Best exercise routine for weight loss/insulin resistance?
Best exercise routine for weight loss/insulin resistance? , 01-27-2009 02:17 AM


Senior Low-Carber


I'm getting my butt back in the gym tomorrow. I've slacked off since before the holidays and am ready to re-commit. From last July through November, I went to the gym three to four days a week and didn't lose a pound (while my exercise partner lost 40). I was feeling like sh*t -- really fatigued and hypoglycemic. On Nov. 4 I was finally, sort of, diagnosed with diabetes. I say sort of because they haven't done a glucose tolerance test or gotten two successive high fasting blood glucose readings. My A1C was 7.4, however, which suggests mild diabetes. My latest fasting BG two weeks ago was 99.

My fatigue and lack of weight loss started to make some sense. Shortly after my diagnosis, I started eating moderately low-carb, about 60-80 grams a day, and started feeling A LOT better. I have since lowered carbs further to around 30-50 grams a day. Any day now I'm going to start a real induction phase.

Long story short ...

I'm just confused about what type of exercise is best for weight loss. The trainer I was working with kept saying it's all about the cardio. But a lot of the low-carb folks seem to be saying weights are more important. And I just read another topic about interval training being best. I'm a little hazy on what exactly interval is.

The routine I was doing before was basically:
2 days a week of weights
2 days a week of water aerobics
2 days a week of cardio (treadmill, elliptical or walking/hiking)
1 day a week of pilates

I'll probably go back to the same routine, unless people say that weights really are more important. In which case, I'll probably add on a third day of weights. And does the interval program on the treadmill or elliptical count as HIIT?

I should note that at around 285 pounds, weight lifting IS aerobic for me.
RE: Best exercise routine for weight loss/insulin resistance? , 01-28-2009 10:41 PM


Senior Low-Carber


HIIT mean High Intensity Interval training. The goal is to get your heart rate above 90% of maximum. Maximum heart rate is 220 minus your age. The leg muscles are the only part of your body that can work hard enough to get that HIIT level. But being that heavy could lead to injury. Women especially are prone to ACL damage. Other than running on a treadmill, you might consider a spinning class. From what I've seen, the whole point of spinning is HIIT. The general goal is to reach your target heart rate and maintain for 30 seconds. There are schemes that suggest a benefit just holding 95% max heart rate for 15 seconds. If you can maintain max heart rate for more than 30 seconds it suggests you need to recalculate your max. HIIT should be done once weekly and shouldn't require more than 30 minutes. So it could be incorporated into a weight workout day.

kevin
RE: Best exercise routine for weight loss/insulin resistance? , 01-28-2009 11:15 PM


Senior Low-Carber


Okay ... so I'm trying to hit 95 percent of maximum heart rate for 15-30 seconds ... how many times in 30 minutes?

Never mind. I just went and googled HIIT and found an explanation on Wikipedia that says beginners should do 6 HIIT cycles. I think I could handle jogging for 30 seconds at a time. I'm going to try this next time I go to the gym -- 30 minutes on the treadmill with six 30-second bursts. I'm not sure if I'll be able to get my heart rate up that high, but we'll see. It'll give me something to work up to, anyway.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-intens...l_training

I also found these heart rate calculators:

Regular exercise heart rate: http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/he...calculator
HIIT heart rate: http://www.myfit.ca/hiit/hiit_calculator.asp?hiit=yes

Thanks!
RE: Best exercise routine for weight loss/insulin resistance? , 01-29-2009 03:55 PM


Expert Low-Carber


The routine I was doing before was basically:
2 days a week of weights
2 days a week of water aerobics
2 days a week of cardio (treadmill, elliptical or walking/hiking)
1 day a week of pilates

That's a lot of exercise. If you have the time and love it, that's fine. But the only thing that's really going to impact your weight is HITT and weight training.

Be sure you give your body a few days off to fully recover from the workout inflammation and build new muscle.

Mackay Rippey

Has your weight loss stalled because your body clock is out of sync?
RE: Best exercise routine for weight loss/insulin resistance? , 01-30-2009 05:30 PM


Senior Low-Carber


Okay, thanks.

I made it to the gym Tuesday and Thursday, but I've been in pain since Wednesday, so I only did a partial weight routine and water aerobics last night. I have a weird cramp/kink in my mid-back. Grrrr. I haven't tried the HIIT yet, but I will as soon as I feel up to it.
RE: Best exercise routine for weight loss/insulin resistance? , 01-30-2009 07:32 PM


Moderator



I made it to the gym Tuesday and Thursday, but I've been in pain since Wednesday, so I only did a partial weight routine and water aerobics last night. I have a weird cramp/kink in my mid-back. Grrrr. I haven't tried the HIIT yet, but I will as soon as I feel up to it.

Kali,
I know this isn't in "vogue" right now, but I think it's more important to just be moving and getting the ol' heart rate up for an hour or so than to try to micro-manage the experience with specific workout philosophies.

Just find something fun that gets you sweating (and keeps you safe from injury) and let the complicated stuff come later.

For me, when I get too particular and "planny" I tend to enjoy my workouts less and become less creative with how I get my exercise. For example, I've caught myself saying "Crap, I didn't get to exercise today because I had to take care of the lawn." In retrospect, that might be the dumbest thing I've ever said.

I tend to get tunnel vision and only think of "exercise" as something I do in a gym. The human race has been here a LOT longer that workout equipment.

I proud of you for getting your butt in gear.
RE: Best exercise routine for weight loss/insulin resistance? , 02-01-2009 03:58 PM


Senior Low-Carber


Everybody is different. For me, it's free-weights, MWF each week, along with a trainer-led boxing routine (heavy bag drills, speed-work against the "mitts", stretching and medicine-ball drills.) The off-days I try to walk at least 45 minutes - or, now that I've lost almost 40 pounds, the bicycle is back out of the garage rafters and it's "in the mix" now, too.

Sometimes, if I have time and no appointments on my MWF days - I'll hit the treadmill for 35-40 minutes - 3 minutes of walking - interval with 1 minute of running. It's the most running I've done since high school 34 years ago!!

Getting started was the hardest part, *by far*!! Now....I can hardly wait for the weekend to be over with so I can get back into the gym.

Scott "Cheeseburger" Kingsbury
Hyderabad, India
At Home in Hyderabad
RE: Best exercise routine for weight loss/insulin resistance? , 02-02-2009 05:22 AM


Senior Low-Carber


Hey guys. Thanks for your feedback. Justin, is it? It's true, moving is the most important thing! And Cheeseburger, that sounds like a great routine! I have really, really been wanting to try using a punching bag for years, but haven't had an opportunity or don't know how to get started. I think I'd really like it.

Well, my week of getting my butt back in gear was a bit of a bust, due to injury. I did a full weight routine and hour of water aerobics Tuesday and a partial Thursday, but Wednesday woke up with a bad pain in my back. It's only started to subside today. It wasn't quite muscular; I think it may be some kind of thing with the connective tissues of my ribs or something, because it's like just under and kind of inside my rib cage. If that makes any sense. I had been avoiding painkillers because I read that their effect on the liver can slow weight loss, but today I finally gave in and had 600mg of ibuprofen and a long nap. It's feeling much better now! Still there, though, so I'm going to take it easy until it's gone.

Starting induction tomorrow! Yikes!
RE: Best exercise routine for weight loss/insulin resistance? , 02-03-2009 07:19 AM


Senior Low-Carber



Makes total sense if you're working out 7 days per week! The body appreciates either a day off or an extra light day every three or four days.

Need to stretch that back out every day to get that thoracic issue sorted out. Check out the back routine in Active Isolated Stretching by Aaron Mattes. The book's in my bag in the car and I've got an 0730 with a client so excuse me for not giving you the exact pages right now for the thoracic routine. Email me or PM me and remind me to give you the page numbers if you get the book.

For HIIT intervals, if you have access to a Concept II Rower, they're great for intervals and very low impact. Otherwise, find the steepest hill or longest stairway in town and do that over and over again. That'll get it done.

Be well,
Ben Fury, CFT, CMT
Bettercise.com

A happy life is just a string of happy moments. But most people don't allow the happy moment, because they're so busy trying to get a happy life.
RE: Best exercise routine for weight loss/insulin resistance? , 02-08-2009 10:43 PM


Newbie Low-Carber


I would have you train every other day. One workout would be with weights and the other would be Interval Training. An example of training days is Monday: weights , Tuesday off, Wednesday: Interval Training, Thursday off, Friday: Weights, Saturday Off, Sunday: Interval Training etc. On the off days go for a walk.

George Pragovich
Cancer Recovery and Fitness Specialist
Trainer of Personal Trainers
gkp@charter.net


My fatigue and lack of weight loss started to make some sense. Shortly after my diagnosis, I started eating moderately low-carb, about 60-80 grams a day, and started feeling A LOT better. I have since lowered carbs further to around 30-50 grams a day. Any day now I'm going to start a real induction phase.

Long story short ...

I'm just confused about what type of exercise is best for weight loss. The trainer I was working with kept saying it's all about the cardio. But a lot of the low-carb folks seem to be saying weights are more important. And I just read another topic about interval training being best. I'm a little hazy on what exactly interval is.

The routine I was doing before was basically:
2 days a week of weights
2 days a week of water aerobics
2 days a week of cardio (treadmill, elliptical or walking/hiking)
1 day a week of pilates

I'll probably go back to the same routine, unless people say that weights really are more important. In which case, I'll probably add on a third day of weights. And does the interval program on the treadmill or elliptical count as HIIT?

I should note that at around 285 pounds, weight lifting IS aerobic for me.
RE: Best exercise routine for weight loss/insulin resistance? , 02-09-2009 01:18 AM


Senior Low-Carber


Ben, the pain went away, thank goodness. I've had two successful weight and water aerobic workouts since then, plus two hikes up my hill.

George, I can only make it to the gym two or three days a week, which is why I'm combining weights and cardio at each visit. But I'm hiking up my hill (long and fairly steep) on my off days.

I haven't yet tried the interval training, but I am thinking I will substitute it for Tuesday's water aerobics class.

Thanks, guys!
RE: Best exercise routine for weight loss/insulin resistance? , 02-09-2009 01:30 AM


Expert Low-Carber


I would suggest you back off the exercise a little and not do anything strenuous or high-impact 2 days in a row. Try walking or water exercise every other day, and your body will thank you if you keep your routines down to less than 4-5 times per week. You have the right idea about variety, but you don
RE: Best exercise routine for weight loss/insulin resistance? , 02-11-2009 03:06 AM


Senior Low-Carber


I am not really doing that much. I'm doing a weight/cardio combination two to three days a week, and then hiking one or two days a week.

I made my first attempt at a HIIT workout tonight. I did 30 minutes on the treadmill, with three all-out bursts of a minute or two each. I got my heart rate up there. In fact, I got it up to 178 on the third try, which I just realized is almost 100% of my maximum heart rate of 180. I guess I should back off a bit. It felt doable, though.
RE: Best exercise routine for weight loss/insulin resistance? , 04-23-2009 06:25 AM


Advanced Low-Carber


Kali,
Here's a simple way to look at it:
The big advantage to weight training is you build calorie-burning muscle mass. For this reason, it is very effective for changing body composition.

When it comes to steady cardio (aerobic) vs intervals (anaerobic), either one is fine. Steady cardio can burn fat while you exercise because oxygen is required to break down fat. Interval training ends up burning fat indirectly because you've created a negative calorie balance.

Kevin
StrongandFit.net
RE: Best exercise routine for weight loss/insulin resistance? , 04-23-2009 03:24 PM


Senior Low-Carber



There's new evidence that interval work is superior both for the time investment and in results. Trapp, et al, published a study in the International Journal of Obesity (2008) that showed better improvement in fasting insulin, reduction of total fat mass, and reduction of abdominal fat for high intensity intemittent exercisers vs the steady state exercisers.

The improvement in fasting insulin is particularly interesting since we have a population increasingly at risk for Type 2 Diabetes. One way of improving insulin sensitivity is a low carbohydrate/high fat/ moderate protein diet. Many people find that the Low CHO/Hi FAT/Mod PRO diet improves but does not solve their insulin sensitivity issues all by itself. Replacing steady state long slow distance aerobics with high intensity intermittent exercise looks like a very promising avenue to further enhance insulin sensitivity and restore health by bringing down both abdominal obesity and fasting insulin which are strong markers for insulin sensitivity.

High intensity intermittent exercise is also time efficient. The intermittent exercisers worked out half as long as the steady staters since they were doing much more intensity. The high intensity intermittent group was only working out 30 minutes, 3 days per week. (5 minutes warmup, 20 minutes intervals, 5 minutes cooldown)

Less time, more fat reducing, better insulin sensitivity; intermittent intense exercise looks like a winner.

Be well,
Ben Fury, CFT, CMT
Bettercise.com

A happy life is just a string of happy moments. But most people don't allow the happy moment, because they're so busy trying to get a happy life.
RE: Best exercise routine for weight loss/insulin resistance? , 04-23-2009 04:33 PM


Senior Low-Carber


Thanks, guys. Good things to consider.

Ben, how many interval bursts were people doing in that 15-minute session?

I recently had a session with a trainer at my gym. I've had a few sessions with her in the past, too. I mentioned interval training to her, and she says it's good for fat-burning, but she still wants me doing 45 minutes-plus of cardio every day! I just can't go that long, unless it's lower intensity, like water aerobics or a walk/hike. When I do intervals, I can't force myself beyond 30 minutes.
RE: Best exercise routine for weight loss/insulin resistance? , 04-23-2009 06:27 PM


Senior Low-Carber


Let me correct my earlier statement; it was a 15 week study. The exercise protocol was 5 minutes warmup, 20 minutes intervals, 5 minutes cooldown. The interval period was 8 seconds flat out, 12 seconds slacking off at 20-30 rpm on the bike repeated 60 times to make 20 minutes of intervals. It took the young ladies about two weeks to work up from 5 minutes of intervals to 20 minutes of intervals. But they were all around 20 years old, so adjust your ramp up time accordingly.


The trainer means well but loads and loads of cardio every day are simply destructive for most people. Especially when they also try and squeeze in weights, and yoga, and Pilates, and shopping at the mega store, and work, and chasing the kids, and, and, and.... phew! We all believe you that you're Wonder Woman, but please slow down before you wear us all out watching you go!

Volume - Intensity - Frequency
Whenever one goes up, if the other two are already maxed, one or both will have to come down. Your vital work capacity is a combination of how much volume of training you do, how hard, and how often. Simple "do 45+ minutes of cardio per day" exercise prescriptions don't work for everyone and aren't complete for anyone.

YOU are the final arbiter of how much is enough and how much is too much. Pay attention and be good to you. Do enough to get fit and not so much that you tear yourself down.

Be well,
Ben Fury, CFT, CMT
Bettercise.com

A happy life is just a string of happy moments. But most people don't allow the happy moment, because they're so busy trying to get a happy life.
RE: Best exercise routine for weight loss/insulin resistance? , 04-23-2009 07:20 PM


Senior Low-Carber


That's good advice, Ben. I actually feel that I'm pretty lazy and not very consistent at all about exercising. I also get bored and crabby and my feet start hurting when I'm on the treadmill or elliptical for very long. I'd rather do 15 minutes with a couple of high-intensity bursts, than 45 minutes of sustained effort.

Thanks for sharing the levels they did in the study. I think that would be hard to implement on my own, but I will try to do more and shorter bursts.
RE: Best exercise routine for weight loss/insulin resistance? , 04-23-2009 07:54 PM


Senior Low-Carber



Look at the bright side. You're less likely to get RSI's (Repetitive Strain Injuries).


You're definitely a candidate for interval training then. Cutting the time in half more than halves the boredom.

Might want to also start doing the AIS foot/ankle protocol for those feet.

You could experiment with using the treadmill barefoot and really concentrate on your form. Learning to bend the knee, swing the leg smoothly forward, have a soft mid foot landing, then a firm buttock engaging pushoff is easier to learn in bare feet than in shoes. Stumping around on your heels just beats the snot out of your feet.


You and me both, sister! A couple bursts is not enough though. You'll want to continuously burst/coast/burst/coast/burst/coast after your warmup.


You can use a programmable interval timer like the Gym Boss or a metronome or any loud clock as a timer to keep track of your intervals. Another way to do it is just to go flat out until you almost start gasping for breath and then back off and catch your breath. Repeat till your time is up.

Be well,
Ben Fury, CFT, CMT
Bettercise.com

A happy life is just a string of happy moments. But most people don't allow the happy moment, because they're so busy trying to get a happy life.
RE: Best exercise routine for weight loss/insulin resistance? , 04-24-2009 01:39 AM


Senior Low-Carber


I doubt my gym would allow me to go barefoot, but that's interesting. I'll google it.

And I'll try your last suggestion, too.