Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Female Body Breakthough -- My New Experiment

A few weeks ago I started following this blog: "The Great Fitness Experiment." It's a woman who does a new fitness experiment each month, trying out many of the different fitness regimes out on the market. Some of her experiments have included karate, kettlebells, vegan eating, long-distance running, double cardio, crossfit, etc. (I actually bought her book too and found it highly fascinating and entertaining.)

From her blog I came across this book:

I was very intrigued by this book because the author and I seemed to have a similar experience or sorts. Rachel Cosgrove, a fairly well known personal trainer, discovered that while training for an Ironman competition (2.4 miles swim + 112 mile bike ride + 26.2 miles of running!!) she was becoming a bit flabby. This seemed to be counter intuitive to what you would think would happen while training for an endurance event of such magnitude. She would often train 3-4 hours each day but it was all steady-state cardio training (biking, swimming and running.) On the day of competition, she was proud of her accomplishment and impressed by her endurance, but a bit embarrassed by the shape of her body.

Once the Ironman was over, she had a goal of fat-loss and put herself on an 8-week program that consisted of NO steady-state cardio but instead focused on weight training and interval training using metabolic circuits (basically body-weight type exercises such as jump squats, jumping jacks, jump lunges, burpees, etc.) All of these workouts lasted a maximum of 60 minutes each, reducing her gym time from 30+ hours each week during Ironman training to 5-6 hours each weeks using this new method.

So what were her results? Well I think these pictures speak volumes...

Before (during her Ironman competition)...


Pretty amazing results, right? During that 8-week period, she ended up losing 15 pounds of fat and regained the toned, firm body that she had once had.

And she had these final thoughts to say about steady-state cardio...

"It is time to bury the myth of using long, slow steady-state cardio to burn up fat, for good. No more spending hours and hours on a treadmill, elliptical, or bike...Get off the treadmill, stop spinning your wheels, and push yourself in the gym if you want to lose some serious fat. Take it from me, I finally learned first hand. It's time to put the last nail in the coffin of using aerobics for fat loss, bury it for good, and do some high intensity, interval dancing on its overdue grave." (To read more about her experience, check out this article: "The Final Nail in the Cardio Coffin")

So after hearing her story that sounded oh-so-familiar to mine, I bought her book and will be following her program for the next 16 weeks. Of course I don't expect to have these kind of results while pregnant, but I am hoping to get stronger and regain some of that muscle mass that I lost while doing so much steady-state cardio during the last few months.

Stay tuned for what Rachel Cosgrove's 16-week program entails...

(By the way, I am totally not knocking cardio workouts, I am a fan and will always be a fan of them. I plan to do at least 1-2 of them each week even during this 16-week program. I just really think we need to reevaluate what types of workouts will give us the real results that we are seeking. Remember, "If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten!" -- Roger von Oech)

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