Re: Multiple Workout Sessions

Andrzej Rosa <bakters@xxxxxxxxx> writes:

Dnia 2009-02-06 Jason Earl napisał(a):
Charles <jrh@xxxxxxx> writes:

Does anyone have a view on multiple workout sessions for sedentary
hectically busy office people who are obese, unfit, and really need
to exercise - but can't get to a gym (no, they really can't).

I like them. Depending on your goals they can be quite effective.

If a person has a stationary bike in his/her office for instance,
and is willing to do 6 five-minute sessions, or 3 ten-minute
sessions (or for an hour) throughout the course of the working day,
is there likely to be any cardio-vascular and calorie burning

Short training sessions can be very effective at both burning
calories and improving cardiovascular fitness, but to work they have
to be fairly brutal. Google Tabata intervals or High Intensity
Interval Training.

You don't advocate multiple daily Tabata protocols, do you? Because
it reads that way, and I firmly believe that it would be quite crazy

Good catch. One set of Tabata protocols per day is plenty. Multiple
short strength training sessions, on the other hand, works out nicely.

To give you an idea quite a bit of research has gone into studying
training programs that are as short as 4 minutes per day. Generally
speaking the results have been very positive. The downside,
unfortunately, is that these sorts of training styles are quite
brutal. As an example Tabata intervals involve 20 secs of maximum
effort followed by 10 seconds of rest repeated 8 times (for a total
time of 3 minutes 50 seconds). If that doesn't sound difficult get a
watch that has an interval timer and try sprinting.

It is harder than it sounds. I certainly wouldn't recommend it if
you can't take a shower afterward.

I wouldn't recommend it at all, actually. For me Tabatas are the kind
of protocol which looks blimey on paper, but is mostly useless for the
kind of goals the general public tends to exercise. They are short
and intense, too short and too intense. You don't burn all that many
calories, even as far as cardio goes, and because of brutal intensity
you can't really do them often, or you'll burn out mentally in no time
at all.

So Tabatas are pretty much useless if done sparingly and they don't even
add up, do they?

Have you tried them? In Tabata's paper the folks doing Tabata sprints
lost more weight than people working out at more moderate paces for much
longer. My own experience shows that Tabata protocols are very
effective for losing weight. Far more effective, in fact, than
hamstering away on a treadmill. The downside is that it is difficult to
psyche yourself up to do them on a regular basis.

At least it was for me.

Also after a month of Tabata sprints three times a week I shattered my
previous best in the 1.5 mile hill course I use as a fitness gauge.
Before I did the Tabata test my cardio consisted of running the same
hill course three times a week. I had been doing that same course three
times a week for two years, and my progress had definitely plateaued. I
also was surprised at how much better I felt when playing soccer.
Tabata sprints improved my ability to recover from sprints dramatically.

Now, I would not recommend Tabata sprints to someone who was just
starting to exercise. However, if you haven't tried working out that
way I think you would be surprised how effective it can be.