imageSo I am sitting at the John Wayne Airport in Orange County, CA on my way home from the Fitness Business Summit.  It was a good event and I learned a few things for sure.

There were loads of really smart, highly motivated, very passionate trainers there, it was awesome.  However, anytime I attend a fitness industry event, I am shocked at how misinformed many of the ‘professionals’ are.

I heard some guys talking about how useless those pesky training certifications are – now it is true that some are just junk, but there are also some good ones and as a professional it is kind of the minimum standard.  Imagine going to a doctor who didn’t feel that whole medical school thing was worth the bother?

I also heard a trainer with a big reputation refer to the ‘fact’ that kids should not lift heavy weight because it would stunt their growth.  I know some parents still think that is the case, but I thought all trainers knew that was a myth.

Kids shouldn’t avoid heavy weight training because it will stunt their growth, they should avoid it because they are KIDS!

Okay, enough of that – thanks for letting me vent.

Before I share the new way you should be doing cardio training (that will take about half the time of your current routine) I want to send a few shout outs to some Team Revolution Athletes who train at our London, Ontario athlete training studio…

  • SILVER in Pairs Figure Skating at the World Junior Figure Skating Championships in Milan, Italy for Margaret Purdy and Michael Marinaro – they have worked so hard year in and year out, this is a great way for them to leave their junior career and move up to the senior level.  Cannot wait to see what 2014 holds for these two.
  • GOLD and SILVER for Taylor Stewart of the UWO Mustang Track and Field Team at the CIS (National) Championships.  Gold in the Long Jump and Silver in the Triple Jump.

Now, let’s talk cardio training…

CoachI have some great news for you, and by ‘great’ I mean awesome!  If you still think that you need to do 45-60 minutes of running or biking or Stairmaster or whatever to improve your endurance or fight off some extra blubber (and I know some of you do) then the great news is that science finally supports what we have suspected for a while.

You are better off doing short duration of repeated bursts at high intensity than you are doing longer slower cardio.  Now I am not telling you to leap from behind your desk and start doing sprints, especially if the last time you sprinted was in high school gym class.  When you picture your high school gym class and even the guys were wearing short, shorts, you better work your way up to sprinting 🙂

But here is what research shows in terms of fat loss.  People who did 50-minutes of cardio 6 days per week over the course of months (can’t remember if it was 3, 6 or 9) only lost a couple of pounds.

Those who did high intensity interval training only three days per week for about 20-minutes lost about 3-times more fat.

Studies looking at improvements in aerobic fitness (such as VO2 max) found that even this short duration work had a positive effect on VO2 max.  We used to think that you had to go long and slow to work on that.

So here is what I want you to try the next time you are doing some cardio work…

  • Warm up first of course
  • Go hard for 30 seconds (again, if you have not sprinted in 15-years, do not go out ans start sprinting around the track, you will hurt something) and by hard, I mean really hard.
  • Then go very easy for 60 seconds and by very easy, I mean VERY EASY like walking at a slow pace – you need recovery so you can go hard on the interval.
  • Repeat that for 10- reps (yes, only 15-minutes of work)
  • Do that once per week for the first two weeks and then you can bump it up to twice per week for two weeks and then up to three times per week.

If you play hockey, soccer, squash, basketball – almost any multidirectional sport, this type of training will have a much greater impact on your performance than the old school steady state training.

Happy Training All.


PS – there is still some room in the Spring Tryout Solution program for hockey players 14 years of age and older who are looking to impress at Spring Tryouts this season.  Just email to schedule your free try-out.