Wednesday, March 28, 2007

This is good!

I have a love to hate relationship with the t-nation site. It makes me groan, the way that they crap on endlessly about their supplement range, Biotest, which is for the most part a good, solid range, but nothing really special. Actually, there is something special about the Metabolic Drive protein powder.. it tastes fabulous. I want to know their secret there, so if anyone knows their flavourist, I'm sure that everyone has their price, ya know what I'm sayin'.... ;)

What I love about t-nation is that, once you wade through the inevitable product placement, the information and articles are usually extensively researched and packed full of great stuff. I found this article today and appreciated the part, quite some way down, where the author discusses how exactly you benefit from HIIT cardio. Why does HIIT work so well for fatloss, huh? What I learned in PT school is that the extra fatburning effect comes from EPOC - Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption (yes, I don't know why it's not called PEOC either). EPOC is the energy that your body uses to return itself to a normal 'homeostatic' state after intense exercise activity. As Jen Heath points out, EPOC actually isn't all that exciting, and probably accounts only for an extra hundred calories or so at most. The main thing to get worked up over is the glycogen depleting effect of intense cardio (or resistance training for that matter). Less glycogen in your system means that your body will burn more fat during the rest of the day, including while you sitting there catching up on your favourite blogs, and then when you eat, your body will first use the food to replenish your fuel stores rather than adding to the lard supply. Also, the hormonal cascade released during HIIT has a multitude of desirable effects, including natural appetite suppression.

I try to get in two HIIT cardio sessions a week lasting just 15-20 minutes each. Because of my back issues, I really had to reduce the duration of my cardio and it's all done on my increasingly quirky stationary bike. I think the magnetic resistance is on the way out, judging by the loud, random clunking sounds that start if I'm peddling too enthusiastically at high resistance. The heart rate monitor stopped working a while back - at least I hope it did. If it still works then I should be thankful for every day that I'm not dead from Tachycardia.

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