Tag Archives: workout

My Preferred HIIT Workouts

The previous post explained why High Intensity Interval Training was the quickest way to burn fat, so now you probably want to hear about my preferred HIIT workouts… OK 🙂

Examples of HIIT workouts

You know your HIIT workouts are working when you're sore, tired and sweatyThere are hundreds of HIIT workouts; every personal trainer has his preferred one. I will only mention my preferred ones here, with emphasis on intensity if you aim at HIIT: many persons think that they are exercising with high intensity because they are running a bit faster than usual 🙂
Sorry… Below your max… is not your max! Being slightly out of breath doesn’t mean that you are anaerobic. It’s still Interval Training, but not High Intensity Interval Training 🙂
 
 

Build Your Own Workout Plan

If you want to build your own plan, keep in mind that the usual ratio between full intensity and low intensity is 2:1, for example, 30 seconds of sprint followed by 15 seconds of slow running.
We mention running here, but any classical aerobic workout can be adapted to Interval Training: running has my preference but rowing, cycling, weight-training or CrossFit are fine too. The high intensity parts should be at your maximum exertion, for instance short sprints at full speed that you try to maintain during a fixed time and which leave you *totally* exhausted.

My Preferred HIIT Workout for Beginners

We all have to start somewhere, don’t we? 🙂
Here is my recommendation.
1) Warm-up: 5 minutes – don’t skip it!
2) Max intensity exercise: the core part obviously. Sprint for 30 seconds, then walk or run slowly for 60 to 90 seconds. It’s far from the 2:1 ratio, even from 1:1, but believe me, this could be the “shortest” seconds of your life 🙂 In the beginning, even jogging instead of walking during the recovery phase is a challenge… if you did it right!
Start with 4 repetitions and increase step by step, up to 8 or 10.
3) Cool-down (at the end of your exercise, not between sprints!): jogging at low pace, 4 to 5 minutes – don’t skip it either!
Based on your physical condition, try to do 2 or 3 (max!) HIIT workouts per weeks for 8 weeks, and then give your body a break for one or two weeks.

Next Level: The HIIT Pyramid

You will love it 🙂
1) Warm-up: 3 to 5 minutes.
2) Climbing up the pyramid: high intensity runs lasting longer with each repetition: 30 seconds, then 45, 60 and finally 90 seconds.
3) Recovery time: always 1 minute at low intensity, but don’t exceed 1 minute even if you’re exhausted. Remember that the goal is to maximize your total anaerobic time. Your heart rate will decrease a bit, just enough to allow another run at max heart rate, without oxygen supply to your cells.
4) Going down the pyramid: High intensity runs that decrease with each repetition: 60 seconds, 45 and the last one, 30 seconds.
5) Cool-down: the best part 🙂 5 minutes.

Any Alternatives to HIIT Workouts?

Yes, a famous one is called Fartlek which comes from Sweden and means « speed play ».
Fartlek sessions last 45 minutes to one hour and the difference with HIIT is that there is no fixed time for maximal intensity and recovery. How come? Well, imagine that you want to surprise your body so that it will be stressed and burn fat as never before! I remember that we had such torture sessions at school and we all hated it 🙂  Our teacher was using a whistle to let us know when to sprint, when to recover, and for what period of time. Honestly, a few years later (!) I have to admit that this is probably the best way to use Fartlek: if you follow the instructions of a teacher or friend, your brain doesn’t know what will happen next and believe me, when your brain starts panicking, your body is ready to burn anything for energy 🙂

Similar to Ephedrine

By the way, Fartlek makes me think of ephedrine: in both cases your body has a “fight-or-flight” response where adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol are released into your bloodstream. In fact, in many sports you can go Fartlek without knowing it. Take football or soccer for instance: you don’t know when and how long you will have to sprint. So if you want to brake the routine in your HIIT workouts, find a weight loss buddy and try Fartlek together! It’s fun and *really* effective at fat burn.

Safety First

As you know now, HIIT is a killer when it comes to fat loss.
But clearly it is not recommended to people having a poor physical condition or diseases, especially heart diseases of course. The risk of injuries is higher, and workouts of this nature (high intensity leaving you exhausted again and again) require strong physical and psychological resources.
If you think that the bar is too high, no worry: start with low or moderate aerobic exercises. You will have huge health benefits, as confirmed by this medical study. You will lose weight, especially if you add an EC stack to your cardio training, and later you might consider trying a short HIIT session (no more ephedrine in that case!). That’s exactly what I did, years ago 🙂

Remember, the name of the game here is not “just” losing weight, it is to lose fat (not weight) and to keep it off definitely.

Keep in touch,
-Mike Budd

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Differences Between Male And Female Bodybuilders

In my previous article, Female Bodybuilders: Fit, Strong And Yet Feminine, I told you about the caricatured image of female bodybuilders years ago and how it changed when the federations understood that muscularity in competition was casting a poor image and when they decided to attract desperate housewives 😉 mainly by showing athletes who were fit and strong without sacrificing their feminity.

You Won’t Look Like Arnold

Beautiful Female BodybuilderHow do you achieve such fitness results without losing your feminity? What are the main differences between men and women in bodybuilding? This is the primary concern of women who hesitate lifting weights: will I get big, will the size of my thighs increase with this training?
The answer is clearly no: depending on your workout routine, you will not increase your muscle size but your muscle’s strength. Even if you train « like a man », you will not gain muscle like men because it is their famous hormone called testosterone which allows this impressive increase in muscle mass. Women have only a small fraction of men’s testosterone levels and their muscle mass will become stronger, not bigger.
So how come that the first female bodybuilders managed to achieve these muscle mass like men? Well, guess what? They probably had hormonal treatments which made them look like men…
But this time is over, now you will gain just a bit of muscle but in a feminine way, toned, dense, nicely shaped.

Physiological Differences

Female Bodybuilder Lifting WeightsDo women need to workout like men by the way? What are the physiological differences?
In fact men and women workout in the same way. Contrary to the popular belief, women do not need to spend their time in cardiovascular exercise while men lift weights, it’s a cliché.
The truth is that women and men have different body composition and metabolism, thus their training will vary a bit and the results will be different.
For instance, men bodybuilders will target 4 or 5% body fat when women having naturally a higher percentage will set a reasonable goal at 10 to 12%.
Body fat distribution is different, women will have more on the thighs, glutes and triceps while men will bear their fat mostly in the abdomen (the famous « beer belly » or « tire »), in the chest also and upper arms. This fat distribution is called gynoid for women and android for men, and commonly named « pear or apple » fat distribution. This is a global approach of course, there is no strict line between gynoid and android fat, for instance men and women have often « love handles » in common 😉
Another big difference is the muscle mass, more developed by men, and as a result men’s Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is higher. This will allow them to have greater food intake for the same stable weight or to lose fat easier than women — I know, it’s unfair 😉 Remember that your weight equation is mostly determined by calories in versus calories out!

A Different Diet For Female Bodybuilders

Different Diet For Male And Female BodybuildersWhat about diet? Should it be different between women and men bodybuilders?
Women metabolize more fatty acids but fewer carbohydrates and proteins than men. This is important since fat is so devaluated in women’s eyes, being the first enemy in their diet. In fact, essential fatty acids (EFAs) are more important for women than for men, and EFAs don’t necessarily finish in your fat storage, they even promote the fat burning process and they represent a source of energy which stabilize insulin and blood sugar levels. Men have a different energy profile, they require more carbohydrates and proteins than lipids.
Except the difference in this metabolization of lipids and carbohydrates, men and women should have the same diets, with a recommendation for low carbohydrates cycling diets for better fat burning results for women.

Which Type Of Workout For Women?

Female Bodybuilding, Nice Outdoor WorkoutWhat is a typical exercising program for female bodybuilders?
Let’s start with a very common mistake: most of the time women overestimate cardio exercises and avoid lifting weights, probably due to the fear of gaining too much muscle mass. A typical training plan will run over 12 weeks, 5 days a week, varying repetitions, exercises and intensity for the main muscle groups (legs, chest and back). I know many female bodybuilders who follow these programs quite religiously. No pain, no gain 😉
It’s hard to recommend one of these programs, you have so many of them! It depends on your starting point and your goals. Just do a quick search online and select a serious one, preferably with videos — careful though if you search Youtube, it is often loaded with crap. And these stupid comments…
Here is a good piece of advice by Jamie Eason:

As you will see, many of these fitness programs include High Interval Intensity Training: you know there is no quicker way to lose fat 😉

Last Words

Ladies, if you really want to lose weight, you could learn many lessons from bodybuilders in most key factors: the right mindset, motivation, goal setting, time management, hard work, nutrition, coaching, etc…
Eat less, move more and get support: well, female bodybuilders have it all right 😉
What about ephedrine for female bodybuilders? Nothing special, it works as fine as for male bodybuilders because we all have the same CNS 😉
By the same effects, I mean: energy booster, appetite suppression, lean muscle mass is preserved and lipolysis (fat burn) is increased. But you also have the same risk of side effects if you don’t know the basic rules: make sure to drink a lot of water, avoid heat — this should be easy at this period of the year 😉 and of course no HIIT sessions when having ephedrine, ephedra or EC stacks.
If you live in the USA don’t even think of ephedrine HCL delivered to your place: you know it is no more available from reputable sites. From time to time I see one or two sites that pretend to ship pure ephedrine HCL from Canada to the U.S. but personally I wouldn’t buy from them. Stay on the safe (legal) side and get one of the time-tested ephedra products from our recommended websites.

Mike Budd

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