Week 4: The Pudge Be Gone Fitness Challenge

| 04/23/2011 | Comments (1)

We’re going to call this week’s challenge “The Five by Five Fat Burning Interval Challenge!”

Interval training burns fat like crazy and increases the number of calories you use per exercise session to almost double. If you are new to exercise, very heavy, have issues with blood pressure, heart disease, or cardiopulmonary disease, you should see your doctor before embarking on a strenuous exercise program.  Seriously.

A heart rate monitor with zone alarms is highly recommended for most people when beginning an interval training program (it beeps at you if your heart rate goes too high or too low). You want to bump up your exercise intensity to increase the caloric burn, but not raise your heart rate to dangerously high levels.

Nobody wants to have to perform CPR on your butt, okay?

For medical reasons, your physician may make recommendations for you to exercise at lower intensity levels than suggested below.

To quickly and easily calculate your training heart rate ranges using an online calculator, click here:  You’ll need to know those numbers to accurately determine the intensity estimated to be appropriate for your age, gender and fitness level.

If you and your doctor feel you are healthy enough to participate in this week’s high intensity challenge, you will have your choice of doing one of the four fitness activities below five days this week:

  1. Beginning Walkers: Up your intensity in five 2-minute blocks during each of your five walks this week.  Walk 5-10 minutes at your usual pace (probably about 60-65% intensity range), then SPEED WALK for 2 minutes at 75-80%. Return to your usual speed for 3-5 minutes to recover, then SPEED WALK for another 2 minutes. Continue until you have completed five SPEED WALK intervals. Cool down for 5 minutes at your usual pace (or longer) and you’re done.
  2. Intermediate to Advanced Walkers:   Your cardio intervals will get you jogging in one minute blocks during your walk. Remember, jogging is the bobbing style run…faster than walking, but it is not as fast as an all-out run.  As with beginners, walk 5 minutes to warm up in the 60-70% heart rate range, then JOG for 1 minute bumping your heart rate up to 80%+ range.  Return to your usual walking speed for 5 minutes to recover, then JOG for another 60 seconds.  Continue this alternating pattern until you have completed five JOGGING intervals.  Walk as long as you want at your customary pace and you’re done for the day.  I suggest slightly less distance than you usual cover, as the intensity of your walk will be much higher than usual.
  3. Cardio Machine Speed Intervals:  This setting is available as a program on Step Mill machines, as well as some cross-trainers, treadmills and ellipticals. If not a program on the equipment you use, the best thing to use is the stationary bicycle set on manual. Whatever you decide, you will warm up 5 minutes, then go all out as fast as you can handle it for 60 seconds (85%). Slow down and go at a moderate pace for 3 minutes so that your heart rate decreases back to the 60-65% range. On minute 4 bump it up and go ALL OUT as fast as you can handle it for another 60 seconds.  Repeat this 3:1 ratio of high intensity/moderate intensity for five rounds. Cool down for 5 minutes and you’re done!jumping rope between weight training sets is a great way to increase caloric burn with interval training
  4. Interval Training with Weights:  A jump rope is all you need if you don’t have easy access to a piece of cardio equipment.  Interval weight training means you will complete 60 seconds of cardio between each of a minimum of five exercises.  Jogging in place, running stairs, or jumping jacks can also be done for variety.  Weight training intervals can be easily incorporated into either gym or home workouts too!

    A typical workout for me goes like this:  5-8 minute warm-up on the treadmill. Meander over to the weights area. Knock out  3 sets of Hammer High Rows resting just 30 seconds or so between sets.  I grab my rope and jump for 60 seconds.  While I recover I’m quickly walking over to pick up my dumbbells and set up the bench. Then I knock out 3 sets of Dumbbell Incline Chest Flyes, resting for 30 seconds between sets.  Pick up the rope and knock out  60 seconds of jump roping; 3 sets of Reverse Dumbbell Lunges, followed by 60 seconds of jump roping; 3 sets Barbell Deadlifts, followed by 60 seconds of jump roping, etc.  My workouts done in this fashion record a burn of 400 or more calories!

Okay, that’s it for this week. Four weeks down, two to go! You should have lost several inches around your hips and waists, and notice more definition in your shoulders and legs and arms too! If not, get busy and work harder.

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Veteran social researcher, relationship advice columnist, author and radio host. Author of hundreds of articles on American and black culture, gender issues, singles, dating and relationships. Author of "Sucka Free Love!" , "The 24 Types of Suckas to Avoid," "The Black Church - Where Women Pray and Men Pray," and "Why Vegan is the New Black" all available on Amazon.Com. Her unique voice and insightful commentary have delighted fans and riled haters for 20 years. Read her stuff on SurvivingDating.Com and AskHeartBeat.Com.

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Category: Looking Your Best

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  1. Soon_To_Be_Mrs_Robinson says:

    I just started this week with a nice 3 mile run. The intervals were running, walking, running, and walking for about 40 to 45 minutes. I feel great! My buns are burning, which is a good thing. I’m ready for more intervals…I LOVE a challenge!!!!

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