Author Archives: Alena Hilbert

Do you exercise to burn fat?

What if I tell you that you need to spend on average 60 minutes on treadmill to burn off just one muffin you had in the morning. How many hours do you need to grind on a treadmill every day then?

In the old days, people did not need to exercise. Physical movement was part and parcel of their daily routine. But life has changed. Most of us lead sedentary life, we are sitting in the office or in the car most of the day and when we get home, we mindlessly just switch on TV and collapse into a couch. Requirements for physical movement in our lives are almost non existent. It comes as no surprise that about 70% of the US population is overweight. And this is when the diet industry tells us to move more and eat less.

Try to heed this advice, starve yourself and clock in hour after after on a treadmill. Let me predict the result – 99% of us will not succeed in the long term. Firstly, the exercise or movement must be something that we enjoy. How can we expect great results when we drag ourselves to the gym in the mindset of ‘I really do not like it but there is no other way, I HAVE to do it’. We are punishing ourselves in our free time. Let’s try to change this. Firstly, let’s find something that we love doing, so we look forward to it, there is no need to go through that process of persuasion over and over. Secondly, the type of exercise matters A LOT! Some are just better for fat loss that others. The common assumption the more the better proved to be absolutely wrong. We should NOT be exercising to burn off the fat but to set off a hormonal response. Our bodies need to be constantly challenged to become stronger and leaner. High intensity interval training is deemed to be the best for fat loss and on the other hand, the strength training will build and tone your muscles. And last but by far not  least, our body composition is cooked in the kitchen not at the gym. I would boldly claim that our body composition is 80% of what we eat and 20% of what we do. Yes folks, our diet does matter a lot.

So we are told to eat less. It’s all about quantity then…right? Nothing can be farther from truth. Curbing the processed sugar intake is a definite step forward but even the small amount of it still spikes our insulin. Insulin takes all sugar away from the blood and, sooner or later, we experience that inevitable low blood sugar crash. Fat and even protein, on the other hand, provides a long lasting source of energy. To give justice to sugar, not all sugar is bad – carbohydrates in the form of nutrient-dense vegetables, fruits, herbs and spices are a great source of fibrous carbohydrates and phytonutrients. Try to eat what your grandmother would eat – fresh & unprocessed foods and you body will reward you with new-healthy-flourishing-self.

plate with salad, sprinkled with chia seeds

Workout of the FriDAY

Immortal Tabata can warm up all up in this chilly & rainy Sydney weather (workout can be downloaded from CrossTimer workout library with a code TABA).

You can mix the exercises around (i.e. to do pull up first, squats last) or even find a substitute for any of them. The key is to go as hard as you can for 20seconds (x 8 for each exercise). It probably sounds too easy but wait until you try. You will realise very soon that this workout is vey deceiving.

 photo of a girl doing sit ups with the description of workout Tabata intervals

Updated CrossTimer is coming soon

Our team has been quite busy with other projects for the past year and a half. We soft of felt guilty that we could not pay more attention (as it would have deserved) to our previous product-baby – CrossTimer App. We even though about selling it to someone who can work on it and give it all it deserves to serve well to all its current and potential users. But then, we reassessed the situation – it took us a lot time and effort to bring CrossTimer to live, we believe it’s a great and useful app so why should we get rid of it? Here we are, doing our best to find as much time as we can, working on a updated version of CrossTimer. We will fix spoken exercise names, implementation undo functionality & dress it up into a new design. If you have any other idea, suggestion or request what should be implemented in the new version, please let us know. We are building this app for our users your feedback is extremely valuable.

 

Image of computer and book with the sign work in progress

CrossFit Games 2014

It’s that time of the year again. CrossFit Games workout 14.1. has been released, good luck everyone!

Workout 14.1
10-minute AMRAP:
30 double-unders
15 power snatches, 75 / 55 lb.

CrossTimer key: WORK

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Body Weight (BW) Workouts

Not everyone has an access to the gym and in truth, not everyone wants to be a gym junkie. We are lucky enough to be able to do outdoor exercises all over the year (unlike the other guys who live in damn cold countries – I can still see myself sitting in kayak with icicles hanging out of my paddle, making it at least 5kg heavy stick) so why not use what we’ve got here?

Human beings are masters of all excuses (“I don’t have time, I don’t have any equipment, I need a TV to push myself to do some workout, I am just too tired from work etc”) but there is virtually no excuse to do a quick body weight workout every day – it’s so easy to jump out of the house and go for a run (ideally some intervals not just:”Hey lets do a 20min’s jog”, without pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and come back without even one drop of sweat!). What about all calisthenics exercises – squats, lunges, dips, pull ups, push ups, flutter kicks, sit ups, V ups, jumping jacks etc. We can easily combine it in a format X reps for time (for example – 5times 20 pull ups, 20 push ups, 30 walking lunges, 30 air squats) or set up time and try to as many repetition as possible in given time frame (for example 15 mins of 5pull ups, 10push ups, 15lunges). What about running/swimming intervals? Great – run three times 800m for time with 3 mins rest. Swim 8times 50m on every minute. These are just examples of thousands of possible body weight workouts one can do. I travelled a lot (until our baby came along) but I managed to keep my fitness. 8 months on the road without exercising would have been a total disaster for my body shape and general level of fitness but one must be resourceful and train wherever possible with whatever is lying around. Training in Bolivia in a park (yeah, I have never ever had so many spectators), exercising in Manila at the children playground (with a decent group of kids counting my reps and cheering me up) or doing overhead squats with a washed up trunk at the beach in Costa Rica.

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OK, you are convinced to give it a try but there is still one BUT – you need some workout tips. Here we are:

1.
50, 40, 30, 20, 10 reps of:
double unders (skip once and pass the rope twice)
situps

2.
As many round as possible in 20 minutes:
Run 400m
Max Rep Pull Ups (push ups, squats……)

3.
Walking lunge 400m (ouch!)

4.
4 rounds of:
Run 400m
50 squats

5.
5 rounds of:
50 squats
100 rope jumps

OK, enough written, lets get going and get some work done. Have fun!

Last but not least, all these workouts and many more can be downloaded from the CrossTimer workout library

Swedish Swimming Goggles

Malmsten Swedish Goggles are arguably world most popular swimming goggles that have been used by many world class swimmers. They are self-assembled goggles, with the simple design and the best results.  Swedish Goggles are available at many colours and at a veeeery reasonable price (from $7). Check out the oFit store, the official Australian importer of the original Swedish swimming goggles and other products made by Malmsten.

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Paleo Zone Diet

Are you confused in abundance of diets that are guaranteed to be “the best”? So was I……….

CrossFit Sydney guys put me slowly put me on Paleo Zone diet.I have to admit that it took me quite a while to get used to it (you might feel like a rabbit – eating vegies, vegies and for change green vegies, and necessary protein, ideally meat). I had never been a vegetarian but meat wasn’t exactly my cup of tea, I could eat it once a week and that was it. I was training really hard, sometimes twice a day but I still had about 24% of body fat. Something was wrong. Typical diet of 60% carbohydrates 30% of protein and 10%fat was not giving me what my body needed.

Zone diet recommends 40 % Carbs& 30% Protein & 30% Fats. Yeah, I know 30% of fats seems incredible but……….Eating fat does not make you fat. It’s your body responce to excess carbohydrates in your diet that makes you fat. Your body has limited capacity to store excess carbodydrates but it can easily convert those excess carbohydrates into body fat.hroch

There is a big difference between weight loss and fat loss. Obesity is not simply weight gain. It’s the accumulation of excess body fat. Thus, reaching an ideal body weight is not just a matter of losing weight. It involves reduction of excess body fat.
Your body is composed of many factors – water content, fat content, muscle content, and structural component (bones, tendons, etc). For simplicity you can treat your body as a two-part system:pure fat on the one hand, and lean body mass (everything else) on the other hand. Your percentage of body fat is simply your total fat content divided by your total weight. Your ideal body weight is simply the appropriate percent of body fat for a healthy male or female. That figure is usually accepted to be 15% for males and 22% for females.

  • It’s hard to lose weight by simply restricting calories. Eating less and losing excess body fat do not automatically go hand in hand.  You will reach a weight-loss plateau, beyond which you simply cannot lose any more weight.
  • Diets based on choice restriction and calorie limits usually fail. People on restrictive diets get tired of feeling hungry and deprived. They go off their diets, put the weight back on (primarily increased body fat), and then feel bad about themselves for not having enough will power, discipline, or motivation.
  • Weight loss had little to do with will power. You need information, not will power. If you change what you eat, you don’t have to be overly concerned about how much you eat. Adhering to a diet of Zone-favourable meals, you can eat enough to feel satisfied and still wind up losing fat – without obsessively counting calories or fat grams.

This diet slowly but surely became my Bible and thanks to it I have more physical and mental energy that ever.I can do workouts that I would have never dreamed of being able to do!

 

 

Spartacus Workout

Two WODs were added into our online library, Spartacus Workout & Spartacus Workout 2.0. Both contain 10 exersices, 1min on and 15 sec rest, repeat 3 times. Can be downloaded by the workout key: SPRA, SART. Have fun:-)Spartacus

3 Rounds of:
60 sec Goblet squat with dumbbell (as many repetitions as possible)
15 sec rest
60 sec Mountain Climber
15 sec rest
60 sec Single-arm dumbbell swing
15 sec rest
60 sec T-push ups
15 sec rest
60 sec Split jumps
15 sec rest
60 sec Dumbbell row
15 sec rest
60 sec Dumbbell side lunge and touch
15 sec rest
60 sec Pushup-position row
15 sec rest
60 sec Dumbbell lunge and rotation
15 sec rest
60 sec Dumbbell push press
2min rest

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