With all the stars getting into shape via rigorous practice sessions on Dancing with the Stars (did you see Ozzy Osbourne’s daughter, Kelli?), it’s no wonder everyone wants to jump onto the dance floor. Dancing may burn up to 300 calories per hour, depending upon the speed and style. Assuming it takes 3500 calories to put on one pound, you can lose a pound every 10 days or so without even changing your diet and dancing only one hour per day. Add plyometrics, which involve explosive action with the thighs (i.e., leaps and other outrageous dance expressions), your metabolic burn may be even more intense outside of the dance room.
In an Australian study at the University of New South Wales, Professor Steve Boucher reported that a group of females who followed a 20-minute HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) program consisting of eight-second sprints followed by 12 seconds of taking it easy lost six times more body fat than a group that followed a 40-minute cardio program performed at a steady pace and constant intensity of 60 percent of their maximum heart rate (MHR). Stats like that give a new meaning to really “HIIT”-ing the gym! Sold yet? Check out this vid to see a unique HIIT workout.
Studies show that, if you pick up a set of 10-pound dumbbells fast and then lower them with the count of 1-2-3-4, you will see simultaneous improvements in muscle strength, power and endurance, whereas other lifting techniques don’t seem to have as significant an impact. Lifting faster and lowering slowly will help you gain more strength faster than your gym buddy who won’t give up the old way of doing things. Let his proof be in his own pudding. Your proof will be a new, rock-hard body!
Among the top new fitness trends is cross training. Cross-training has several approaches, yet works from the same basic concept: Combine two or more activities into the same workout or workout plan. Ride five miles on your bike, and then swim laps. Throw in some flexibility and strength training either during the same workout or every other day. Cross-training intensity may range from as intense as you might find at a real military boot camp to those offered to senior citizens and kids. The mix-it-up approach to training removes the boredom factor, while the variety allows muscles and joints to rest and recover on alternating days. Want something really advanced? Here is a new workout program (CrossFit) that will literally kick your butt.
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