High School Wrestling: Cardio Options for Conditioning

Is wrestling a six minute match similar to running a marathon? No. Is wrestling a six minute match similar to running a 5K? No, again. Sometimes wrestlers do a lot of running to condition themselves for wrestling only to find themselves “gassed” before the match is even half over. So, what is a wrestler to do? I will discuss some cardio options in regards to wrestling conditioning.

First, wrestling is primarily an anaerobic sport. Anaerobic means “without oxygen.” Wrestling relies mostly on the ATP-PC and Glycolytic energy systems. The ATP-PC energy system supplies energy for up to approximately ten seconds of exercise. Imagine a track athlete sprinting for 100 meters. The Glycolytic energy system supplies energy for exercise lasting from approximately ten seconds to two minutes. Imagine a wrestling match where you control your opponent for a while and then explosively shoot for a takedown. There are several explosive bursts in a wrestling match. Wrestling is virtually 100%anaerobic exercise. In contrast, running a marathon is approximately 98%aerobic exercise. So, why train like a marathon runner if you’re a wrestler?

Some trainers believe that LSD (long, slow distance running) builds an aerobic base. Aerobic base training is believed to enhance the anaerobic work that will follow later on in the conditioning program. Other trainers dispute this notion. Some trainers believe that steady state cardio like jogging can clear the body of waste products and speed recovery after intense strength training. Other trainers dispute this notion as well. Trainers that don’t favor steady state cardio usually favor some type of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). HIIT usually involves periods of high intensity activity alternating with periods of lower intensity activity. For instance, one might alternate sprinting for thirty seconds and jogging for thirty seconds for a designated period of time.

Some Potential Benefits of Steady State Cardio:

  • Build an aerobic base which will enhance your anaerobic exercise later on
  • Increase your work capacity (i.e. build a bigger gas tank, as Matt Wiggins would say)
  • Removal of waste products from the body after intense strength training
  • Speed recovery after intense strength training

Some Potential Drawbacks of Steady State Cardio:

  • Steady state cardio trains slow-twitch muscle fibers (as a wrestler you want more fast twitch muscle fibers that are responsible for strength, power and speed)
  • Increased cortisol production which may cause muscle loss
  • Overuse injuries (e.g. to your knees)
  • Can be time consuming

Some Potential Benefits of HIIT:

  • Tends to develop fast-twitch muscle fibers
  • Anaerobic training can develop aerobicand anaerobic capabilities
  • Shorter duration/less time consuming

Some Potential Drawbacks of HIIT:

  • May lead to CNS burnout (i.e. overtraining)
  • May lead to an excess of anaerobic work if you’re also strength training and doing a lot of hard wrestling (again leading to overtraining)

Types of Cardio to Consider:

  • Steady State or LSD (long, slow distance)
  • HIIT
  • Tabatas (another form of HIIT that has become very popular)
  • HOC (i.e. High Octane Cardio–combining running with bodyweight or dumbbell exercises)
  • Sprints
  • Hill Sprints
  • Circuit Training (e.g. Working Class Cardio by Matt Wiggins–no running involved)

Points to Consider:

  • Trainer Ian King has had success with athletes in which he dropped cardio conditioning from their training entirely
  • When Dr. Fred Hatfield was put in charge of boxer Evander Holyfield’s physical conditioning prior to his fight with Buster Douglas in 1990, he dropped all roadwork (long, slow distance running) from Evander’s conditioning program
  • Wrestling is primarily an anaerobic (i.e. without oxygen) sport
  • Steady state cardio may be good for recovery
  • Steady state cardio may be good if you are “out of shape”
  • If you are strength training and wrestling hard in practice, then don’t overdo interval training
  • Steady state cardio may help increase your work capacity (i.e. build a bigger gas tank)

As you can see, cardiovascular training for wrestling is complicated. You may want to do some longer running in the off season and switch to interval training when the season begins. Educate yourself about the different cardio conditioning options available to you.

Let me leave you with a reminder–a wrestling match is not like running a marathon.

Bootcamp Ideas for Personal Trainers Starting a Business

With bootcamp businesses becoming more popular these days many personal trainers are looking for bootcamp ideas to start up their own bootcamp business. They are tired of paying a portion of their personal training profits to the gym for using their facilities for training sessions. With bootcamp training sessions they can provide their services to more clients at a time and make more money even if they are charging less.

If you live in a warm climate your bootcamp business won’t cost you much to start-up or run. Many trainers will use their local park to run their bootcamps as they are usually free and people would rather be outside getting fresh air. They have a large amount of flexibility as they are available anytime you chose to use them. The only downside is that people may decide to follow your bootcamp from a distance and not pay the fees or another personal trainer may be spying on what you do for your bootcamp to copy you.

Here are some bootcamp ideas for the types of bootcamps you could have:

  • All female – Women only bootcamp. Many women feel more confident when they aren’t working out around men.
  • All male – Men only, increased intensity for muscle building.
  • Bridal bootcamp – Brides to be and their bridesmaids working out together.
  • Mom and baby – Many mothers want to get out of the house to workout and they can also make new friends for play dates.
  • Seniors bootcamp – Some older people will be discouraged from joining a regular bootcamp because they feel they can keep up with the younger crowd. They want to find people they have more in common with.
  • Singles only – This type of bootcamp is great for single people that want to get to the gym but want to get out and meet someone as well.
  • Couples only – This is a great way to get a workout with partner and meet other people with similar interests.
  • Pregnancy – A workout class for mothers to be focusing on exercises they can do even while they are pregnant.
  • Fat loss, muscle building, cardio, abs or any other fitness goals.
  • Kettlebell – Would require you or your clients to have a kettlebell. Great for fat burning.
  • Stability Ball – Stability ball exercises focusing on core strength.

As you can see there are many different bootcamp ideas you can come up with for the type of bootcamp to have. The best approach would be to involve your current personal training clients in your decision. Find out what kind of bootcamp they would like to join if they are interested in joining one.

Aerobic Exercise and the FITT Principle

Cardiorespiratory fitness best describes the health and function of the heart, lungs and circulatory system. Cardiorespiratory fitness also describes the capacity of the lungs to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide with the blood, and the transportation of nutrients and waste products to and from the body’s active tissues. Other terms used and applied to the exercise environment are cardiovascular fitness, aerobic endurance and aerobic capacity. These terms are synonymous.

Cardiorespiratory exercise has proved to have many benefits, such as reducing cardiovascular disease by increasing fat utilization and therefore reducing obesity, and the reduction and management of hypertension and cholesterol. Other reported benefits include improved heart function and oxygen consumption, the ability to perform every day tasks more easily, decreased resting heart rate, body fat stores, anxiety and stress and management of diabetes.

A cardiorespiratory program needs to follow general guidelines to ensure maximum safety and effectiveness. These characteristics are essential for measurable improvements. We call this the FITT principle.

Frequency 3-5 times per week

Intensity 60-90% of predicted MHR

Time Duration 15-60 minutes of aerobic exercise

Type Activities; walking, cycling, jogging, swimming, roller blading, cross training, rowing etc.

Exercise FREQUENCY refers to the number of exercise sessions per week that are performed. The ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) recommends 3-5 sessions per week to improve cardiorespiratory fitness and to achieve or maintain optimal body fat levels.

Exercise INTENSITY refers to the amount of effort you put into your training session. There are many methods for monitoring exercise intensity, some have been standardized, and are suitable for application to the general population and for those of different fitness levels.

Heart rate (MHR)

Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE)

The ‘talk test’ method

Maximum Heart Rate (MHR) is determined by:

Men 220 – age

Women 226 – age

A 34 year old male, would therefore have a MHR of 186 beats per minute (bpm). Your exercise intensity is then put into the equation to give an exercise intensity that is specific to experience, fitness level, capabilities and relative to your fitness goals. Those just starting an exercise regime, or having a low level of fitness can benefit from intensities as low as 50-60% of MHR. Higher intensities as much as 90% of MHR are better suited to the more physically fit. As a general guideline, 60-80% of MHR is sufficient for the average population with no contra-indications to exercise.

RPE The ‘Rate of Perceived Exertion’ scale considers all factors that influence exercise intensity and how we perceive that exercise including fatigue and environmental conditions. A twenty-point scale has been devised that corresponds with Heart Rate intensities and allows the participant to determine their perceived effort. This method teaches us to listen to our bodies instead of ‘zoning out’ and can be used in conjunction with Heart Rate.

The ‘talk test’: This is an easy method that anyone can use. The talk test is based on the principle that if you cannot hold a regular conversation while exercising, your exercise intensity is too high. The intensity should however, be enough to increase core body temperature and promote perspiration.

Exercise TIME is the duration of the exercise and is dependent on the intensity of the session. The ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) suggests a minimum of 15 minutes of continuous exercise to elicit any improvement in cardiorespiratory fitness. More deconditioned individuals may require multiple shorter sessions until they develop a base from which improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness can be made.

Your capabilities, interests, available time, equipment, facilities and personal goals determine exercise TYPE. The options are endless and can include any movement that uses large muscle groups, is continuous in nature (for a minimum of 15 minutes) and utilizes the aerobic energy system.

When beginning an exercise program, it is best to take a conservative approach and start at suggested minimums i.e. 3 times per week for 15-20 minutes at no more than 55-65% of MHR.

This intensity should be gradually increased over the forthcoming weeks and months to elicit changes and improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness and endurance.

The health professionals at Fitcorp Asia can design a program specific to your needs and goals, and help you reach your potential in health, mind and body.

Contact us at http://www.fitcorpasia.com or http://www.personaltrainingbangkok.com for more information.

Aerobic Or Anaerobic – Which Is Better?

Aerobic training is exercise that involves or improves oxygen consumption by the body. The word Aerobic means with oxygen. Along with using and improving the body’s oxygen consumption, aerobic training also increases the body’s ability to burn fatty acids during an exercise session. An example of an aerobic exercise session would be one that consists of a warm up, then a moderate level of exercise for an extended period of time that exercises the large muscle groups, and is then followed by a cool down. No matter what the type of exercise, it is important to know that aerobic exercise is very beneficial from fat burning to cardiovascular health and wellness.

Anaerobic training involves exercise that is intense enough to trigger anaerobic metabolism. It greatly increases the body’s functional capacity for development of explosive strength and maximization of the short-term energy systems. An example would be non-endurance sports such as body builders using anaerobic training to promote speed, strength, power and muscle mass. This leads to greater performance in high intensity, short duration activities.

Several physiological responses the body will happen with aerobic training. A person’s aerobic capacity will be higher. There will be an increase in trained muscle capacity which is from the capacity to utilize and mobilize fat that is resulting from high amounts of fat metabolizing enzymes as well as increased blood flow. The body also experiences greater development of slow twitch muscle fibers, increased myoglobin content which is essentially an iron-protein compound inside muscle that acts to store and transport oxygen to the muscle. Aerobic exercise improves the body’s use of oxygen, thus increasing the ability to store it and transport it, which results in greater slow muscle twitch fibers.

A number of physiological changes exist with anaerobic training as well, and will show the large difference between the two and what benefit each one is. Anaerobic training increases the size of the fast twitch muscle fibers vs the slow twitch. Creates an increased tolerance to higher levels of blood lactate as well as increases enzymes involved in the anaerobic phase of glucose breakdown. Anaerobic training also produces increase resting levels of ATP, CP, creatine and glycogen content. High intensity weight training in sessions of 45-75 minutes will cause increased growth hormone and testosterone levels.

Because aerobic and anaerobic training focuses on very different results on the body, it is easy to assume there are many different adaptations the body must make if one were to choose to only exclusively train aerobic or anaerobic.

If one were to choose to do only aerobic training for over one year, you would see increased overall cardiovascular health. The body would adapt to using fatty acids for energy and would target the development of slow twitch muscle fibers. Those who choose to train aerobically are your typical 5k, 10k and marathon runners. Aerobic training will create endurance and those who train aerobically will be able to maintain exercise at a certain level for a longer period of time. What the body will not experience is a gain in overall strength. Aerobic training will not give a person gains in overall strength, power or explosive strength abilities. The body after a year has conditioned itself to utilize oxygen, burn fatty acids, and be an endurance machine. After a year, it would be hard for the person to attempt to try anaerobic training such as weight lifting. However, it can be done with the change of one’s fitness goals and training.

If someone were to choose to do anaerobic training for over a year, the body would adapt to using glycogen as fuel instead of the fatty acids used in aerobic training. The body will use the training to develop fast twitch muscle fibers versus slow, as well as build muscle mass, explosive strength and overall power. The choice to use anaerobic training would allow muscle growth and fitness, but not overall cardiovascular health and no endurance. Body builders are your typical anaerobic training clientele. They have tremendous explosive strength and their bodies have adapted to a large amount of strength for a short period of time versus endurance strength over a long period of time. Many body builders use anaerobic training and no aerobic training and thus it’s not uncommon to see an extremely fit body builder who cannot run/walk/jog for even ¼ mile as they have not had any aerobic training to build their cardiovascular health and endurance abilities.

VO2 Max: A Measure of Cardio Respiratory Fitness

Introduction

Assessment of cardiorespiratory fitness is important for both athletes as well as the members of the general population. In athletes for apparent reasons. While in general population, VO2 max can be used to predict subsequent development of cardiovascular disease. Thus, VO2 max studies can be used for prevention, both primary as well as secondary, of development of cardiovascular sequelae like angina pectoris or myocardial infarction.

Furthermore, since cardiorespiratory fitness has been linked decisively to early deaths from a variety of causes, VO2 max studies in general population assume immense significance.

So what exactly is VO2 max? Well, in literal terms, it is the volume (V) of oxygen (O2) during maximum exercise that your body is able to transfer. As we all know, during exercise, your body needs energy and the chemical reaction to produce energy require oxygen (especially aerobic exercises). Thus, the higher your VO2 max,the more your body can transport oxygen effectively during times of intense training. Therefore, you will be able to train longer at higher intensity levels.

Methods of Assessing VO2 max

VO2 max can be measured using either maximal or sub maximal exercise testing protocols. Maximum exercise testing involves pushing the subject to the limit of intense physical exercise. So much so, that immediate medical attention is usually required. Maximal exercise testing is a true reflection of VO2 max. However, for obvious reasons, this method is best avoided, at least in the general population. Most authorities recommend the submaximal method (using submaximal loads of exercise intensity). Once the values are obtained using this method, regression equations are used to predict the actual VO2 max.

Whereas, maximal exercise testing is more sensitive, submaximal exercise testing is safer, esp. when implemented in members of the population who are not accustomed to training.

Maximal Exercise Testing:

Maximal exercise testing requires trained individuals and sophisticated equipment. Therefore, it is used only in certain clinical settings.

Submaximal Exercise Tests

Astrand and Rhyming Step Test: This test is carried out using a 33cm step/ aerobic bench for women and 40cm step for men. It involves stepping up and down the step or bench at the rate of 22.5 per min. ECG and steady state heart rate readings are taken. It would require 25.8 and 29.5 mL/Kg/min of oxygen uptake for women and men respectively.

YMCA step test and The Canadian Home Fitness Test can also be used for submaximal exercise testing. The step tests are popular because of use of minimal equipment and ease of implementation. Another major advantage is the minimal cost as well as the fact that large number of subjects can be tested at the same time as shown by The Canadian Home Fitness Test.

3 min. YMCA Step Test: This test determines how quickly your heart rate returns to normal after a bout of exercise. It uses a 12 inch aerobic bench. The subject steps onto the bench with a rate of 24 per minute (estimated oxygen uptake of 25.8 mL/Kg/Min.). After 3 min., the subject immediately sits down and the HR is counted for a minute. It is crucial that the HR is counted starting within 5 sec of stopping the exercise. The obtained HR values are then used to compare against established norms.

Treadmill Tests: A minimal of 3 min. treadmill test using 70% of heart rate reserve or and 85% of maximal heart rate as the end point of test is a better predictor of VO2 max than the step tests. Pretty much like in the step tests, achieving a steady state heart rate is imperative to get accurate data. Thus, the need to carry out the test for a minimum of 3min. Variety of treadmill test protocols are used: Bruce Protocol being the most popular of all.

Cycle Ergometer Tests

Astrand-Rhyming Cycle Ergometer Test: This is a 6 minute single stage test. The subject pedals at a rate of 50rpm to achieve a HR between 125 and 170 beats/min. HR should be measured during the 5th and 6th minute of the test. An average of 2 or more HR reading is taken and used to estimate VO2 max from Modified Astrand-Rhyming Normogram.

Other test like Maritz Test use a multi-stage cycle ergometer test to determine VO2 max.

Conclusion

A plethora of tests for assessing aerobic capacity are available. This, however, makes the choice of test to be used a bit difficult. A lot, however, depends on the subject, his/her cardiorespiratory status as well as availability of equipment and trained personnel.

At the end of the day, designing and implementing a good fitness program, either as a preventive measure for a cardiovascular disease or to achieve fitness goals is equally, if not more, important.

How Water Aerobics Can Help With Fibromyalgia Condition

The physical condition fibromyalgia is typified by aches and pains in joints, tendons and muscles. This condition was believed to be psychological rather than physiological – it has now been established that significant chemical changes occur in fibromyalgia sufferers.

Fibromyalgia is not linked to injuries, disease or poor muscle repair ability of the body. Sufferers also do not face greater risk for types of musculoskeletal diseases – the precise cause of fibromyalgia is unknown but may be as a result of stress and pain levels seem to be more evident while resting than during periods of activity.

Exercise is an excellent way to decrease pain caused by fibromyalgia and in particular aerobics which helps reduce symptoms in sufferers while improving quality of life.

Aerobic activities increase pulse and respiratory rates – activities can be walking, cycling, running, and swimming however water aerobics seems to be more beneficial for fibromyalgia sufferers than other exercise types.

Aerobics increases muscle strength, decreases morning muscle stiffness, reduces potential injury risks, improves sleeping patterns and decreases pain.

Water aerobics appears to add more impact and value to exercise routines as it helps cushion the joints and muscles while supporting the body and increases resistance and workload required by the muscles to gain the desired effects, also promoting better balance, reducing pain perception and helping relaxation.

Any exercise program should be approved by a doctor who knows the specific needs and medical status of the person concerned. The services of a therapist or qualified instructor should be used initially and at a later stage it may be possible to continue alone with a program in a pool at home.

Begin slowly – 20 to 30 minute sessions twice or three times a week working towards sessions of 45 to 60 minutes. Be aware of any limitations and rest if fatigue is experienced during a workout by simply relaxing in the water – don’t ignore pain and always listen to what the body is saying.

Hydration is important while swimming or doing water aerobics – sweating goes by unnoticed in a pool and warmer pools will make a person sweat more – always remember to avoid dehydration.

Numerous studies have shown that fibromyalgia sufferers benefit emotionally and physically from water aerobics. Studies in Spain (2006) and Norway (2001) found that water aerobics improved patient’s emotional well being and physical functionality (beneficial in both short and long term programs).

Water aerobics will help fibromyalgia sufferers maintain better relationships with people they have contact with such as family, friends and employers as improved emotional and physical health makes it possible. Productivity at work also increases due to fewer sick days.

How Much Does P90x Cost?

The P90x workout DVDs It seems that a lot of people would like to try out this exercise program that promises amazing results in just 3 short months. Most buyers are drawn by the before and after photos that actual users have posted. Since they seem to prove that the system works, the next question would be: how much does the system cost Online, the product is very resonable and comparable to other products. What do you really get at this rate?

1. 10 Exercise DVDs: A single purchase includes a set of DVDs that feature workouts divided among several videos. Each video features an exercise routine that is specifically meant for a target group of muscles. The exercises are mostly made out of intense cardio routines that use the whole body, assuring you of a head – to – toe workout.

2. It’s like having a trainer in a box: invented by Tony Horton – the personal trainer to the stars, he incorporated certain aspects of his service to the package. Tony made sure that you get a guide that’s why the DVDs come with an excel sheet that shows your schedule and tracks your progress. For each day that a person performs, one or two exercise videos are assigned. They are arranged pursuant to Tony’s secret weapon – Muscle Confusion. According to his theory, human muscles get immune should you apply the same kind of exercise to it on a daily basis. Thus, the exercises are arranged to shock the system every once in a while – just when you’re starting to get comfortable. Is not made to get easy over time. They will continue to shock and challenge you.

3. Nutritional Guide: The set comes with a dietary plan that tells you what kind of food you can eat to compliment the workout you will be executing each day. Some days you will imbibe more protein, sometimes less. This varies based on the strength training you are expected to do that day. It will teach you to stay away from fatty foods and those that do nothing to burn the calories you have in your system.

4. After Sales Support: Not included in the package, but anyone can access the website. There you can expect to talk to a community of other people on the same exercise regimen as you are. They have the special light equipment that Tony and his team uses during the workouts, as well as a very responsive helpdesk to guide you through your journey.

Given all these inclusions, it seems as if the product is an amazing buy. But there are still warnings about the p90x workouts not being for everyone. Reviews will recommend beginners – or people who have little or no physical activity – to start with something lighter first before embarking on this one.

Should You Do Cardio Exercise Before or After Strength Training?

A question that I am often asked and one that I have seen countless times on message boards across the Internet is whether a person should do cardiovascular exercise before or after a resistance training workout? Before going any further, I want to clearly state that it is my position that everyone should engage in a cardiovascular exercise of their choice for 5 to 10 minutes prior to any workout, be it a cardiovascular, resistance or flexibility workout. This is vitally important for several reasons as a proper, light-intensity cardiovascular exercise will warm up the muscles, ligaments, joints and tendons that will be used more intensely in the following workout routine. Warming up with cardio also increases the core temperature slightly, increases circulation, slightly elevates the heart rate and helps to prepare the heart for an increased workload, it helps increase lung functioning and helps you to mentally focus in on the upcoming workout routine. The most important advantage to warming up with light intensity cardio is the substantial decrease in risk of injury. If the body is not properly warmed up, you are much more likely to experience an injury to a muscle, joint, ligament or tendon.

Now back to the question of whether you should do cardiovascular exercise prior to or after a resistance workout? There is no single best answer here and instead, you should evaluate your individual fitness goals. If you goal is to increase endurance, stamina or overall cardiovascular health, then I suggest doing your cardio workout prior to weight and resistance training. By doing the cardio workout first (after your 5 to 10 minute warm up of course), you are able to engage in a more intense cardio session, which possibly might include some intervals in which you really push up to your lactic acid threshold or VO2 max level. It is much less likely that you would be able to achieve high intensity cardiovascular work after you have engaged in a weight training session. So, in short if your goal is to increase cardiovascular fitness levels, you should perform cardio workouts prior to resistance training.

On the other hand, if your goal is fat and weight loss, a current mode of thinking in the fitness community is by doing a cardiovascular workout after a resistance workout, you increases the rate of fat metabolism (fat burn as it is often referred to as). The theory is that by engaging in an intense resistance workout, you will deplete the glycogen stores in the muscles during this workout. Once the glycogen stores are depleted, the body begins to utilize fats in the body for fuel. Endurance athletes have long know this, yet typically in order for this to occur in endurance training, an athlete has to continuously run for approximately 90 minutes to fully deplete the muscles of glycogen. Therefore, I remain somewhat skeptical that many average people working out are pushing themselves to the point of glycogen depletion during their resistance workout, particularly workouts of less than an hour in duration. For more advanced trainers, I do believe that it is possible and therefore can be an effective means of decreasing body fat perhaps for these individuals.

I tend to look at it like this, if you are engaging in a cardiovascular and resistance workout on the same day back-to-back, one or the other will be of a lesser intensity level naturally. Again, evaluate your personal fitness goals before deciding whether to do your cardio workouts before or after resistance training. If you are trying to build muscle, you want to have as much muscle strength as you can available for your resistance workouts, therefore doing cardio before weight training would be counterproductive to your muscle building goals. If you are looking to gain endurance or heart health, place your focus on the cardio workouts and do them first. Remember, regardless of which you end up doing first, it is more important to properly warm up with a minimum of 5 to 10 minutes of cardio (even if it is only a brisk walk on the treadmill) in order to prepare the body for the workouts ahead, to get your head in the right space in order to bang out a productive workout, and most importantly to decrease the risk of injury. This debate won’t mean a thing if you get injured 5 minutes into a workout and are sidelined for the next 8 weeks rehabilitating an injury!

Nutrition and Exercise Tips to Walk Away From Death

Recently yet another super-heavyweight Iron Immortal died from a heart attack at age forty-five or thereabouts. Typically, when I read of these tragedies I search my memory banks and then write some sort of tribute. Rather than eulogize yet another fallen warrior, for whom it’s too late, and at the risk of sounding presumptuous, I thought a slightly different approach might be appropriate and perhaps even helpful in preventing a future tragedy. It is my contention that a shockingly large percentage of retired national and international-level powerlifters and Olympic weightlifters eat too much, do nothing insofar as cardiovascular training and as a direct result unnecessarily risk premature death.

Retired super heavyweight lifters are particularly susceptible to this fatal phenomenon. Typically, the ‘at risk’ big-man lifter reduces or quits weight training – but doesn’t quit the enormous eating habits that got him big enough and dense enough to handle world record poundage. Super-heavyweight powerlifters consume too many calories and in particular they eat way too much saturated fat.

Food is broken down for energy within the body. A gram of fat contains nine calories. A gram of protein or carbohydrate contains four calories per gram. For a man intent on bulking-up as large as possible as fast as possible, fat calories, dense and compact, are the ticket. Fat calories pack twice the caloric bounce-per-ounce as protein or carb calories and boy do they ever taste good! Allowing taste to dictate our diet can be fatal. High fat food is delicious and it gives food a wonderful, seductive flavor. The bulking lifter can eat twice as many calories when they choose fat over protein or carbohydrates.

The problem is that dietary fat is easily converted to body fat. To use an automobile analogy, the big lifter develops a body akin to that of a 1967 Cadillac Eldorado – but the heart muscle of the lifter does not enlarge to accommodate the increased bulk. Metaphorically, the lifter has a heart designed to power a 1967 VW Beetle but his 65-horsepower heart motor now motivates a 5000-pound Cadillac body: what an incredible strain on his little blood-pump. For a few short years, hugeness is okay: the human body is incredibly resilient, but if the lifter doesn’t pare the pounds eventually the little heart muscle can suffer a blowout. Or will wear out from overuse.

The miraculous heart muscle pulsates 60-90 times a minute, sending blood coursing through the veins and capillaries to receptive muscles and organs with the precision and regularity of a fine Swiss watch. A hundred pounds (or more) of extra bodyweight will stress the tiny heart to the breaking point. It’s a hell-of-a dilemma; to reach the top of the powerlifting game the lifter needs density in relation to their height.

Ever notice how few tall Powerlifters reach the international level? To achieve the requisite density a tall lifter (over six-foot) would need weigh 400-pounds to match the density-per-inch the typical under-six foot super heavyweight achieves. Most people who meet top powerlifter are amazed at how short they are in relation to their weight. To maximize leverage, lifters need density-per-inch-of-height and super heavyweights, unencumbered by weight divisions, always have an effective avenue available to increase their density-per-inch: eat more food and get bigger.

Big men feel they need dietary fat, ‘dirty’ calories, in order to gain the sheer bulk necessary to compete at the national and international level. As my old coach Hugh Cassidy used to preach, a serious super-heavyweight lifter can always “eat his way through a sticking point”. Of course when Hugh retired he dropped from 300-pounds to 190-pounds bodyweight inside a year. Cassidy was no dummy (a powerlifting genius) and had the sense to reduce his caloric intake when the whistle sounded and the game was over. A lot don’t and the consequences are apparently disastrous.

That giant lifter who happily scarfs down saturated fat, motivating that Eldorado body around with that VW engine, eventually has a second deadly complication rear its ugly head. Saturated fat produces plaque and as it floats through the bloodstream plaque adheres to the arterial walls leading to and from the heart. Over time the tube diameter becomes constricted with plaque buildup and when it clogs completely (assuming you don’t die from heart spasms) a roto-rooter (angeoplastsy) balloon procedure or by-pass surgery is required to open constricted passageways.

It’s a dastardly double whammy: the lifter’s diet adds bodyweight – creating a stress-load on the over-taxed heart pump and the fat in the lifter’s diet reduces the efficiency of the already taxed heart by constricting the blood flow. It’s a deadly one-two combination. Often the whole situation is further complicated when the lifter ceases hard training. Now sedentary, his high caloric intake accelerates body fat accumulation at an astonishingly fast rate. If left unchecked this scenario will lead to health problems as surely as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.

I once helped a 350-pound super heavyweight take second place at the USPF Nationals and thereby secure a slot on the IPF world championship team. He was elated and afterwards we decided to have room service send up victory pizza. I was staying on the second floor and the elevators were acting up so we decided to walk the four mini-flights to the second floor. It was an easy climb but our IPF-destined lifter was gassed like he’d just climbed Mount Everest without using an oxygen tank. He was far more blasted from the 22-step walk-up than his 881-squat or 750-deadlift. He heaved and gasped like a coal miner with black lung after smoking a Camel and took a full thirty minutes before he recovered.

I remember how when the Pizzas came he knelt down on the floor at the foot of the bed. He took his Pizza Hut extra-large, set it on the bed, opened the box, still kneeing, placed his elbows on the bed and commenced to chow-down. His huge distended stomach hung all the way to the floor and there was no daylight showing between his gut and the sunlight shining in the open window behind him. Looking like a pregnant rhino, his face hovered a scant six-inches above the pizza box as he devoured the entire thing in 10-minutes flat, steam shovel style, like he was strip mining a hill for coal. He gobbled his pepperoni and sausage and then went scavenging for leftovers from the other three boxes. Feeling better he took a nap.

I once asked George Hector how it felt to be able to squat 975 and deadlift 840 weighing 360. “For two days a year, at the National and World championships, it’s great – the other 363 days a year it sucks!” George ran into health problems (phlebitis) reduced down to 242 and set a slew of world records. But wise men like George and Hugh and John Kuc are the exceptions, not the rule. Too many huge guys are attached to their ‘sea food’ diet and it comes back to bite ’em at some point.

And it needn’t be that way. Incorporating two lifestyle changes, substitution dieting and light cardiovascular training, can spell the difference, literally, between life and death.

DIET: Rather than try and get a red-blooded powerlifter on a fancy-dan bodybuilder diet – one which they won’t adhere to anyway – we offer the substitution diet for your consideration. All of us have bad foods we naturally gravitate towards (those high in fat and sugar) and we all have some good foods (high in protein) that we like. The idea is to identify the ‘good’ foods and substitute them for the ‘bad foods’ you currently consume in quantity. The beauty of this approach is that you never feel hungry because anytime you have a craving for bad food you eat a substantial amount of good food in its place. You smother the hunger and satiate the desire.

Plus, every time you replace a fat food with a protein or carb food, you can eat the same volume of food while cutting your calories in half (9 calories per gram of fat versus only 4 calories per gram for protein). A gram is a gram and if you previously ate a quart of Ben & Jerry’s or a sixteen-ounce pizza, you now may eat an equal volume of protein or carbohydrates and eliminate artery-clogging saturated fat while simultaneously cutting your calories in half. It is a good deal: you reduce the deadly saturated fat with muscle-building protein or natural carbohydrates and still reduce overall calories. Don’t eat flour carbs like cakes, bread or pastry. Stick to grains, rice, vegetables and potatoes.

Clean protein actually stimulates the basal metabolic rate, causing the body to burn more calories as it gears up to meet the challenge of digesting protein. Dietary fat, on the other hand, is easily compartmentalized into fat storage. A note of caution: avoid protein foods that are loaded with saturated fat. Fish, chicken (minus the skin), lean beef, goat, turkey, organ meats, egg whites, skim milk and protein powder are great sources of clean protein.

Man-made carbohydrates like bread, pasta and pastries will cause the body to secrete insulin. Insulin spikes cause carb calories to be converted and compartmentalized into fat storage instead of being used for energy. Avoid them. Natural carbohydrates have a far lesser impact on insulin and are recommended as the preferred carb sources. Fiber carbs actually dampen insulin spikes and a diet high in clean protein and fiber, low in refined carbs and moderate in starchy carbs, is the fastest way to lose lard.

CARDIO CONDITIONING FOR POWERLIFTERS: Powerlifters take a dim view of cardio training – aerobics – and contemptuously consider cardiovascular training effete, irrelevant and at odds to their stated purpose: maximizing size and strength. And there is a good case to support that viewpoint. But we are talking aerobics for health, not strength.

Aerobics, it is widely felt, weakens a competitive powerlifter and any benefits are offset with negatives. Few hard core lifters would be caught dead riding an exer-cycle, walking a treadmill or jumping up and down on a stair-stepper. The broad consensus among the power elite is that cardio is counterproductive to the stated goal. Yet, it has been scientifically and medically proven that three to five, twenty-minute sessions at 60% (or more) of age-related heart rate maximum per week will perform miracles for the heart, lungs, internal organs and glands.

Cardiovascular training flushes the human plumbing system: capillaries, veins, tubes, heart and lungs all benefit from regular aerobic exercise. Internal organs strengthen and improve function when subjected to regular, systematic doses of aerobic exercise. There is a compromise solution for the lifter intent on losing lard. There is a type of aerobic exercise that provides great cardio stimulation without being so intense as to interfere with strength building – walking.

LOW STRESS AEROBIC ACTIVITY: A big man with little or no background in cardio training can hit 70% of their age-related heart rate maximum with a brisk walk around the block. And that’s all that’s needed. No need to join a health spa, no need to purchase an expensive exercise bike or treadmill, forget all that stuff and get outdoors and take a brisk walk. Walk outside for ten minutes as quick as you can then put a forefinger on your carotid artery or wrist pulse and count the beats for six seconds. Multiply this number by 10 to determine how fast your heart is beating. Then compare this to your age-related heart rate maximum to determine your aerobic intensity. What’s the formula? Simple: 220 minus your age are your 100% heart rate maximum. Then determine 70% of this number.

AGE		30		40		50

100% 190 180 170
70% 133 126 119
60% 114 108 102

Start with a ten-minute walk at 60%. Put on a WalkMan, get outside and take a good fast walk. Do this three of four times a week on days that you don’t lift. If you no longer lift, get back in the saddle. Add a few minutes per walking session until you are hitting twenty minutes per session. When you can walk for twenty minutes at 60% try to bump that up to 65% and eventually 70% or more. Increase the intensity by walking faster and swinging your arms a little more. Suck in that good outdoor oxygen and push a little. 3-4 sessions a week at 60-70% of age related heart rate maximum would do wonders for the internal plumbing of a cardio-challenged lifter. Walking avoids the bone-jarring pain of jogging or running – no rips or tears from walking. Don’t po-pah walking – I have had occasion to interview bodybuilding dominator Dorian Yates for Muscle & Fitness and one thing struck me : Yates’ aerobic program often consisted of a brisk walk around his posh neighborhood with his dogs. In the off-season Yates would walk for thirty minutes three or four times a week. Weighing 300, he had no problem hitting 70% of age related heart rate maximum using a brisk walking pace. Unlike his American competitors, many of whom spent two hours a day on bikes and stair-steppers, the bull-strong Yates felt that too much cardio affected his weight training and he preferred to confine his aerobics to off-day walks. Wise advice that is applicable to the massive powerlifter who wants to incorporate some health-preserving cardio into their training.

Lifters who walk in conjunction with powerlifting report improved recovery and better digestion along with a nice increase in appetite. The metabolism kicks up when you undertake a brisk walk as this stimulates the digestive process. Food is processed better and when saturated fat is cutback the athlete sees an almost over-night improvement in the way they look and feel. If fat calories are replaced with ‘clean’ calories muscle is retained while the life threatening effects of body fat and artery constriction are improved. Confine cardio training to low-impact walking done on off-days and no strength loss should occur: on the contrary, the lifter will be able to train harder and longer as a result of their new-found endurance and improved nutrient assimilation. All around it’s a good deal – particularly when the alternative is so dire and bleak. So take a chance and take a walk. Hell, no one even need know you’re doing ‘aerobics’ or going on a diet: as far as anyone is concerned, you’re just taking a walk. You can literally walk away from death if you just get off the strata-lounger, exchange that cheeseburger with Mayo on Wonder bread for a lean steak and a salad and then go outside and take a walk!

How Many Calories Does Zumba Burn?

Have you tried to lose weight recently? Are you tired and confused by all the different "CARDIO" styled dance classes?

Well there's hope for you yet! Meet Zumba Dance …

Zumba Dance is a blending of Latin and International music dance themes creating a vibrant, successful fitness system! The routines feature aerobic / fitness interval training with a combination of fast and slow rhythms that tone and sculpt the body.

ZUMBA utilizes the principles of interval training and resistance training to maximize caloric output, fat burning and total toning.

It is a blend of body sculpting dance movements and easy-to-follow dance steps.

So how many calories does Zumba burn?

An average class can burn from 500 to 800 calories! You can of course burn more or less depending on your intensity and fitness level. Your Zumba instructor will work with you to get the maximum results … fast. Hows that for different! Better than exercising at home listening to some boring cd … right?

Along with the Zumba dance classes it is important to follow these fat loss, fool-proof nutrition tips that will maximize the amount of calories you burn:

* Eat veggies – Mix and match fresh veggies for variety. They are full of fiber and will help you burn more fat.

* Snack – Go ahead just snack on good stuff, like nuts (especially almonds) veggies fresh and dried fruit.

* Nuts – Almonds, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts and pecans are great for you. Spice up that yogurt and salad by throwing a few in.

* Steel cut oats – Cook a ΒΌ cup with 1 cup of rice milk (trust me its delicious and you wont need sweetener) for breakfast

* Protein – Protein is a fat burner. How you ask? Well your body burns more calories digesting protein than eating any other type of food. Eating protein also prevents muscle loss when dieting.

* Yogurt – Will help you lose weight and at the same time protect your muscles. Yogurt is also a simple & convenient snack. It is also high in protein.

Follow these tips attend as many Zumba classes as you can and you will quickly maximize your calories burned.

So how many calories does Zumba burn? Follow these tips and you will burn enough to have that body of your dreams!