Tuesday, 26 May 2009

High Intensity Training for Weight Loss

How effective is high intensity training at promoting weight loss?

If you believe what is generally being written at the moment, the answer would have to be "very effective"!

So, fresh from my success at losing 3kg in 3 weeks, I threw myself into another 3kg in 3 weeks challenge, this time focusing on very high intensity.

My first exposure to this was last Saturday where my workout looked a little like this:
A) 5 mins warm up jog
B) 1 minute hill sprint
C) 1 minute walk downhill
D) 1 minute jog downhill
E) repeat B to D another 5 times
F) 8 reps deadlift
G) 10 press ups
H) 30 seconds rest
I) 8 reps dumbell clean
J) 10 press ups
K) 30 seconds rest
L) 8 reps dumbell straight leg deadlift
M) 10 press ups
N) 30 seconds rest
O) 8 repd dumbell lunge
P) 10 press ups
Q) 30 seconds rest
S) Stretch

At the end of this I felt pretty good. I felt like I'd worked really hard and in a completely different way to my normal 30 minute runs. My legs had been worked much harder than normally through the hill sprints and weights. And my hamstrings (which I've always neglected in the gym - which I think has made me a slow runner) were worked with the straight leg deadlift.

Well that was Saturday. Sunday morning was different...

I woke up and could hardly turn over. My whole body ached. I couldn't believe how much I ached, particularly as the weights I was using were not particularly large (about 40 lbs each dumbell, so only an 80lbs deadlift...). I used to be able to do bicep concentration curls with 40lbs no problem!

So I could get depressed about how much this hurts and how much weaker and how less fit I am now than when I was in my twenties. However, the exact opposite is true! This has shown me:

  • that I'm a long way from how strong I used to be, so I now know I can improve a lot, without having to go beyond what I've already accomplished (admittedly in my twenties
  • the muscle soreness is a classic sign of adaptation. In other words even though I ache all over, I will come out stronger
  • I've found another way of training which is really fun and fast-paced with plenty of variety.

The other news is that I've signed up for a 10k at the end of June. This means that my weekly woekouts will now be something like:

  • Saturday - wctt timetrial
  • Sunday - longish run (getting back up to 10k)
  • Twice in the week - high intensity sessions

As always, I'll let you know how I get on...


RunningBetty said...

I know how you can build on those press ups... and you don't need to go to the gym to fit those in your day - join our Julyathon! http://runningbetty.com/pushing-the-limits-709