Q&A with Stephanie Solaris: Getting the Most Out of Your Workout

Q: How do I get the most out of my workout in the least amount of time?

A: With spring in the air it’s natural to want to feel lean for the summer and look good with lighter clothing on!  I’m not a trainer but working out is an essential part of my life and a key to my weight loss.

First and foremost, I believe you must have fun when you’re being active.   For some people, that’s being in the gym doing cardio listening to music or watching your favorite show, lifting weights, going to classes or spinning with your favorite trainer.  For others, it’s biking, tennis, basketball, walking, golf, swimming, soccer, yoga, karate and the list goes on.

If you’re having fun while you’re exercising, the excess weight will melt right off before you know it!

Now, how do you get the most out of your workout with the least amount of time?  There is a great deal of conflicting information out there in regards to how much exercise we really need.  A study was published recently by The Journal of the American Medical Association that is confusing everyone!   It states that a woman needs at least an hour a day to ‘keep weight off’.  This has nothing to do with losing weight.   Federal guidelines state that to maintain good health – not lose weight – we need 30 minutes, 5 days a week of moderate to intense exercise.  The Institute of Medicine reported in 2002 that you must work out for 60 minutes, 7 days a week.

So, which is it – do we need 30 minutes or an hour?  5 days a week or every day of the week?

Bottom line is that what none of these studies mention is the importance of nutrition.  As a matter of fact, in the most recent study they did not even track nutritional intake.   So who knows how much exercise you actually need to burn off that party meal from the night before.

The most effective workouts I’ve found to lose weight while being on the right nutrition plan for effective weight loss is burst training.  Burst training is when, during cardiovascular workouts, you burst full out for 1 minute, then slow it down for 30 seconds, burst again for 1 minute, then slow it down, and so on.  It’s maximum output with minimum time!

Skip Fuller, Sports Performance Director of TEST Sports Clubs agrees and stresses, ” I don’t train harder, I train smarter.”  He suggests “super setting or quad setting” workouts.  What the heck does this mean?  When doing strength training exercises, do them one after another in sets of 3 where the third and final set is done to almost failure.  Strength train for about 30-35 minutes and alternate it with 30 minutes of burst cardiovascular activity.  The key is to switch up your workouts every 2 weeks!

Years ago, Bill Phillips wrote a book called Body for Life and it was my bible at 240+ pounds.  He alternates cardio burst training and weight training exercises that target specific muscle groups throughout the week.

He actually challenges you to finish your hard earned cardio workout in 20 minutes and weight training workout in 46 minutes.  In my experience you get great results with minimum time and I highly recommend it.    If you have a solid routine like the one I mentioned above along with an active fun lifestyle doing what you love (and stick to your nutrition plan), you’ll feel lean, energized and strong this coming season!

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