I've been reading Alwyn Cosgrove for quite some time now. I check his blog every few days to see what new genius tidbits of information he is willing to throw my way.
This past December I ordered his Afterburn : Extreme Fat Loss Training program but didn't put the program to practice. I was deep into training for McNaughton 100 and wasn't ready to learn something new, so I continued the same old weight routines that I have done for 5 years now.
As I've been recovering from Vermont 100 this past week I've been reading, well devouring, really, the Precision Nutrition program and Afterburn.
Precision Nutrition will get it's own post. Suffice it to say for now it's good stuff. As for Afterburn, I couldn't stop laughing and nodding my head in agreement through the introduction. He doesn't write all that motivational, cheerleader, colored pictures, fluff. Everything is plain and simple. He states why steady state aerobics don't work to burn fat, he puts the 'fat burning zone' myth to death. Finally. He talks about metabolism and how to raise your metabolism while resting. Build muscle; yeah, most of us do know that, but his workouts are simple and effective. He talks about THE BODY ADAPTING TO ANYTHING. Bingo! Wonder why you don't lose any more fat while running mucho mega miles? Your body adapted. Which is a GOOD thing when you are training for an endurance race, and don't want to hit the wall, you want your body to adapt. But in fat burning; nope. You don't want your body to adapt to your form of exercise, it will become very efficient. You need to mix it up.
I love this. How many times have I had a runner or ex runner come up to me and say ' I began training for a marathon and it ruined my metabolism! I gained 30 pounds (or 7 or 12 or 15 or 21) I'm not kidding while training for the marathon and I can't lose it now. I usually say 'well, it wasn't the marathon training it was the PROCESSED CARBS you were eating, thinking you needed a 60% carb diet because you are a runner, in fact when you don't.' Then I get the eye roll and 'I so will never run a marathon again' well, whatever. So this is what Alwyn says ' I've lost count of how many times I've heard people say "I barely eat anything-I eat like a bird and I still gain weight" Oh, really. You are eating fewer calories than you need and your body is gaining weight? Impossible. This violates the law of thermodynamics. If your body was capable of producing body weight from nothing, then we better get you sent over to NASA or UNICEF immediately-with magical genes like yours, we might be able to solve the Third World's hunger problem." I LOVE THAT!
His program is lifting and cardio. The cardio is a plan where you NEVER do the same cardio machine two workouts in a row. Genius! You switch length, intervals, etc. over time so your body DOESN'T adapt.
The lifting begins easier, but is really hard as I found out today, and every four weeks it changes up, to a more difficult set.
I feel very well after Vermont, my body must be adapting to the 100's I'm running this summer (!), so after my run with Topaz I did my chores around the house and with the boys at the lake, I needed something to do. Well, might as well begin Afterburn! I went to the gym, with the Afterburn spiral bound book in hand and began my first workout.
First off was barbell squats. These squats take you all the way to the ground.Butt near heels. I have never squatted this way. I didn't load the 45 pound bar. 3 sets of 20 later I was toasted. All the way to the ground! I could feel my quads stretching out nicely! Have you ever done a "T Pushup"? I hadn't. Well, today I did. Then onto the step ups, seated row to neck, SHELC (supine hip extension with leg curl) that totally kicked my ass and I could only do 10 per set instead of 20. My hamstrings! Oh yeah. I've never done anything on a ball before. Then onto swiss ball crunch. Jeeze. Sadly I could only do 3 sets of 8 instead of 20.
My body definitely isn't used to this. I'm going to follow the whole 16 weeks and see what kind results I can get.
The cardio (EPOC-excess post exercise oxygen consumption) is on tap tomorrow. Steve set up my new free treadmill while I was in Vermont so it needs a test run :)