Important News For People Who Hate A Long And Boring “Cardio” Workout

Interval Training, Study 9 Comments »

All of my Reno bootcamp clients know that I’m constantly on the lookout for new research that can make my Unstoppable Fitness Formula even MORE effective.

nutrition and fat loss seminar in carson city

For example, I noticed that a certain type of workout was getting clients better weight loss results in less time.  When I went looking for the reason why, I found out research has proven that training in a certain way can elevate your metabolism for 39 hours AFTER your workout.

And that’s only one tiny piece of what I do to get your body changing.  For instance, adding interval training greatly improves your results, as does the correct exercise choices and set/rep scheme.

Well… I was looking through some newly published studies (in preparation for my next seminar) and I found this…

McKay et al.
Effect of short-term high-intensity interval training vs. continuous training on O2 uptake kinetics, muscle deoxygenation, and exercise performance.J Appl Physiol. 2009 Jul;107(1):128-38. Epub 2009 May 14.

This study used 8 sessions of 8-12 intervals. The intervals were one minute hard, then one minute easy, repeat.

The “cardio” group did 8 sessions of 90-120 minutes steady-state exercise (like going on a treadmill or elliptical at an even pace)

bored girl on treadmill

To compare times: The interval group exercised 80 minutes over the 19 day study. The steady-state group exercised for 825 minutes.

As it turns out, the subjects had the SAME adaptations despite the interval group exercising for only a tenth of the time as the steady-state group.

If you know what you’re doing you can cut down your workout time by 90%!



This proves the importance of following the right training program!

In my seminars I share studies that show:

  • How one type of interval training burns 900% MORE abdominal fat than regular training…
  • How ONE simple change in your eating makes the difference between losing thirteen pounds of fat or thirteen pounds of toned muscle…
  • How endurance training makes NO change in your resting metabolism (where you burn most of your calories)
  • That the addition of 45 minutes of hard aerobic training, 5 times a week for twelve weeks – has NO effect on fat loss!

Those are just a few of the things that my research and experience has shown me.

Deirdre Back Both

If you train with me, you’re great!  You’re following a proven, research-backed system that delivers incomparable results.

If you’re training in your own, don’t just “wing it”.  Do some research in publications that don’t have glossy covers and find out what REALLY works.

Here’s one of my favorite free research tools:

All right, I’m going to get back to geeking out over some new studies, talk to you soon!

Top 5 Weight Loss Strategies For You

Exercise, Interval Training, Strategies, Weight Loss No Comments »

By Brad Pilon, MS

Losing weight sounds simple but it can get confusing if you don’t know where to start. This is the top 5 most important things you can do to lose weight and keep it off.

Eat Less – This one sounds obvious but it can’t be stressed enough. The only way to lose weight is burn more calories than you consume. One easy way of doing this is eating less. As a matter of fact the only way any of the popular diets cause weight loss is because you end up eating less while you follow them. It doesn’t matter if the diet is low carb, high protein or low fat. As long as you are eating less calories than your basal requirement you will lose weight. The easiest and most effective calorie reducing system I have come across is detailed in my book Eat Stop Eat


Do High Intensity Exercise – High intensity whole body circuit training will ensure that you are burning lots of calories and working all the muscles in your body. This works better than traditional ‘cardio’ workouts for 2 reasons. First high intensity circuits burn more calories than ‘cardio’ can. Two, they build and tone muscle which keeps your metabolism up.

Get A Weight Loss Team – Social Support is the most important factor to realizing your weight loss goals. Get as many of your close friends and family on your side as possible. The more people that are pulling for your success the better. Make sure you always have at least two or three people to call that will help keep you on track when you feel like skipping a workout or cheating on your nutrition plan.

Eat more Fruits And Vegetables – This seems a bit simple but its one of the most effective things you can do to lose weight. Fruits and veggies take up lots of space in your stomach and fill you up without adding too many calories. They will also take the place of some high sugar and high trans fat foods you may have eaten instead.

Set Short Term Goals – Short term goal setting is often overlooked and is a powerful tool to realizing your eventual long term weight loss goal. Set multiple and attainable short term goals, and the shorter the better. At the start set goals for each day, morning evening and night. Set short term goals for finishing each one of your workouts, as well as for eating your fruits and vegetables. Set them each day, and mark it down each time you achieve one. As you build up your list of goals you have accomplished you will build up confidence and momentum towards your overall long term weight loss goal. Keep the list somewhere safe and keep marking down each goal as you achieve it. After a few weeks you should have a nice looking list of accomplishments to be proud of. Remember, every little bit counts.

Put these 5 strategies into effect and you will be well on your way to achieving your weight loss goals in record time.

Brad Pilon is a nutrition professional with over eight years experience working in the nutritional supplement industry specializing in clinical research management and new product development. Brad has completed graduate studies in nutritional sciences specializing in the use of short term fasting for weight loss.

His trademarked book Eat Stop Eat has been featured on national television and helped thousands of men and women around the world lose fat without sacrificing the foods they love. For more information on Eat Stop Eat, visit

Carson City Personal Training: What To Do During “Rest Periods”

Exercise, Interval Training, Weight Loss 1 Comment »

Interval training is a phenomenal weapon in your fat loss arsenal. But there is one big mistake I see a lot of people making…

Interval training workouts should go something like this:

HARD, rest, HARD, rest, HARD, rest, HARD, rest, HARD, rest, and so on

But most people are doing this:

Hard, kinda hard, hard, kinda hard, hard, kinda hard…

Which will lower the quality of your intervals and turn your workout into this:

Medium, medium, medium, medium, medium, medium…

So by not taking it easy during prescribed rest periods, you are actually turning your interval training workout into a standard cardio workout. No bueno.

The key to getting results from your interval training is to do MORE during the work part and LESS during the rest periods.

For running intervals outside, just walk slowly to keep your blood moving.  Intervals on the treadmill, hop off and walk in a circle.

Spin bike sprints, turn the resistance almost off and pedal very slowly.  Sit up tall so you can fill your lungs with air before hunching over on your next sprint.

And with bodyweight, kettlebell, or dumbbell intervals, there are two things I recommend:

a) Walk in a circle (if it feels like you’re wasting time, you need to push harder during the intervals… then you’ll be glad of the rest!)

b) Do some sort of EASY rehab/prehab exercise

If you choose to do the rehab exercise, make sure it is super easy for you, otherwise you’ll lose the benefits of resting and it won’t be interval training any more.

Light band pull aparts are one of my favorites:

Neck circles, ankle circles, and wrist stretches are all fine options if they won’t interfere with your next exercise.

But if you’re ever in any doubt of what to do during your interval training rest periods, just walk :)

So, how to succeed with intervals: Word HARDER on the hard stuff, and go EASIER on the easy stuff!

For a complete Carson City Personal Training interval plan, check out this link:

Interval Training For Extreme Fat Loss

Here is a study that showed intervals are better than long duration training for improving anaerobic endurance:

Endurance vs Intervals, Effect On Anaerobic Endurance

And finally, a study that showed 90 minutes of interval training provided the same fat loss benefits as 270 minutes of aerobic training:

Metabolic Adaptations In Low Volume Sprints vs High Volume Endurance


5 Reasons To Run A 5k

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Have you ever considered running a 5K? The benefits may surprise you.

A 5K race is 3.1 miles, the perfect distance for beginning runners. It’s a realistic, attainable goal that’s fun and satisfying to achieve.

family running 5k together

Here are 5 rewards you will reap:

1) Tone Your Legs:

Runners have awesome legs. Muscular, toned and tan. Training for a 5K will get you on pace for your own set of lean limbs.

Calves: Not the easiest muscle to tone in the gym, but these lanky muscles are quickly toned by running. A proper runner’s stride has your foot landing in a rolling motion, heel to toe. As you push off with your toe, feel a firm contraction in your calves. Push your calves to the limit by running in sand or gravel. No Thumping! You know your stride is stiff when you hear a thumping sound with each step. When you lightly roll your foot from heel to toe, you take pressure off of your lower back. Remember, thumping feet lead to a sore back.

Glutes: Running is a great way to firm up your glutes. To really raise your glutes take your training to the hills or do bleacher runs.

Thighs: Who doesn’t want slimmer thighs? Running does wonders for shaping and slimming your thighs, right where it counts.

2) Support A Cause

By participating in a 5K you get in shape while supporting a cause. Most 5K races are put on by charities or non-profit organizations. Many times you have the opportunity to raise funds and community awareness through your involvement.

3) Flatten Your Abs

Running burns a massive amount of calories. This means you’ll find your body quickly morphing into that of a lean athlete. Don’t over-compensate the extra calories burned by eating too many carbs. Manage your portions to reap the most belly shrinking benefits.

While running is an amazing way to transform your body, running alone won’t deliver complete results. Resistance training is an equally important part of the equation. With resistance training you get:

Raised Metabolism: Resistance training raises your metabolism for an extended period of time, even after the workout is finished. This means more calories burned. Also resistance training adds muscle to your body, which raises your resting metabolism to burn even more calories when you aren’t exercising.

Upper Body Muscle Tone: While running is great for adding lower body muscle tone, it won’t do much for your upper body. With resistance training you target the muscles of your upper body to create a symmetric physique.

Muscle Confusion: With resistance training there are endless variations of movements you can do in order to keep your muscles guessing. Never allow your routine to grow stale by doing the same motions over and over again.

4) Make New Friends

Athletic endeavors are a relaxed way to make new friends and form connections within your community. Join a local running group to assist your training or start your own group of 5K hopefuls in your neighborhood. Your group could run the 5K together for support. Who knows, you may make new friends for life.

5) Start A Habit

Although you may find it hard to believe, especially if you haven’t yet run your first 5K, racing is addicting. The satisfaction of accomplishing your goal, along with the exciting changes in your body, will likely lead you to another race. It’s not farfetched that you’ll build your training up to run a marathon.

Running is great, but as we touched on above, resistance training is essential for achieving outstanding results. The best way to get into amazing shape is with a challenging and dynamic exercise routine.

Check out these posts for more info on getting ready for a fun 5k:

How To Ace Your 5k

Run Less To Train For A 5k

Beginner Interval Workouts

Lose Fat And Get Fit Faster With Interval Training

Interval Training No Comments »

Want to get more out of your workouts?

There’s a little secret in the fitness world called interval training.

What is interval training? Rather than doing the same cardio exercise your entire workout, interval training alternates short, high-intensity bursts of exercise with slower, low-intensity periods of recovery.

Research has shown that such intervals of high and low-intensity activity burn more calories and build fitness quicker in a shorter amount of training time.

spin class interval training

Once designed for elite athletes, interval training is now something the average fit person can try. You don’t need fancy equipment or special training to rev up your routine with interval training.

Read on to learn more about this fast, slow, fast, slow method of training and weight loss.

Theory Behind Interval Training
By alternating high-intensity movements with low-intensity movements, you’re working both your aerobic (with oxygen) and anaerobic (without oxygen) systems. High-intensity exercise causes your muscles to produce lactic acid (waste products), which lead to muscle soreness. Too much lactic acid build up causes exercise to become exhausting and painful.

Alternating hard and easy exercise will reduce the amount of lactic acid that accumulates, thereby making exercise more comfortable, improving your endurance and increasing your speed.

Interval Length
So how long should intervals be?

The answer is, it doesn’t matter.

There are no real hard-and-fast rules about interval length. Varying lengths bring varying benefits. So how fast and how often you pick up the pace depends on you.

Beginners should aim for no longer than 30 seconds of high-intensity bursts. If you’re feeling strong and are in good shape, go ahead and push yourself a bit longer.

Know the Risks
While a no-rules approach may sound appealing, interval training isn’t for the beginner. If you’re new in the land of fitness, take your time as you increase the intensity of your workouts.

Rushing into high-intensity exercise may lead to injury. Start out slowly. Add one or two high-intensity intervals each workout. Slow down if you feel you’re overdoing it. As your stamina increases, feel free to challenge yourself.

Sample Workouts
Remember, there’s no set rule about how to do interval training. It can be tailored to your fitness level and type of exercise.

An interval-training workout involves four variables that can be changed to meet your goals: intensity of intervals, duration of intervals, duration of recovery intervals, and the number of interval repetitions.

Interval training can be casual, spur of the moment bursts of activity depending on how you’re feeling that day or if you’re working towards a more specific sports or fitness goal you can take a more sophisticated, scientific approach.

Interval training workouts have been designed for plyometrics, sprints, stair running, jump rope, speed drills, and agility drills.

A simple example of interval training for walking would be to add short bursts of jogging or alternate slower walking with brisk walking. If you walk outdoors, you could jog or walk faster between certain landmarks such as mailboxes or street signs, then slow down for a short distance.

A second example that really gets your heart pumping and improves fitness in a short amount of time includes running, rowing, or cycling. Warm up for about 15 minutes, then run, row, or cycle as hard as you can (at 90 percent of your maximum heart rate) for three minutes. Then go easy for three minutes, allowing your body to recover. Repeat these three-minute intervals of high- and low-intensity exercise three or four times. Then cool down for 10 minutes.

Here are 3 studies that show interval training trumps traditional cardio:

Improve Your 5k By Running Less

Intervals Improve Anaerobic Capacity

Metabolic Changes During Interval Training Vs Cardio

And here are two interval training workout programs:

3 Beginner Interval Workouts

Interval Training For Fat Loss

Change The Cardio Question

Exercise, Interval Training No Comments »

Dr. Ken Cooper, the godfather of the aerobics movement, shared an interesting story in his book The New Aerobics

Two clients were prescribed a 2-mile run five times a week.  After following this dosage for a while they came back to his institute for a follow-up assessment.

Dr. Cooper said he had expected both patients to be in similar condition, since they had both been following the same training program.

Instead, one was in good shape and the other wasn’t.

What was the difference?

In Dr. Cooper’s words:

I was perplexed until I asked another question: “How fast did you run your two miles?”  The first said he averaged between 13:30-14:00 minutes whereas the second took over 20:00.  One was a runner and the other a jogger.  It was readily apparent that I needed to consider a factor other than distance – the time.

And then he finishes his story with the magic words: You achieve a greater training effect if you put more effort into your exercise.

It seems super-obvious when you see it written down like that.  But really, how many runners/joggers/cyclists/swimmers/pogo-stickers only worry about their distance and hardly give a thought to their time?  A high percentage, if not most.

If you only look at calories burned, 2 miles is 2 miles, whether you’re walking or running.  You perform the same amount of work.

But when it comes to improving fitness and transforming your body, you need to go to the next level and factor in the time variable.

Going faster works your muscles harder, and confers much greater benefits.

So now, let’s start changing the cardio question..

Every time someone says they’re a jogger, someone will ask “How far do you go?”

It’s maddening, like being asked how much you bench press.

Instead, let’s all start asking “How fast do you go?”

Maybe changing our question will help them change their focus from their mere distance to their power output.



5 Weeks To A 5k

Exercise, Interval Training, Strategies No Comments »

Hitting up a 5k race is a fun way to spend some time with your friends.  But if you’re not used to running, it can be pretty rough.

Sure, you might be in great shape, but if you’re not in running shape it’ll be hard to make a good showing.  Hip flexor and calf cramps, side stiches, and other annoyances will slow you down.

trail run

Below is a simple 5 week plan to get you in 5k shape.  You can use it to get ready for your first 5k no matter what shape you’re in, from just-off-the-couch to powerlifter.

Take a day off from running between each of these workouts., and start each workout with an easy warmup and finish with a cooldown.

Week One:

Day 1:

6×1 min running @ 80% effort, 90 sec walk/jog between each

Day 2:

3×2 min running @70% effort, 120 sec walk/jog between each

Day 3:

2 miles @ 60-65% effort (easy pace), walk breaks as needed

Week Two:

Day 1:

7×1 min running @ 80% effort, 90 second walk/jog between each

Day 2:

3×3 min @70% effort, 120 sec walk/jog break between each

Day 3:

2 miles @ 60-65% effort (easy pace), walk breaks as needed

Week Three:

Day 1:

8×1 min running @ 80% effort, 60 second walk/jog between each

Day 2:

3×4 min @70% effort, 120 sec walk/jog break between each

Day 3:

2.5 miles @ 60-65% effort (easy pace), walk breaks as needed

Week Four:

Day 1:

8×1 min running @ 80% effort, 30 second walk/jog between each

Day 2:

3×5 min @70% effort, 120 sec walk/jog break between each

Day 3:

2 miles at goal race pace, walk breaks as needed

Week 5:

Day 1:

7×1 min @85% effort, 30 sec walk/jog between each

Day 2:

2 miles at easy pace, speeding up for 15-30 sec when feeling good

Day 3:

5k Race!!


Barefoot Running Glossary

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Aerobic Activity: An exercise of prolonged activity such as running, swimming, or bicycling to improve the cardiovascular system and it ability to transport oxygen to the muscles

Anaerobic Activity: Activities that focus more on strength, quickness, and explosiveness.

Barefoot Running Sandals: Minimalist sandals designed for running

Biomechanics: The mechanics of living organisms.  It examines what movements occur and the forces that make them happen.  Footwear biomechanists study how shoes change the way you stand, walk, and run.

Corticosteroids: A group of medications that simulate the actions of cortisol, a naturally occurring hormone.  In contrast to the muscle-building effects of anabolic steroids, corticosteroids are primarily prescribed as anti-inflammatories.

Distance Running: Generally, distances of more than 5k (3.1mi).

Endurance Running: Involves running at a pace that is sustainable over a longer period of time.  Endurance events include marathons and ultra-marathons.

Exertional Hyponatremia: A disorder that occurs in athletes that only replace sweat with water, not with water plus electrolytes.

Glycemic Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates that are rated using the glycemic index.  Foods that make your blood sugar rise quickly are high on the index, while foods that do not are lower on the scale.

Hip Flexor: Skeletal muscles that help you to fully move the femur up toward your pelvis.  Commonly very tight and painful in runners.  Stretch this muscle often.

Lactic Acid Concentration: Produced and used during exercise, lactate (measured as lactic acid concentration) was once thought to cause soreness and muscle fatigue when produced.  Runners who have reached their max performance are said to have reached their lactate (or anaerobic) threshold.

Lymphatic Vessels: Small vessels that drain excess fluid in the tissues and return it to the bloodstream.  These lymph vessels pass through lymph nodes where large clusters of white blood cells examine the fluid to determine whether any infection is present.

Mid-Foot Strike: Describes landing flat on the foot in a shoe with a contoured footbed where the forefoot, mid-foot, and heel bear the weight of the landing simultaneously.

Molding: The process where the feet slowly change their shape over many years.  The will often take on the shape of your footwear.

Motor Skills: Skills that require coordinated movement.  Running is an advanced motor skill that is not achieved until rolling, crawling, and then walking have been progressively ingrained.

OSHA (Occupational and Safety Health Administration): A division of the U.S. Department Of Labor.  OSHA regulations are to protect the employees and employers only, and therefore do not apply to customers or clients who wish to go barefoot.

Periodization: The process of breaking up a training season into specific periods of time.  Periodization is a planned method to build up the body, increase intensity, taper down, recover, and control when you will peak (perform your best).

Pilates: A workout system that focuses on strengthening the core, or torso, of the body.  Similar to yoga, Pilates works on the connection of mind and body to promote the exertion of the muscles through graceful movement and breathing.

Randomized Controlled Trial: A trial conducted by professionals where subjects are randomly assigned to test variables without bias.

Sensory Perception: The body’s ability to understand the world around it using the sense of touch.  This information is collected by nerves, sent with neurons, and processed by the brain.  The process is how we “feel” what is around us.

Speedwork: A form of training where the runner completes a workout at a faster pace than what is normally run.  The pace can be based on race-pace splits or future goals.  Speedwork can vary from one workout to the next, or within workouts.

Stress Fractures: Hairline cracks that tend to occur over a period of time, also known as fatigue or overuse fractures.  They result from too much, unusual, or frequent pressure on a part of the body’s frame.

Talus Bone: A bone found in the tarsus region of the foot that helps to form the lower region of the ankle.

Tenderfoot: Someone who has yet to get used to running without shoes.

Tendons and Ligaments: Fibrous connective tissues which connect bones together.  Tendons attach each end of a muscle to the point where it inserts into a bone.  They also allow contracting muscles to move two bones closer together.  A single ligament will connect two bones together directly.  Tendons and ligaments therefore limit how far bones can separate when you move.  Then they elastically return the bones to the resting position when the tension is removed.

Topographical Map: A representation of an area of the earth drawn to a certain scale that shows contour lines that relate to surface and altitude of a location.  They also often relate information about the location of rivers, woods, and other geographical features.

Ventral Skin: Barefoot walking and hiking will toughen the foot’s outer layer of skin.  Over time the skin will become used to the elements and will not be as tender.

Workload: The total accumulation of frequency, duration, and intensity during training.  Measurable on different levels, it is the combination of all three elements over time with sufficient recovery – rather than a focus on one singular facet – that will lead to enhanced, injury-free performance over time.