be only 134 BPS! Isn't that a bit TOO low at age 19?

    100% more than your resting heart rate? Where did you get this info from? If that were the case, my RHR is at 42bpm, I'd only be working at 84 bpm!

    67 BPM for a resting heart rate is just below the average male, however it is elevated for someone involved in fitness. HIIT will bring it down significantly. The idea behind HIIT is to exercise in intervals to your max. So you would be looking at eventually getting your heart rate way up - around 180-190+ bpm (having a max at 201 for your age). The harder you push the more benefits you are going to obtain from this style of cardio by demanding more from your anaeobic system.

    Bare in mind though that you shouldn't go all out right from the get go. If you've never trained to your max before, start off with a medium-high intensity and gradually become more and more intense. This is so it's not a complete shock to your system and you don't end up in the bathroom for half an hour on your first attempt.  Also, ensure that you are in sound medical condition before attempting this style of cardio.

    I used to suffer from asthma and the first time I attempted HIIT I suffered a mild attack because I pushed too hard. Whilst it only lasted for about 30 seconds, it was pretty intense. After that, I gradually increased the intensity. Now my fitness levels have gone through the roof the asthma has completely dissapeared - I push to my max every single time - very big health benefits associated with this style of cardio

  • Is it healthy to do high intensity cardio (HIT) more than three times a week?

    In a word - yes!

    Personally I never used to do HIT more than a few times a week until I decided to get in proper shape during my 12 week challenge.  There, I ended up doing 10 a week and saw very big fitness gains and a lot of fat loss. Since getting down to about 6% I'm maintaining my body fat at about 6 HIT cardios a week.

    There are very big health benefits associated with high intensity cardio - including fat loss, prevention of a number of diseases and increased fitness levels.  Apart from the physiological benefits, mentally you will gain focus and discipline by pushing your pain threshold further and further each time.  I have found that by performing consistent cardio sessions, my resistance training has benefited greatly as a result of my increased fitness levels and focus.

    If you are performing a bulk, you may want to limit the number of cardio sessions you perform every week.  If you perform too many, you may reach a point where the amount of muscle mass you lose is not worth the cardiovascular gains due to you being a bulking period.

    On a final note, the more HIT sessions you perform, the more toll it takes on your body - physically and mentally.  Ensure that you don't jump in the deep end - allow your body to slowly adapt to the increased working load by gradually adding additional cardio sessions in each week.  Also make sure that your cardio and resistance training regime is accompanied by a sound diet and adequate rest - without these you can very easily go backwards and undo all your hard work.

  • Hi Jay, I was actually blown away by your transformation you look hot hot hot! Just a quick question: Will doing Pump Classes build muscle tone if so how many classes a week would you recommend? Thanks heaps - Nancy

    Hi Nancy - thanks for your kind comments and your question!

    A while back I did a pump class to see what was in store for me.  I must say I enjoyed it, but unfortunately this style of training doesn't really assist me in reaching my personal bodybuilding goals.

    Before I proceed, the term "muscle tone" tends to complicate matters.  Let's keep things simple.  There are two basic things you can do to your physical appearance:

    1. Increase or decrease muscle size
    2. Gain or lose fat

    The term "toning" refers to a combination of the two.  You need to build some muscle - not so you are big and bulky - just a little bit for the "toned" effect.  Meanwhile you need to also shed any excess body fat so you can see the definition.

    Now getting back to a pump class.  Whilst you will complete a full-body workout in this class, due to the number of repetitions you perform, you should treat a class like this as more a cardio workout.  You will build muscular endurance in this style of class, however don't expect to build much muscle mass.

    If you enjoy the pump classes, definitely incorporate them into your training regime - it's always great to mix up your training and find something you love to do.  Make sure you go in there and train with intensity - try and set new goals for yourself each time.  I would only do a couple each week at the most.  Try and stagnate them throughout the week so you achieve some good variety.  Finally (and probably most importantly), ensure that you combine these classes with a sound cardiovascular and resistance training regime - don't rely on these classes alone.

  • Hi Jay, congratulations on your transformation, that is an incredible job. I was wondering if you could help me a bit; I would like to know what the most important things to do are if I want to lose fat, but keep building muscle at the same time? What should I consume?

    G'day mate - thanks for the comments.  What I have found works best for my body is to perform high intensity cardio, combined with a solid diet plan and high intensity resistance training.

    I found the high intensity cardio to be very important to metabolising the fat as quickly as possible without sacrificing my strength.  By high intensity I mean a 15 minute session, beginning with a 1 minute all-out sprint and then a 1 minute rest.  Then keep repeating so you perform eight 1 minute sprints.

    The bike or recumberent bike is great for this kind of cardio - it requires little balance and you can push yourself hard without worrying about falling off.  Each session the aim is to push yourself 110% and ultimately beat the previous score that you set.  It becomes very competitive and VERY addictive.  Only thing is with this cardio - you would want to check with your doctor that it's safe.

    Because this cardio is so intense, I began slowly (a couple a week) and slowly performed more and more until I was up to 10 per week.  By this time the fat was litterally melting off and my fitness levels were through the roof.

    Next was the diet.  Because the cardio training was so taxing on the system, I focussed very heavily on eating a clean diet the entire 12 weeks.  This consisted of lean meats, egg whites, vegetables, limited fruits, oats, flax oil and supplements.  I began on a relatively large diet and slowly cut out portions when the fat loss slowed down.

    The resistance training comprised of a four day split and I focussed mainly within either the 4-6 rep range or the 6-8 rep range always going until failure.  Workouts would last roughly 40 minutes.

    Hope this helps you out a bit and gives you a breif overview of my training regime. 

    Cheers

    Jay

  • Hey Jay - Congrats on your transformation. You did a fantastic job! I am interested to know what kind of ab exercises you do. Cheers, Stacey

    Thanks Stacey!

    Must say I love doing the abs - they are one of my most responsive muscle groups. Ages and ages ago I used to do 50 or 100 situps and I still had a pot belly and wondered why. Then I finally realised that 50 or 100 situps is much like a cardio exercise and is going to do next to nothing for my abdominal development.

    So I did two things for my mid section. First of all cardio cardio and more cardio. Mainly on the bike and recumberent bike (the lying down one). All high intensity workouts - each lasting about 15 minutes - the fat just melted off and the definition began to appear.

    So the fat was taken care of - which leaves the muscle.  Resistance wise, I alternated between the following three exercises:

    - Lying leg raises (with a dumbell in my feet)
    - Incline crunches (with a dumbell just below my chin)
    - Cable crunches (my favourite)

    I treated my abdominals very much like every other muscle group in my body. I exercised them once a week, did 3-4 sets on them typically with a rep range of 6-8 and ALWAYS going until failure. If I could perform more than 8 reps with good form, then I would increase the weight I was using.

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