Back in the 1930s, two Germans — a doctor and a track coach — came up with a breakthrough in fitness. They were the first to figure out that doing a short burst of activity followed by rest is the best way to exercise… and burn fat fast.
Using the training technique they invented, athletes sprinted 200 meters and rested for a short time.
Then they did it again. A 200-meter sprint followed by a short period of rest. And again.
Their students broke world record after world record. Roger Bannister, for example, the first man to run the mile in under four minutes, used this workout.
It’s called high-intensity interval training.
But here’s the deal…
Few people are conditioned enough to do it.
Think about the workout those athletes did. Could you sprint the length of two football fields and be ready to do it again after a 90-second break? Probably not.
I have a better way. It’s accessible to everybody. No matter what your fitness level, you can burn fat in minutes a day.
My secret is progressivity.
You don’t have to start with a high-intensity workout. The idea is to work your way up. You just have to tax yourself a little bit more as it becomes easier.
One of my surprising discoveries is that you can get the benefits of high-intensity training, regardless of the level you start at. What this means is that you can bulletproof your heart, expand your lung capacity, and drop a ton of weight by making small, incremental changes.
To get started, pick an activity that you like to do. It just needs to be something that will give your heart and lungs a bit of a challenge. (I like bicycling and swimming.) Your initial workouts will depend on your current level of fitness. Here are some guidelines:
Do a light warm-up and stretch before each exercise session.
Start with 20 minutes every other day.
Start easy and increase gradually.
As you get into better shape, increase the intensity of the exercise.
Begin breaking those 20 minutes of exercise into shorter “mini-intervals” of exercise and rest.
Use briefer and briefer intervals. This allows you to easily and gradually increase the intensity.
Follow each 20-minute period of exertion with a light activity “cool down” for a couple of minutes. (This has been shown to reduce muscle soreness after exercise.)
As it gets easier, focus on increasing the intensity. In other words, as your body adapts, step it up a notch. You shouldn’t feel lightheaded. Slightly winded and panting is what you’re aiming for.[Ed. Note: Dr. Sears is a practicing physician, as well as a fitness, nutritional, and board-certified anti-aging medicine expert. In the new edition of his book PACE: The 12-Minute Fitness Revolution,you’ll learnpractical solutions for building heart strength, renewing your energy, and burning fat (while gaining muscle) faster than with conventional exercise techniques. Aerobics and cardio are dead, says Dr. Sears.
In one study conducted by Dr. Sears’s Wellness Research Foundation, identical twins, with nearly identical weight and body fat, were put on separate exercise programs. The twin following PACE lost 18 pounds of fat and added 9 pounds of pure muscle. The other twin, who followed a traditional cardio-heavy exercise program, lost only 8 pounds of fat. And she lost 2 pounds of muscle.
To see this study, as well as dozens of other case studies, and to learn how PACE can help you, check out Dr. Sears’s book now.]
“There is hope for the future.”
“I just wanted to add my thanks for Mr. Masterson’s essay about his formative years and being called an underachiever. I printed the article for my 13-year-old son, who is also an underachiever. He was amazed that someone so successful had started life with C’s.
“I think he just assumed that all successful people are just born that way and that all of their achievements came naturally, without much effort. The article was a reminder to us that no matter what has transpired in the past, there is hope for the future as long as we are willing to pay the personal price of dedication and hard work.