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Interval Training still a HIIT

10/27/2013 5:00 PM

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has again become a popular trend in the fitness industry, although we have to wonder whether it actually ever left?

While it's come back into the spotlight from books such as Fast Exercise, by the BBC's Dr Michael Mosley, leading fitness experts have touted the benefits of HIIT for the past 20 years, and popular programs including Body For Life have utilised the concept of hard, short periods of exercise to improve cardiovascular health and increase metabolic rate for up to 24 hours afterwards.

It was originally developed by athletic coaches to train runners, but it has crossed over to the fitness industry due to its fat-burning benefits confirmed many times over in scientific studies.

In fact, one of the first studies to discover that HIIT was more effective for fat loss was done in 1994 study by researchers at Laval University (Ste-Foy, Quebec, Canada). They reported that young men and women who followed a 15-week HIIT program lost significantly more body fat than those following a 20-week continuous steady-state endurance program. This, despite the fact that the steady-state program burned about 15,000 calories more than the HIIT program.

The Laval University study that found a decrease in body fat with HIIT also discovered that the HIIT subjects' muscle fibres had significantly higher markers for fat oxidation (fat burning) than those in the continuous steady-state exercise group.

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, a mere two weeks of HIIT training can improve aerobic capacity as much as six to eight weeks of endurance training.

Another wonderful benefit of interval training is that unlike endurance training, which often leads to muscle loss, HIIT training allows you to retain that hard-earned muscle.

And – to top it all off – it stimulates the production of human growth hormone in the body, which slows down the ageing process.

For those of you who aren't familiar with HIIT, it involves intervals of high-intensity exercise (such as running at 90% of your max heart rate) followed by low intensity (walking at a moderate pace) or complete rest. This is in sharp contrast to the typical steady-state cardio most people do at a moderate intensity, such as walking on a treadmill at 60–70% of their max heart rate.

HIIT sessions can go for as little as 5 minutes, incorporating bouts of 15 – 60 second intervals of intensity.

Posted in Latest News By Calibre Fitness

New research indicates that regular physical exercise is just as effective as prescription medications in treating chronic diseases - and without all of the associated side effects of drugs.

According to a study published recently in the British Medical Journal, scientists from the London School of Economics, Harvard Medical School and Stanford University School of Medicine wanted to see if the benefits of exercise and drugs from past clinical trials were comparable, in a bid to see if they could extend a person's life.

"What we have is a body of research that looks at benefits of exercise alone and then a separate body of research that looks at benefits of drugs on their own," lead researcher Huseyin Naci, a researcher at the London School of Economics and a pharmaceutical policy research fellow at the Harvard Medical School, said.

"There's never been a study that compares these two together, so that's the rationale for this research."

Four areas of health where the evidence suggests or has shown that exercise can have some lifesaving benefits were studied by Naci's team. Those areas were secondary prevention of heart disease, prevention of diabetes, stroke rehabilitation and treatment of heart failure.

Researchers compiled a list of the different classes of drugs people commonly take to manage these conditions, and ultimately came up with 305 randomised clinical trials to analyse. The study involved 339,274 people, 15,000 of whom received physical intervention for their health conditions while the rest were included in drug trials.

Overall, the researchers saw no significant difference between exercise and drug intervention for the secondary prevention of heart disease and the prevention of diabetes. And in the case of stroke patients, exercise was found to be more effective than drug treatment at extending a person's mortality.

Given their findings, Naci argued that the study's results should not dissuade heart disease and diabetes patients from changing their current treatments.

"One thing that is very much not a takeaway is that patients should stop taking their medications without consulting with their doctors," Naci said. "However, doctors do need to have really candid conversations with patients about the lifesaving benefits of exercise."

Combination therapies utilising both diet and exercise may not be the answer either. A recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that statins, commonly prescribed cholesterol lowering medications, may actually block some of the health benefits seen from exercise.

Naci said that patients instead deserve a better understanding of which treatment option is best and that more clinical research is needed to address this knowledge gap.

"We need a lot more research to really tease out the lifesaving benefits from exercise," Naci said, "as well as which exercise works best for different types of individuals."

Posted in Latest News By Calibre Fitness

If your goal is to lose weight and maintain optimal health and fitness, the quality of your exercise and diet regimen matters more than the quantity, according to a new study.

In a paper published by The Journal of Applied Physiology, exercise scientist Paul Arciero from Skidmore College in New York, and several colleagues report the clear benefits of a multi-dimensional exercise regimen that includes resistance exercise, interval sprint exercise, stretching (including yoga or pilates), and endurance exercise. Add moderate amounts of protein regularly throughout your day, and you'll be well on your way toward decreasing total and abdominal fat, increasing lean body mass, and achieving optimal levels for blood pressure, blood glucose, and insulin.

Arciero enlisted 36 female and 21 male volunteers between the ages of 35 and 57 who could clearly be described as out of shape. They exercised less than 60 minutes per week, had done no resistance training within the last ten years, and could be described as obese or overweight, with an average body mass index of 28.6 and average body fat percentage of 36.6.

Dividing his subjects randomly into three groups, Arciero conducted a 16-week trial in which all subjects consumed the same amount of whey protein - 60 grams daily - but exercised differently. One group was sedentary, another was called on to perform intense resistance training four times per week, and the third followed a multidimensional regimen that included resistance exercise, interval sprint exercise, stretching led by a yoga instructor, and endurance exercise.

When the trial ended, Arciero found that those who had followed the multidimensional regimen showed the greatest health improvements, including the greatest reductions in body weight, total and abdominal fat mass, waist circumference, and blood glucose. In addition, this group experienced the greatest increase in percentage of lean body mass.

Interestingly, all groups showed improvements, even those who maintained a sedentary lifestyle during the period and simply ate the assigned daily regimen of 60 grams of whey protein. That finding supports an earlier study by Arciero's team that found increasing the amount of protein in one's diet to as much as 35 percent will tend to decrease total and abdominal fat.

Overall, the study supports a rethinking of current assumptions about exercise, which Arciero believes place too much focus on the quantity of exercise people do rather than the quality of that exercise.

To make the regimen easy for the public to remember, Arciero has coined the acronym, "PRISE." The "P" stands for protein, the "R" stands for "resistance," the "I" stands for "interval," the "S" stands for stretching, and the "E" stands for endurance.

For Arciero, this study was the culmination of research he has conducted and published over the last 20 years in an attempt to identify the most effective lifestyle strategies to improve health and physical performance. When the time came to capture the meaning of it all, the name "PRISE" jumped out at him.

"After all, it's about 'keeping your 'eye on the PRISE' in order to achieve optimal health," he says.

Posted in Latest News By Calibre Fitness

Apple has just launched a new health platform called HealthKit, designed to bring together all of its users' health and fitness metrics into the one app.

There are already more than 40,000 health apps and devices monitoring everything from activity levels and sleep quality to weight control. Apple's new Health application will pull in data from third-party apps and consolidate them into one health profile.

The initiative works with companies like Nike to bring all your health information into one place and enables customisation of the stats you want tracked and how you want it presented.

Beyond exercise applications, HealthKit is working with health care providers to provide up-to-date information on patient vitals in real time so that users can share health information with their doctors.

The new HealthKit, which will be released in September, could potentially interact with wearable devices like Apple's much-anticipated iWatch.

Posted in Latest News By Calibre Fitness

There are a lot of contributing factors to being a strong arm wrestler; technique, arm length, muscle density, hand grip size, wrist endurance just to name a few! Daniel Racoveanu (Bodybuilder) challenges Ion Oncescu (Arm-wrestler) to an arm wrestle. Who's going to take the crown?.

Posted in Latest News By Calibre Fitness

Have you ever wondered why some people are rarely sick and they look happy all the time? Do you know people like that? Are they irritating you just by showing up to work and they look like they enjoy it? You can have this type of outlook on life too! I've read that it takes 6 weeks to create a habit, so by the end of 2013, you could be well on your way to being a happier, healthier person!

Exercise Daily

Whether it's going to the gym, playing sport or even just a few pushups or situps at home, getting into the habit of exercising daily is essential to keeping healthy, even if it's more about your mindset than the actual exercise you're doing. You'll get to a stage where you will feel guilty if you miss a day. Sport is a great, fun way of getting in your daily dose of exercise.

Keep a water bottle with you at all times

Our bodies are composed of about 60% water, so it's easy to see why drinking water is so important in our lives. Drinking a lot of water helps maintain our balance of body fluids. Drinking water helps energise your muscles, helps you skin looking clear and also helps your kidneys and bowels. How much should you drink? An adequate intake for men is about 3 litres and women is 2.2 litres. Make sure you have a good sized bottle at your desk at work and fill it up regularly throughout the day!

Be mindful of what's going in your mouth

You don't need to keep a food log or count calories. Just be mindful of the amount and types of food you are eating. Try to savour your meals and not rush when eating, let your body tell you when it's full.

Eat Fresh

Try not to buy too many processed foods which generally contain a lot of sugar, salt and fat. Instead, opt for fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts and lean meats. Plan your weekly meals at the start of the week to resist the temptatation of last-minute take away.

Measure your progress

There's no way to tell you're improving if you can't track your results. Everyone's journey is going to be different, so there's no cookie-cutter way to measure your personal progress. Whether it's tracking your weight loss or following your strength improvements. Make sure you get it all down. Taking photos of your body can sometimes be scary, but often it's the best way to see the changes in your body.

Sleep Well

You can't function properly when you're tired. You won't have the energy to train hard, prepare your healthy meals and will find it hard to motivate yourself to get anything productive done. There is a lot of research that shows that sleep can control hunger levels. To sleep well, you need to free your brain of stimulation; try to get yourself to bed early and avoid using technology within 30 minutes of going to sleep.

Keep Motivated

There's definitely going to be days you'll get home from work and won't feel like working out. Put your gear on anyway, generally... once you've got your exercise clothes on, you will feel more motivated and feel too guilty to take them off without a workout. Try to workout with friends for a bit of outside motivation.

Drink wise

Just because you're keeping healthy, doesn't mean you're going to stop socialising... and may indulge in a drink or two. Alcohol contains 7 calories per gram and offers no nutritional value to us. Feel free to treat yourself, but don't go overboard.


Riding a bike is a great form exercise. Riding at 20km/h burns approximately 620 calories an hour. Ride to work if you can or even just go for a morning ride on the weekend. There are a lot of cycle clubs around the country if you'd prefer to ride in a group.

Don't compare yourself to others

Healthy people focus on their own body and their own challenge. Comparing yourself to other is always bound to fail.

Treat Yourself

Posted in Latest News By Calibre Fitness

The Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival is undoubtedly the highlight of the racing year in Australia is also a highlight of many people's social calendars as well. Below are some do's and don'ts to follow to ensure you have the best time possible.

DO embrace your inner Gatsby. Utilise the resurgence of everything Great Gatsby to create your perfect trackside outfit. Go for a feathered flapper headband or a tight fitting twenties cloche!

DO the blue. For men, blue is the colour of this Spring Carnival. Stay away from the darker colours and rock a lighter blue or grey suit to stand out from the crowd.

DON'T be afraid to add some flair. Normal ties, skinny ties and bow ties are all acceptable racing attire. Add a matching pocket square or tie clip to reflect your personality.

DO give your shoes a trial run. We all know it's going to be a long day and nothing will ruin your day like shoes that are a fraction too small!

DON'T Go too short. It's a racetrack, not a nightclub. The recommended dress length is to the knee. So if you're questioning whether it's too short, it probably is.

DO take an umbrella. Melbourne is notorious for its unpredictable weather. Regardless of the forecast, there is always a chance of rain. Packing an umbrella will ensure the rain won't ruin your mood or your beautiful dress!

DON'T overdo the fake tan. If you feel you 100% have to wear fake tan, just evenly apply a small amount. The oompa loompa is never a good races look.

DO be sun smart. There's nothing worse than getting sunburnt at the races. Make sure sunscreen is in your essentials bag!

DON'T wear ridiculous footwear. We're not saying you can't wear a heel, but sky high stilettos and the uneven lawn of the race track have never been a good combination. It might also be an idea to take a pair of flats for afterwards. Barefoot is never the answer.

DO hydrate. It's inevitable that a fairly large amount of alcohol will be consumed throughout the day, try to balance it out with water to keep for from getting dehydrate and help the hang over the next day!

DO hat it up. Headwear isn't just for the ladies. Channel your inner Jay Gatsby and don a classic fedora this Spring Carnival.

DON'T forget your emergency kit. Bandaids, lip gloss, sunscreen

DO man up and wear a rose. Wear the right rose too: Cecil Brunner Rose at Cox Plate, Cornflower at Derby Day, Yellow Rose at the Melbourne Cup, Pink Rose at the Oaks and a Red Rose at Stakes day!

DON'T go overboard. We've all seen people in pretty average shape late in the day. Take it easy early on to make sure you get through all the races without embarrassing yourself.

DO have a punt. Have a betting limit and stick to it... But having a punt throughout the day definitely adds excitement!

Posted in Latest News By Calibre Fitness

Danny MacAskill- Imaginate

6/27/2013 5:00 PM

Danny MacAskill, arguably the world's best street rider has just completed his most ambitious project to date, 'Imaginate'. With help from sponsor, Red Bull, Danny creates a life size Child's bedroom floor to turn into his personal playground!

Posted in Latest News By Calibre Fitness

Tour de France - Rules

6/27/2013 5:00 PM

Many of us watch the Tour de France each year without fully understanding the rule; what do the coloured jerseys mean? How do the time-trials work? What’s with the team classifications? We’re here to answer all your Tour Questions!

The rules are the bible for a sporting competition. Through their balance and subtleties, they must ensure equality, motivate the riders and help spectators and viewers to understand the event. Here is an outline of the main points in the rules.

The Stakes

In the pack of 198 riders, there are many different objectives, depending on the temperament, qualities and missions of each rider. The most collective of individual sports involves the majority of them in multi-layered strategies. The distinctive jerseys and other goals to be achieved during the 3 weeks of racing are listed below.

Stage victories

The 21 stages of Le Tour 2013 are divided up as follows: 7 flat stages, 5 hilly stages, 6 mountain stages with 4 high-altitude finishes, 2 individual time-trial stages and 1 team time-trial stage.

Prize money: € 22,500 per stage (€ 475,000 in total) and € 25,000 for the team time-trial stage.

The stage victory has been sponsored by Powerbar.

The Yellow Jersey

It is worn by the leader of the general individual time classification.

Prize money: € 450,000 for the overall winner (€ 1,009,000 in total).

The Yellow Jersey has been sponsored by LCL since 1987.

The Green Jersey

It is worn by the leader of the points classification. The points are won on the intermediate sprints and at the stage.

Prize money: € 25,000 for the overall winner (€ 125,000 in total).

The Green Jersey has been sponsored by PMU since 1992.

The Red Polka Dot Jersey

It is worn by the best climber. Points for the best climber classification are awarded at the top of any classified slope. The prize money is doubled on the four stage finishes that will take place at the summit of climbs.

Prize money: € 25,000 for the overall winner (€ 110,000 in total).

The Polka Dot Jersey has been sponsored by Carrefour.

The White Jersey

It is worn by the best young rider aged 25 years old or less in the general individual time classification.

Prize money: € 20,000 for the overall winner (€ 66,500 in total).

The White Jersey has been sponsored by Škoda since 2004.

The Combativity Award

This distinction is awarded at the end of each stage by a jury made up of eight cycling specialists. An overall winner is designated after the last stage of Le Tour.

Prize money: € 20,000 for the overall winner (€ 54,000 in total).

The Most aggressive rider Prize has been sponsored by Brandt since 2005.

The team classification

This classification is determined by adding the times of the best three riders of each team in each stage (except for the team time-trial).

Prize money: € 50,000 for the winning team (€ 178,800 in total).

The team classification has been sponsored by Group Digital since 2010.

Team time-trial

Two years after the stage at Les Essarts in 2011, the team time-trial will be making its return to the Tour de France programme. The teams will do battle in this collective exercise on the 4th stage over a 25-km route through the streets of Nice. The time for each team will be recorded when its 5th rider to finish crosses the finishing line. This time will be used for the general team classification; however, the actual time achieved by each rider will be attributed for calculation of the individual general classification.

No bonuses


For the 2013 event, no time bonuses will be allocated for intermediate sprints and stage finishes. Only the real time will count.

Helmets must be worn at all times

All riders must wear a helmet for the entire duration of each stage and on each stage.

Falls in the last three kilometres

As has been the case since 2005, riders involved in a fall in the last three kilometres of a stage are given the same finishing time as the group which they belonged to. This rule is not applicable in time-trial stages and stages that finish at the summit of a climb.

Overall Winner


The winner of the race is the person with the overall shortest accumulated time.
Accumulated time includes deductions for winning sprints held at several sites along the route each day, as well as deductions for the first three finishers of each stage.
There are two rest days throughout the tour.

Other interesting Tour de France Facts!


The Tour de France is the world's largest annual sporting event

This year is the 100th Tour de France (the 100 year anniversary was in 2003, but the race missed a few years through the World Wars)

The entire race covers approximately 3,500 kms

Over 188 countries around the world broadcast the Tour de France

A worldwide television audience of 3.5billion people watch the Tour de France annually

1,200 hotel rooms are reserved each night for the teams, staff, press and tour personnel

The Tour de France attracts 12 million spectators along the route in a typical year's race

The winning prize money has increased from 20,000 francs in its first year to roughly 500,000 euros today.

Between all riders, about 42,000 drink bottles will be consumed over the race

The average rider consumes 5,900 calories per day and 123,900 calories over the course of the tour

The Tour de France is also known as Le Tour or La Grande Boucle.

There have been four cyclists who have won the tour five or more times:

Jacques Anquetil of France (1957 and 1961-1964)
Eddy Merckx of Belgium (1969-1972 and 1974)
Bernard Hinault of France (1978-1979, 1981-1982, and 1985)
Miguel Indurain of Spain (1991-1995), the first competitor to win five consecutive races

Lance Armstrong held the record for most Tour de France wins (seven) but he was stripped of those wins in 2012.

France has had more winners than any other country. (36)

Posted in Latest News By Calibre Fitness

Amazing trick shot video from 2 year old, Titus. He began shooting baskets shortly after learning to walk, and his parents started filming a bit, before totally getting carried away!

Posted in Latest News By Calibre Fitness

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