For those who like to run here is a simplefit challenge

Forums Workouts For those who like to run here is a simplefit challenge

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    Simple running program

    The Routine:

    Warm up for five minutes

    Round: Perform 1 minute as fast as you can (a level 9 or 10 intensity on a scale of 1-10).

    Recover at a moderate pace for two minutes (a level 6-7 intensity).

    That’s one “round” and it lasts three minutes

    Cool down for five minutes

    Weeks One to Four: Perform three rounds, three times per week.

    The total cardio time will be 19 mins per workout including warm up

    and cool down.

    Weeks Five to Eight: Perform four rounds, four times per week.

    The total cardio time will be 22 mins per workout including warm up

    and cool down.

    Weeks Nine to Twelve: Perform five rounds, four times per week.

    The total cardio time will be 25 mins per workout including warm up

    and cool down.

    Weeks Thirteen to Sixteen: Perform six rounds, five times per week.

    The total cardio time will be 28 mins per workout including warm up

    and cool down.


    Based on Tabata principles

    Effects of moderate-intensity endurance and high-intensity intermittent training on anaerobic capacity and VO2max.

    Tabata I, Nishimura K, Kouzaki M, Hirai Y, Ogita F, Miyachi M, Yamamoto K.

    Department of Physiology and Biomechanics, National Institute of Fitness and Sports, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan.

    This study consists of two training experiments using a mechanically braked cycle ergometer. First, the effect of 6 wk of moderate-intensity endurance training (intensity: 70% of maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max), 60 min.d-1, 5 d.wk-1) on the anaerobic capacity (the maximal accumulated oxygen deficit) and VO2max was evaluated. After the training, the anaerobic capacity did not increase significantly (P > 0.10), while VO2max increased from 53 +/- 5 min-1 to 58 +/- 3 (P < 0.01) (mean +/- SD). Second, to quantify the effect of high-intensity intermittent training on energy release, seven subjects performed an intermittent training exercise 5 d.wk-1 for 6 wk. The exhaustive intermittent training consisted of seven to eight sets of 20-s exercise at an intensity of about 170% of VO2max with a 10-s rest between each bout. After the training period, VO2max increased by 7, while the anaerobic capacity increased by 28%. In conclusion, this study showed that moderate-intensity aerobic training that improves the maximal aerobic power does not change anaerobic capacity and that adequate high-intensity intermittent training may improve both anaerobic and aerobic energy supplying systems significantly, probably through imposing intensive stimuli on both systems. PMID: 8897392 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


    I been doing pretty close to that with intervels but, only running 1.5 miles and only about 85%. I’ll see if I can up the pace and check the results.


    I’m assuming this could be done on an elliptical?


    Absolutely, this type of interval training is fantastic and can be done on just about any piece of equipment bike, rowing machine, elliptical, treadmill, Nordic track all very effective under this protocol. Intensity is where it is at, just start slow and gradually work up.


    This is important to understand. Cardio refers to any exercise in which the heart and lungs are involved. This could be jogging, running, sprinting, swimming, circuit training etc. Quite simply – if you are elevating your heart rate and respiration rate, you are doing some form of cardiovascular work.

    Aerobic training refers to a state in which the cardiovascular work is performed. Aerobic literally means ‘with oxygen’. It is a relatively low intensity state of exercise that can be maintained almost indefinitely (as long as oxygen is being supplied to the working muscles, in the required amounts – the exercise can be continued. This is aerobic training.

    All aerobic training is cardiovascular training. Not all cardiovascular training is aerobic. Hopefully that makes sense.

    Steady State Aerobics – why it hasn’t worked

    Let’s think of all the reasons steady state aerobic training is supposed to burn fat.

    1) It burns calories. Good. I’ll buy that. How does it burn calories? Because the muscles are hard at work and demand extra oxygen to help them continue working. Hmmm. There are a ton of activities such as weight training, sprinting, sleeping, talking watching TV that ALSO burn calories by requiring work from the muscles. So no extra points for aerobic training.

    2) The fat burning zone. Nope. Sorry – it doesn’t exist. The fat burning zone is a concept that the body burns a greater amount of fat at lower intensity aerobic exercise than it does at higher intensities. This is a misinterpretation. It’s true that the body burns a greater percentage of fat at lower intensities than at higher intensities, but taking this to its logical conclusion – the body will burn a greater amount of fat as a percentage lying on the couch than doing anything else right? And we know how good lying on the couch works for fat loss. It’s the “as a percentage” line. At lower intensities the body may burn 50% of the calories from fat, while at higher intensities it may only burn 35% of calories from fat. BUT at higher intensities you burn way more total calories, and more fat calories overall than you do at lower intensities. Think about a real world example – are sprinters (running 10-20s) fatter than marathon runners (2-2.5 hours of running). No. Actually sprinters carry less body fat than distance runners due to their muscle mass.

    3) Aerobics makes your body an “efficient fat burning machine”. True but this isn’t a desirable response. The ONLY tissue that burns fat in the body is muscle. Yes – aerobic training does demand work from the muscles, but not as much as other activities. Aerobic training doesn’t require the muscle tissue to stay around either. Aerobic training makes muscles more efficient at using fat (don’t get excited – if your car became more efficient at burning gas – you’d be using less of it).

    So if muscle is the only tissue that burns fat, and aerobic training makes it smaller and more efficient at burning fat, then essentially you are creating a smaller, more efficient fat burning machine. That’s not effective.

    4) Aerobic training raises your metabolism. I’ll cover this in more detail later but the short answer is no it doesn’t. Metabolism is largely a function of how much muscle you carry. As aerobics does nothing to even maintain muscle, never mind build muscle, it will do nothing to contribute to raising your metabolism at rest. Sure, you’ll burn calories while you’re doing it, but will you burn any more at rest as a result of doing aerobics? No. And as you’ll find out later, you may actually burn less.

    The adaptation conundrum

    The body literally adapts to anything we attempt to do by responding in the reverse manner. Don’t drink any water? Your body tries to retain water. Does weight training build muscle? No it doesn’t. What actually occurs is a breakdown of muscle tissue and the body ADAPTS by building muscle.

    So if you burn a ton of calories doing aerobic training, that same body adapts to aerobic exercise by slowing your metabolism and allowing your body to store more fat. Same body – same system.

    The biggest problem with aerobic training is that you get better at it. In weight training, as you get better, you add more weight or more reps and there is literally no finish line. In aerobic training, the work required to run 5 miles will become less and less as you get fitter. So to continue to improve you either go further (do more work for the same amount of calories) or you run it faster. Going further kind of defeats the purpose. Is there much joy in running 40 mins to burn the calories you once burned in 30 mins? And going faster involves the same problem. Eventually, the new speed becomes too easy for you and you have to go more intense to get the same benefits. Now as I mentioned, there is no end point with weight training. However there is an end point with aerobic training. You will reach an intensity eventually that will be the end of the aerobic zone. Quite simply going any harder will send your body into the anaerobic zone. So at some point you’re not doing aerobics any more. So, if you have to stop doing it at some point to get the benefits you seek why not do anaerobic work to begin with?


    Your metabolism or your metabolic rate is what determines how many calories you burn each day – or more importantly for the purposes of this book – how many you need to maintain your current weight. Your metabolism is quite simply how many calories you burn in a typical day. It is affected and controlled by your thyroid, and is largely a factor of your muscle mass. To break it down further – every pound of muscle you put on requires calories per day to maintain. doesn’t take into account the calories burned in training to develop that muscle, or the calories burned in training to keep that muscle – these calories are just the amount needed by that muscle to just sit there.

    So in order to really get the athletic look we want to develop, the key is not just how many calories we can burn during exercise, it’s how many calories we can force the body to burn all the time. Raising your metabolism is the real key in long term fat loss and physique change.

    Caloric expenditure

    In order to lose body fat, you must burn off more calories than you consume. Despite the proliferation of diets- low carbohydrate, low fat, high protein, high carbohydrate etc this simple rule remains. I don’t want to talk about nutrition here as this is more than adequately covered in another chapter in this book, but suffice to say the caloric balance is still important.

    I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve heard people say “I barely eat anything – I eat like a bird and I still gain weight”. Oh really. You are eating fewer calories than you need and your body is gaining weight? Impossible. This violates the law of thermodynamics. Usually it’s a case of not really being aware of how much you are actually eating. Because let’s face it – if your body was capable of producing body weight from nothing, then we better get you sent over to NASA or UNICEF immediately – with magical genes like yours, we might just be able to solve the Third World’s hunger problem.

    Fat loss is all about caloric expenditure. We must burn more calories than we take in, and the real key to doing this, as mentioned before, is not aerobic training, which will burn calories while you are doing it, its anaerobic training, which burns calories while you are doing it AND increases the calories burned for hours afterwards. In the case of weight training, if we build muscle and keep it, that burns calories forever more. Even when you sleep!

    The key with anaerobic training is what is known as EPOC. Anaerobic exercise burns a ton of calories while you are performing it. However, the metabolism remains elevated following this type exercise. This was, at one time, referred to as the oxygen debt, but is now referred to as the excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). The recovery of the metabolic rate back to pre-exercise levels can require several minutes for light exercise (aerobic training), several hours for very heavy exercise (anaerobic cardio training), and up to 12 to 24 hours or even longer for prolonged, exhaustive exercise (interval training or circuit weight training).

    The EPOC can add up to a substantial energy expenditure when totaled over the entire period of recovery. If the oxygen consumption following exercise remains elevated by an average of only 50 ml/min or 0.05 liter/min, this will amount to approximately 0.25 kcal/min or 15 kcal/hr. If the metabolism remains elevated for five hours, this would amount to an additional expenditure of 75 kcal that would not normally be included in the calculated total energy expenditure for that particular activity. This major source of energy expenditure, which occurs during recovery, but is directly the result of the exercise bout, is frequently ignored in most calculations of the energy cost of various activities. If the individual in this example exercised five days per week, he or she would have expended 375 kcal, or lost the equivalent of approximately 0.1 pounds of fat in one week, or 1.0 pounds in 10 weeks, just from the additional caloric expenditure during the recovery period alone. This is the key to maximizing the return on your exercise investment.

    The next obvious idea is – if you trained the next day while your metabolism is still elevated, will we have an even higher return – is the effect accumulative? Is the whole greater than the sum of the parts?

    Science has yet to give us an answer, however in the real world, I think so. I have seen amazing results with my clients using this exact protocol.

    Interval training

    So is there a better way of performing cardio workouts to prevent these adaptations, and rapidly improve fat loss results? Yes. The key is to perform what is known as interval training.

    Interval training simply refers to a series of intense activity separated with short rest periods. Through using interval training you are able to exercise at a higher intensity without getting tired. In other words – because we alternate the periods of high intensity work, with periods of lower intensity work – you are able to do much more work in the same time period than you were before.

    The beauty of this is as you improve, the work intervals can get harder and harder, and the recovery intervals can be shortened, or performed at a higher speed. In fact, there is no end in site, and no downside to interval training (other than it is really hard).


    Excellent post!


    I have never heard of anything like this, and I have dealt with the same frustrations that you outlined in this post!

    I feel like ever since I found this site I am having a serious paradigm shift in the way I think about exercise!

    Thanks for an awesome site!!


    Has anyone tried this? I am finishing the first week. I really love to sprint so this is a great workout for me.


    I’d like to say thanks again for an awesome post! I got turned on to the idea of interval training and in particular tabata sets after reading through some of the other posts on the site that mentioned it. The difference was it took a lot of searching and reading through online Physiology journals, and putting info from different articles together to get the info that was just made available here in a clear and concise manner. Thanks for taking the time to do this. I’d love to try and work that into my runs; or rather jogs I should say. I’m a pretty pathetic runner. I did tabata sprints for about 3 weeks in early March when I was having difficulty improving my “jog” times and cut about 2 mins off at the conclusion of the three weeks. It is hard and I got lazy and stopped sadly, but you do get results.

    A quick couple of questions admin if I may? I’m trying to jog 20-22 min 2x/week and 30-35min 1x/week. Would you say this program could replace that? Also should you make any adjustments if you are biking in terms of exertion/recovery time in mins due to run vs bike?


    Great post!

    I enjoy running (and used to be quite good) but got lazy.

    I’ll try to work this into my regime.


    Can I incorporate this with my normal SimpleFit workout? I’d like to do the bodyweight exercises and improve my running at the same time. Based on some reading over on Reddit/r/Fitness, I’ve concluded that running should be performed after strength training. Does anyone disagree with this, and if so, why?


    Mike Gager

    i do hill sprint intervals once a week either on my day 2 or day 3 simplefit workout. i do the simplefit first because the sprints do me in


    I believe this is all true. HIT is clearly the way to go. I think the simplefit routines also work to a degree in this way.

    On the other hand. I don’t need to lose any weight, and I like running. I like running in nice places for fun. HIT, I have to admit, I find not so fun. Running for me is really more of a zen practice.

    I deal with the adaptation problem, as with simplefit, by recording my progress and always working on getting faster (Ok, admittedly not so zen–but there is the whole getting in to the zone thing).

    Once a week I try to do a sprint workout (1/2 miles).

    Ultimately, this raises the question of what is this all for? What is the linkage between simplefit and happiness?

    For me it is long-term health/fitness, fitness for other sports (running, fencing, cycling), self-image, and the interesting challenge of it (some day I will get past level 4).

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