Dr. Osborne here,
I see it over and over again in my office – patients going to aerobics classes, long distance jogs, spending hours on treadmills, bikes, stair climbers, and elliptical runners. The end result is NO RESULTS. If you are trying to improve your health, and implementing a workout regimen, you need to read and heed the advice below by guest author, Mike Whitfield, CTT.
4-Minute Trick that Gets BETTER Results Than 30 Minutes of Cardio
Guest Author: Mike Whitfield, CTT and Creator of the best selling Workout Finishers System
It’s been engraved into us since the 90’s and we still haven’t moved past it. The commercials are still there. In fact, now there are gadgets that encourage us to do MORE of the same exercise that is holding us back.
Even worse, this exercise is aging us and more than likely helping you GAIN weight. I have proof of that below. And the good news is that I have a solution, too. But first, let me introduce myself. I’m Mike Whitfield, and I used to be about 300 pounds, wearing 46-inch pants and XXXL shirts. I was unhappy, tired and honestly, I fell for the “number one” exercise, too…
… because I simply didn’t know any better. But that changed (as you can see below)
This is the “go-to” exercise when the new year hits. You’ve probably figured out by now that this exercise is cardio. Now, I’m not here to “bash” cardio, but I will say that most people (including myself years ago) have been misled by how well it can be a fat loss tool. Nothing can be further from the truth. In fact, cardio has been proven to stimulate appetite.
Here’s what I’m talking about:
A 2008 study in the International Journal of Obesity found that after cardio exercise, subjects averaged eating an additional 100 calories MORE than they just burned off during the cardio session.
(Sonneville, K.R., et. Al. (2008) International Journal of Obesity. 32, S19-S27.)
Sorry to start off with the bad news I do have good news though. There’s a system called “finishers” that the best coaches in the world use with their top athletes and clients. Now finishers are NOT just for athletes and Hollywood celebrities. Everyday people, like you and me, can plug these in with ANY workout to replace boring cardio and intervals.
So the old way of doing your warm-up, then your strength training program and then the dreaded “cardio” session is out. You simply REPLACE your cardio (including your interval session) with these short-burst finishers. The trick to finishers is that your body puts in so much work (volume) in a short amount of time using a variety of muscle groups. This stimulates metabolism, but you also work more muscles compared to cardio, which typically only works the legs.
High Intensity Finishers Vs. Cardio
Here’s proof on how finishers are MORE effective than boring cardio …
Canadian researchers at Queen’s University tested a workout using a finishers style of training against long cardio. (Reference: Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2012 Sep 20.)
22 women did 4 workouts per week for 4 weeks in of three groups:
Group A – did 30 minutes of treadmill running at 85% max heart rate (this is also known as long, boring cardio)
Group B – did 8 rounds of 20 seconds of a single exercise (burpees, jumping jacks, mountain climbers or squat thrusts) with 10 seconds of rest between rounds.
Group C – did nothing (they were the non-training control group)
The results? Check this out. Both training groups (A and B) increased their aerobic fitness levels by the SAME amount (about 7-8%). That’s right, the short workout finishers of ONLY 4 minutes worked just as well as 30 minutes of cardio!
However, it gets even better. Only group B, the finishers style of training, also increased muscular endurance in common exercises like chest presses, leg extensions, sit-ups and push-ups. More importantly, the finisher training group also resulted in greater overall workout enjoyment.
Now, if you’re enjoying your workouts, you’re going to be more consistent, right?
By the way, the Canadian Scientists concluded that this finishers style of training will boost cardiovascular fitness just as well as cardio while giving you BETTER improvements in muscle endurance. So, now that you understand how finishers work – you ready to rock one? There’s a variety of ways to use finishers (density, the 20-10 method above, ladders, gauntlets and more), but since we talked about the study above, let’s use that approach. This finisher is just 7 minutes long. You got this.
Plug this finisher after your main workout (replace your cardio with this).
The “20-10 Chaos” Finisher
Do the following circuit ONE time, resting as shown. So you’ll do lunge jumps or alternating lunge for 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds of rest. Do this twice, then move into the Close-Grip Pushups, etc.
-Lunge Jumps or Alternating Lunge (20 seconds), rest 10 seconds – 2 rounds
-Close-Grip Pushups (20 seconds), rest 10 seconds – 2 rounds
-Bodyweight Triple Squat (20 seconds), rest 10 seconds – 2 rounds
-Hand Step-ups (20 seconds), rest 10 seconds – 2 rounds
-Jumping Jacks (20 seconds), rest 10 seconds – 6 rounds
Hey, what the heck is a bodyweight triple squat and hand step-ups? Don’t worry, I got you covered. By the way, the hand step-ups will hit your abs harder than it looks!
Bodyweight Triple Squat
- Stand with your feet just greater than shoulder-width apart.
- Start the movement at the hip joint. Push your hips backward and “sit back into a chair”.
- Go just 1/4th of the way down and hold this position for one second.
- Then go halfway down and hold this position for one second.
- Finally, squat as deep as possible, but keep your low back tensed in a neutral position and hold this position for one second.
- Don’t let your lower back become rounded.
- Push with your glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps to return to the start position.
- In the pushup position, place your hands on a small step.
- Bring your right hand down to the ground while maintaining a straight line with your body (don’t let your hips sag).
- Bring the left hand down.
- Then bring the right hand back up to the step followed by bringing the left hand up.
To your freedom from the cardio chains,
Mike Whitfield, CTT
Creator of the Workout Finishers 2.0 system
Mike Whitfield, CTT, has lost 105 pounds propelling his passion into the fitness industry. His unique approach of using workout finishers has helped thousands of people lose fat with his online and offline programs. He is known across the fitness industry for his effective “workout finishers” and humor. His workouts have been seen in Men’s Health, Turbulence Training, AJC and more.