Fat Loss Wars: Intervals vs. Cardio

Tom Venuto is an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist, lifetime natural bodybuilder, freelance writer, and personal coach. Tom has used both intervals and cardio in his training, and wants to share his experiences with you.CB: Most of my articles and interviews on my sites promote interval training. However, traditional “cardio” has worked for many people. … Continue reading “Fat Loss Wars: Intervals vs. Cardio”

Tom Venuto is an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist, lifetime natural bodybuilder, freelance writer, and personal coach. Tom has used both intervals and cardio in his training, and wants to share his experiences with you.
CB: Most of my articles and interviews on my sites promote interval training. However, traditional “cardio” has worked for many people. In your opinion, how does traditional cardio compare to interval training? What are the pro’s and con’s of each?

Fat Loss

Well, I would agree with what Ian King wrote recently in one of his Q & A columns,
“As to whether you respond best to higher intensity interval training (HIIT) or lower intensity steady state training will depend a lot on you. You should try both (not concurrently) and compare.”
You simply have to experiment. Test and discover for yourself what works best. How do you know what works best if you don’t test it and measure the results? I don’t create my own program based on what the latest research says or what the popular trend is. I look at the research and pay attention to what’s going on at the “cutting edge,” but I don’t live and breathe by it. I do what produces results, period. There’s no doubt interval training is highly effective and supported with research. A great benefit of interval training for many people is time efficiency. Another is that it is mentally and physically engaging. Long duration conventional cardio can bore some people to tears.

My personal preference for my own fat loss cardio training is to work at the highest heart rate I can comfortably maintain for the entire duration of the workout, 20-30 minutes. During pre-contest preparation, I often increase – in a progressive fashion – to as much as 30-45 minutes, so my program to this day is primarily conventional cardio. I occasionally add in interval training more for variety than anything. I do like stair and hill sprinting though, and have done that for years. Oddly enough, I never really considered it “cardio” – I looked at it more as an adjunct to my leg workouts, although I’m sure I reaped some fat loss benefits from it.

We’ve all seen the research that compares low intensity, long duration cardio to HIIT, and we’ve seen the superiority of HIIT, but I’d like to see some research comparing, let’s say, 20 minutes of HIIT with 30-45 minutes of challenging steady cardio at the top of your target heart zone. I find this type of cardio extremely effective and I imagine there’s a pretty substantial post workout afterburn in addition to the very large burn of fat calories during the workout. It’s nice to know, though, that you CAN get a productive workout in just 20 minutes or less with HIIT.

Regardless of whether we’re talking about interval training or conventional cardio, you want to burn as many calories as you can given the time you have. I definitely don’t believe in the idea that low intensity cardio burns more total fat. That myth has clearly been debunked by the research, even though it still persists.
Naturally, beginners and de-conditioned people need to build some kind of fitness base before doing the really high intensity stuff. HIIT can be risky for certain people. Simple conventional cardio like walking is fantastic for the elderly and overweight, although cardio shouldn’t take precedence over weight training in any population.

CB: Given all these pro’s and con’s, what’s the best training approach for the masses looking to lose fat and maintain (or even gain) muscle?

Depends entirely on the person. Nutrition and training have to be customized. There’s no such thing as a single best approach. We see people make great gains on abbreviated high intensity training and also on high volume. We see people lose fat on conventional cardio and HIIT cardio…with high carbs/low fat and low carbs/high fat. However, one thing is always true – there are fundamentals, which apply to everyone. Each person has to master the fundamentals first. Once you have that down, you begin to personalize.
That’s where a really good fitness professional comes in – to evaluate an individual’s situation and make the optimal exercise prescription within that particular context. There is no single best training approach because everyone is so different.

The nutrition fundamentals are important of course, but strength training is really the key fundamental for everyone. It’s a shame that strength training is still underplayed in the weight loss mainstream. Dieting is still king, but ironically, low calorie dieting is part of the problem it purports to cure. Weight training is critical to fat loss and I have no argument against weight training and full body workouts being used effectively as the sole means for fat loss. Results are what counts and time efficiency is more important to some than others. I simply think that some people have taken their anti-aerobics sentiment a bit too far.

Just a couple decades ago the entire health and fitness movement revolved around aerobics, while strength training was ignored and ridiculed. Today, in certain strength circles, the pendulum has swung completely to the other side: aerobics is ridiculed and strength training is said to be the best way to burn fat. I actually find it kind of funny when trainers are so against cardio that when they do recommend it, they won’t even call it “aerobics” or “cardio”, they call it something else: “Energy system training.”

Strength training has a critical role in fat loss, but is it really more important than cardio? The negative effects of excessive cardio on strength have been clearly proven, but how much is “excessive?” Can’t the two work synergistically together if work and recovery are carefully balanced? For people who are not strength/power athletes, is a little bit of extra cardio really such a big concern? Shouldn’t training always be organized around priorities with the main priority never compromised?

Using strength training to burn fat is not a new concept. We had PHA training (peripheral heart action) and circuit training many years ago. Bodybuilders have been reducing rest intervals (increasing density), and using supersets, tri sets or giant sets during pre-contest phases since bodybuilding began. Maybe they didn’t understand growth hormone and the other mechanisms that made them work, they just did it instinctively, but they also did cardio.

And the problem is, the more you turn strength training into cardio (“circuit training”), the more you compromise your strength and muscle mass increases. I like the balance between conventional (and heavier) strength training, moderate cardio and nutrition the best, although I certainly use increasing density and supersetting during fat loss programs.

I’ll go against the current trend in the strength community and stand by my belief that except for big “manly” strength athletes who can stick with weight training alone, the preferred fat loss approach, most of the time, for most people, is a healthy balance between strength training and cardio training.

Craig Ballantyne is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for Men’s Fitness, Maximum Fitness, Muscle and Fitness Hers, and Oxygen magazines. His trademarked Turbulence Training fat loss workouts have been featured multiple times in Men’s Fitness and Maximum Fitness magazines, and have helped thousands of men and women around the world lose fat, gain muscle, and get lean in less than 45 minutes three times per week.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Craig_Ballantyne/23799

What Are Some Fast Weight Loss Secrets?

The goal to lose weight fast is a good starting point, when trying to lose weight! However, crash diets are not the answer.

These two things go without saying, diet and exercise are key to achieving weight loss. Here’s some basic ideas about losing weight faster, but remember that you need to always keep in mind to do these in a healthy and safe manner.

Weight Loss

When doing exercises a more effective way is to do three to four shorter workouts, lasting around ten minutes. This routine doesn’t allow the metabolism a chance to slow down and become less effective. At the same time adding additional weight, like a vest or backpack will cause the body to burn up more calories this way.

Make the workouts smarter.
Drink more water.

Get more active in everyday life.
Wake up and exercise first thing before the chores of the day take over but only after 30 minutes from waking!

Eat Raw Fruits and Veggies
Two good points to keep in mind when sleeping, don’t over or under sleep at night. During the day after each meal, take a five to ten minute walk to help with the metabolism of the food. Another tip is during the day make sure to stand up for ten minutes for every 4 hours of sitting.

Please remember that weight loss and exercise should be done safely to avoid any health risks. Always go for a professional diet and workout plan.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/C_Elias/185632

Important Advice When Using a Slow Cooker

Using a crock-pot should be a no brainer, right? You put the food in the crock-pot and come back four to eight hours later to a home cooked meal. Sounds simple? It is, really, but there are some tips to remember when using a slow cooker, to keep your family safe and healthy and to help the food you cook keep their delicious flavor.
Slow Cooker

Maintain the correct temperature. While this might sound straightforward, it’s one of the more important ones, and the one people are most likely to forget.

Health and dietary guidelines recommend reaching 140 degrees as quickly as possible to reduce the opportunity for bacteria to grow. For the first hour or so of cooking, turn the crock-pot up on high, and then turn it to low at the end of the hour. If you are unable to do this because you are out of the house, perhaps it might be easier to purchase a programmable slow cooker for this reason alone. A crock-pot will reach a temperature of about 300 degrees Fahrenheit on high and about 200 degrees on low. Unless you or someone in your family is in a “risk group” for suffering ill effects from possible bacteria, there really isn’t much to worry about.

Don’t over or under fill your crock-pot. Again, this should be an easy one but some users forget and the circumstances, while not usually dire, can either create a big mess or cause you to abandon your crock-pot entirely. A crock-pot should be filled at least 1/3 full and no more than ½ full. Most advertisements will show a crock-pot filled to the brim with some of the most delicious meals you’ve seen outside of the Bon Appétit magazine. This is not the way to do this, however. To over fill is inviting a spill from bubbling liquid seeping out of the edges of the lid. To under fill might mean the liquid drying up, causing your food to burn, though in a crock-pot liquid loss to steam is greatly reduced to almost nothing but why risk it? Either way, you are not allowing your crock-pot to meet its full potential as a cooker.

Adding the spices too soon. When baking in a conventional oven, adding the spices in the beginning is the norm. With a slow cooker, your food is cooking for several hours. By adding the spices too soon, they lose their flavor, thereby denying you the richness of their taste and blends. Add most spices in the last hour to hour and a half and enjoy the full flavor of each one. One exception to this rule might be salt. A piece of meat soaking, cooking and marinating in a slightly brine solution is never a bad thing. (One side note: Though the jury is still out on this, but some studies are beginning to show sea salt as having slightly less sodium than does your average table salt. More and more cooks and chefs are using sea salt rather than table salt in their recipes.)

Don’t use too much liquid. When modifying a recipe for the crock-pot that calls for the addition of liquid, cut the amount you are using by about a half cup. Crock-pots don’t lose liquid during the cooking process like normal cooking will. With a slow cooker, you are removing the lid less often allowing the cooking steam to remain with the food, where it belongs. Also, each time you remove the lid you add an additional 30 minutes of cooking time so resist the urge to open it up and stir every time you walk past it.

These are some of the more important tips to provide for new or first time crock-pot users. While none of them is critical, they certainly bear remembering when you use your slow cooker. By following these few, simple tips, you are assuring your crock-pot will remain a welcome and delightful member of your kitchen appliance repertoire for many years to come!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Fran_Sloan/259270

Neck Pain Causes – Unlocking The Mystery Of Brain Tumor Symptoms

The common person hears about someone dying from a brain tumor and then questions why the medical personnel did not pick up on this diagnosis during routine physicals, or that the individual had not noticed any ailments early on and sought medical help before it was too late. What most people do not understand is how very difficult it is to detect a brain tumor in its initial stage of growth. And, although the main emphasis of the tumor is most certainly within the brain itself, there are many other areas of the body that will be affected by this devastating medical condition.

Neck Pain

As it grows, if the brain tumor has increased its pressure upon the central nervous system, the individual will most likely experience associated tumor symptoms, such as headaches, neck discomfort or even signs that their body’s intestinal system has been aggravated. Another danger to that individual is that the brain tumor might also be the cause behind recurring seizures. Unfortunately, because these symptoms are very slow in appearing, but the time a patient starts describing their unique and irregular sensations to their doctor, the chance that a stroke may occur has been elevated.

Another obstacle that prevents a brain tumor from being detected at any earlier stage in that this medical condition often parallels numerous other stressors of the neurological system. Varying locations of the tumor within the brain itself can stimulate assorted tendencies. Some of the more common symptoms described by brain tumor patients themselves are double vision, confusing thought patterns, memory loss, increased drowsiness and a weakened sense of motor function throughout the body.

The most common denominator shared by individuals who have actual brain tumors are the headaches associated with this abnormal swelling. Although frequent headaches by no means translates into an immediate medical diagnosis of a brain tumor, if you are experiencing them, that symptom alone is enough of a red flag and should be mentioned to your physician at your earliest convenience.

Another intriguing fact that puzzles the layperson is that there are different types of brain tumors, with each one prompting a range of treatments. Although its cause is still under investigation, when a patient is diagnosed with a primary brain tumor, the medical team looks at that individual’s family history, as well as a range of environmental factors from that person’s life circumstances. It is very important for all of these factors to be taken into consideration as the prognosis and treatment of a brain tumor patient is directly correlated to the diagnosis.

Through extensive medical research, it has been revealed that tumors located within the brain are the most common form of central nervous metastasis.

(Metastasis is when there is a spot of cancer that moves from one part of the body to another.) Thanks in part to today’s advanced technology, an exact determination of a brain tumor has been made possible through the examination of a cell sample beneath a microscope. Fortunately, metastatic brain tumors usually have very distinct symptoms and tendencies which enable doctors to rule them out as primary brain tumors. Knowing the tumor’s diagnosis can make a difference in the type of treatment plan the patient pursues.

Also interesting to note is that brain tumors can occur in people of all ages, although those tumors that fall within the metastatic category are more prevalent in adults than children.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Abhishek_Agarwal/34694

Fowl Ball – The History of Chicken Stew

Chicken stew is a delicious, warming meal. It is simple to make and you can make a lot of different variations of this tasty dish. Chicken stew actually has a fascinating history and this dish has been enjoyed for many centuries.

Chicken Stew

A stew is a combination of two or more foods simmered in a liquid. Coq au vin, Hungarian goulash, beef bourguignon, and beef stroganoff are all examples of stews.

The “Apicius de re Coquinaria” is the oldest cookbook ever discovered. It contains fish and lamb stew recipes, although chicken had been domesticated by then too. There were three Romans with that name living between 1 BC and 2 AD and the book is believed to have been compiled by one of them.

You can actually go back even further because primitive tribes used to boil foods together, which is what a stew essentially is. Amazonian tribes uses turtle shells as pans and would boil the turtle entrails with some other ingredients. Other cultures used large shells, such as clamshells, instead of pans. Archeological evidence points to this type of cookery going back seven or eight thousand years. The invention of pottery, about ten thousand years ago, made cooking stews easier.

Fowl such as chicken has been domesticated for thousands of years and chicken stew has been a longstanding popular dish. Different cultures have different chicken stews, such as the peanut butter chicken stew preferred in parts of Africa and the spicy chicken stew made in Morocco.

Chicken Stew Varieties
One type of chicken stew, which is a couple of hundred years old, is chicken booyah. This is like a thick soup or a thin stew and is eaten in northeast Wisconsin. The first Belgian immigrants came to Wisconsin in 1853 and they spoke a language called Walloon, which is nothing like English or French. It is thought that the Belgian wrote down booyah because he did not know how to spell bouillon and the name stuck.

Delicious Southern Chicken Stew
You might have heard of southern chicken stew too and it is still a very popular dish in some states, especially North Carolina. To make this dish, a whole chicken is parboiled in a milk or cream based broth and butter, salt, and pepper are added as well as other ingredients. This stew varies from thin to thick in consistency and from white to yellow in color, depending on the amount of butter or margarine used. Saltine crackers are often served with this dish.

Southern chicken stew is often served in the coolest months of the year and the phrase “chicken stew” can refer to the gathering itself rather than the food. A chicken stew recipe is usually thought of as a comfort food because these recipes are cheap to make, enjoyed by nearly everybody and they are warming and flavorful. This is a common dish served at social gatherings such as church fellowships, family reunions, and community fundraisers.

The chicken stew at these events will often be made in a big cast iron or stainless steel cooking pot, maybe outdoors over an open fire. You might get coleslaw, a grilled cheese sandwich or rice served with the chicken stew.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Christine_Szalay_Kudra/73485