Friday, April 11, 2014

Fitness Friday - Fitness News and Information You Can Use

For this week's edition of Fitness Friday, I am clearing out some older links. We have an article on why steady state cardio sucks, by Rachel Cosgrove, one on burning fat with high intensity intervals using weights, and two different pieces on suspension rings (for pistols and for push ups).


The first one is from T-Nation this previous week.

The Death of Steady State Cardio

by Rachel Cosgrove   

Here's what you need to know...
  Ironically, spending 20 hours a week in the "fat burning zone" leads to very little fat loss and a lot of muscle loss. The result? Looking like a flabby runner.
•  Steady state cardio should be reserved for endurance athletes, not for those seeking fat loss and awesome body composition. Physique competitors don't even need traditional long-duration cardio.
•  Metabolic interval training can be made even better with advanced work-to-recovery ratios and a few select tools.
Back in 2008, I wrote a controversial article for T Nation: The Final Nail in the Cardio Coffin. In it, I talked about how my body composition suffered when training for an Ironman Triathlon. Despite twenty hours per week of endurance training, time spent mostly in the so-called "fat burning zone", I barely lost any fat and definitely lost muscle, even with a controlled diet plan and a couple of weight training sessions per week.

This solidified my belief that steady-state aerobics is absolutely, completely, utterly ineffective for fat loss. Long, steady-state endurance is not the answer for a defined, lean physique, and it's a waste of time if your goal is long term fat loss. Endurance work is only the answer if your goal is to compete in an endurance event, not if you want to actually look your best. If you want to lose fat but not look like a soft endurance athlete, metabolic interval training is the way to go.

That was five years ago. Have I changed my mind? And what have I learned since then as a coach, gym owner, and yes, as a woman who still competes in endurance events? Let's discuss.

* * * * *

Progressing the Pistol Using the Rings: Why I Was Wrong (Video)

Time for a rebuttal. Previously, I made a video that was condescending about the ring pistol. I've changed my mind, and here's why. I've worked out that in the bottom of air squat, or progressions using the air squat, your shin is as vertical as possible. However, in the pistol squat, your shin is at an angle.

We need to educate our ankle to go through that range of movement. If we don't we'll never get the full movement. I didn't like the ring pistol progression previously because it involved a cheat of pulling yourself up with the rings. But I've come to realise that's not necessarily a bad thing, as we're mostly concerned with the ankle. The rings help to get us there.

However, remember that you don't need to go to rock bottom with these. We don't with all the other types of squat we do, so why would we with the pistol?

If this ring pistol progression is a real struggle, take it back a step. Put your heel on a plate, and build up the required ankle mobility from there. This particular drill has really helped me, I hope it does the same for you.

* * * * *

Another one from T-Nation, by Dan John, back in January.

Maximal Fat Loss, Minimal Equipment

by Dan John   

Here's what you need to know...

• The better you get at an exercise, the less effective it becomes as a fat-burner.
• Combining ground-based exercise like push-ups or planks with kettlebell swings can make for a fast and effective fat-burning workout.
• For a complete program, mix planks or push-ups with sprints of various distances.
There's a funny thing you start to notice about exercise and fat loss: the better you get at the movement, the less effective the exercise becomes for burning fat. We can see this odd phenomenon in every discipline, from performance to group aerobics – people slowly getting chubbier and chubbier as they continue to train.
It comes down to efficiency, or lack of it. You see, fat loss exercise has to be inefficient.

There's a simple way to rediscover the joys and sorrows of inefficiency and it's literally at your feet – it's the ground. If you get on the ground and then get off the ground, you'll stimulate a lot of fat loss. It's really quite surprising. As such, I present the following fat-loss combos, each designed around kissing the good Earth.
* * * * *

This is a guest post from Jason Ferruggia's blog, from back in February I believe. If you enjoy the rings as much as I do, this is some cool stuff.

5 Ring Pushup Progressions

Guest Post By Rob King

Back in Feb 2012 I ventured from my home town of Newfoundland, a cold rock in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, to venture to another cold place and home of Renegade Gym, New Jersey.

I wasn’t going “down south” as we call it here when we want to escape the cold wet weather of Newfoundland, I was going on an mission to meet a guy that his impacted my life and training, that is Jason Ferruggia.

My girlfriend and I had booked up 2 spots in Jay’s Renegade Workshop and I couldn’t miss the opportunity to see Renegade Gym and to learn from one of the best in our industry. To be one of the best you have to LEARN from the best.

As I tell my students, always be a student and never stop learning.

Over those two days we got to have a lot of fun learning a ton about foam rolling, strength training, squatting, deadlifting, val slides, HIT cardio and more.

One of the coolest things I learned that weekend were using the rings for certain exercises. We had rings at my gym HWTC but I really didn’t know much about them.

That weekend we learned and practiced a wide variety of exercises from basic to advanced.

One of my favorites was the simple ring push up.

Once I got back to HWTC I started adding more rings and ring exercises into my workouts and my clients workouts.

One thing about my gym is that we do classes of anywhere from 12-25 people in a class mixing different body types and strength levels.

My goal in every class is to challenge EVERYONE which is not easy, but can be done.

So now for every exercise I have a set of progressions & regressions.

Here are 5 Ring Push Up Progressions I use with my students.

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