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Monday, February 25, 2013

Run Stronger, Faster, and Build Endurance With Complex Training

How about we talk today about a runner's way to develop power, strength & speed? If you are a runner, I'm sure you are nodding your head because who doesn't want to get faster! 

That is why you put in the countless miles, weekly speed work, hill work, and HOPEFULLY resistance training! That's an all inclusive package for a balanced running schedule! 

So how about a way to increase those 5K times, build explosive strength in the lower body, and even help improve your efficiency as a runner?

It's called Complex Training.

Now bear with me, I know I may have lost some of you when you heard the words, resistance training.  But Complex training will increase reactive strength and contractile capacity of each and every one of your muscle fibers! Your neuromuscular communication will be through the roof which will produce more force at a faster rate. Your muscles will be MUCH more efficient at using energy stored up to promote a stronger stride and a quicker muscle activation.

So Who Cares Right?

Well, this, in return, will give you that quick stride and short point of contact with the ground that you have ALWAYS been wanting. Another benefit is of course that with less impact, your chances of injury drop dramatically!

So What is complex training?
A complex training program involves continuously alternating between a strength-developing exercise and a power-developing plyometric exercise. The plyometric exercise should be bio-mechanically similar to the strength-developing exercises. For example, a body-weight jump squat would be paired with a barbell back squat.

This type of training will improve your plyometric ability much more than if you did the exercise alone!  It also has been proven that it develops more strength & power which will enable your body to better stabilize and control itself during intense training.  Not only has this method been proven to be effective at improving jump and sprint performance, but it is a great way to design a workout plan to improve conditioning and overall fitness.  

PLUS, it burns way more calories and fat than traditional lifting methods because of the repeated force exerted on reacting muscle fibers! 

When you complex train, your muscles have an increased neural drive, which can improve jumping and sprinting performance. This is also known as “post-activation potentiation,” or PAP for short.

Researchers have suggested that these mechanisms are involved in creating PAP:
  • Increased motor unit recruitment
  • Improved motor unit synchronization
  • Greater motor neuron excitability
  • Reduction in pre-synaptic inhibition
Use complex training to:
  • Improve your running economy by improving your body’s ability to use stored elastic energy
  • Boost your ability to attack hills and produce a strong kick at the end of a race
  • Increase the strength and power producing abilities of your muscles
  • Reduce injury risk from the repetitive strain of running by improving the strength of your muscles, tendons and ligaments
  • When performing the strength exercise, intend to accelerate the concentric (shortening of muscle) part of the movement as much as possible to recruit fast-twitch muscle fibers.
  • When performing the explosive exercise, remember the word explosive. Without sacrificing technique, explode when performing the concentric part of the exercise.
  • If you lift weights twice a week, perform Complex 1 at the beginning of 1 workout and Complex 2 at the beginning of the other workout.

1.) Goblet Squat With Squat Jumps

 Strength Exercise - The Goblet Squat:

 Hold a dumbbell lengthwise with the palms of your hands and your elbows pointing down. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with your toes pointing straight ahead. Push your hips back into the squat to keep the majority of your weight on your heels. Drop into the squat while pushing your hips back and down away from the dumbbell. Keep your chest up and back muscles strong to maintain your posture. At the bottom of the squat, you will be leaning forward slightly from your hips with the pointy part of your elbows touching the inside of your knees. Stand forcefully while spreading the floor with your feet and while driving your chin and chest up. Squeeze your glutes and stand tall to complete the rep.

 Plyometric Exercise - Jump Squats

With the same squatting technique described above, perform five continuous body weight jump squats. Swing your arms back at the bottom of the jump squat and swing them forward when jumping up into the air to help you jump higher. Land softly in an athletic position so you can immediately perform another jump.
 2.) Goblet Rear Leg Elevated Split Squats & Rear Leg Elevated Split Squat Jumps

Strength Exercise - Goblet Rear Leg Elevated Split Squats

Hold a dumbbell as described above and stand a lunge-length away from a stable bench. Place one foot on the bench and maintain your balance. Drive the rear knee down as you descend into the squat. Keep your chest up and out while bending the front knee to 90 degrees. Drive the front leg “through the floor” to stand yourself up. Squeeze your glutes and stand tall to complete the rep.

Plyometric Exercise - Rear Leg Elevated Split Squat Jumps

With the same set up as the strength exercise, perform 6-8 continuous body weight single leg jumps per leg. Again, use your arms to help you jump higher.

There You have it! Now you have a nice itinerary to go out and get stronger and faster! Just make sure of a few important tips when doing complex training:

  1. Perform plyometric exercises on forgiving surfaces, such as rubber flooring.
  2. When performing the explosive exercises, minimize the time on the floor between reps, land softly and produce as much force as possible to jump as high as you can.
  3. This type of training is neurally demanding and may leave your legs feeling dead for the next day’s run. Only perform for four-week blocks and remember to recover with rest, massage and proper nutrition. 
Until Next Time,


Mike Over
CPT / Strength & Conditioning Specialist

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Best Upper Body Strength Exercise! Tips to Get Better At It!

I hope everyone has had a wonderful weekend! I had a friend remind me of a post she made that she saw robins flying outside today, which really made me excited!

Could it be near!?

I am really eager to see spring arrive! Mainly for the nice weather, but I am hoping by spring I can be back jogging again and maybe doing some lower body resistance training! We'll see! I'll keep my figures crossed and hope for the best!

But until then, I'll continue to live my dream and follow God's plan for me! It's a plan I can honestly wake up everyday for my life doing, and LOVE every second of it because there is nothing better than seeing athletes and clients reach their goals from YOUR programming!

 .....Living the life of a Fitness Professional!

But until I lace up the running shoes, I will gladly keep improving in the world's best strength measuring exercise...


 Some call this the upper body squat.  It's THAT important! The pull up measures your strength to weight ratio better than almost any other exercise known to man.

 I also love them in a fat loss program because they're highly metabolic while also serving as a great incentive – as you get leaner, your pull-up performance will improve dramatically.

First A Little Ego Hindering Background:

Every so often I will see the so called "gym meat-head" head for the pull-up bar.  This is where it gets interesting. They either take 3 options:

1. They look directly into the mirror in front of the bar and make sure their hair is perfectly combed over so the girl on the stepper notices.

2. They hang from the bar in some ego boosting attempt to perform a stretch that most likely impinges their rotator cuff or improperly twists their lumbar spine.

3. They go for the pull up! Oh my, or can I even call it that!? How about a hang with a 3 inch upward thrust.

Now I am sorry if you are one of these people.  But you can easily fix that problem.  Trust me, you do not want to be the GUY who can't do a pull up! When the day comes where you are on a playground with your son and he is hanging from a bar beside you....I am 100% sure that you will want to show your daddy strength and pull yourself up! Not only that, they are just plain fun to do and there isn't a better strength building exercise for the upper body!

So here's my little gift to you....a few tips to get better with your pull ups!

1. Do NOT Go To Failure

So often I see this! Guys taking their pull ups until they get stuck 1/2 up the bar and can't pull any more.  Or maybe you finished the rep, but it didn't look like the previous one.  Well I am here to tell you that doing this WILL NOT build strength! If you are doing squats and are dying on rep 9 of 10 that you can barely get it up, will you go for rep 10? Of course not! Nobody wants a barbell crushing down on your hips and making you look like the gym dummy! Yet so many times I see the strangest ways to see people get that last rep, and unfortunately, all it will do it hurt your progress!

2. Lose Body Fat

I'm sorry but if you have a high body fat percentage, it will be difficult to do pull-ups, which is why it is such a good gauge of fitness for athletes. If you like being bulky then try lifts that require more leverage like deadlifts and squats.  Otherwise, trying to do pull-ups will be tough for you!

3. Start In The Proper Position

Starting in the "dead hang" position is incorrect! Your scapula is elevated and your shoulder are touching your ears.  This is improper and dangerous. When you do this all of the tension is placed on your tendons and ligaments instead of your muscles.

When you get on the bar you want to pull your shoulder blades down and lock your shoulders into their sockets.  This is a much safer position and puts the stress on the muscles, which is exactly where I want it :)

4. Maintain A Slight Elbow Bend

Just as above, this is very important! It will save your elbows! The bend is barely noticeable, but you still want it done regardless!

Do not start with your elbows completely locked. This, again, places all of the stress on the tendons and ligaments instead of on the muscles. On each successive rep you should lower yourself until your arms are nearly straight, stopping just shy of lockout.

This does not mean you can CHEAT! The elbows are 99% locked out! Just not straight!

5. Start With The Lats

As you begin your pull, fire with the lats, not the biceps. If your not sure where your lats are, have a spotter touch them before you begin! I have my hand on my clients back while they pull to show the proper motion I want them moving in as they progress up to the bar.

6. Pull Your Chin Over The Bar

Pulling your chin the last couple inches over the bar will get the smaller and weaker muscles in the mid back! These muscles will be the building blocks of your pull-up power! The exercise should target the lats mainly, but getting that chin up to the bar while maintaining good posture will build serious strength!

 Keep the core stable – the lumbopelvic hip complex (LPHC) will want to do all sorts of things to make the movement easier. Typically you'll see lumbar hyperextension and anterior pelvic tilt, perhaps as a counterbalance strategy to shift more of the load forward. Don't let this happen.

7. Use A Variety Of Grips

Try Forward, Reverse, Alternating, palms facing each other or away. You can also pull up on bars, rings, Fat Gripz, ropes, towels, suspension straps, beams, Eagle Loops, and even baseballs or softballs hanging from a chain.

The variations are endless. Use as many different chin ups as possible to avoid burnout or overuse injuries.

8. Use A Variety Of Rep Ranges

You need both strength & endurance to do multiple sets of pull-ups.

 Strength is built with low reps. You can do low reps with a weighted vest or dip belt or you can simply perform more difficult variations of pull ups.

Endurance is built with high reps. This is where the use of bands comes in handy.

Rep Range:

3-6: Maximal Strength
7-12: Hypertrophy
15-30: Endurance

9. Include DB And BB Rows In Your Workouts!

Incorporating rows will be a sure fire way to build back strength without struggling!

10. Strengthen Your Grip!

 The stronger your grip is the easier pull ups will feel. You can add in some more specific grip work at the gym like fat bar holds, hexagon dumbbell holds, as well as various pinching and crushing exercises.


Here is A Little Workout You Can Try If You Are Looking To Better Your Pull-Ups!

Warm-Up First

•    Do 10 assisted pull ups – You can do band pull ups, jump pull ups, step up pull ups. Just remember to do a slow hang every time you get your chest to the bar to work the negative or eccentric portion of the movement.
•    Do 10 DB rows per arm – Use as heavy dumb bell as you can. Start with your weak arm
•    Repeat this three times.
•    Finish with hanging leg raises. Do 10 leg raises, ensuring you rock at the hip instead of just bringing the knees to parallel, rest up to 30 seconds and repeat.

 Note: For those who can do anywhere from 5-15 reps –? & have a pull up bar accessible at home. whatever that number may be, cut it in half, and perform that many reps every hour or two.

There You have It! Now you have all the tools you need to get a little stronger with pull ups!

If you want even more tips and a better workout, you will have to sign up for Double Dare or Rush for our next 8 week session starting March 4th! Message me or visit for details!

Until next time,

“Wouldn't it be great to be gifted? In fact...It turns out that choices lead to habits. Habits become talents. Talents are labeled gifts. You're not born this way, you get this way.” – Seth Godin

Mike Over
CPT / Strength & Conditioning Specialist

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Leptin; The Forgotten Hormone

With spring around the corner, and many of you struggling with finding a diet that works, or an exercise routine you can stick to, I have decided to write a simple post about a hormone that plays a major part of getting that lean and muscular body you are after!

Besides, the body isn't some straight forward, linear and simple thing.  Its a complex machine that plays a role in EVERY single movement or action you do on a daily basis!

Back to leptin. This fat burning hormone was discovered by the Ingalls in the 1950s. Until its rediscovery in the 90s, no one understood how influential this hormone was to fat loss and weight management.

It's a hormone that is released primarily by fat cells (adipocytes) and works to regulate appetite, body fat mass, and basal metabolic rate.

Up until a few years ago, scientists believed fat cells were lazy and only served as a storage site for fat! Now we all now that fat cells are very active, ironically, because they regulate metabolism and act as messengers for hormones such as leptin! 

How Does It Work?

Leptin travels up to the brain where it acts on receptors in the hypothalamus to inhibit appetite.

More leptin in your brain = less food intake.

This is the best news of the day for those with raging appetites and love storming the fridge at midnight! The more leptin your body produces, the less likely you will be to have those "garbage disposal" days where you never seem to be full! (Kind of just like my mom with peanut M&Ms).

Leptin will tell your brain to stop and give you the feeling of fullness you never seem to have!

The amount of leptin your body currently has shows a direct correlation with the amount of fat on your body! Here are a few things that can affect the amount of leptin your body has.

Factors promoting leptin secretion

  • Excess energy stored as fat (obesity)
  • Overfeeding
  • Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Estrogens
  • Inflammatory cytokines, including tumor necrosis factor and Interleukin-6 (acute effect)

Factors inhibiting leptin secretion

  • Low energy states with decreased fat stores (leanness)
  • Fasting
  • Catecholamines and adrenergic agonists
  • Thyroid hormones
  • Androgens
  • Peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor-agonists
  • Inflammatory cytokines, including tumor necrosis factor (prolonged effect)
The Receptor:

 We already know that sprints are a great way to burn fat, but from a recent study, we now know it could be a way to increase leptin in the body!

A study done by Guerra et al. in 2011 looked at sprints as a leptin signaling mimetic.

They split two group of young(23) and relatively lean(15% Body Fat) athletes and had a fasting group and a glucose group. The glucose group ingested 75 grams of glucose one hour before the sprints.

 Both groups did one Wingate bike sprint for only 30 seconds.

If you're not familiar with this set up, in short, it's hop on a bike set to a high workload (10% of body weight used here) and pedal like a rabid grizzly bear is chasing you.

What They Found

 Subjects had a series of muscle biopsies done over the course of the study and researchers found that showed alterations in leptin signaling. The sprints were jacking up leptin that, in theory, should get the waddling Walmart shoppers to start dropping fat.

However, this was not seen in the group that ingested glucose before their sprint.

It appears insulin may interfere with the leptin signaling to some degree. To quote the researchers directly:

"Altogether, these results indicate that sprint exercise performed under fasting conditions elicits signaling events similar to those described in the rodent skeletal muscle after leptin injections, i.e. sprint exercise under fasting conditions acts as a leptin signaling mimetic in human muscle. However, ." (Guerra et al. 2011)

So it appears that fasted sprint training can pinch hit for leptin.

So try hopping on a spin bike first thing in the morning in a fasted state and perform spin intervals to boost your leptin! 


  • More leptin---less food intake
  • Some may have a leptin receptor issue where it's not responding to the amount of leptin floating around.
  •  The more overweight you are, the more prone you are to having broken leptin receptors.
  •  Doing just one sprint in a fasted state works to pinch hit for leptin, putting you on the road to leanness.
Remember, all it takes in one sprint in a fasted state! Interesting! Why not give it a shot!? It could be the missing ingredient to your fat loss!

Until Next Time,

 “When something happens, the only thing in your power is your attitude toward it; you can either accept it or resent it…It is not things that disturb us, but our interpretation of their significance.” – The Art of Living

Mike Over
CPT / Strength & Conditioning Specialist

Monday, February 18, 2013

Good Case of The Mondays! Positive Attitude!

What a great start to the week! Instead of the typical case of the Mondays, I was lucky enough to have numerous people touch my life in a great way! I was at the Chambersburg YMCA this morning at 5am, and was trying to fight through the case of the Mondays(or maybe the lack of sleep from previous weeks) when I had a good friend notice what I was doing and simply said to me...

"Man Mike, that is honestly incredible! How do you do that! You work so hard in here."

 Little did I know my usual workout caught his attention. BUT that is not what I noticed.  I immediately took his positive comment and made it into a mood enhancer for my workout. It honestly changed the whole whelm of things and put my Monday into perspective!I fed off his positive energy and it made my morning! Then a few minutes later another great friend noticed how much I was lifting and just made me laugh when telling me I'll have the girls chasing me all summer if I keep lifting that much weight! I also denied the comment with a laugh and turned to the biggest smile my face has given at 5am in my entire life!

My Point!?

Exactly what I love to preach! POSITIVE ATTITUDE! When you surround yourself with positive people, you will succeed! I encountered a devastating injury 8 months ago and still am not recovered but rely SO MUCH on being around those who will bring me closer to my goals in life! The minute I let any negativity in, my self-esteem drops and I instantly tend to hide back and watch the world around me. It took a few close friends of mine to realize the world will not wait for you to change! You have to go out and be the instigator!

If you want to succeed in life, choose carefully who who hang around! Make sure they have a positive influence on what your trying to pursue!

Do not let negativity bring you down! Some people try to make themselves feel better by bringing you down! Those are NOT the type of people you want to be around! I had many of them around me in high school and I made it a priority to find those who support my goals and ambitions in life! It is so important! The mind plays the biggest role in your life and having a positive attitude will make it so much easier!

So back to the ending of my Monday, I had a client in the afternoon who told my mom when she walked in the gym that I was a lifesaver and she loves me.  My response is simple.

I am not a lifesaver! You are your own lifesaver! With your own determination, commitment and positive attitude, you are here training with me to reach personal goals and I am only here to see that it happens! I want to be the trainer who not only inspires, but GETS INSPIRED. It was through your hard work, sweat, and commitment that you are seeing the results you want! I am only here to help and be a "positive attitude" that your life needs! Its all ANY ONE'S life needs!

So make me a promise and go out tomorrow and just MAKE SOMEONES DAY! Spread some positive encouragement or attitude to their life and you will notice how much better you feel for it! It starts with one person! Be that one that can make some one's day that much brighter with a simple compliment! It goes a long way.  Its gotten me through 8 months that I never thought I could handle!

Make a difference!

"The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark." - Michelangelo

Until Next Time!

Mike Over
CPT / Strength & Conditioning Specialist

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Aerobic or Anaerobic... Which is Better?

I hope everyone has had a great weekend! I certainly did! I had a few awesome sessions with clients and groups that just continue to inspire me on a daily basis! It is remarkable what the mind can push your body to do! 

I had a friend tell me on Saturday, "Mike, I have come to the conclusion I have a little voice in my head for your workouts and I named him Ron. Ron tries to tell me when I am done, for example, after 2 rounds of our circuit he tells me that's enough and to cool down and head home. Unfortunately, we all know you too well and that 2 rounds is far from done so I end up having to tell Ron to shut it and go away because I am NOT done."

Perfect example of how the mind works! You must continue to BELIEVE in yourself! In life, many events or situations come up where "that voice" will tell you to quit....but you MUST overcome it to reach your goals and strive for the very best! Just ask hometown running phenom Susan Grey, who is legally blind, yet strives to qualify for the Olympic marathon trials! I get the pleasure of swimming next to her on a weekly basis! Talk about inspiration! The biggest battle in life can be "Ron," and you must learn to overtake him and always accept nothing but the best for yourself! You are your own worst enemy, but you can be your own best supporter and rely on internal determination!

Now for today's big topic! 

Recent studies have OFFICIALLY proven that short burst of energy and incorporating fast twitch muscle fibers are the best type of workouts to promote fat loss! This type of training tapes into your anaerobic energy systems which gives you the best bang for your buck, so to speak!

Now, I am not here to harp on distance running! Because I enjoy it as well and train for triathlons, marathons, and other endurance events which REQUIRE you to train in the aerobic zone. There is a time and place for endurance training, and I know some pretty amazing distance runners who inspire me on a daily basis! 

BUT, this article is for those who ARE distance running and performing slow-steady state cardio in HOPES to get lean and lose fat. I am here to explain why you could be trying for years with no results!

There is lots of evidence that shows periods of high intensity, high volume exercise is the BEST for fat loss. So you do not have to spend hours and hours in the gym on cardio equipment to lose fat! A few quick 30-45 minutes sessions that are designed by me of course, will get you the results your after!

Lets take a little deeper and more technical look at this!

1: Burn More Belly Fat with Sprint Intervals

A large number of convincing studies show that high-intensity interval training is the best conditioning strategy for losing belly fat. In contrast, one research group that has conducted a number of experiments comparing aerobic and anaerobic training for belly fat loss write, “Disappointingly, aerobic exercise protocols have led to negligible fat loss.”

The reason this type of training works much better is because it requires the body to adapt metabolically! So you are constantly changing and incorporating movements that alter body composition.  This also elevates energy release for 24 hours post-workout, a term called EPOC, which I discussed in a recent blog post.  

For example, a 2008 showed that a 6-week program increased the amount of fat burned during exercise by 12 percent and decreased the oxidation of carbohydrates—obviously, a favorable result for losing fat.  More impressive, a 2007 study showed that in as little as 2 weeks, active women who performed interval training experienced a 36 percent increase in the use of fat for fuel during exercise. 

Interval training is so effective simply because it taps into different stores than aerobic training. Aerobic tend to burn carbohydrates first and activates parts of the body that are burning MUSCLE rather than FAT. Anaerobic training increases the production of fat burning enzymes and will burn far more fat cells!   

The other reason anaerobic intervals are superior for belly fat loss is that they increase excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) a huge amount. A 2006 review showed that protocols that are more anaerobic in nature produce higher EPOC values than steady-state aerobic training because the trained muscle cells must rest restore physiological factors in the cells, which translates to a lot of energy expenditure. 

2: Lose Belly Fat With Sprint Intervals: The Proof

The following are examples of the superiority of anaerobic interval training for belly fat loss from the research:
•    A 12-week high-intensity interval training program produced a 17 percent decrease in belly fat in overweight young men. Subjects lost 1.5 kg of belly fat and 2 kg of total fat, while building 1 kg of muscle. Fat burning was increased by 13 percent due to the 3-day a week program of 20-minutes of cycling in which the subjects sprinted for 8 seconds and then did 12 seconds of recovery, repeating these intervals for a total of 60 sprints.
•    The same 20-minute cycling interval program produced 2.5 kg of fat loss in young women in 15 weeks, and the majority of the fat loss come from the legs and abdominal area. The sprint intervals were compared to a steady-state aerobic program that produced no fat loss.
•    A 16-week study had trained athletes perform either a sprint interval protocol or steady-state running four days a week. The sprint interval protocol varied each day, but an example of one of the workouts used was 10 intervals of 30-sec sprints with 90 seconds rest. The sprint interval group lost 16 percent or 1 kg of visceral fat as well as 2 kg of total fat, compared to the endurance group that lost no belly fat, but did lose 1.4 kg of lean mass. The belly fat loss appears to be small, but be aware that subjects were lean, trained athletes to begin with and had less belly fat to lose than overweight subjects.
•    An 8-week interval program using both high- and moderate-intensity intervals decreased belly fat by 44 percent in middle-aged men with type 2 diabetes. Subjects increased quad muscle size by 24 percent and improved insulin sensitivity by 58 percent—a dramatic improvement that highlights the other mechanisms involved in belly fat loss (muscle building, insulin health & blood sugar management).

3: Sprints Take Less Time than Aerobic Exercise

Not only does high intensity training burn more fat, it also does it in SIGNIFICANTLY less time! Again recent studies have shown that high intense training for 20 minutes will burn more fat than aerobic training for 50! Shocker! So those of you on the treadmill for 2 hours hoping to burn fat will see me in and out of the gym in 40 minutes with twice the amount of fat burn and ALSO the benefit of building lean muscle!! Not to mention I will be at home reading that night on the couch still burning tremendous amounts of calories while your calories burnings topped as soon as you stepped off the treadmill or elliptical!   

In less than half the time you can get better results with anaerobic training. A 1994 study is indicative of this: Participants did either 20 weeks of aerobic training or 15 weeks of intervals (15 sprints for 30 seconds each) and lost nine times more body fat and 12 percent more visceral belly fat than the aerobic group.

What is so interesting about this study is that the energy cost of the aerobic program over the whole study period was 28,661 calories, whereas for intervals it was less than half, at 13,614 calories. In less time, the interval group lost much more weight—nine times more weight. How do researchers explain it?

Aside from greater fat oxidation and higher EPOC, hormone response plays a major role…

4: Sprints Improve Hormone Response for More Belly Fat Loss

Sprint intervals and anaerobic exercise in general improve your entire endocrine system. Both training modes enhance the cells’ sensitivity to insulin, making anaerobic training a successful treatment for diabetes.

Perhaps most important, anaerobic exercise also elevates growth hormone (GH) —a powerful fat burning hormone that helps restore tissue and build muscle—much more than aerobic training. GH is released by the body in greater quantities in response to physical stress above the lactate threshold, which is the reason heavy, sprints are so effective.

Another hormone called adiponectin that is released from fat tissue during exercise also helps burn fat. Emerging scientific evidence shows that any time you perform forceful muscle contractions, adiponectin is released, and then your body produces a substance called PGC1 that is like a “master switch” that enhances muscle and metabolic functions, thereby burning belly fat. Naturally, anaerobic training is most effective for increasing adiponectin and PGC1 to burn fat since sprints and especially weight lifting require extremely forceful muscle contractions.

5: Strength Train to Lose Belly Fat

You will get results from a resistance training program that includes the following components:

•    Multi-joint lifts such as squats, deadlifts, lunges, split squats, step-ups, chin-ups, and chest presses in every training session. Add isolation exercises only if you have extra time.
•    Train with a higher volume—work up to more than 4 sets per exercise. Shoot for 24 to 32 total sets per training session.
•    Train with a higher intensity—include some training in the 70 to 85 percent of the 1RM range.
•    Include short rest periods (30 to 60 seconds) and always train a “finisher” that requires near maximal effort for more GH response (25 reps of squats or 2 minutes of leg presses, for example).
•    Count tempo for every lift so that you apply a specific amount of tension to the muscles. In general, opt for longer (4 second) eccentric tempos and short or explosive concentric tempos.
•    Shoot for 3 to 4 hours of total training time per week, which includes resistance training and a few short sprint sessions.

6: Anaerobic Training Produces Less Cortisol For More Belly Fat Loss

Cortisol is the stress hormone that is elevated when you are under both physical and psychological stress. Research shows cortisol is chronically higher in endurance athletes—one study found that aerobic athletes had significantly higher evidence of cumulative cortisol secretion in their hair than controls.   

Strength training outweighs this hormone because of the GH hormone that is produced when resistance training so there is little effect! If the GH hormone or testosterone is not elevated, cortisol can be catabolic and eat away muscle tissue!!!  WORST of all, is that this hormone increase the inflammation response, which can lead to fat gain!

7: Anaerobic Training Is More Fun & Less Boring than Aerobic Exercise 

MOST IMPORTANTLY....I feel this type of training is much more fun than slow aerobic training.  You can be in, out, and on your way from a short 30 minute workout that produces twice the results and leave you feeling energized as compared to slow training!  

There you have it! Simple research has proven this type of training is BEST for fat loss! Now its your job to give me a call or visit my website to start your training that will deliver those results! 

By the way, my favorite High Intensity Exercises:

- Hill Sprints! Just ask a few of my training partners how I feel about them and Come watch me at Norlo Park when my knee is better! 

Until next time, 

Stay Strong,

"So much can be accomplished with a long term vision and resilience to short term setbacks. Not every problem is conquered overnight, but if you persist and never give in, you will succeed."

Mike Over
CPT / Strength & Conditioning Specialist

Irving, B., Davis, C., et al. Effect of Exercise Training Intensity on Abdominal Visceral Fat and Body Composition. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2008. 40(11), 1863-1872.

Boudou, P., Sobnngwi, E., et al. Absence of Exercise-Induced Variations in Adiponectin Levels Despite Decreased abdominal Adiposity and Improved Insulin sensitivity in Type 2 Diabetic Men. European Journal of Endocrinology. 2003. 149(5), 421-424.

Macpherson, R., Hazell, T., et al. Run Sprint Interval Training Improves Aerobic Performance but Not Maximal Cardiac Output. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2011. 43(1), 115-121.

Strasser, B., Arvandi, M., et al. Resistance training, Visceral Obesity and Inflammatory Response: A Review of the Evidence. Obesity Reviews. 2012. Published Ahead of Print.

Ismail, I., Keating, S., et al. A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of the Effect of Aerobic Vs. Resistance Exercise Training on Visceral Fat. Obesity Reviews. 2012. 13, 68-91.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Some Great Core Exercises(Sorry Having Issues With Blogger)

The core is the most important region of an athletes body.  Many crucial factors that revolve around the core are essential to the performance of anyone during training.

Increased core strength leads to increased balance, something especially important to those whose sport involves kicking such as soccer or football (for kickers and punters). For runners, a strong core helps keep the pelvis properly aligned and also improves one’s running economy.  Having a strong core also increases speed and explosive power!

So lets take a look at a few of my favorites!

L-Sit Pull-Ups

Hanging Leg Raise

Side Plank With Leg & Arm Lift

Decline Reverse Crunch

Using a decline bench, lie on your back with your head at the top of the bench, near where your feet usually go. Next, hold the top of the bench with both hands. Hold your legs straight out together in the air, parallel to the floor using your abs to hold them there. Slowly bring your pelvis up and in towards your chest, having

TRX Pikes

 Mountain Climbers

 Decline Weighted Russian Twists