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REV up your muscles, and your metabolism, with high intensity interval training


ife is all about contrast and as individu- als, we are unique examples of opposi- tion. So is Fitness! You need the 'yin' and the 'yang': muscle fibers need to contract to build strength/power, yet

need to lengthen to enhance flexibility/balance. There is no one size fits all. Your metabolism is a marvel of contrast too.

Faster metabolism helps build a slower heart rate. Your metabolism burns calories for life energy: to breathe, use nutrients, build muscle, store fat, and provide for other regulatory sys- tems. Metabolism is based on an individual's age, activity level, and genetics. The more 'rev' you give muscles and the less fat you carry in/on your trunk, the higher your basal metabolic rate is. This is the rate at which you burn calories at rest. Opposition at its finest. Burning calories while resting is one of my favourite activities! Metabolism can slow with age. Speeding up

metabolism can be accomplished with weight training. Build more lean muscle to burn more body fat—even at rest.

Feed your muscle The body works best with regular meals: try

quartering your plate with 1/2 veggies, 1/4 lean proteins, 1/4 whole grains.

Include healthy

snacks (such as a handful of almonds, an apple, or trail mix) so that you are digesting and burn- ing every 2-3 hours. Denying sufficient calories only reduces

metabolic rate, making it harder to lose body fat. A lot of people confuse losing weight vs los- ing body fat. You may lose weight by dieting but you most definitely will lose hard earned muscle along with some fat. Why is this a problem? Muscle fuels metabolism so when your body is denied quality calories, it eats muscle, and you wind up with less of it. This is an issue because your body stores fat for insulation and survival, and metabolism is thrown off kilter. Your ability to burn is hindered and you gain more fat, due to less muscle! Remember: the lower your muscle mass, the

slower your metabolism! Measure inches lost around chest, middle, and hips as opposed to weight lost on a scale. Since muscle weighs more than fat, the standard scale can be misleading.

Some options to give

your metabolism a boost Rev muscle, including the heart muscle,

with awesome but challenging exercise options including the most recent buzz in cardio: inter- val training! One example is Tabata so named after its creator, 'Izumi Tabata'. A stationary bike works well when starting,

but you can use Tabata protocol with sprints, as well as exercises like burpees, squats, or jump rope. Make it even more interesting with hills, or by adding a weighted vest once you are profi- cient at it. Warm up 5 min. The Tabata method


is 20 sec maximum output intensity/10 sec rest, repeated 8x (total of 4 minutes) followed by 2 min cool down. Because of the extreme inten- sity of this short duration workout, you need to approach this slowly over time, to build your anaerobic capacity. Start with 2 intervals only. After 20 sec intense, go slowly for 10 sec and then repeat the cycle. Example: If on a bike, af- ter 2 intervals, decrease any tension, and pedal slowly for 2 min, and then stop for 1 min. Re- cord your heart rate after the 1 min stop. Al- though a true resting heart rate is one that you take in the morning still lying in bed, this num- ber will serve as your resting heart rate that you will compare to as you develop endurance. The number should decrease as you get stronger. Again the concept of contrast! Google Tabata to learn more. Check out Tabata classes at ORC Tuesday 12:45 pm, and Thursday at 7:45 pm! Always get medical clearance before starting any new program and research different protocols to find what works best for you. I sometimes start clients with a 15-30 sec

high intensity exercise followed by a 1-2 min re- covery phase and gradually move to a 1:1 ratio split between high and recovery phases. Inter- vals are effective but also very challenging so it may not be the way to train for you. The genetics component is what we were

dealt with at birth. Although we can't change our genes, we can work to our individual ad- vantages by looking at body types. Are you ec- tomorphic, mesomorphic or endomorphic? Knowing what frame you have, can help you determine what fitness regime works for you. As an ectomorph, (lean and long), strength train- ing helps me put on muscle, which is not easy for me. I love Pilates for the core, stretch and flexibility. Too much cardio for me depletes my muscle growth, whereas an endomorph (soft and round) needs that cardio to burn calories. Mesomorphs are the athletic lucky few that are fine doing everything in moderation. They build muscle easily and so a program with some strength training, cardio and stretch will ensure a great overall plan. My advice regarding metabolism is to rev

with variety. Change brings change so mix it up. Adding a contrast of strength and cardio train- ing, to stretch, flexibility and balance exercises will create metabolic change. And although we are all unique, when it comes to health, we are one united force of unbridled energy!

Be the Change!

Marika Pedersen, (A.C.E., canfitpro cert. F.S./P.T., Stott Pilates cert. I.M.P./ I.S.P.), has 27 adrenaline charged years in the fitness industry. She’s also a best selling children’s book author,

muralist, and fitness/wellness columnist. Marika bench-presses her laptop to combine her love for words and weights!

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