Which Trainers? Running, trail, gym….

We had an interesting little chat in Fitcamp the other morning and few of the gang were talking about changing their trainers. Various reasons and suggestions were put forward – I thought this info graphic would go somewhat to help the decision making process. 
For years now I have worn and recommended New Balance Minimus Vibram trail shoes. They are light weight, very flexible almost flat for a barefoot style and take the stresses of the multi directional training included in my sessions. 

I first swapped after attending a seminar on barefoot running – although I NEVER run – it was an interesting talk and very persuasive. The main takeaway was that high heels hurt your knees and back! What a surprise – we girls have known this for ever – but trainer makers never related that to sports shoe design.  

So here’s bit of history (science) to persuade you too. My occasional knee niggle is long gone, the impact work we do doesn’t present any problem even tho my shoes have very little traditional support. 


Next time you’re thinking of buying new training shoes, consider what you want to do, what you want to achieve. If you are with us and not planning on spending hours on useless cardio machines, intend on mixing your strength and cardio training into,super effective metabolic conditioning sessions you’ll need a flexible, supportive low profile shoe with good grip and adjustable fit. 

To squat you need a flat foot position, to keep your feet healthy you need to ‘feel’ the floor and you need to be able to wash and wear your trainers. These current designs all allow sweat to wick away and cooling mesh panels reduce heat. Many are treated to prevent bacteria too! Here are a few pictures of what I think you should look for


This is very similar to the shoe I use. I searched online for ‘Sports Shoes Direct’ they have good sales – especially once you know your size. These are NOT cheap shoes – but I wear them everyday and they last very well.  Old style shoes with thick soles break down inside – you think you’ve got a supportive shoe but the cushioning structures have crumbled tipping you even further forward than before.

Other makers to look at are Merrel and Sketchers. Sadly, I don’t really like shoes that I’ve seen from Nike and Adidas – they are still built on a wedge sole, even tho’ much lower than in the past, and usually have an unstructured upper that stretches and warps when under strain of multi-directional training. 

I’ve recently done two Active ageing and Functional ageing training courses, the take home from both was that we need to spend time barefoot or as close to it everyday. To keep muscles working and responsive but also to stimulate the feedback mechanisms in our feet – soles, toes and heels. The ‘use it or lose it’ rule applies to this aspect of fitness too.  

I believe you will move better as a result of more feedback from your feet, your muscles will absorb impact rather than your joints and you’ll have less hard skin and callouses too!  These shoes even come in width fittings – so no more bursting out the sides of your running shoes when you train laterally or blisters from your narrow feet moving inside a wide shoe. 

Remember as a species we’ve been moving for thousands of years, no-one needs to run for miles and miles to be healthy and fit. If running is your sport – that’s your choice. But to get the best fitness bang for your buck (time) you’ll be cutting down pure cardio, increasing resistance training and hopefully combining the two, so an adaptable shoe is essential. 

Let me know how you get on.

Jax 

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Cardio – a waste of fat burning time!


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.
In fact, research shows people eat at least 100 MORE calories than they burn off after performing cardio.
Now here’s the REAL scary part.
Did you know that chronic cardio and jogging could even damage your heart[4]?
Sounds crazy, but your heart is a muscle and when it’s overworked with old-school cardio it can do more harm than good.
Whether it’s toning classes, yoga , 5k races, Pilates, or “core training” – all these things are “healthy” for you, but they’ll never flatten your belly or release the hormones that keep you young and burn off stubborn fat.
It doesn’t matter how old you are, or what your current condition is, or what limitations you have – unless you learn to apply proper intensity on YOUR body, you’ll NEVER see your belly get flatter or slow the aging process.
We are not saying you should go all-out and risk injury, but learning to push yourself for short, hard bursts is by far the most efficient and effective way to force your body to release fat burning hormones.

Research refs – efficient exercise for Fatloss

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.

 . Cakir-Atabek, H., Demir, S., Pinarbassili, R., Bunduz, N. Effects of Different Resistance Training Intensity on Indices of Oxidative Stress. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. September 2010. 24(9), 2491-2498.
5. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1992 Jul;75(1):157-62. Effect of low and high intensity exercise on circulating growth hormone in men. authors: Felsing NE1, Brasel JA, Cooper DM.
6. R. Bahr and O.M. Sejersted, “Effect of Intensity on Excess Postexercise O2 Consumption,” Metabolism 40.8 (1991) : 836-841.
6. C. Bass, “Forget the Fat-Burn Zone: High Intensity Aerobics Amazingly Effective,” Clarence and Carol Bass, http://www.cbass.com, 1997.
6. J. Smith and L. McNaughton, “The Effects of Intensity of Exercise and Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption and Energy Expenditure in Moderately

Trained Men and Women,” Eur. J. Appl. Physiol. 67 (1993) : 420-425..
6. I. Tabata, et al., “Effects of Moderate-Intensity Endurance and High-Intensity Intermittent Training on Anaerobic Capacity and VO2max,” Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 28.10 (1996) : 1327-1330.
6. I. Tabata, et al., “Metabolic Profile of High-Intensity Intermittent Exercises,” Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 29.3 (1997) : 390-395.
6. 2011 study conducted by the American College of Sport Medicine. 

4/10 Top Reasons to Drop Cardio for HIIT

4/10 Improved Vo2 Max

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VO2 max is your body’s max capacity to transport and use oxygen during exercise. It is a great measure of physical fitness.
Generally speaking, the higher your VO2 max, the better your fitness level. A higher VO2 max also means that you can exercise at greater intensities for longer periods of time.
The good news is that doing HIIT will result in significant improvements in VO2 max [4]

This improvement can be achieved whether you are a beginner exerciser or an advanced athlete.

I have keen runners (not joggers) that were worried that if they swapped their daily miles for Smart HIIT with me their speed would drop off – they have found they are able to run less often – saving their joints – and still improve performance in terms of overall speed and distance but sprint finish in races.

They also find that they feel motivated and fresh when they do run! Result.

Like this post? Please follow the blog. Thanks. Jax

Reference Study [4]
J Strength Cond Res. 2012 Jan;26(1):138-45. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e318218dd77.
Effect of high-intensity interval training on cardiovascular function, VO2max, and muscular force.
Astorino TA, Allen RP, Roberson DW, Jurancich M.
Source
Department of Kinesiology, California State University, San Marcos, California, USA. astorino@csusm.edu
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of short-term high-intensity interval training (HIIT) on cardiovascular function, cardiorespiratory fitness, and muscular force. Active, young (age and body fat = 25.3 ± 4.5 years and 14.3 ± 6.4%) men and women (N = 20) of a similar age, physical activity, and maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) completed 6 sessions of HIIT consisting of repeated Wingate tests over a 2- to 3-week period. Subjects completed 4 Wingate tests on days 1 and 2, 5 on days 3 and 4, and 6 on days 5 and 6. A control group of 9 men and women (age and body fat = 22.8 ± 2.8 years and 15.2 ± 6.9%) completed all testing but did not perform HIIT. Changes in resting blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR), VO2max, body composition, oxygen (O2) pulse, peak, mean, and minimum power output, fatigue index, and voluntary force production of the knee flexors and extensors were examined pretraining and posttraining. Results showed significant (p < 0.05) improvements in VO2max, O2 pulse, and Wingate-derived power output with HIIT. The magnitude of improvement in VO2max was related to baseline VO2max (r = -0.44, p = 0.05) and fatigue index (r = 0.50, p 0.05) in resting BP, HR, or force production was revealed. Data show that HIIT significantly enhanced VO2max and O2 pulse and power output in active men and women.
PMID: 22201691 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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.

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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.

#4 Fitness Myth Fail – Swimming Sucks!

Well, here’s the next one…..
I hope you’ll see why I don’t accept this argument…..

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#4 Myth: Swimming is a Great Workout
Swimming is less effective at fat loss than other forms of cardio because the buoyancy of the water is supporting you while you move.
This isn’t to say swimming is a bad workout- it can still help with toning muscles and increasing your lung capacity- but if you’re trying to lose a couple pounds, you’d be better off going for a run or a bike ride.
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