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Low libido through endurance training

low libidoEndurance exercise increases endurance and improves health. A little extra endurance can go a long way in the bedroom as well. However too much of a good thing never helped anyone and this is true for endurance exercise as well. But does endurance exercise lower sexual libido? Researchers from the University of North Carolina were very interested and performed the following study.

The next evolution of interval training

Evolution of interval trainingScientists are never satisfied. It has been known for some time that high intensity interval training (HIIT for the experts) is more effective and efficient than regular endurance exercise to improve your endurance and lose weight. However, interval training is not a complete form of exercise, because it does not improve muscle strength. Scientist from the Saskatchewan Canada developed a more complete form of training and performed a study on it while they were at it. These were their results.

Is low intensity endurance training the best intensity for weight loss?

Fact or Fable?

Many people who want to lose weight often perform long cardiovascular workouts at a low intensity. Many cardio machines also provide guidelines wherein exercise on lower intensities is often named weight loss or fat burning zone. (Usually around 60-70% of Maximum Heart Rate). But is it the most effective training intensity for weight loss?

Monitoring Exercise Intensity

Exercise intensityMonitoring exercise intensity is one of the most important factors that determines if your workout is effective or not. Whether your goal is to lose weight or improve your endurance, you should keep track of your exercise intensity when you want results. For cardio training the most accurate way to measure exercise intensity is the oxygen uptake. However this requires expensive and often cumbersome equipment to be practical in everyday training. Fortunately there are three other ways that can be used effectively during your workout.

Interval training with coronary artery disease

(9-4-2013) People suffering from cardiovascular training with coronary artery diseasedisease benefit greatly from proper training. Especially cardiovascular exercise, which exercises the heart, leads to many positive effects regarding health and daily functioning. Despite the many advantages many heart patients have difficulty finding the time to exercise regularly. To find a solution for this excuse, scientists from the University of Ontario Canada performed a study regarding the effects of an interval training with coronary artery disease patients.

Interval training surface: sand or grass?

Outdoor training is increasingInterval training surfacein popularity and interval training, one of the most effective and efficient methods to increase endurance, is very suitable to try outside the gym. Outdoor training can be performed on different surfaces. To find out to what extent interval training surface influences training effects, scientists from Australia started the following study.

Tabata training using kettlebell swings vs strength training

(08-17-2014) Interval training is increasing in Kettlebell swingpopularity because it is an effective method to lose weight, lose fat and improve endurance. There are several different methods, but the best known is probably the method of researcher Izumi Tabata. His world famous study investigated the effects of his Tabata interval protocol and had major implications for the world of fitness because of the great results achieved in a relatively short amount of time. Tabata interval training is not only applicable to running and cycling, but to almost any intensive training form. Because kettlebell training is becoming increasingly popular, scientists  from the United States compared a traditional strength protocol with a Tabata interval training using the kettlebell swing.

Interval training vs endurance training for weight loss

(7-25-2014) High intensity interval training,Interval training vs endurance training also known as HIIT is increasing in popularity because of its’ effectiveness in increasing endurance. It has also been consistantly shown that it is more effective in helping weight loss and stimulating fat metabolism than endurance training at one steady state intensity. Most interval training protocols used in those studies were quite high in intensity, but did take a fair amount of time to complete. To see if a shorter high intensity interval training can be effective as well, scientists of the Universities of West and Central Florida performed the following study which investigates which is better: interval training vs endurance training.

Effects of interval training on endurance and heart mass

(12-19-2013) Interval training is Spinningincreasingly done to improve endurance or lose weight effectively. Research has shown that it is more effective in those areas than regular endurance training at moderate intensity. There are however different forms of interval training. Researchers from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and the Universities of Tsukuba and Kyoto have performed a study in which the effects of interval training using two different protocols are compared to endurance training at a moderate intensity.

Tabata training

What is Tabata Training?

Tabata training is a form of high intensity interval training first investigated by the Japanese scientist Professor Izumi Tabata. The first few studies were primarily aimed at enhancing sport performance in athletes using short interval training sessions on a stationary bicycle. Every training consisted of eight 20 second sprints on a stationary bicycle at very high intensity alternated with resting periods of 10 seconds. After the training period endurance (maximal oxygen uptake) increased to a larger extend in the Tabata interval training group, despite the workouts being much shorter, compared with a group that performed regular modrate intensity endurance training for 60 minutes each training.1 Ever since that study, the Tabata interval training protocol has become very popular and is increasingly used to help (professional) athletes get fitter and help people lose weight.

Training for martial arts

To optimize performance and prepare for competitionstraining for martial arts, many athletes employ a combination of resistance and cardiovascular exercise. Martial arts athletes who want to improve their performance face different challenges than most other athletes. Weightlifters can focus on developing only strength for one lift and endurance athletes on increasing his oxygen uptake. People who are training for martial arts do not have this luxury of specialisation. For optimal performance, their muscles must be strong and fast yet also have good endurance and allow for flexibility. Additionally, the body of a martial arts athletes must also be able to withstand impact forces delivered by rival athletes. And while the barbell of a weight lifter will always act the same and runners generally run on the same surfaces, allowing once again specialised technique for their sports. A martial arts athlete has to decide which technique to use and when. Moreover, rival martial arts athletes also add to the variety since no opponent is the same and can be defeated in the same manner. It is clear that great training challenges awaits those who choose the road of a martial arts athlete and hope to perform. This article aims to clarify the training demands and highlight the important aspects of training for martial arts.

Determining your maximum heart rate

Determining maximum heart rateA very important part of cardiovascular training to consider is the training intensity. The training intensity is one of, if not the most important fator in achieving results with cardiovascular training. Several ways to determine the training intensity are available, which are discussed in this article. Exercise intensity can be expressed in various ways, but the most accurate method that is practical as well is to express it as a percentage of maximum heart rate.

When expressing the intensity in percentage of maximum heart rate, it is necessary to determine maximum heart rate (MaxHF). An easy method to determine MaxHF is the following formula: MaxHF = 220 – age. For example, someone who is 40 years old would have a MaxHF of 220 – 40 = 180 beats per minute (BPM). However this formula is based on an average, and as is often the case in populations there is a certain deviation from the average, which in this example is 12-17 BPM. In other words, if we translate it to the example of 40 year old people, 68% of 40 year old has a maximum heart rate between 168-192BPM and 95% will be between 156-204BPM. As one can see, the spread is quite large, which makes the formula above not the base training intensity on.

The best method to determine MaxHF is to determine it during exercise. This requires a reliable heart rate monitor, and intensity during the test is increased progressively until a plateau in heart rate is reached. This test is very exhausting and should only be performed by healthy people or people who have permission from their doctor.

When the training goal and MaxHF are determined, the training heart rate can be determined. This is done by multiplying the required training intensity with the MaxHF. For example, when someone wants to train at an intensity of 75-85% of HFMax and HFmax is 180, the heart rate range to train at is: 135-153BPM (180 x 75% = 135 and 180 x 85% = 153)

References:

-Baechle, T.R., Earle, R.W., Aerobic Endurance Exercise. In:Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning. Third Edition. Human Kinetics 2008.

-Wilmore, J.H., Costill, D.L., Kenney, W.L. Cardiorespiratory responses to Acute Exercise. In: Physiology of Sport and Exercise. Fourth edition. Human Kinetics 2008.

What is Spinning and what is it good for?

What is Spinning and what is it good for?Spinning

Spinning has always been one of the most popular fitness classes. A Spinning class involves cycling at different resistance levels and speeds while sitting or standing on the pedals on a stationary bicycle. The Spinning instructor is usually res
ponsible for designing the class, choosing the music and can suit it to the needs of special populations such as older people or people suffering from medical conditions. On average, a Spinning class takes between 30 and 60 minutes.

Advantages and disadvantages

Spinning can be seen as a form of interval training which depends on both aerobic and anaerobic energy systems. This makes it very effective in increasing the maximum oxygen uptake and therefore endurance. In addition it is very useful for losing weight and burning fat.

For who?

Spinning can be done by people of all ages and fitness levels. Participants can adjust the resistance level of the bike themselves and adjust it to their own fitness level. The fitness instructor can adjust the intensity of the class to suit specific needs of beginners, elderly or athletes. People suffering from knee problems need to be carefull though because of the high loads placed upon the knees during Spinning.

Advice

Improving Endurance: To improve endurance it is recommended to perform a Spinning class two to four times a week. Beginners are advised to start with two classes a week and add one or two each week as they get fitter. Fitter individuals can start with three classes a week or more.

Lose Weight: To lose weight and burn a significant amount of fat it is recommended to perform a Spinning class two to three times a week. Although an additional class a week can help to lose weight more quickly, it usually is more effective to perform a form of strength or resistance training instead.

See also:

-Cardio Training for Weight Loss

Is cardio training the best way to lose weight?

Many people who want to lose weight at some point runningtry cardio training in one form or another to achieve that goal. But is cardio training the best way to lose weight or should they look elsewhere to lose fat?

It is true that cardio training can help lose weight. It burns a lot of calories and improves the body’s ability to burn fat, which aids weight loss. However the main drawback of losing weight by cardio training is the same as with an energy restricted diet. It does not prevent the loss of muscle mass associated with a caloric deficit, or in other words, when you eat less calories than you use each day. The loss of muscle mass decreases resting metabolism, which makes it harder to lose more weight and more importantly, makes it harder to keep the lost weight off and prevent the yo-yo effect.

In addition, when too much cardio training at moderate intensity or higher is done, stress hormone levels such as cortisol start to increase beyond normal values, which not only breaks down muscle tissue but is not beneficial for health in general. Performing too much cardio training at moderate intensities is not too hard to reach. From six hours each week and more, cortisol levels start to increase and muscle damage from training is impaired.

Cardio training in the form of high intensity interval training can be very effective in helping to lose weight. Loss in muscle tissue tends to be less and therefore there’s less risk of regaining the lost weight. However, when combined with a healthy diet and strength training, the effects on weight loss and health are more profound. This combination helps to maintain muscle mass and resting metabolism, improve health and lose fat at the same time. In addition the body will look more athletic and fit after weight loss instead of just thin.

In conclusion, although cardio training can help you lose weight, it is much more effective and healthier to combine it with a healthy diet and strength training to achieve permanent weight loss and a healthy look.

See also:

-Strength training for weight loss

-Cardio training for weight loss

Cardio training for weight loss

Cardio training has classically been the training cardio training for weight lossform most used to achieve weight loss and improvements in body composition. And not without reason. Cardio training can be done in many different ways and is a very effective component of training for weight loss. Here are the reasons why cardio training for weight loss is a good idea:

Cardio training burns a lot of calories

The most well known reason why many people perform cardio training is because it allows burning a lot of calories in a relatively short amount of time. Your energy consumption can easily increase five fold and for up to ten fold when the duration of training is not too long. And a higher metabolism means more burned calories and more weight lost.

Cardio training increases metabolism

Due to the prolonged stress on the body, after training the body needs to recover and adapt. This process requires a lot of energy, which can increase energy requirements above base resting metabolism. A phenomenon also known as excess post exercise oxygen consumption or EPOC This means that more calories are burned when the body is at rest, which makes it easier to lose weight. This advantage is especially pronounced after high intensity interval training.

Cardio training increases fat metabolism capacity

One of the more important adaptations to cardio training is that the aerobic system will improve its efficiency. Since this is the system responsible for our fat metabolism, this is one of the most important benefits of cardio training. This means the body is better able to provide energy for lower intensity activities in daily live by burning fat. When the aerobic system is not as efficient, the body will have to burn carbohydrates instead, making weight loss much harder.

Training tips

Cardio training is a very important part of your training when striving for weight loss. To maximize its effectiveness keep the following in mind:

-Perform cardio training on a machine of your choice. Examples are treadmill, stationary bicycle, cross trainer, stair master or rowing machine.

-For maximum training adaptation train at high intensities. This means well above the intensity when talking during exercise gets difficult.

-Perform interval training rather than continuous cardio training at one intensity.

-Interval training should be done for at least 10 minutes and up to 30 minutes. If you can go on after that, you should have trained at a higher intensity.

See also:

-Strength training for weight loss

-Fact or Fable: Fat matabolism starts after 20 minutes of exercise

 

Weight loss: what works and what doesn’t?

Every year, losing weight is the number one New Year’s resolutionWeight loss. And just before the summer, a lot of people try and lose weight or get in shape to look their best at the beach. A lot of different methods are used to achieve this. From diets, training regimens, fat burners, sauna belts and power plates. To help people lose the pounds, we present a list with the most effective and ineffective or even unhealthy methods to lose weight and fat.

The things that work:

  1. Healthy Nutrition

Many people think that they eat healthy, only a few really do. The body needs the right amount of nutrients to function properly and sufficient calories of course. The fact remains that, in order to lose weight, you have to burn more calories than you take in, but it is more important to get the right amount of vitamins, minerals and proteins. This makes sure your body functions optimally and can therefore burn more fat. In addition you tend to lose less to no muscle mass while eating a healthy amount of protein.

  1. A combination of resistance and cardiotraining.

Wheight loss occurs when more energy is used up than taken in. Training increases the amount of calories used, but we also optimise energy systems in our body, and therefore the capacity to burn fat. This last effect even helps us lose weight, while not working out. Additionally, resistance training makes sure no muscle mass is lost during weight loss, therefore preventing the well known yoyo effect.

  1. Exercising regularly and often

Aside from training, regular physical activity such as walking or riding a bicycle, is very important. This will activate the body, increase the amount of calories used and therefore help in losing weight. It will help the body in recovering from a training and reduce stress hormone levels as an added bonus.

  1. Rest and sleep

Although everyone focusses on nutrition and training while losing weight. Resting and especially enough sleep are very important for health and weight loss. When you don’t sleep enough, the body can’t recuperate enough, stress hormone levels will rise and you will lose muscle tissue sooner.

What doesn’t work or is bad for your health?

  1. Diets

Diets are at best a temporary solution to lose weight. When you stop with the diet and eat what you are used to eating, the lost weight comes back often accompanied by a few extra pounds. The worst diets make you lose muscle mass as well, increasing the chances of the yoyo effect.

  1. Long cardio workouts

Although it is not difficult to lose weight by performing a lot of cardio training and endurance improves as well, too much cardio training can increase muscle breakdown. One of the primary reasons is that stress hormones keep building up. A combination with some form of diet often increases this effect. Furthermore cardio training hinders recovery from training for as long as the training takes. It is better to perform high intensity cardio training for shorter periods. This is more effective and the time you save can be spent on recovery.

  1. Fat burners

There are some fat burning substances that are proven to be effective and safe. However the effects are generally small, and could be used in combination with healthy nutrition and training. Green tea extract is a good and safe example. The fat burners that are effective on their own, are potentially dangerous and illegal in most countries. Among these is Ephedra.

  1. Sauna belt

There are several weight loss programs which incorporate a heated belt tied around the waist during training. The heat from the belt, softens up the fat so the body can burn it more easily, or so they claim. No research can back these claims up however. The body determines the location of fat loss, not your clothing. At best the heat from the belt decreases the amount of water around that location for a short time. When someone loses weight using this method, it can be attributed to the training performed while wearing the belt, not the belt itself.

  1. Power Plates

A lot of research has been performed investigating the effects of the power plate in rehabilitation and weight loss. For weight loss, it is just as effective as the sauna belt. It does not add anything. In other words, how much weight and fat you lose depends on how you train with it. On the other hand, if you enjoy training on it, it can’t harm either.

Conclusion:

Unfortunately there are no miracle cures. When you want to lose weight you have to work for it. The most effective method is to perform both resistance and cardiovascular exercise, and combine this with healthy nutrition. In addition make sure you walk or cycle regularly an sleep sufficiently.

Cardiotraining: Are you training hard enough?

Cardiotraining training is an essential part of a healthy and effective training program and can be used to achieve multiple goals. When performed correctly it strengthens the heart, increases quality of blood vessels and lungs. Therefore it is very useful for people suffering cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus (especially type 2) and COPD, but it is most often used to increase endurance or to lose weight.

The important question is however, how do I know if my cardiovascular workout is performed at the right intensity? An often heard and persistent fairy tale is that for losing fat, low intensity training is the most effective. This is not right however, and many studies show that higher intensity workouts result in larger amounts of fat loss and larger increases in endurance and oxygen uptake.

To determine the right intensity, it is possible to use a heart rate monitor and calculate the right heart frequency, but this requires a good quality heart rate monitor. Another simple way is to check if talking during training is still possible. When someone can continue conversation, the body apparently has enough oxygen to allow disruption of air flow for talking and no real training occurs. When only a few words can be spoken at a time during training, while breathing heavily, training is far more effective. The reason for this is that the body needs almost all oxygen to go to the muscles to maintain exercise.

When no more air is available to speak, the aerobic system is completely active and the anaerobic system has to deliver the energy that the aerobic system is not able to generate. As the body strives for balance and anaerobic metabolism disrupts this balance by for example an decrease in pH, it will improve aerobic function so it is better able to meet training demands. This will increase the intensity at which someone gets trouble speaking and it will stimulate resting metabolic rate and fat metabolism, making weight loss easier. When one is not able to speak during training, training intensity is high enough to receive the benefits of cardiovascular training, which do not occur at lower intensity.

 

Resting Metabolism

The human body’s metabolism provides the necessary energy for exercise and movement. In addition the body needs energy in rest as well, which is known as resting metabolism. The reason for this is that the body is constantly at work to maintain a balanced state in its internal environment. A proces also known as homeostasis.

Properties such as body temperature, pH, lactate concentration or blood glucose must be closely regulated for the body to function properly. When these are not maintained within normal parameters, the body will not function well or it may even be fatal. These processes all need to be constantly provided with energy even when the body is at rest, which is known as the resting metabolism. The energy in the form of ATP is generated from nutrients containing fat carbohydrates and protein using the anaerobic and aerobic systems.

In an average human, the resting metabolism is responsible for up to 75% of total daily energy expenditure, whereas physical activity and training are responsible for the other 25%. When training at high intensity, the body needs to work harder to return to a balanced state, which can increase resting metabolism beyond normal values. Resting metabolism can be increased as well by increasing muscle mass, since muscles need a constant supply of energy as well. Many training programs aimed at weight loss therefore are designed to increase resting metabolism either by high intensity cardio training or strength training aimed at hypertrophy or both.

Interval Training

Interval training is a form of cardiovascular workout which is characterized by periods of higher intensity exercise followed by periods of lower intensity for recovery. In contrast, regular cardiovascular workouts consist of maintaining only one intensity of exercise for a prolonged period. Research has shown that interval training has considerable advantages over conventional cardiovascular training.

EPOC

EPOC or Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption is the amount of oxygen a body takes in above the normal oxygen needs following exercise. It is often seen as an oxygen debt, built up during intense exercise which could not be sustained by the aerobic system alone. However there are other mechanisms that increase EPOC as well.