Exercise…..I have a love hate relationship with it. I’ve maintained my weight since I was around 16 by doing some sort of cardio for 30 minutes 3x a week. If I stopped my routine, it didn’t take long for me to gain that 10lbs I had been keeping at bay. When I had my first baby I continued my routine at home after buying a treadmill. After I finished breast feeding I quickly gained the dreaded 10lbs even with my 30 minutes of brisk walking 3x a week. So, I started counting calories. It worked great and I found that it was a strategy that worked for me. Once baby number 2 came, two kids were a lot to juggle and finding time for exercise was overwhelming. More than ever did I need to exercise so I could lose the 45 lbs I gained while pregnant. Now, 30 minutes doesn’t seem like a huge sacrifice but when you are sleep deprived, have an angry 3 year old defying every word you say, a newborn not napping well and a husband that worked 6 days a week, exercise is just not something I wanted to do. I was bored with walking on the treadmill and 30 minutes just felt fruitless.
One of my favorite health sites www.mercola.com posted an article on Peak 8 fitness. The idea was that by peaking your heart rate 8 times in a work out with rest in between you would trigger the production of a hormone called HGH which stands for Human Growth Hormone. This hormone is so beneficial to overall health and youth. HGH helps to build muscle and raise metabolism. Dr. Mercola learned this technique from Phil Campbell who has a very successful career in training professional athletes. Here is what he says about HGH-
“A new study shows, and this is really exciting, that when you work the fast twitch fiber and work your heart muscle anaerobically, your body releases exercise-induced growth hormones (HGH) that actually mimic taking injections of growth hormones.
… [Y]ou get as much as a 530 percent increase in growth hormone!
… It stays your body for two hours, going after body fat like a heat seeking missile. It’s so powerful that if you were to do the program today and monitor your blood, it will look like you injected growth hormone illegally. That’s why there is no HGH test for Olympic athletes today.”
20 minutes of the Peak 8 routine goes so fast. It’s actually fun and not boring at all! I can fit it in during nap time and be done quickly. I do it 3 days a week and no more. Dr. Mercola makes it very clear that being an over achiever with this type of exercise can actually be detrimental to your body and your progress.
This is how you do Peak 8-
- Warm up for three minutes
- Exercise as hard and fast as you can 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
This is what it looks like on a treadmill=
:01-3:00 warm up (about 2.5-3mph)
3-3:30 run (about 5-7mph)
3:30-5 slow walking
5:30-7 slow walking
7:30-9 slow walking
9:30-11 slow walking
11:30-13 slow walking
13:30-15 slow walking
15:30-17 slow walking
17:30-20 cool down
If you want to know more, this article is a great read! http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2010/11/13/phil-campbell-on-sprint-8-exercises.aspx and also http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2012/02/10/phil-campbell-interview.aspx