HH Fitness Tabata Revolution

In 1994, Dr. Tabata and some other Japanese researchers conducted a study with results that have forever changed the way fitness professionals program workouts designed to burn fat and boost fitness.

There were 2 groups in this landmark study.

Group 1 did steady state cardio for 60 minutes- the long, slow, boring stuff you see most people do at your local gym with no results to show for it.

Group 2 did high-intensity interval training for only 4 minutes on a bike, consisting of 20 seconds of maximum effort and 10 seconds of rest for 8 total rounds.

The researchers found that the interval group had greater fat loss and fitness results than the steady-state cardio group proving the merits of high-intensity interval training in providing maximum results in minimal time- a tenet that’s of the utmost importance for busy people struggling to fit a daily workout into their schedule.

Since then, the Tabata protocol has been used all over the world.

Some have applied it well, most people have not.

Here are the top 3 mistakes I’ve seen with Tabata training:

1.) Using straight sets of the same exercise:

In the study, elite Japanese cyclists perform the 20-10 interval on a recumbent bike and most of them weren’t even able to finish all 8 rounds (many crapped out after 6).

In other words, even world-class athletes are unable to do 8 straight sets of max effort bouts for the exact same exercise without huge drops in intensity – and thus diminishing returns.

The solution? Perform alternating sets of non-competitive exercises to keep intensity high or unilateral movements alternating each round.

Alternating between squats and push-ups or burpees and swings for example, will provide a better overall metabolic training effect that doing straight sets of just squats which will do more for local muscular endurance than anything else.

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2.) Poor exercise selection:

As previously noted, in the original study the exercise mode of choice was a recumbent bike. Though cycling intervals are great, there are other ways to get the job done that provide a little more of a functional training experience.

Using tools like battle ropes, kettlebells, bands, TRX, med balls, and other classic bodyweight movements like push-ups, mountain climbers, and split squat jumps provide a bit more bang-for-your buck (and fun) than just sitting on a bike and cranking it in-place.

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My 10 favorite Tabata exercises are as follows:

1.) TRX Squat Jumps

2.) Med Ball Slams

3.) Kettlebell Swings

4.) Battle Rope Waves

5.) Band Squat to Presses

6.) Stationary Running

7.) Mountain Climbers

8.) Burpees

9.) Push-ups

10.) Skater Jumps

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Furthermore, in order to properly perform the original Tabata protocol, you will need to push yourself to the brink of exhaustion making it difficult to perform exercises with a high skill and speed component.

So people new to Tabata training should probably avoid using high skill loaded exercises like swings, snatches, and cleans and extremely taxing systemic exercises like sprints and shuttles.

Rather, opt for more entry-level bodyweight options like squats and push-ups to build confidence.

Remember, just like the great Vince Lombardi used to say, fatigue makes cowards of us all- and it also makes our exercise form look like crap over time 😉

3.) Lack of progression:

There are 3 basic ways to properly progress with Tabata training:

#1- Exercise Progression

This basically means gradually moving from a Level I (beginner) movement to a Level III (advanced) movement for the same exercise variation.

For example, if you were using burpees (or squat thrust), here’s how that progression might look:

Level I- Burpee

Level II- Burpee + Push-up

Level III- Burpee + Push-up + Jump

Each level integrates a new movement that makes the task significantly harder when doing the same interval protocol.

#2- Density Progression

The original Tabata protocol has a negative 2:1 work to rest ratio that is extremely taxing on your body’s ability to supply sufficient oxygen to working muscles without conking out (even when alternating between non-competitive movements).

But here’s how you can modify the work to rest ratios and gradually build up to this negative work to rest format without being too overwhelmed in the beginning:

Level I- 10-20 Tabatas

Level II- 15-15 Tabatas

Level III- 20-10 Tabatas

Rome was built in a day, so don’t try to become the Tabata master in your first attempt 😉

#3- Intensity Progression

Most people tend to get confused regarding what constitutes intensity.

In the past, I’ve had some people tell me that a 50-10 circuit training workout is really intense.

Now I know what they meant- that the workout was challenging

Agreed!

And though they may be right when comparing that 50-10 workout to 60 minutes of slow running, the reality is that work periods longer than 30 seconds tend to involve more muscular endurance and provide more volume and less intensity no matter how hard you get after it.

On the contrary, work periods lasting 10-20 seconds long are ideal for developing maximum strength and power and are much more “intense” in nature.

Outlined below is the ideal intensity progression for Tabata training:

Level I- 20-10 Tabatas

Level II- 15-15 Tabatas

Level III- 10-20 Tabatas

Yes, you read that right- 10-20 intervals are much harder than 20-10 intervals because you can put forth a lot more effort during each shorter work period and with greater rest you are better able to maintain max strength and power output in each subsequent round.

Enter the HH FITNESS TABATA REVOLUTION!!

Tabata WM Image

In essence, you will utilize the following 3-workout rotation each week for at least 3 straight weeks with at least 48 hours between sessions for best results.

Each day features a different work to rest ratio to allow you to experience the unique benefits of each protocol as outlined below:

Workout A- 10-20 Tabatas: Alternate between 10 seconds of maximum effort and 20 seconds of rest. Perform 8 total rounds followed by a 1-minute rest and transition. Repeat this 5-minute cycle 4 times for a 20-minute total body metabolic workout.

 

Workout B- 15-15 Tabatas: Alternate between 15 seconds of maximum effort and 15seconds of rest. Perform 8 total rounds followed by a 1-minute rest and transition. Repeat this 5-minute cycle 4 times for a 20-minute total body metabolic workout.

 

Workout C- 20-10 Tabatas: Alternate between 20 seconds of maximum effort and 10 seconds of rest. Perform 8 total rounds followed by a 1-minute rest and transition. Repeat this 5-minute cycle 4 times for a 20-minute total body metabolic workout.

 

Where 10-20’s allow for maximum strength and power output, 20-10’s work more strength and power endurance.

Think of 15-15’s as the ultimate Tabata “tweener” which also works extremely well for unilateral strength and power training as the extra 5 seconds of work is ideal for 1-leg or 1-arm movements that take more time to perform than there bilateral counterparts.

Lastly, the exercise selection we use is perfectly matched with each work to rest protocol. For example, exercises that require more skill and have a bigger set-up and transition time are best suited for 10-20 intervals rather than 20-10’s and visa versa.

Studies show that undulating periodization, where you change up the intensity of your workouts each day throughout the training week, provides for maximum improvements in both strength and endurance and that’s what you’re getting with TABATA REVOLUTION.

In fact, we call it undulating interval training and it’s the best way to get the most out of your interval workouts.

Do you have what it takes to join the HH FITNESS TABATA REVOLUTION!?

We shall see 😉

 

Heath Herrera, M.Ed., CSCS

 

Dig Deep!

Method Behind the Madness- 30-30 Hypertrophy and Continuous 20-Minutes – Phase 1 2015

We have had a great phase of group personal training (bootcamp) sessions locked and loaded for you!

As you know, an inordinate amount of time has been spent researching and testing exercise variations and workout templates to best ensure that we bring the cream of the fitness crop your way each and every month.

Many other boot camps / training programs simply seek to just beat you down and get you tired with no rhyme or reason behind what they do. This results in limited results and lot of unwanted injuries.

However, everything we do at HH Fitness, Inc. is based on sound exercise science and battle-tested, in the trenches real world experience.

I have always felt that it’s important to know why you’re doing what you’re doing when it comes to fitness because it helps reinforce the implementation of the necessary habits to get into the best shape of your life.

So I just wanted to take the time to briefly explain the method behind the madness of the incredible, cutting-edge 30-30 Strength/Hypertrophy Intervals and Continuous 20-Minute Workouts coming your way this phase.

2015-01-21 06.27.23

30-30 Intervals

What is it and how do you do it?

30-30 intervals are strength/hypertrophy training bootcamp style training sessions where the goal is to make you stronger and build a leaner physique.

Each training session consists of 4-exercises that work the entire body.  You will Alternate between 30 seconds of work and 30 seconds of rest for each exercise, performing 6-12 repetitions per exercise.  Perform 5 total rounds of each exercise prior to moving to the next exercise.

If you are completing more than 12 repetitions per exercise then you need to INCREASE the intensity of your workout by increasing loads and/or using more advanced exercise variations

If you are completing less than 6 repetitions per exercise then you need to DECREASE the intensity of your workout by decreasing loads and/or using easier exercise variations

 

Why does it work?

Hypertrophy is just a fancy word for muscle growth.

Hypertrophy training employs moderate to heavy loads (65 – 85% of your 1-Rep max) and moderate to high volume (3-6 sets of 6-12 reps). Sets must be performed to momentary muscle failure.

Momentary muscle failure is pretty much what it sounds like.  You lift a weight until you simply cannot lift it anymore.  This is beyond the point of muscle fatigue.  Your goal is to select a resistance where your muscles completely fail at a predetermined number of reps or time under tension.  This may sound scary, but it’s really nothing to worry about.  In fact, once you get used to it it’s a lot of fun and it really shows you what you’re made of!

When you train at this level of intensity you send the signal for muscle growth.  Remember, we want muscle growth because lean muscle tissue is highly metabolic.  In other words, the more muscle we have the more calories we burn at rest and the more fat we can melt off over the long-haul.

In fact, some studies show that for every pound of muscle we add to our bodies we increase our daily caloric burn by about 50 calories. That means if a person gained just 5 pounds of muscle they would burn an extra 250 calories per day or 1750 calories per week.  That’s equivalent to ½ pound of fat loss per week while at rest!! Though many experts disagree over the exact number of calories burned with each additional pound of muscle gain, they all agree that you do burn more calories each day with every pound of muscle you do gain and that’s good enough for me!

I know what you’re thinking…

“Am I going to end up looking like some sort of muscle freak??”

DON’T WORRY!  YOU’RE NOT GOING TO GET BIG AND BULKY!

We’re not talking about massive gains in muscle like professional bodybuilders train for (often under the influence of powerful and illegal performance-enhancing drugs).  One pound of muscle is only about the size of your fist- hardly noticeable when spread across your entire body.

2015-01-21 12.28.40

 

Continuous 20 minutes

What is it and how do you do it?

Continuous 20-Minutes is a density training boot camp-style workout where the goal is to perform the same amount of work in less time and/or more work in the same amount of time or less.

Each workout consists of a 4-exercise circuit that works your entire body. Every 2 minutes you will perform 10 reps of each exercise (5 reps/side for unilateral movements) in the circuit as fast as you can with perfect form and technique.

The goal is to complete each circuit within 60-90 seconds and then you rest for the remaining time left in each 2-minute round. In other words, the faster you complete each round the more rest you get and visa versa.

You will perform 10 total rounds for an INSANE 20-minute metabolic workout.

If your completion time is 60 seconds or less then you need to INCREASE the intensity of your workout by increasing loads and/or using more advanced exercise variations

If your completion time is longer than 90 seconds then you need to DECREASE the intensity of your workout by decreasing loads and/or using easier exercise variations

Why does it work?

Training Density” describes the amount of work completed in a certain period of time. ‘

Work” describes total training volume which is the number of reps you perform for each exercise times the loads/exercise variation used to do so.

The more work you complete in the same amount of time the greater the calorie burn and the greater the muscular demand resulting in improved fat loss and lean muscle gain.

To take training density to the next level, seek to complete MORE work in the SAME amount of time or LESS.

Since you must perform 10 reps of each exercise in the 4-exercise circuit, this can be accomplished by either increasing the load used or by using a more advanced exercise variation where applicable from week to week.

In other words:

10 reps for each exercise in the circuit X

4 total exercise within each circuit X

10 total rounds =

400 total reps in 20 minutes

For example, if you used a 10 lb dumbbell for all exercises within the circuit; that means you would have performed 4,000 lbs of work in 20 minutes- Not too shabby!

However, if you progressed to using a 15 lb dumbbell for all exercises within the circuit by the end of the phase that would mean you performed 6,000 lbs of work in 20 minutes- That’s 2,000 lbs more than you did in your first workout!

Now the only way your body could meet this increased workload is by boosting lean body mass eliminating unwanted body fat. Plus, since your heart rate will be elevated throughout the entire workout, your overall conditioning will go through the roof this phase.

This progressive overload is the key to making your body change. Simply seek to gradually move from Level I to II to III over the course of this month to best ensure you get the most out of your workouts.

Sneak Peak at HH Fitness Training Sessions of Phase 1:

Below are two sample sessions of the month.

30-30 Interval Training

20 Minutes: Alternate between 30 seconds of work and 30 seconds of rest for each exercise in the following 4-exercise total body circuit.  Perform 5 total rounds of each exercise prior to moving to the next exercise

Workout A

30-30 sample

Continuous 20 Minutes Density Training

20 Minutes: Perform 1 round of the following circuit as fast as possible within 2 minutes. Perform up to 10 total rounds for a 20-minute workout.

Workout B

2 min continuous sample

Committed to your Health,

Heath Herrera, M.Ed., CSCS

Look Better – Feel Better – Have More Energy!

 

P.S. – Go here to view the HH Fitness Boot Camp Schedule:  CLICK HERE

Find Your Fast – (Part 3 ) Putting Your Training Program Together

Your 5k race training program should not be over complicated.

Today, I’m going to share a quick outline of my very own personal 5k race training schedule.  It’s also the same one I use with my clients.

By the way, since overall health and fitness, along with fat loss and lean muscle gain, are goals of mine, my schedule will reflect that.

woman sprinter on starting block

Monday:  Metabolic Accelerator Program (Boot Camp) followed by 20 minutes of Stubborn Fat Cardio (biking)

Tuesday:  Track Work using High Intensity Interval Training followed by 20 minutes of Stubborn Fat Cardio (jogging)

Wednesday:  Metabolic Accelerator Program (Boot Camp)

Thursday:  Track Work using High Intensity Interval Training followed by 20 minutes of Stubborn Fat Cardio (jogging)

Friday:  Metabolic Accelerator Program (Boot Camp) followed by 20 minutes of Stubborn Fat Cardio (biking)

Saturday:  Tempo Runs and Long Slow Distance (LSD) Runs depending on training schedule

Sunday:  Active Rest

 man runner running on starting block posture

That’s it.  Nothing too complicated about it.

 

Committed to your health,

Heath Herrera, M.Ed., CSCS, YFS1
Metabolic Training Expert
Head Coach

HH Fitness – a proud member of the Fitness Revolution nation

Athletic Revolution – San Marcos, Texas
HeathHerrera@HHFitness.com
512.348.7388
HHFitness.com

AthleticRevolutionSanMarcos.com

P.S. – Our 4 week walk run club starts on March 4th at 6:30 pm at the Saucony outlet store in San Marcos, Texas.  FIND YOUR FAST HERE

 

Co-authored book – Group Training Playbook
Read our online magazine – HH Fitness Magazine

Get caught up with our blog – HH Fitness Blog

Get the best in nutritional supplements from our friends at Prograde –  HH Fitness Prograde Page

Follow HH Fitness On Facebook – HH Fitness Facebook Page

 

Follow Athletic Revolution San Marcos on Facebook – Athletic Revolution San Marcos Facebook Page

 

Find Your Fast (Part 2)

5k-race season has begun and running enthusiasts are seeking the most efficient and effective running training program to help them achieve their goals.  Unfortunately, the market is saturated with so many different, and often conflicting, approaches to training for a 5k race.

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Yesterday, I let you in on a critical training approach that many recreational runners just aren’t aware of…High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is like a “secret formula” for turning walkers into runners.  It also happens to be an extremely valuable part of an elite runner’s training program for increasing performance and staying injury free.

If you missed it, be sure to read Find Your Fast – Part 1 before moving on to Find Your Fast– Part 2.

After reading Find Your Fast – Part 1, you may be thinking you should just forget all about your traditional steady state runs like tempo runs and long, slow distance (LSD) runs.  While that may be fine for a general fitness program that was just focusing on weight loss, it would be a mistake for 5k race training program.

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Steady state training does have an important place in an effective 5k race-training program.

For one, it’s the way you’re going to actually run your 5k race.  Therefore, you’re going to need to get comfortable with actually running 3.1 miles without stopping.  That’s going to require cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance, joint endurance, and even, mental endurance.

At a physiological level, steady state training is important as well, although it generally does not need to be performed more than once (twice maximum) per week for a short distance running program like a 5k race program.

Moe’s Better Half Marathon

Note:  I use the same guidelines for 10k and ½ marathon race training programs as well.

Steady state training can be done at both low-intensity and moderate intensity where run times will generally be from 20 – 60 minutes in length.

There are 3 main goals to steady state training:

  1. Increase Aerobic Base
  2. Increase Anaerobic Threshold
  3. Increase Weight Loss

To better understand each component we need to break each of these down…

Aerobic Base

Aerobic Base (AB) is the intensity level at which your body burns the most fat calories per minute.  This is critical for endurance athletes because when we burn fat as our primary fuel source we can go for longer periods of time before running out of energy.  The higher your base, the longer and harder you can run or the faster you can complete your 5k races.

Anaerobic Threshold

We covered Anaerobic Threshold (AT) in Find Your Fast – Part 1 when we discussed high intensity interval training (HIIT).  Your Anaerobic Threshold can also be improved by exercising at a level of intensity just below your Anaerobic Threshold thereby “pushing” it up.  Imagine high intensity interval training (HIIT) as a means to “pull” your Anaerobic Threshold up, while steady state training, specifically tempo or race pace training, will “push” it up.  Just like with a higher Aerobic Base, a higher Anaerobic Threshold will let you run your 5k races faster.

Increase Weight Loss

Steady state training primarily uses fat for fuel, especially when performed at lower intensities as you would doing either “stubborn fat cardio” or long slow distance (LSD) sessions.

Stubborn Fat Cardio” is a neat little trick I like to use with my boot camp clients and personal training clients where I have them perform 20 minutes of low to moderate intensity steady state cardiovascular exercise following a bout of high intensity interval training (HIIT).  Five minutes after a bout of high intensity interval training (HIIT) your body releases a bunch of stored fat into your bloodstream; it’s one of the many interesting effects/benefits of high intensity interval training (HIIT).  Low to moderate steady state training performed at this time will “suck up” a bunch of this fat before it gets restored as fat on the body…an awesome “stubborn fat loss” trick!

Stay tuned for the final post in this series…

Find Your Fast – (Part 3) Putting Your Training Program Together

mad scientist

Committed to your health,

Heath Herrera, M.Ed., CSCS, YFS1
Metabolic Training Expert
Head Coach

HH Fitness – a proud member of the Fitness Revolution nation

Athletic Revolution – San Marcos, Texas
HeathHerrera@HHFitness.com
512.348.7388
HHFitness.com

AthleticRevolutionSanMarcos.com

P.S. – Our 4 week walk run club starts on March 4th at 6:30 pm at the Saucony outlet store in San Marcos, Texas.  FIND YOUR FAST HERE

 

Co-authored book – Group Training Playbook
Read our online magazine – HH Fitness Magazine

Get caught up with our blog – HH Fitness Blog

Get the best in nutritional supplements from our friends at Prograde –  HH Fitness Prograde Page

Follow HH Fitness On Facebook – HH Fitness Facebook Page

Follow Athletic Revolution San Marcos on Facebook – Athletic Revolution San Marcos Facebook Page

Find Your Fast!

5K races, 10K races, obstacle runs, ½ Marathon runs, and Marathon Races are happening every weekend all over the country, and here in Central Texas they’re BIG.  With only a few really nice months of weather each year, people in Central Texas flock towards all kinds of outdoor activities in the spring and summer… and for fitness enthusiasts, 5k races are at the top of the list.

Pre-Race Group Photo Jail Break

I’ve worked directly with 100s of clients over the past decade on 5k training programs.  It’s really something special when people you train complete their first race or set new personal records.  🙂

With so many training programs out there it can be really confusing for beginning runners.  Even for fitness professionals like me, it’s hard not to get bogged down with information overload…

There are programs everywhere!  They’re online, in magazines, and now you can even get an app for that.

Well, since I specialize in weight loss and overall fitness, I’m going to take an approach that I have found to be the most beneficial…an approach that will not only get you to perform great, but will have you looking great as you cross the finish line!

After all, in the long run (pun intended ;-b), it’s not just about getting off the couch and running a race.  It’s about creating a long-term approach that’s both efficient and effective.  We should also not forget a safe approach that won’t beat your body down and wear out your joints.

Does that sound good to you?

ambulance

OK.  Let me ask you a couple questions before we go any further:

1.  Have you ever seen a fat jogger?

2.  Have you ever seen a fat sprinter?

Just because you can complete a 5k, or heck even a 10k or ½ marathon, doesn’t mean you’re healthy.  When you carry excess weight on your body your risk of heart disease goes through the roof.  Even on the “minor” level, the excess weight is going to kill your joints.

So, if you want to run a 5k really well, I’d suggest you train in a way that not only gets you to cross the finish line, but gets you to do it at your lightest weight and fastest time possible.

Well guess what?  There happens to be an approach that will help you do both!

It’s using a combination of high intensity interval training, otherwise known as HIIT, with the more traditional steady state style training methods (tempo and long slow distance runs).

High intensity interval training (HIIT) is an exercise strategy that alternates an intense bout of exercise followed by a rest period.  For example, a runner would “sprint” as fast as possible for 30 seconds followed by a 90 second “rest.”  The rest could be walking or jogging depending on fitness level.  Workouts are generally 20 minutes or less in length.

There are many high intensity interval training (HIIT) combinations.  A progressive running program will strategically structure the intervals in such a way as to maximize performance over time.

silver runner

Progression from Workout to Workout

Seek to gradually increase the intensity of your intervals to get faster and faster.  In other words, if you completed all your rounds at a 9-minute mile pace, try to do so at an 8:50 pace the next time you repeat the same workout.

This gradual progressive overload is critical to continually making your body change (i.e., build muscle, lose fat and increase performance).

Progression from Phase to Phase

Seek to gradually increase the intensity of your intervals to increase your endurance.  In other words, from phase to phase gradually perform more work in the same amount of time.  This is a type of training called Escalating Density Training (EDT), and it’s VERY EFFECTIVE for both weight loss and cardiovascular fitness.  Rather than increasing total running time, decrease the rest period between high intensity bouts thus performing more intervals in the same given time.

This type of training is amazing for turning walkers into runners.  I’ve literally seen people go from struggling to walk a mile to RUNNING a 5k race in 3 months.  With this same approach you could go from a walker to a half-marathoner in a year or less!

How is this possible with such a short workout?

There are 4 main benefits to high intensity interval training (HIIT):

  1. Increase Anaerobic Threshold (AT):  Anaerobic Threshold is the intensity level where you can no longer get enough oxygen into your lungs and your body stops burning fat for fuel.  When you cross this threshold you cannot sustain your pace for more than a few minutes.  The higher your Anaerobic Threshold, the faster you can run for sustained periods of time.
  2. Increase Endurance:  YES!  Interval training increases endurance, meaning you can run at pace for longer periods of time.  By the way, traditional endurance running (steady state) does not improve your ability to run at high speeds…
  3. Build Muscle and Strength:  Training at higher intensity levels taxes the Type II fast-twitch muscle fibers of the legs.  These are the fibers that make muscles bigger and stronger.  This is great for functional strength, joint health, and, oh yeah, weight loss!
  4. Increase Flexibility and Range of Motion:  Running at high speeds helps open up the runners stride and exercises the muscles of the legs in a way that jogging cannot.

What does all of this mean?

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) makes running at race pace much easier, and it improves top end speed and endurance for faster race times!

In Find Your Fast – Part 2, I’ll discuss steady state training and its role in your overall 5k race training program.

In the meantime, give high intensity interval training (HIIT) a try and let me know what you think.

Post B2B Group

Committed to your health,

 

Heath Herrera, M.Ed., CSCS, YFS1
Metabolic Training Expert
Head Coach

HH Fitness – a proud member of the Fitness Revolution nation

Athletic Revolution – San Marcos, Texas
HeathHerrera@HHFitness.com
512.348.7388
HHFitness.com

AthleticRevolutionSanMarcos.com

P.S. – We have a 4 week walk run club starting on March 4th at 6:30 pm at the Saucony outlet store in San Marcos, Texas.  CLICK HERE TO FIND YOUR FAST!

 

Co-authored book – Group Training Playbook
Read our online magazine – HH Fitness Magazine

Get caught up with our blog – HH Fitness Blog

Get the best in nutritional supplements from our friends at Prograde –  HH Fitness Prograde Page

Follow HH Fitness On Facebook – HH Fitness Facebook Page

Follow Athletic Revolution San Marcos on Facebook – Athletic Revolution San Marcos Facebook Page

Binding up the Broken Heart

We all need to beware of exhibiting religious deceit by saying, “Oh, I have no misgivings about Jesus, only misgivings about myself.” If we are honest, we will admit that we never have misgivings or doubts about ourselves, because we know exactly what we are capable or incapable of doing. But we do have misgivings about Jesus. And our pride is hurt even at the thought that He can do what we can’t.

From last week the title of the blog post was “Good News.” This past sunday during service the topic of “Good News” and helping the poor was discussed again. During the service it was discussed to take and interpret “Good News” as God is Here.

The following scripture was read during the service:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph’s son?
(Luke 4:18-22 KJV)

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
(Isaiah 61:1, 2 KJV)

The common occurrence of Brokenhearted in the two verses is not an accident and can be interpreted in many different ways. I want to share with you my interpretation of what it means to be brokenhearted when it comes to your health and wellbeing. However, I want to make sure you understand the separate definitions of broken and hearted (the same was done during our church service and it helped me better understand how this relates to health and wellbeing)..

Definitions
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary of Broken is separated into parts or pieces by being hit, damaged, etc., not working properly, &/or not kept or honored.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary of Hearted is having a heart especially of a specified kind —usually used in combination or seated in the heart. The definition of heart is the place where emotions are felt.

We are just 3 weeks into the New Year. This is usually the time when many that have made resolutions for better health begin to lose focus. This may be the first year for them to attempt improving their health or could be the 10th consecutive year to attempt this. Each year is no different form the last or the first time. They begin trying to do this on their own remembering times in sports or what they have seen on TV shows like the biggest loser. While this attempt is admirable, it is without focus and can break their will. The reason for this is these individuals start of with the wrong goal, WEIGHT LOSS.

20140124-152356.jpg

As Miguel posted on his Facebook page about not being broken but having the correct mindset to improve himself through not giving up. If this is your first year or 10 year to attempt a New Years fitness resolution you have not given up and have the heart to succeed. We want to help you carry momentum you have built up or keep you from losing focus in 2014.

Weight loss is a by product of improved mobility, nutrition, daily habits, and attitude. My goal for HH Fitness in 2014 is to help 100 individuals with our Mission 100. This is a free success session with HH Fitness. No obligation to join, just a chance to help you focus on heading in the right direction to improve your health. If you have had your drive to improve your health broken and do not have the heart to continue the Mission 100 is meant for you. To learn more about the HH Fitness Mission 100 go here — http://HHFitnessBootCamps.com/Mission-100 .

A QUEST FOR GOOD NEWS

I am finding that as I continue my QUEST to seek guidance to better meet the needs of those I serve for better health and fitness I am continuing to find that the media and most of the fitness industry is leading us all in the wrong direction. We are constantly being inundated with messages of the perfect body type, how to lose X lbs. in 48 hour, X workout in a box, and so on. Most of these messages are targeted to our fears. Fears from past failures and fear of being looked upon negatively if we decide to improve our health and fitness.

Many times these fears can break our hearts to the point of not wanting to move forward. We then become captive in our own body in mind with this broken heart. At the same time we begin to feel sorry for ourselves losing sight of our own happiness creating “poor” health within our mind and body. The “Good News” is you can create freedom for yourself from the mixed messages you continue to see about fitness and health. Trust me and work through your fears to make this the year you truly take a hold of your New Years Resolution for better health and fitness.

Luke 4:18The Spirit of The Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor, he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captive, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

I completely understand this fear and continue to battle my demons from the days of being obese. I am still “classified” as overweight, but I feel better now than I did when I was 25. I continue to get off track and lose focus on my own health, by all means I am only human. This usually occurs when I begin to allow my life to get completely out of balance, creating a “poor” return for my health.

To change this loss of focus I must remind myself what truly makes me happy in life and at the same time I am reminded why I chose being a fitness professional as a career. I consider this a simple task that takes less than 10 minutes to get refocused and can be done in the bathroom in front of the mirror with pen and paper.

Here is what you need to do to set yourself free:

– Stand in front of the mirror and think of a time in your life you were the most happy.
– Write down the expression on your face.
– What memory did you have when you thought of happy times (write it down).
– Try to find a picture from that time in your life.
– Answer the following questions:
– When were you the most joyful?
– What did you do to get to that point?
– What were your relationships like at this time in your life?
– What steps were you taking to be your best?
– What did others think of you during this period of your life?
– What steps (career, physical, mental, financial, etc.) can you take in your life to feel the things you described above?

We are all in this “QUEST” for a healthier life together. You may be seeking the physical quest, mental quest, spiritual quest, or any combination of the three. It does not matter which route you are are on, do yourself a favor. ASK FOR HELP!

Your New Year’s Resolution with Repentance

I have been observing many people, year after year, make New Year’s Resolutions to lose weight, improve their health and fitness, exercise more, eat less, etc. Usually I would think like this and then share my tips on getting the best out of your New Year’s Resolution for better health & wellness. However, something deep down was telling me I needed to do more. While at church on January 5, 2014 at Gruene United Methodist Church the message of the service delivered by Rev. Karen Horan was “Message from Heaven” with scripture from Mathew 4:17. Prior to the message during prayer I was asking for guidance on the best way to help you, my client, take action on having a more healthy and fit 2014.

Before we move on past the title I want to define each of these and let you know how a combination of a resolution and repentance can help you succeed at improving your mental, physical, and spiritual health.

What is the definition of a Resolution and Repentance?

Resolution = This is the decision to do or not do something.

The problem with a resolution is that you resolve (settle or find a solution to a problem). When you settle to find a solution to a problem you do not fully act upon that problem in a way to fix the problem. So many make resolutions to lose weight or improve their health with their New Years Resolution. They just settle on the fact that if they exercise and don’t eat hey will lose the weight. The problem with this is they tend to repeat this roller coaster ride year after year.

Repent = To view or think (of an action or omission) with deep regret, shame, or remorse. Repentance is the action of repenting.

When we view our past actions to improve our health and fitness through the eyes of shame we may have trouble moving forward through our resolve to lose weight or improve our health. However, we should not look at repent in a negative light. So many of us hear the word repent and it may bring fear from what we may have been taught so many times in church or in movies that “simulated” the voice of GOD. Fear can be so damaging to our soul and can be one of the biggest obstacles we have at improving our life.

Now that we understand the “literal” definition I want to share with you the definition of repent that Rev. Karen Horan delivered during worship service:

But this (repent or burn) is NOT what Jesus was saying when he said Repent for the kingdom of heaven has come near. No…this is meant to be light…not condemnation. The Greek word here would be translated literally “change your mind”. It echoes the Hebrew meaning of the word “to turn around” or re-turn. The commentary was clear. It does NOT connote sorrow or remorse (no shame piled on!) but calls for a change in someone’s life. It is saying “get for yourself a new orientation for your life, then act on it!”

In order for you to truly move forward at succeeding with your New Year’s Resolution you need to completly REVOLUTIONIZE your mindset when it comes to nutrition and exercise. If what you have done in the past did not work or only worked temporarily now is the time to seek additional guidance, BUT you must be ready to commit to changing your life in a fun and healthy way for this to be a true internal REVOLUTION.

Are you ready?

White or Black Does Matter

In Michael Jackson’s song “White or Black” some of the lyrics are:

I Said If
You’re Thinkin’ Of
Being My Baby
It Don’t Matter If You’re Black Or White

I Said If
You’re Thinkin’ Of
Being My Brother
It Don’t Matter If You’re
Black Or White

Now when we are talking about dealing with others in our day to day lives this is completely true.  However, when we are talking about improving our fitness and health then White or Black does matter.  White noise is thought to be relaxing, calming, and able to bring a sense of calm, while Black noise is very disruptive and confusing.

yen and yang

When it comes to your health and fitness you only have two sources of white noise.  If you have chosen a coach listen to their guidance and ask them questions.  The resources you receive from your coach are the tools you need to succeed.  Your second choice for white noise is yourself; follow the tools you have for success.    It is great to have support from others for motivation letting you know you can succeed, but once you bring others into the mix with their opinion you run into the possibility of suffering from Black noise.

Beauty

When you have Black noise mixed in your day to day activities it is difficult to achieve your health and fitness goals.  There are an infinite amount of sources for Black noise.  These include and are not limited to family, friends, media, your own fears, and many more.   While some of these individuals do love you they do not understand WHY YOU want to live a fit and healthy life.  Most of what they give you will throw you off your path to success.  When you allow this Black noise to enter your day to day you are allowing fear, self doubt, and sabotage into your life.  Your goal should be to eliminate or avoid the Black noise as much as possible.

group chaos

Here is a simple quote to help you avoid the Black noise:

If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan.  And guess what they have planned for you?  Not Much.

                                                                             -Jim Rohn

The One-Side Argument for Amazing Abs

Not a day seems to go by that some new crazy abdominal exercise or gizmo hits the market promising quick and easy results.

By now I hope you know that spot reduction doesn’t work and that you can crunch and sit-up until your spine snaps (and it probably will after too many reps) and you still won’t be happy with the way your abs look.

And I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt that you know you just can’t put on some goofy waist belt that shoots electrical impulses and get a flatter, more toned tummy.

But how exactly do you get awesome abs?

Well, today I’m going to share the truth about abs and here are the 2 reasons why most fall short:

Reason#1– You need to burn the belly fat that’s covering up those coveted abs

Reason#2– You need to do the right exercises that build flat, chiseled abs so they pop when you flaunt them

What if I told you the best way to get a more cut core was to perform all of your exercises one side at a time?

And how slick would it be if we could combine these core-intensive one-sided exercises into one monster belly fat-smashing, muscle-sculpting total body metabolic circuit to take your abs to the next level?

Want to learn more?

Then keep reading 😉

I. Bilateral Versus Unilatateral Exercises?

Bilateral exercises simultaneously use both limbs in unison to generate force or move a load. Classic examples include double-leg exercises like squats, dead-lifts, and swings for the lower body and double-arm barbell exercises like presses and bent-over rows and body weight exercise like push-ups, rows, and pull-ups for the upper body.

Unilateral exercises involve each limb working independently of the other. This can be accomplished by either performing exercises one side at a time or by using training tools like dumbbells, kettlebells, and bands that allow you to independently push and pull your limbs at the same time or in an alternating fashion. Classic examples include lunging, 1-leg squat, and 1-leg hip-hinge variations for the lower body and 1-arm row, press, and curl variations for the upper body.

II. The Benefits of the Unilateral Training

One of the biggest reasons why most people hit strength plateaus on classic bilateral exercises like the bench press, squat, push-up, or pull-up is because of a strength and/or flexibility imbalance between limbs.

It is critical to understand that when it comes to performing any bilateral exercise, if one limb pushes or pulls harder than the other then the load will not move evenly.

Thus, a weak and/or tight side becomes the limiting factor for your performance and needs to be fixed if you want to progress. You must strengthen your weaknesses to make big and sustainable gains.

For example, if you are struggling with your squat, incorporate a healthy dose of 1-leg squats to both boost single-leg strength and achieve balanced strength between limbs. This will improve your 2-leg squatting as a direct result.

Furthermore, if you find yourself coming up uneven from the bottom on push-ups, the same thing can be achieved by working more 1-arm presses so you can strengthen the weak side and push back up with no problem.

Unilateral training allows you to assess and correct the weaknesses and imbalances that are holding you back from reaching your true athletic potential.

More specifically, when unilateral exercises are performed one limb at a time it will generate greater demands on your core muscles due to the imbalanced loading.

In fact, there’s great study called “Trunk Muscle Electromyographic Activity with Unstable and Unilateral Exercises” from the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s (NSCA) Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research that proved just that. Check out the abstract from the aforementioned study below for more info:

Abstract

The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to evaluate the effect of unstable and unilateral resistance exercises on trunk muscle activation. Eleven subjects (6 men and 5 women) between 20 and 45 years of age participated. Six trunk exercises, as well as unilateral and bilateral shoulder and chest presses against resistance, were performed on stable (bench) and unstable (Swiss ball) bases. Electromyo-graphic activity of the upper lumbar, lumbosacral erector spinae, and lower-abdominal muscles were monitored. Instability generated greater activation of the lower-abdominal stabilizer musculature (27.9%) with the trunk exercises and all trunk stabilizers (37.7-54.3%) with the chest press. There was no effect of instability on the shoulder press. Unilateral shoulder press produced greater activation of the back stabilizers, and unilateral chest press resulted in higher activation of all trunk stabilizers, when compared with bilateral presses. Regardless of stability, the superman exercise was the most effective trunk-stabilizer exercise for back-stabilizer activation, whereas the side bridge was the optimal exercise for lower-abdominal muscle activation. Thus, the most effective means for trunk strengthening should involve back or abdominal exercises with unstable bases. Furthermore, trunk strengthening can also occur when performing resistance exercises for the limbs, if the exercises are performed unilaterally.

(C) 2005 National Strength and Conditioning Association

 

III. Core-Intensive Unilateral Circuit Training

So now that we know that unilateral exercises are ideal for lighting up your core to build beautiful abs, how do we go about burning the belly fat covering them up?

The answer can be found in 3 words:

UNILATERAL CIRCUIT TRAINING

Circuit training consists of performing alternating sets of non-competitive exercises and thus allows for maximum intensity due to full recovery between movements. It is also by far the most time-efficient approach to melting off that chubby tummy.

I believe circuit training is the foundation of any solid fat-burning, muscle-building, and metabolism-boosting workout. Let’s take a look at two breakthrough scientific studies that support the fat-smashing, metabolism-cranking effects of circuit training:

Burn over 500 calories in 20 minutes: In a recent study by the University of Southern Maine, researchers discovered a more accurate method of estimating calorie burn from weight training than had been used previously. They discovered that a weight training circuit burned 71% more calories than previously thought. In fact, an eight minute circuit burned somewhere between 159 and 233 calories which breaks down to about 20-28 calories per minute!

Elevate metabolism for up to 38+ hours post-workout: In a study by the European Journal of Applied Physiology, researchers determined that a 31-minute circuit training protocol of three compound, multi-joint movements significantly elevated metabolism for 38 hours post-workout– at which point they decided to stop tracking. This metabolic afterburn was due to a couple of factors. The first is due to increased tissue turnover due to the need to build and repair muscle microtrauma after high-intensity training. The second is due to increased Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) due to the oxygen debt created by high-intensity anaerobic exercise.

And by building a total body circuit that burns belly fat while using core-intensive unilateral exercises that build rock-hard abs, we can achieve the best of both worlds!

IV. Putting It All Together- 45-15 Unilateral Circuit Training

Now that we know the method behind the madness, below is an outline of both the equipment and bodyweight versions of this incredible sample workout templates:

Equipment-Based Metabolic Workout Routines

Equipment- 45-15 Unilateral Circuit Training: 20 Total Minutes. You will alternate between 45 seconds of work and 15 seconds of rest for all 5 unilateral exercises in the following circuit. Be sure to complete both the left AND right side before moving on the next exercise.

 


Equipment-Free Metabolic Workout Routines

 Body Weight- 45-15 Unilateral Circuit Training: 20 Total Minutes. You will alternate between 45 seconds of work and 15 seconds of rest for all 5 unilateral exercises in the following circuit. Be sure to complete both the left AND right side before moving on the next exercise.

 

This workout will really strengthen your weaknesses and dramatically improve your muscular endurance and overall exercise performance.

Do you think you can handle the 45-15 Unilateral Circuit Training Challenge??

 

 

Committed to your health,

 

Heath Herrera, M.Ed., CSCS, YFS1
Metabolic Training Expert
Owner, Head Coach

HH Fitness – a proud member of the Fitness Revolution nation

Athletic Revolution – San Marcos, Texas
HeathHerrera@HHFitness.com
512.348.7388
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