I spent a Sunday morning with hundreds of endorphin junkies running around St Georges in Bermuda’s first 5 km steeplechase called the Urban Foot Race.
If the hills and tight alleys were not enough we all had to complete 18 obstacles along the route, including climbing over a bus, jumping over 6 feet walls, swinging across monkey bars and a refreshing swim off the dock at Kings Square to finish.
Training for this event was the perfect catalyst for getting in the best shape you can for that special event in mind.
Competing in groups of two, it consisted of sprinting, jumping, lifting, pulling, leaping, bounding and hard work.
It wasn’t just about the running, but also strength, power and teamwork. Training for an event like this comprises of cardiovascular conditioning and strength training.
Many of us struggle to lose that extra 10 pounds despite increasing the cardio sessions.
But this is where the problem lies.
Each time you perform the same exercise repeatedly, particularly with running, you are becoming more fuel-efficient and burning less fat per mile.
If you think of your body as a car engine then you will be getting more miles to the gallon.
This is perfect for athletic performance but it’s not optimal for fat burning! To lose those extra pounds of unwanted body fat you need to become fuel inefficient with fewer miles to the gallon so to speak.
When it comes to cardio training the best and simplest way to burn fat is making sure that your body doesn’t adapt to any given exercise.
To ensure you are not over-exposing yourself to it simply change up your workout often.
Try not to use the same piece of cardio equipment two times in a row.
If you are running then make sure you mix up your regime with interval training, fartlek work and completing shorter distances at a much faster pace.
One of the most effective ways to become fuel inefficient is to increase lean muscle mass.
Gaining lean muscle mass will not only sculpt and tone the body into a desirable shape but give you that bigger engine that you need so more fuel is needed for daily functioning.
This means your metabolism will be boosted and not only will you burn more calories throughout the day but you’ll also be able to consume more calories without putting weight on. It’s a win-win scenario.
At rest, your body will burn about 5 calories per day to maintain one pound of body fat.
At rest, your body burns about 50 calories per day to maintain one pound of lean muscle mass.
This illustrates how significantly having more muscle increases your metabolism and gives you that bigger engine.
This also comes in handy during an Urban Foot Race.
An example fat burning program consists of five exercises performed back to back. Most of the exercises should be compound moves that use multiple joints.
For best results, alternate between upper and lower body exercises to get the heart pumping blood all over the body.
Rest for 90 seconds then repeat up to 4 times. Adding short bursts of cardio at the end of the circuit will keep your heart rate high and shock the body!
- Squat Push Press – 10 reps
- Push Ups – 10 reps
- Pull Ups – 10 reps
- Box Step Ups – 10 reps
- Lunge Jumps – 10 reps each leg
Alternating Superman on Swiss Ball – 10 reps each side
200 metre run at 80% full effort
This fat-burning circuit will leave you breathing hard and sweating buckets and is exactly what you need to shed those last 10 pounds.
It will also get you fit and functional in no time!