Want Fat Loss Fast? Try HIIT Workouts

Increase fat loss with interval trainingIt seems everyone is looking for an easy fat loss strategy these days.  Although it isn’t easy to perform, I highly recommend High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) for exceptional fat loss results.

Interval training is an exercise strategy alternating periods of hard exercise effort with lower intensity recovery periods. Unlike your traditional cardio workouts in the gym that might have you on a treadmill or elliptical trainer for 45 plus minutes, interval training workouts are much shorter (usually 5-20 minutes).  These short, intense workouts provide improved athletic capacity and conditioning, improved glucose metabolism, and accelerated use of stored fat for fuel in the hours after the HIIT workout is over.

Don’t expect this short workout to be a walk in the park, though! It is very intense if done right.  This is one of the reasons a HIIT session is shorter than a traditional cardio workout.

It’s important to do a proper warm up before engaging in high intensity exercise.  If you are new to exercise, I recommend that you have at least 10 minutes of warm up time, and then approach the higher intensity intervals in a step-wise manner, adding on additional cycles of exercise as you become more fit.

For example, you might do 30 seconds of higher intensity exercise followed by 90 seconds of lower intensity exercise, and repeat this cycle only 3-5 times.  As you become more fit, you can increase the number of cycles you do, and also decrease your recovery time a bit.

There really is no ideal time for work/recovery cycles.  With interval training, you can mix it up!  One day you might do intervals of 40 seconds hard work/20 seconds recovery.  Another day you might do a 20/10 split.  The key to effective interval training is to work HARD on the high intensity segments  (about a 9 on a scale of 1-10 once you’ve built up a good conditioning base).

With regard to what types of exercises you can do in a HIIT workout–the sky is the limit!  Combining sprinting with slower running (or walking) is a simple way to do HIIT.  You can also use a variety of cardio machines at your gym, or utilize any number of calisthenic-type exercises right in your own back yard.

For an idea on how to put together a HIIT workout, please check out a video I did for my customers.  It’s a sample HIIT program you can do in your own backyard.

As San Jose personal trainer for many years, I’ve recommended HIIT as a means to better fat loss results for hundreds of my clients.  Although it’s really hard while you’re doing it—-you’re exercising for a fraction of the time of a typical gym goer.  I call that good exercise math ……..MORE results……..LESS time .:-D.


Committed to your success,





Boot Camp in San Jose Shows You How to Get More Results in Less Time!

It seems everybody is crazy busy these days.  It’s no wonder that many people say the one reason they don’t exercise is because they don’t have time.

We’re helping people crush that  “I have no time” excuse at our fitness boot camps in San Jose, Los Gatos and Campbell.  We’re showing people how to maximize every minute in their workouts and get MORE results in LESS time than “traditional” workouts at the gym. Many people still hang on to the notion that you need to do hours of cardio workouts every week on top of hours of weight lifting at the gym in order lose weight and be fit. Nope.  Recent research proves otherwise.

Recent studies have found that “metabolic” training, or combining strength and cardiovascular exercises together in a circuit format, are very effective for fat loss.  Studies have also found that interval training (combining periods of high intensity exercise with segments of lower intensity exercise), is very effective for fat loss and muscle preservation.

The cool thing about these types of workouts is that they’re typically SHORTER workouts than the traditional gym workout during which a person does a cardio workout for 30-60 minutes followed by a strength training workout for another 30-45 minutes.  I’m “Crazy Busy” just like everyone else in Silicon Valley.  If I can work out and get the results I want in LESS time, I’m all for it!

What does a “metabolic” workout look like?  Well, the sky is the limit, but here are a couple of examples from some of our recent workouts:

At our boot camp in Downtown San Jose we created of circuit of jump  squats, push ups, hopping through an agility ladder, standing rows and alternating lunges.  We did the exercises at each station for 50 seconds, took a rest for 10 seconds, and the moved on to the next station.  We did this circuit for three rounds.This workout developed upper and lower body strength, lower body power and cardiovascular fitness–in a FRACTION of the time of a typical workout at the gym.

Next week at our evening boot camp in Los Gatos, we’ll put our campers through an obstacle course during which they’ll lunge, jump, push things, pull things, and step up on things while they move around the park we use.  It’s a full body workout that combines strength work, cardiovascular conditioning and includes functional movements (squatting, stepping, pulling, pushing) that we do as humans in every day life.  This type of a workout burns massive calories, boosts our metabolism for hours after the workout and helps us perform and move better on a daily basis.

Aside from the physical benefits that interval training affords us, creating the variety that we do in all our boot camps in the Bay Area keeps the FUN in fitness.

Now, if you like running on a treadmill for an hour, or doing a little “aerobic magazine reading” on the elliptical, well that’s fine.  But if you’re trying to boost your metabolism, shed some body fat, and maximize every moment of your workout, give metabolic training a try!

Want to experience a non-gym workout?  Try a lifeSport Fitness boot camp in San Jose, Los Gatos or Campbell today!

Not sure if boot camp is for you?  To request  a FREE one-week trial, please log on to: http://www.lifesportbootcamp.com

Committed to your fitness success,


15-minute fat blasting workout

Okay campers, I’ve got another video for you. I recently had the pleasure of doing a “Lunch and Learn” presentation at Avalon Bay Communities, a local corporation.  The theme of my talk was “15 minute fat blasting workouts”.

So many of us are crazy busy these days, yet we hold on to the concept that the only “real” workout is an hour long run, or 1 hour of weights at the gym.  I beg to differ. When time gets short, our workouts need to change. My suggestion:  Increase the intensity, and shorten the time frame.

I asked the participants at my presentation to brainstorm a list of exercises that we could do with little to no equipment. Our list included squats, lunges, jumping jacks, push ups, dips, and a number of other body weight strength or calisthenic-type exercises.  From there we randomly picked 4 exercises and a work/rest interval plan.  Viola.  We’ve got a high intensity workout!

In the video below I demonstrate each exercise we chose, and I include beginner and advanced modifications on some of the exercises.  I also include suggestions for beginner and advanced exercises with regard to how many rounds of the circuit you should do (beginners:  you’ll be done in LESS than 15 minutes!).

Once again, my workout companion, Noah the wonder dog, manages to squeeze in another cameo appearance.  At one point in the video, he does his impression of a cow grazing in a pasture for you.

Give this quick, high intensity workout a try this weekend!

Committed to your success,


The Secret to Blasting Belly Fat

Due to technical difficulty in editing the workout video I created for you last Friday (my computer is bumping up to it’s memory limit), I’ve decided to answer a question I get a lot at my San Jose boot camps, and Jackie gets asked a lot at our Campbell boot camp.  I’ll get you the video later this week when I free up more memory in my computer!

So, the burning question is:  “How do I get rid of my belly fat??

The answer doesn’t lie in hundreds of crunches. You can do crunches till you’re blue in the face–it won’t reduce the fat located in your belly (dang it!).  At best, you’ll get stronger abs.  Crunches aren’t my favorite exercise for strong abs–but we’ll save the “say no to the ‘all crunch’ workout” rant for another day.

The key to seeing your abs is to eat and exercise for fat loss, not necessarily for weight loss. You can severely restrict your calorie intake and you’ll lose weight–but what have you really lost???  Probably some calorie burning muscle!  Your body consists of fat mass and lean body mass (water, muscle, bone, organs, etc.). You want to minimize your fat mass and maximize your lean body mass.  This will raise your metabolic rate and help you burn more calories all day long.  So, crash dieting or eating a very low calorie diet may actually set you back in your quest for lean, flat abs.

Here are my suggestions to drop body fat in order to reveal lean, toned abs:

Eat small meals throughout the day that consist mainly of lean protein, produce and monounsaturated fats (like olive oil, nuts, canola oil and avocado).  Monounsaturated fats have been featured in the “Flat Belly Diet” promoted by Prevention Magazine.  Eaten in moderation, they seem to help with weight loss.

Minimize processed junk food. It’s usually high in calories and this will not lead to successful fat loss.

Go easy on grain based foods (most of us tend to eat too many—yours truly included!).  When you do eat grain based foods, make them whole grain (oatmeal, whole wheat bread, brown or wild rice).

Strength train hard. Put down the pink Barbie weights and lift to fatigue!  Research has shown that test subjects who did aggressive strength training lost inches from their midsection.  Your best bet is to focus on burning as many calories during your workouts as possible by engaging your whole body each and every training session. Multi-joint movements like squats, push-ups, and lunges (or better yet, total body exercises like a squat-to-press) burn a lot more calories than single joint movements. I don’t have a problem with single joint exercises (like biceps curls), but I’d like to see most of your exercises in any given workout be multi-joint exercises.   You’ll strengthen all your major muscle groups this way and you’ll burn lots of calories. When you come to boot camp, Jackie and I take care of this for you by giving you lots of multi-joint exercises to do!

Include interval training as part of your cardio workout.  Interval training has been shown to burn WAY more calories during a workout than “steady state” exercise at a moderate exertion level.  In addition, your metabolism stays elevated for awhile after a hard workout–burning more calories for you again!

Mix up your cardio routine. Notice how you get better at certain cardio workouts over time?  Yep.  You’re getting more efficient.  But that’s not what you want when you work out!  Mix up your routine so that your body doesn’t acclimate.  Stay inefficient!  Keep your body guessing and working hard by changing up your cardio interval routines (hey, we do this for you at boot camp, too!).

Get enough calcium. Some research has shown the people on fat loss programs who get adequate calcium lose more fat than those who don’t consume calcium.

So, there you have it, my suggestions for whittling down your belly fat.

Questions?  Comments?  Please leave them below.

Let’s make our last week of July camp a great one!

Committed to your (fat loss) success,


P.S.  A warm welcome to a few “late entries” to our July camps:

Campbell boot camp:  Welcome, Kelsey!

Almaden boot camp:  Welcome Marnie, Maritza and Lori!

A Workout to Blast Your Belly Fat

Of course, there is no way to spot reduce our body fat, but as I mentioned in a post a few days ago, high intensity exercise does seem to favor fat mobilization from the abdominal area.

So, just in case you all in my San Jose Boot Camp (Almaden/Cambrian) or Jackie’s Los Gatos Boot Camp didn’t make it to class this week (yeah, you know who you are!!!), I’ve written up a “no equipment needed” workout for you.  Bonus points to the folks who attended all their classes this week and STILL do the workout.  Chime in here by leaving a comment if you complete your workout this weekend.

“Fit and Fabulous” ladies from my Willow Glen boot camp for Baby Boomers: You’ve got some homework in the form of your take-home lesson from Thursdays class, “Home Circuit #4”, but you can add the workout below into your weekend plan if you’d like.  Modify some of the movements if you need to.

Please remember to have a good, full body warm up before you start, and allow time to cool down, drink water and stretch after working out.

On your 1 minute cardio segments, attempt to exercise at an intensity of  “8” or “9” on our scale of 1-10.

Here is your workout:

Step ups on a bench or porch step- 1 minute

Push ups- 15 repetitions

Jumping Jacks- 1 minute

Dips- 15 repetitions

High knees (or jog) in place- 1 min

Walking lunges- 15 out, 15 back

Rest 1 minute

Repeat  circuit 1-2 more times for a quick but effective high intensity workout!

Current campers, don’t forget that you can grab your early bird discount up until Monday, April 27th for the Almaden camp, and Tuesday, April 28th for the Los Gatos and Willow Glen camps.   

Registration remains open at the regular price for new and returning boot campers through Thursday, April 30th.

Log on now to secure your spot!  www.lifesportbootcamp.com

BTW:   Jackie is out of town next week, so “yours truly” will be your instructor at our Los Gatos location next week :-).  Be there!

Have a great weekend!