Dean Johnson Personal Trainer from UKFitnessPlus

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A great post by my friend Dean Johnson regarding the nigh-on useless nature of treadmill addiction.  Your body can only change by making adaptations and adaptations are only made to new stimuli.  Hence the need to vary the training in order to avoid diminishing returns from your workout.  Enjoy the post and follow my buddy on Twitter


Why RUNNING truly does ‘suck’ & your SECRET to your Fitness Success?

As a Personal Trainer and Health Coach, I am usually in the gym every day. The one thing I constantly see is men and women running on the treadmills, aka the ‘Hamster Wheel’ and if they’re not running their lives away on that, then they’re on cross trainers or steppers. Those of you who work out in a commercial gym or train in one on a regular basis will know exactly what I’m talking about; we all see it, day in day out.
Now, I’m not suggesting this is a bad thing but as any one actually stopped and asked them the question “Why are you running?” Strange isn’t it??  Should we however, ask the question and the answer came back as “I’m warming up” or “I’m to trying to improve my 5k run” or simply “I just enjoy running” then on some level I can in some way understand their reasons. Although, if they were to reply “I want to lose weight around my stomach” or “I want to lose a few pounds” then running is something you really DO NOT want to do and it’s the last thing you want to do PERIOD!!!
Most people are aware of the difference between a Sprinter and a Marathon runner. Sprinters have a lean ‘toned’ muscular frame and their type of training involves short, sharp high intense bursts of exercise; whereas the majority of Marathon runners have a generally skinny-fat physique and completely avoid weights or any type of strength training and stick to low intensity for longer durations.

Experienced gym users know this yet, still run on the treadmill for endless amounts of time and continue doing so, in hope they will lose fat or ‘drop weight’ thus becoming a lean mean machine or fitness model.
The reality is that running for endless amounts of time will NOT make you ‘lose weight’ or ‘tone’ or ‘trim’ the body. In fact, surprisingly enough people who run or do steady state cardio for long periods of time can actually end up putting on weight, (‘Yes, that’s right’) you will put on weight and I do tell my clients; you need to activate the body in order for it to change, when you run on the treadmill you are sleeping! How can you expect your body to change when you don’t wake it up or activate it? In order for the body to change you need to ‘fire it up’. Now here is the scientific explanation behind it:
If you do steady state cardio for a long duration (15-30minutes) your body releases a hormone known as Cortisol. Cortisol is the stress hormone and activates the ‘fight or flight’ responses within our bodies; during long periods of exercise it uses glucose as a fuel to force the breakdown of our muscle tissue, therefore we can actually lose any muscle which we have. If you suffer from stress on a regular basis and are a regular gym user your body could be in a catabolic state which means a slow metabolic rate and an increase in appetitie. By being in this state of mind your bodies burn less calories, therefore we are wanting more and more food, especially those CARBS, therefore this will lead to even higher stress levels. If all this is going on, the effects of natural hormone production are not able to function properly and this will lead to increased fat, particularly around the stomach area.
Both Men and Women need to do some sort of strength training, whether this is general weight training, Kettlebells or even bodyweight exercises. It should be the main source of your training, not cardio. Strength training does raise your Cortisol levels, however whilst doing so it also raises your Testosterone (hormone responsible for building muscle/burning fat) which counteract the buildup of Cortisol (Remember what I said about activating the bodyJ). The end result is Protein synthesis, increased metabolism and eventually lean muscle gain; with a substantial nutritional support.
Okay, so you have probably heard it all by now I’m sure, all the types of interval training you can do, planks rather than sit ups, squats rather than the leg press machine. I’m here to introduce to you all a new type training known as ‘Cardio Conditioning’. This type of training specifically works on boosting metabolism and releasing your lipolytic hormones (a hormone which helps remove fat).  See below for a sample workout:
Deadlift: 8-10 Repetitions ___kg Ice Skaters: 30 seconds Plank: 30 seconds Sprint: 10 seconds
Repeat x 3
KB Swing: 30 seconds 12kg or 16kg Step Ups: 30 seconds Standing Dumbell Rows: 10R ___kg Leg Changes: 10 seconds
Repeat x 3
Shoulder Press: 10R ___kg Explosive Box Jumps: 10R Sliding Knee Rises: 20 seconds Tuck Jumps: 5R
Repeat x 3
The reason why this type of training works so effectively is simply because it works your entire body, and holds the same benefits you receive from normal Strength Training and Metabolic Resistance Training.  The rest periods are kept to a minimum of 30 seconds and a maximum of 45 seconds and all exercises are executed with high bursts of short, sharp periods. This type of training can be practiced just 3 times a week for no longer than 45 minutes and the remarkable thing about this type of training is after you stop exercising your body can keep burning calories up to 72hours, depending how hard you pushed yourself. This workout is NOT for the weak; if you are serious about losing fat this is the workout for you!

And let me now add the link to his first You Tube video, also demonstrating a typical workout that is more conducive to enhancing fitness, strengthening and toning
Keep up the good work Deano!