Gav and I decided to go to our local park for a workout before breakfast on Sunday rather than hit the gym for a change, so we got up early and jogged to the park (which took about 5 minutes) and then did a ten minute warm up of dynamic stretches as we planned to do some sprints with bodyweight exercises in between.
The park was PACKED with people jogging, all with headphones in just going around and around and around. I LOVE seeing people out and about exercising early on a nice crisp morning, getting it done before many others are even out of bed. As I looked about I noticed that most (not all) of the joggers were fairly overweight. It would be fair for me to say that they were jogging with a view to lose weight – I think that’s an assumption most of us would have made. These people were not competitive runners putting in the early morning miles.
So you can picture the scene right?
The joggers continued around the park as we started out workout:
A1: 60m sprint @ 80% effort
A2: 20 push ups
Repeat 5 times. So 5 sprints into 5 x 20 push ups. Recovery time was the walk back to the start.
B1: 60m sprint at 90% effort
B2: 20 jumping lunges
Repeat 5 times. So 5 sprints into 5 x 20 jumping lunges. Recovery time was the walk back to the start.
Our total workout time was approximately 15 mins, excluding our warm up so we decided to do a lap of the park at a very light paced jog to cool down. Lo and behold, all the park joggers were still jogging around, looking slightly more worn out by now, but still at the same pace and still with the same determination.
So what’s my point?
Let’s consider the joggers workout. Say they jogged for about 30-45 mins with a total distance of anything from 3-6km depending on their pace. Of course this is a complete estimate on my part, but the figures don’t really matter. Calories expended could range from 250-600kcal which doesn’t look too bad initially, but are these calories from fat? The answer is no. More on that in a bit…
What is most important to know is that the body will stop burning calories the minute the workout is over. The metabolism will go back to its normal rate. The body will actually go into a state of catabolism meaning it will use it’s own muscle tissue for fuel which is exactly the OPPOSITE to burning body fat. Weight loss CAN occur, but the workout will actually weaken the individuals muscle and lower the metabolic rate over time. Steady rate cardio will do this to you. Not good.
Now let’s examine our workout…Sprints with bodyweight exercises on the end.
My heart rate was very high, hitting a maximum of about 180bpm and only dropping to 150bpm during the recovery walk. My muscle mass will be preserved, and in fact, sprints can put your body into an anabolic state meaning that muscle and strength gains are common. Calorie expenditure is reasonable, but more importantly, over the next 24 hours my metabolic rate is working overtime so I will continue to burn calories and FAT rather than burning muscle and making me fatter over time. My VO2 max will also increase, which means I will get fitter, and still be able to run a 5km if the need arose. (Hopefully it won’t because I can’t stand running!)
So, the jogging workout is inefficient and ineffective for fat loss. A longer workout by far with less results…Who wants that? Not me thanks!
It’s super frustrating to see these people who are clearly determined to lose weight but are just misguided or misinformed.
The bottom line is this…
Make your workouts short, sharp and intense. Keep the body guessing as your results will come far quicker by mixing things up. If you’re a fan of running then do intervals within your run/jog. Pick a tree or a distance and sprint to it then recover for about 60 seconds. Repeat as many times as you can within your jog…It’ll keep things interesting, and I guarantee you’ll see results quicker.
Better still, skip the jog, do some sprints for 20 minutes and enjoy the rest of your day.
That’s what we did 🙂
As always, any questions then drop me an email…