Situps and Steady pace Cardio – The route for minimum results!

It never amazes me when at the gym, how many times I see the 2 exercises above being performed. The “situp” and the “steady Treadmill run”.

Quite often, people will go from the treadmill to some situps and then home! To them, that is their workout done!
“The Situp”
Yesterday at the gym, I saw some overweight men, huffing and puffing on the treadmill, who then moved to the matted area and wrenched out a few variations of the situp. Each repetition looked strained and performance wise, would have been ineffective.
Let me state here and now, Situps WILL NOT REMOVE BELLY FAT …. period! If you’re doing situps in an attempt to lose that belly, then I’m afraid you’re fighting a losing battle. It takes 3,500kcals to rid just 1 pound of fat, how many calories do you honestly think some situps will burn?!
Agreed, to a degree, situps or crunches will be strengthening the muscles, but if there is a huge layer of fat overlaying them, it’s pretty pointless.
If you have say a stone or more to lose, and you’re hoping situps will rid that tummy, think again, no matter how many you do.
You will be better off performing BIG exercises, like the Squat, Pressups, Pullups, Deadlifts etc. Learn the correct form and each of these exercises will burn more calories, use more muscles, and work your core at the same time.
“The Treadmill”
Again, if the treadmill is your choice of exercise for Fat Loss, then you need to re-think your workouts.
Sure the occasional run is fine if you enjoy it, but if you are doing multiple runs a week to try and lose weight, there are so many better routes to take.
If you are just going to run for say 30mins, sure you will burn some calories, maybe around 400kcals, but that will be all, after you finish your heart rate returns, and you’ve burnt off 3-400 kcals…wow! A sandwich or latte later, and you’ve re-instated those calories.
However, if you were to perform say 15-20mins of interval training, combining a period of intense running, backed with a period of recovery (even walking) you will burn a greater number of calories, both during the workout, and for up to 36 hours later, because of your EPOC, or Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption.
When performing strenuous exercise, your body has to process oxygen throughout the body at a much higher rate, resulting in your metabolism being highly elevated, and your body working overtime to replenish energy stores, rid by-products which have been produced, and generally return the body back to a “recovered state.” This system requires calories to work, and therefore your body will be burning those additional calories for hours after your workout.
Throw in some full body resistance or bodyweight exercises after your intervals, and you have ‘ramped up’ your body and it’s metabolic state, big time! You will leave the gym knowing you’ve worked out!
Compare this to a laboured run on the treadmill, and 2 strained sets of 15 on the ab cradle or situps, and hopefully you can now see the benefit!
As I aways relay, exercise and results is about INTENSITY. Only with INTENSITY, and a clean diet, and commitment, will you get worthwhile results.

One Response

  1. Courtesy of Runners World try these:

    Get your heart rate up and see your speed on longer runs soar with this sprint session. As you get fitter, increase the speed settings to make sure you’re always sprinting at 8/10 effort.

    If you’ve only got time for a short workout, this short sharp session (10-15 minutes) does the trick.

    Warm up with an easy jog on an 0.25-1 per cent incline for 5-10 minutes, then set the machine at a really high speed (equivalent to 8/10 effort) and do 30-second sprints with 30-second jog recoveries, 10 times. Do the first five sets of sprints, and then jump off and stretch your legs before hopping back on for the last five.While sprinting, try to overtake the speed of the treadmill – really give it your all.

    This workout pushes your heart-rate capacity. You’ll be sending it very high in the sprints, so it needs to go accordingly low in the recoveries. If you feel like you have to walk during the recoveries, you’ve probably got the speed too high for the sprints. After 10 sprints, cool down with an easy jog for 2-3 minutes.

    Even if you live in the flattest fens this side of Norfolk, there’s no excuse to neglect hillwork. It’s great for building your thigh muscles as well as your endurance, and will have you tackling those ‘undulating’ races with ease.

    Warm up at a comfortable jog for 2-3 minutes.

    Now, up the treadmill’s incline by one per cent every 15 seconds. Keep running constantly as you do this, and push your effort up accordingly. Keep going, all the way up to the absolute maximum you can manage.
    This should last for about five minutes, or until you feel that you can’t stand it anymore.

    When you reach that point, bring the incline gradually back down in one per cent increments every 15 seconds, and your effort down with it.

    After scaling this virtual hill once, warm down with an easy jog for 2-3 minutes.

    Mike Gratton, the winner of the 1983 London Marathon, runs a fartlek session for a quick but effective workout on the treadmill. The changes in pace and gradient simulate the effort required to complete an undulating route, providing an excellent cardiovascular workout while increasing leg-muscle strength.

    Start running on a small incline for five minutes, gradually increasing the pace until you have warmed up. For the next 15 minutes regularly change the speed of the treadmill by varying amounts, both up and down, for one-minute bursts. Change the gradient too if you feel like it. Cool down with a three-minute jog

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