Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

News

November 8, 2012

Fitness column: It's not the time spent, it's the intensity

Question: What is the best bang for the buck? What do you think is most effective for weight and fat loss: long moderate cardio, weight training, intense interval training, yoga, or something else?

Jamey Lachiana

Yang’s Fitness Center

Answer: If your goal is to become more “toned,” have less body fat, and more strength, working out at medium to high levels of intensity while using proper form is the way to go. Many people spend far too long on cardio equipment or around the gym watching TV, talking on the phone, or “resting.” Utilizing exercise intervals of high intensity and recovering at a medium intensity is a fantastic way to not only decrease blood pressure, increase metabolism, increase heart strength/circulation, but also burn fat and increase muscle strength as well.

The very lowest of levels of fitness to the highest of competitive athletes should be using interval training. Don’t spend an abundance of time on cardio equipment unless you’re running or biking competitively. Twenty minutes of 80-90 percent of your max heart rate is better than 45 minutes of 60-70 percent. Heart rates vary from person to person based on health and fitness levels.

Interval training can be used with calisthenic exercises and weight training also. When weight training, try changing up the amount of weight and repetitions you normally perform. Too often do I see people doing the same exercises, weights, and repetitions with little to no change after months or sometimes years of paying for memberships to a gym. Do your body a favor and change your exercises every 8 to 10 weeks.

It’s not how much time you spend working out, it’s the quality of the effort you put into it.

Jamey Lachiana has been an exercise physiologist in Andover area since 1998. He has a bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Bridgewater State College and is ACSM/NASM Certified.

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