Still Think You Can Run Off Your Fat?


Did you know that if you perform 30, 40, even 50 minutes of slow and steady cardio day after day that, over time, it can actually make you GAIN fat around your belly, your thighs, and your legs?

It may sound hard to believe, but studies are now proving people who perform long bouts of chronic cardio suffer from decreased thyroid function[1], release more of the stress hormone cortisol[2], and increase their appetite[3] – all at the same exact time.

1. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2003 Jan; 88(4-5):480-4.
2. Skoluda, N., Dettenborn, L., et al. Elevated Hair Cortisol Concentrations in Endurance Athletes. Psychoneuroendocrinology. September 2011.

3. Sonneville, K.R., et al. (2008) International Journal of Obesity. 32, S19-S27.

5/10 Top Reasons to Swap Cardio for Smart HIIT

5/10 Creation of New Mitochondria


Mitochondria are little cell powerhouses that produce energy (ATP). In simple terms, they take the fat and carbohydrates you either eat or store and convert them to usable energy. The more mitochondria you have, the more efficiently your body utilizes the calories you consume.

The number of mitochondria you have can be increased by creating a demand for more energy production. In fact, HIIT is a potent stimulus for the creation of new mitochondria

Developing more mitochondria will help you produce more energy in your muscle, allow you to train harder for longer and so burn more calories. A win win situation when you train smart!

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Thanks Jax

Reference [7]
You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
A practical model of low-volume high-intensity interval training induces mitochondrial biogenesis in human skeletal muscle: potential mechanisms

Jonathan P. Little1, Adeel Safdar1,2, Geoffrey P. Wilkin1, Mark A. Tarnopolsky2, Martin J. Gibala1
Article first published online: 12 MAR 2010

DOI: 10.1113/jphysiol.2009.181743

© 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 The Physiological Society
The Journal of Physiology
Volume 588, Issue 6, pages 1011–1022, March 2010

High-intensity interval training (HIT) induces skeletal muscle metabolic and performance adaptations that resemble traditional endurance training despite a low total exercise volume. Most HIT studies have employed ‘all out’, variable-load exercise interventions (e.g. repeated Wingate tests) that may not be safe, practical and/or well tolerated by certain individuals. Our purpose was to determine the performance, metabolic and molecular adaptations to a more practical model of low-volume HIT. Seven men (21 ± 0.4 years, ml kg−1 min−1) performed six training sessions over 2 weeks. Each session consisted of 8–12 × 60 s intervals at ∼100% of peak power output elicited during a ramp peak test (355 ± 10 W) separated by 75 s of recovery. Training increased exercise capacity, as assessed by significant improvements on both 50 kJ and 750 kJ cycling time trials (P < 0.05 for both). Skeletal muscle (vastus lateralis) biopsy samples obtained before and after training revealed increased maximal activity of citrate synthase (CS) and cytochrome c oxidase (COX) as well as total protein content of CS, COX subunits II and IV, and the mitochondrial transcription factor A (Tfam) (P < 0.05 for all). Nuclear abundance of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ co-activator 1α (PGC-1α) was ∼25% higher after training (P < 0.05), but total PGC-1α protein content remained unchanged. Total SIRT1 content, a proposed activator of PGC-1α and mitochondrial biogenesis, was increased by ∼56% following training (P < 0.05). Training also increased resting muscle glycogen and total GLUT4 protein content (both P < 0.05). This study demonstrates that a practical model of low volume HIT is a potent stimulus for increasing skeletal muscle mitochondrial capacity and improving exercise performance. The results also suggest that increases in SIRT1, nuclear PGC-1α, and Tfam may be involved in coordinating mitochondrial adaptations in response to HIT in human skeletal muscle.

Reference Study [8]
Brief intense interval exercise activates AMPK and p38 MAPK signaling and increases the expression of PGC-1α in human skeletal muscle
Martin J. Gibala1, Sean L. McGee2, Andrew P. Garnham3, Kirsten F. Howlett3, Rodney J. Snow3, and Mark Hargreaves2
+ Author Affiliations

1Department of Kinesiology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; 2Department of Physiology, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria; and 3School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Burwood, Victoria, Australia
Address for reprint requests and other correspondence: M. Gibala, Dept. of Kinesiology, McMaster Univ., 1280 Main St. West, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L8S 4K1 (e-mail:
Submitted 8 July 2008. Accepted in final form 20 December 2008.

From a cell signaling perspective, short-duration intense muscular work is typically associated with resistance training and linked to pathways that stimulate growth. However, brief repeated sessions of sprint or high-intensity interval exercise induce rapid phenotypic changes that resemble traditional endurance training. We tested the hypothesis that an acute session of intense intermittent cycle exercise would activate signaling cascades linked to mitochondrial biogenesis in human skeletal muscle. Biopsies (vastus lateralis) were obtained from six young men who performed four 30-s “all out” exercise bouts interspersed with 4 min of rest (<80 kJ total work). Phosphorylation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK; subunits α1 and α2) and the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) was higher (P ≤ 0.05) immediately after bout 4 vs. preexercise. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator-1α (PGC-1α) mRNA was increased approximately twofold above rest after 3 h of recovery (P ≤ 0.05); however, PGC-1α protein content was unchanged. In contrast, phosphorylation of protein kinase B/Akt (Thr308 and Ser473) tended to decrease, and downstream targets linked to hypertrophy (p70 ribosomal S6 kinase and 4E binding protein 1) were unchanged after exercise and recovery. We conclude that signaling through AMPK and p38 MAPK to PGC-1α may explain in part the metabolic remodeling induced by low-volume intense interval exercise, including mitochondrial biogenesis and an increased capacity for glucose and fatty acid oxidation.

Reference Study [9]
An acute bout of high-intensity interval training increases the nuclear abundance of PGC-1α and activates mitochondrial biogenesis in human skeletal muscle

Jonathan P. Little , Adeel Safdar , David Bishop , Mark A. Tarnopolsky , Martin J. Gibala
American Journal of Physiology – Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative PhysiologyPublished 1 June 2011Vol. 300no. R1303-R1310DOI: 10.1152/ajpregu.00538.2010)

How Many Calories Should You Eat for Your Sport?

SUNDAY, Oct. 20 (HealthDay News) — With the New York City Marathon just two weeks away, a sports diet expert advises runners that proper nutrition and hydration are crucial for anyone training for the Nov. 3 race.


Long-distance runners are at risk for low bone density, stress fractures and irregular periods, so it’s important for them to provide their bodies with enough energy to achieve peak performance and prevent injuries, said Brooke Schantz, a registered dietitian and board-certified specialist in sports dietetics at Loyola University Health System in Maywood, Ill.

She offers this simple way for runners to calculate their caloric needs:

Between 30 and 60 minutes of activity a day requires 16 to 18 calories per pound of body weight.
One to one and a half hours of activity a day requires 19 to 21 calories per pound.
One and a half to two hours of activity a day requires 22 to 24 calories per pound.
Two to three hours of activity a day requires 25 to 30 or more calories per pound.
It’s also a good idea to consult a registered dietitian for a tailored nutrition plan, Schantz said.

Some of her other suggestions:

Avoid high-fiber foods the night before and the morning of the race. Eating these types of foods — such as high-fiber cereals, grains, granola bars, fruits and vegetables — could result in intestinal distress and cramping on race day.

Monitor your sweat loss and weigh yourself before and after long runs. For every pound lost during a run, replace it with 16 ounces of water. Monitoring urine color is a good way to assess hydration levels. The clearer your urine, the more hydrated you are.

Consume 30 to 60 grams of carbohydrates every hour when exercising more than one hour. They can be consumed on the move in different forms, including gels, jelly beans, sports drinks, sports bars or a combination thereof.

Carbohydrate loading before a marathon can help improve performance. Some carbo-loading plans start six days before a race, but even beginning a high-carb diet the day before the race can help maintain a high-intensity run.

Protein also is important for increasing lean muscle mass and aiding in muscle repair. Endurance athletes require 1.2 to 1.4 grams for every 2.2 pounds per day.

Be sure to practice a nutrition and hydration schedule ahead of the marathon. Race day is not the time to try out new foods and beverages.

How to SMASH the Turkish Get Up….



How to Smash the Turkish Get Up….

We will be this training cycle… so do your home work !!  We’ll use the small (but deadly Olympic med Balls) or Power Bags… I will have some smaller hand weights ready too.. we all have to start somewhere, right?.  It’s important to go for good form/technique for this exercise.  NO rolling, NO swinging, NO bouncing. (Boys, I’m watching!)

Control and accuracy will do it for you.


We’ll break down the movement into 3 parts and then put them all together. This will challenge your core, shoulder, hips and knee mobility and stability.


Don’t panic week 1 is our chance to LEARN new moves and better technique!!

Broken into three steps, learning it becomes much easier.

Get Ready:

  • Start in the fetal position, weight held with two hands very near your chest.
  • While using your hands to push the weight up and your right arm is stretched out overhead, roll onto your backside.
  • Straighten your left leg in front and stretch out your left arm in a 45 degree angle from your abdomen.
  • Bend your right knee, resulting in your right heel being near your right glute.

Step 1-Bottom Component: Shifting from lying down with back against the floor to hips against the floor.

  • While keeping eyes on the weight that you are holding over your head, push through the heel of your right foot as you shift in a diagonal trajectory onto your left forearm and hip.
  • Next, shift onto your left hand with your shoulders back and down.

Tip: Does this segment seem too hard? If so, you likely are weak in your core.

Step 2-Middle Component:
Shifting from having your hip on the floor to a lunge stance.

  • Activate both of your shoulders and lift your hips as you sweep your left leg under you and do a sideways swipe with your left foot.
  • Straighten your trunk to square your body into a lunge stance, making sure that you keep your forward knee and ankle in alignment.

Tip: Does this segment seem too hard? If so, it is likely that you have instability in your shoulders and core, as well as have limited mobility in your hips.

Step 3-Top Component: Shifting from lunge stance to standing erect.

  • Push into the heel of your forward leg (right leg in this rep) and stand up so that your feet are side by side. As you do this, concentrate on reaching the weight that you are holding over your head.

Tip: Does this segment seem too hard? If so, you likely have weakness in your lower body and are unstable in your knees and hips.

The Turkish Get-Up in Reverse:

  • Take a step back with your left leg so that you end up in a reverse lunge, and drop your hips into the split-kneeling stance (your knee should just barely touch the floor). Carefully reverse the whole motion from the third to the first component until you end up in the beginning position.

This IS a complicated exercise, but if you take it step by step, it will seem simpler.


See you Monday morning – energized – recovery shake  / energy drink in hand.


Jax Allen

Thanks to Justin for technical definitions/descriptions xx