Want to Lose Weight Fast? Go Find a Hill.
When you're looking to lose weight fast there is no better method than Hill Training. It is the much better then jogging on a treadmill for hours upon hours.
I've always been someone who hates wasting time, and that's just what I was doing when I was training as a boxer as a kid. Running 10 miles a day nearly drove me to insanity and to add insult upon injury I wasn't losing the weight I needed to lose. I wanted to lose fat but also wanted to cut my training time in half. So I decided to run some hills at the suggestion of my track coach.
It was my intention to reap the same benefits but shorten my workouts. I tried experimenting with sprint work and interval training which worked wonders but a track coach at my school suggested I incorporate Hills into my workout. You're probably not familiar with Ridgefield, NJ or Ridgefield Memorial High School but it sits at the foot of a beautiful winding hill called "Major Stocum Drive". This hill would become my unrelenting nemesis for years to come. The more I trained on it the more it would mock me. I had been running everyday at least 10 miles a day on average and one set of "Interval Hills" kicked my ass. My legs felt like they were going to explode, my lungs where no longer inside my chest cavity (or so I thought) and I think my heart escaped while I was puking.
Although I did a bunch of strength related exercises at the gym such as squats, leg presses, leg extensions and curls I never felt the power that I was able to get from contracting my muscles against gravity in a sustained fashion. What seemed magical was with this Hill Training I was able to take some time off and still not lose my fitness gains and it helped to make my tendons and ligaments stronger as well. The side effect of this intense training was an extreme drop in body fat. With the increased workload in shorter spurts I was actually expended more calories than during my many hours of running. As I later found out my body had adapted to the sustained repetitive workload of the running and became efficient at using the energy required to propel me on my journey. Hill Training created "chaos" in my energy systems and the increased workload expended more calories. It was totally win-win.
Some workouts that I did to incorporate Hill Training into my program:
Interval Hills: It seems like simple physiology but really kicks your butt. Warm up for about six - eight minutes either on a bike or take a short jog before you hit the hills. Try a small degree incline at first and gradually make your way to a steeper one. Each hill climb interval should be minimum 45 seconds in length. Stop at 45 turn around and make your way back down the hill walking. Rest about 30 or so seconds and run that hill again. Keep doing it until you feel like puking...or you puke.
Treadmill Hills: In the unfortunate circumstance that you live in a place like Indiana where I think the only hills you will encounter are speed bumps than you may have to resort to using a treadmill. Warm-up for six to eight minutes. When you're sufficiently warmed up set the grade of incline at between 10 and 15 degrees. Run at 45 second bursts on the incline and lower for 90 seconds and increase the incline. Repeat until your body tells you to stop.
Downhill Training: Most individuals place emphasis on the uphill workouts for power and strength but Downhill Training helps to build stability at the knee and hip joints. Just the act of keeping your balance while running down a hill will place great demands on your legs. This also increases stress on your lower quads and calf muscles (specifically, the gastrocnemius).
You don't want to sprint down the hill but run with the natural pace of the hill. Your strides should always be smooth and not choppy (as if you were braking with your feet). Braking can cause impact injuries to your quads and knee joints. Walk up the hill for about 100 or so yards turn around and run down the hill. Walk back up and repeat this 5 times. Increase as you see fit. Downhill training should be done once a week.
Overloading your body with this type of exercise places great demands on your energy and fat stores which in turn burns more fat and calories. Add this training into your workout when you have the need to cut your body fat exponentially. Until next time, Attitude is everything.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rocco Castellano is an internationally recognized extreme weight loss specialist, and celebrity trainer if you are looking to lose 30 lbs in 30 days or just need to lose weight fast and safely go to http://lose30inthirty.com.