Friday, June 26, 2009

Can You Get Fit In Six Minutes A Week??

Read this in the NY TIMES, and it makes sense to me especially when I think about kettlebell training and the awesome effects of this form of training which provides simultaneous strength, cardio and core conditioning!!! When one thinks of this kind of training which demands mind and body working together one can not discount the fact that EFFORT MUST be involved! Do not confuse this with working toward PAIN. However, EFFORT does not mean EASY either! One must train with maximal effort to get the desired adaption from the body! Read this and ponder! I am off to the the beach for some Fun in the Sun--- a little surfing, shell collecting, beach football, lounging by the ocean, and of course kb workouts in the sand with the glorious sights and sounds of the surf! I CAN NOT wait! All the best, Betsy

June 24, 2009, 12:26 pm
Can You Get Fit in Six Minutes a Week?
By Gretchen Reynolds

A few years ago, researchers at the National Institute of Health and Nutrition in Japan put rats through a series of swim tests with surprising results. They had one group of rodents paddle in a small pool for six hours, this long workout broken into two sessions of three hours each. A second group of rats were made to stroke furiously through short, intense bouts of swimming, while carrying ballast to increase their workload. After 20 seconds, the weighted rats were scooped out of the water and allowed to rest for 10 seconds, before being placed back in the pool for another 20 seconds of exertion. The scientists had the rats repeat these brief, strenuous swims 14 times, for a total of about four-and-a-half minutes of swimming. Afterward, the researchers tested each rat’s muscle fibers and found that, as expected, the rats that had gone for the six-hour swim showed preliminary molecular changes that would increase endurance. But the second rodent group, which exercised for less than five minutes also showed the same molecular changes.

The potency of interval training is nothing new. Many athletes have been straining through interval sessions once or twice a week along with their regular workout for years. But what researchers have been looking at recently is whether humans, like that second group of rats, can increase endurance with only a few minutes of strenuous exercise, instead of hours? Could it be that most of us are spending more time than we need to trying to get fit?

The answer, a growing number of these sports scientists believe, may be yes.

“There was a time when the scientific literature suggested that the only way to achieve endurance was through endurance-type activities,” such as long runs or bike rides or, perhaps, six-hour swims, says Martin Gibala, PhD, chairman of the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. But ongoing research from Gibala’s lab is turning that idea on its head. In one of the group’s recent studies, Gibala and his colleagues had a group of college students, who were healthy but not athletes, ride a stationary bike at a sustainable pace for between 90 and 120 minutes. Another set of students grunted through a series of short, strenuous intervals: 20 to 30 seconds of cycling at the highest intensity the riders could stand. After resting for four minutes, the students pedaled hard again for another 20 to 30 seconds, repeating the cycle four to six times (depending on how much each person could stand), “for a total of two to three minutes of very intense exercise per training session,” Gibala says.

Each of the two groups exercised three times a week. After two weeks, both groups showed almost identical increases in their endurance (as measured in a stationary bicycle time trial), even though the one group had exercised for six to nine minutes per week, and the other about five hours. Additionally, molecular changes that signal increased fitness were evident equally in both groups. “The number and size of the mitochondria within the muscles” of the students had increased significantly, Gibala says, a change that, before this work, had been associated almost exclusively with prolonged endurance training. Since mitochondria enable muscle cells to use oxygen to create energy, “changes in the volume of the mitochondria can have a big impact on endurance performance.” In other words, six minutes or so a week of hard exercise (plus the time spent warming up, cooling down, and resting between the bouts of intense work) had proven to be as good as multiple hours of working out for achieving fitness. The short, intense workouts aided in weight loss, too, although Gibala hadn’t been studying that effect. “The rate of energy expenditure remains higher longer into recovery” after brief, high-intensity exercise than after longer, easier workouts, Gibala says. Other researchers have found that similar, intense, brief sessions of exercise improve cardiac health, even among people with heart disease.

There’s a catch, though. Those six minutes, if they’re to be effective, must hurt. “We describe it as an ‘all-out’ effort,” Gibala says. You’ll be straying “well out of your comfort zone.” That level of discomfort makes some activities better-suited to intense training than others. “We haven’t studied runners,” Gibala says. The pounding involved in repeated sprinting could lead to injuries, depending on a runner’s experience and stride mechanics. But cycling and swimming work well. “I’m a terrible swimmer,” Gibala says, “so every session for me is intense, just because my technique is so awful.”
Meanwhile, his lab is studying whether people could telescope their workouts into even less time. Could a single, two- to three-minute bout of intense exercise confer the same endurance and health benefits as those six minutes of multiple intervals? Gibala is hopeful. “I’m 41, with two young children,” he says. “I don’t have time to go out and exercise for hours.” The results should be available this fall.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Time Flies when you are having FUN.....

And even when you are not! But I say this in a positive light. This month I am keenly aware of what month and year it is and how time flies! For me, kettlebell training began a little over two years ago. It was June 2, 2007(should have written this blog entry on June 2 2009). I was introduced to kettlebells then and have been hooked ever since! I am eternally grateful to my trainer, friend, and former business partner for my gains in learning the delicate intricacies of kettlebell training. From the moment my hands touched the kettlebell I knew I had found what I was looking for. I have been in fitness for many years (if I tell the exact number it will really make me sound OLD!!!!!)

But for me, movement began at an early age, 3 to be exact. I started formal dance training then and kept up with it through adulthood, in every way possible considering what life responsibilites as a single professional, married couple, and married with children lifestyle would allow. I began teaching all sorts of group fitness. Everything you could imagine that hit the scene. I enjoyed it all, really! Teaching people how to move, how to learn body awareness,the motivation of the people, the music, the energy, the challenge of finding motivation, of creating it, of changing lives...for the better hopefully.

But then I got upset with the broken fitness model... You know the one... Where the gym is packed with every sort of machine, every sort, of weight, every sort of elliptical, and treadmill. And most who are there are tryin their best or maybe not, just checking the box. Who is helping them? Are they in need of rehab for an injury? Has anyone shown them proper form? With anything they are attempting? I saw this repeatedly, with folks coming and going and leaving with the same results. Poor or even hurtful results. Results that never met their expectations.

I knew I couldn't stay in that environment. I wanted to make a positive impact on a larger scale than just making someone feel good in a one hour class. Sure, I had a great following for many years at many gyms. But I felt I hadn't shown them enough. The right stuff. Like how to use your whole body safely, effectively, efficiently. That' s when I found kettlebells. As an RKC Level II Instructor, I am intent on teaching in that manner. You see that is the way the RKC instructs their instructors. Methodolgies that teach you true mechanics of the body and how to train yor body safely and meticulously for amazing results.

For me I'm living the dream! It's hard at times, 'cuz I'm constantly holding myself accountable. Especially if things go wrong or don't meet my expectations. But I am
holding steadfast to the thought pattern that doing what you love, following your passion,using God given talents (if you are fortunate enough to realize what they are) will be rewarding tenfold for you and those you come in contact with. What's the hardest part? Behavior modification.... We all have patterns from time to time that need remapping, refocus, redirection... After all we all are creatures... of habit...
Looking forward to many more years of training with kettlebells and hopefully making a positive difference in people's lives one person at a time. Celebrate the little things!
PS I left out a big thank you to my friend who really was instrumental in putting me "in touch" with kettlebells all along! Thanks girlfriend for realizing my passion before I did!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Who Does Kettlebells?

Check this video out. You might find someone exactly like you who trains with kettlebells! Also, I'm one of the folks who was interviewed for this! See what you think:

Friday, June 5, 2009

Profile of Me in Durham Herald Sun

I was lucky enough to be profiled recently in the Durham Herald Sun. Follow the link and you can see what a day in my life is like!