What if I told you that there is a way to not only exercise quickly but way more effectively AND that you would be releasing a “youth hormone” at the same time? Sounds like a win-win situation, doesn’t it?
I recently read about the Sprint 8 method of exercise in an interview with Dr. Mercola, of health and wellness fame, and Phil Campbell, a fitness expert with over 35 years experience in training professional athletes. It opened my eyes to a new and more effective way to get fit, with a commitment of 3 days a week for only 20 minutes. As a woman who runs it all and has very little free time, how could that not appeal to me?
Why you need to try this
It turns out that the way many of us have been approaching cardio workouts isn’t going to necessarily give us the health benefits that we need. Here’s why:
Your body has 3 kinds of muscle fiber: slow (red muscle which contains more oxygen), fast (white muscle), and super-fast (also white muscle). If you’re not working all 3, you are not working out your heart muscle completely.
Your heart needs both aerobic and anaerobic exercise but if you are doing long, slow cardio exercises, you are not getting the anaerobic work-out that your heart needs – long distance running, long times on the elliptical machine or stationary bike etc. are just not going to get you there because they only work the slow muscle fibers.
If you do not work your fast and super-fast muscle fibers, not surprisingly, they will atrophy ,which is a huge detriment to your overall health and fitness.
The fountain of youth
Aside from the obvious cardiovascular benefits, the Sprint 8 method releases the human growth hormone (HGH) – something we produce in abundance in our youth, but which declines as we age. HGH can increase bone density, increase muscle mass, decrease body fat, and increase exercise capacity (MayoClinic.com). Doing Sprint 8 exercising can cause as much as a 530% increase in this growth hormone in your system, which actually mimics the effects of taking these hormones by injection.
Burn fat longer and better
Working your fast and super-fast muscles and releasing all of that HGH causes it to stay in your blood stream and means that you continue to burn fat up to2 HOURS after you have finished exercising. Your body simply does not produce HGH after long, slow exercise.
Even doctors are convinced
I know that none of us have time in our busy lives to fuss around with fad diets and exercise routines, which is why this final tidbit really got my attention. Both the American Heart Association and the American College of Sports Medicine are now recommending moderate intensive cardio 5 days a week for 30 minutes or vigorously intensive cardio for 20 minutes 3 days a week. It would seem that Mr. Campbell is really on to something. After all, as he points out in the interview with Dr. Mercola, which type of athlete looks healthier overall, the sprinter or the marathon runner? The physical differences are quite pronounced.
What you need to do
Whether it’s an elliptical machine, treadmill, recumbent bike or any other method of exercise you choose, follow these same guidelines.
Warm up for three minutes.
Exercise as hard and fast as you can (sprint) for 30 seconds. You should feel like you couldn’t possibly go on another few seconds.
Recover for 90 seconds.
Repeat the high intensity exercise and recovery 7 more times.
Here are the positive signs you need to look for after your sprint time:
Relative difficulty breathing or talking after your sprint because you are in oxygen debt.
Profuse sweating, typically beginning in the second or third repetition.
Rise in body temperature.
Muscle “burn” caused by increase in lactic acid.
If you are out of shape or have any health concerns at all, please speak with your doctor before undertaking any new fitness routines. Dr. Mercola recommends starting with only 2 or 3 repetitions and working your way up to 8 gradually.
Once you’ve tried the Sprint 8 method you won’t look back. Well, maybe you will, but it will only be at your old photographs to help you see how youthful this method is making you look!