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5:2 Exercise & Fitness Thread Number 2: Advice and information for those following 5:2 / IF (Intermittent Fasting)

(991 Posts)
BigChocFrenzy Fri 28-Mar-14 17:11:39

Why Exercise ?

Maintaining a normal bodyweight and taking regular exercise are 2 major areas of life which we can address to improve our health.

Regular exercise helps reduce the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, some cancers, osteoporosis, dementia, depression.

Increasing your % muscle and / or reducing your % body fat lowers the risk of death from all causes LowerRiskMuscle

Regular exercisers gain the greatest benefits over their lifetime and theyj can minimise biological aging, i.e. "Bend the Aging Curve BendAge

Fasted training

i.e. training on FDs, seems to increase the benefits of both training and IF.
Most experienced exercisers soon manage fasted training without loss of performance for session of up to 90 mins.


"What doesn't kill you makes you stronger"
Hormesis Mattson , BlackSwan and Hormesis is cutting edge science for nutrition and fitness.

Its principles are that alternating between "extremes" of feast and fast (5:2 / IF) or intense training and rest (HIIT), makes the body more resilient.

The intermittent stress of lifting an extreme weight or performing at high speed for a short period pushes the body to overcompensate and prepare for an even greater future challenge HormesisTrain , Hormesis-Edge , and AntiFragile The following recovery period avoids damage from over-stressing.

INEFFICIENT: Low-Medium Intensity Steady state Cardio

Steady state cardio is NOT necessary for fitness and should only be a small part of your weekly cardio, unless it is all you can manage to do.

Walking outdoors is beneficial psychologically, is easy on the knee joints and has some physical benefits.

However, at speeds of 5mph or faster, running will burn more calories per mile than walking Ref

Also low-moderate or steady state exercise tends to increase appetite, whereas intense exercise can suppress appetite for up to 15 hours.

BEST TYPES of Exercise

HIIT cardio and resistance training / weight lifting are recommended to boost the effect of 5:2/IF, to increase weight loss, reduce body fat, retain muscle and maintain TDEE / BMR.

Anyone who is not specialising in a sport at a high level should aim to do both HIIT cardio and lifting / resistance training.

FAST Exercise

Dr Mosely developed a Fast Exercise program to complement his 5:2 WOE FastExercise

He lists many HIIT and strength routines that only take a few minutes, but can make significantly improve metabolism and fat-burning capability FastExercises

HOW to Exercise

The cardio machines and the girlie pink dumbbells that gyms push are NOT adequate to significantly improve fitness or burn fat.

Whether you join a gym or train at home or in the park:
- Train as intensively as your time, health and fitness level allow.
- Do not remain in your comfort zone, or you will not improve.
- You are supposed to drip sweat and pant heavily !
However, a brisk 30 mins daily walk plus 5 mins hoop is better than nothing and if done regularly will bring some health benefits.

HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)

HIIT is an exercise strategy which alternates brief intervals of high intensity exercise with less-intense recovery periods.
- 20 seconds high intensity + 10 secs recovery
- 60 sec high + 30 sec low etc.

HIIT is very time-efficient, producing the greatest fitness benefit in the least time (the advantage of hormesis).

Scientists have proved that HIIT burns more fat than steady state lower intensity exercise and speeds up the metabolism, which helps burn more calories for up to 48 hrs.

HIIT also improves the insulin metabolism, which is very important for health.

HIIT reduces risk of heart problems more than doing lower intensity SteadyState , pp. 31-34.

HIIT increases both aerobic and anaerobic endurance

HIIT can be applied to cardio: e.g. cycling, running, skipping, jumping, mountain climbs or to bodyweight exercises, e.g. squatting, situps, burpees, pressups

Most gyms offer HIIT classes, e.g. spinning, circuit training, CrossFit, Tabata, Fartlek*(Fartlek = HIIT with irregular intervals)


Helps retain muscle mass during weight loss and hence to maintain TDEE.
You can lift at home, or in the gym weights area, or in a pump class.

It is best not to train the same muscle groups 2 days in succession, so have rest days, or cardio, or train different muscle groups on different days.
Try to build up to weight training for 30-60 mins twice per week.

Reps = the number of repetitions in a set of a particular lifting exercise
Sets are normally separated by brief rests E.g. you might do 3 sets each of 12 reps all of the same exercise.

Do not lift massively heavy barbells, more than bodyweight, unless you are really fit with good technique.
Women who have given birth and / or are aged 40+ have a higher risk of pelvic floor / prolapse injuries when lifting heavy than young non-mums.

Press ups
- By far the best upper body exercise
- Keep attempting one full pressup rather than doing several dozen girlie ones with your knees on the floor.
- Once you can do one pressup, you will soon be able to build up to 5, then 10 etc.
- Tip: keep the abs rigid, so strong abs are as important as strong shoulders & arms
- Hand Release Pressups are good to build up strength for full ones HandReleasePressups
- Also build up via inclined pressups InclinedPress , see bottom of wiki page
- To increase the number of pushups IncreaseNum

ATG Arse To Grass bodyweight squat
- The best exercise for the large muscle group in bum and thighs.
- Basic principle: It is like having a pee on a public loo - get your bum down low and pointing to the rear, but not actually touching the seat.
-Lean back on your heels, so that weight is on them, not on your toes.
-bring your arms forward
- keep your back straight, but angled slightly forward, not vertical.
- Go down as far as you can without knee pain.

- Very few women can do full ones, but assisted ones build excellent muscle
- Work the same muscles with the much easier Australian pullup or imverted row InvertedRow

If you have access to dumbbells / barbells, then for maximum effect, work the large muscle groups:
squats bent-over rows (press button "female") Behind neckPress (press button "female") dead lift

To increase Strength Rather than Muscle Mass
Lift as heavy as you can, low reps, with 1 minute rest between sets e.g. 5 sets x 5 reps each, i.e. totalling 25 lifts.

To Build More Muscle
Lift lower (NOT Girlie) weight, do 3 sets x 8-20 reps, i.e. totalling 24-60 lifts.


To retain bone strength and avoid a painfully disabled old age, start now:
Ideally weight-bearing exercises that load the bone along its length of these types:

Impact exercise E.g. walking, running, jumping, skipping rope, step class, hitting a heavy punch bag.

Lifting: squats, press-ups, bench press, overhead press etc.

Squats are much better for osteoporosis than lunges, also for knees:
The weight in a squat is transmitted down along the spine, through the hip, and down along the bones of the leg, whereas in a lunge, it is transmitted across the shinbone and puts pressure on the knee joint.

Note: Cycling normally does NOT increase bone density, as it does not load bones along their length. Osteo

. Two-handed swing
. Sumo Deadlift
. Turkish Getup
. Swing
. Clean and Jerk
. Press

Improve your GRIP STRENGTH GripMen , BodyBuild

Fast Fitness Calculators: 52FastExercise
Estimate your fitness age: FitAge
Estimate Vo2Max iTunes App: Vo2APP
Body Fat Calculator:BF
Healthy Body Fat Percentages at Different Ages: HealthyBF
TDEE with detailed activity times: TDEE

MetellaEstMater Fri 28-Mar-14 18:56:26

Fantastic - thanks bigchoc!

BigChocFrenzy Fri 28-Mar-14 19:29:55


BigChocFrenzy Fri 28-Mar-14 22:02:08

Hello there, welcome !
Share your exercise experiences with us
Running, cycling, lifting, ypga, martial arts ....
- What kind of sport or training do you do and how often ?
- Is this at a gym, a sports club or at home ?
- Have you recently achieved a goal you'd like to tell us all ?
- Or just post for mutual support

Need motivation - Would you like a challenge ?
- You can shake up the old routine
- It's good to have a definite goal
- We can offer gentle encouragement or a sharp kick to a lazy rear, whichever you request
Just starting ?
- Would you like suggestions what to do ?

If you are new to the exercise threads, tell us something about yourself - your fitness level, any previous experience, goals etc.

cuggles Sat 29-Mar-14 07:06:17

Right I need to up the exercise so marking place and will read and absorb op later..thanks for link from 5:2 one Big Choc!

BetsyBell Sat 29-Mar-14 09:02:47

Thanks bigchoc smile

I am still doing Tae Kwon Do classes twice a week and am now running a little 'learning to jog' thing at the weekend to train up non-running fellow martial artists for charitable 5ks later in the year. After our short runs (early days) we practise our forms in the sunshine.

Other than that I try to incorporate a few miles of cycling and / or long walks into my regular life - avoid using the car or buses as much as possible instead relying on using my own muscle power to get errands done.

I am still learning to do press ups but I must practise with more conviction, and downloading an app onto my phone really doesn't count! It's my target to get good at press ups for my next belt grading so I must get on with it. Thanks to bigchocs advice I found a strategy to progress onto doing big girl press ups via her xfit programme. What I need to do is alternate xfits with big girls and then I'll be on my way. <motivates self>

BetsyBell Sat 29-Mar-14 09:03:39

What was the video bigchoc? It says "this video does not exist" when I click it.

drowninginlaundry Sat 29-Mar-14 11:32:39

great summary and the more messages out there about how useless low intensity long duration cardio is for fitness, the better. Just one thing - only accredited CrossFit affiliates offer CrossFit classes and training, lots of gyms dabble with crossfit-style workouts and even have pull up rigs and weights, but there is a science and method in CF programming which is what gives the incredible results!

BigChocFrenzy Sat 29-Mar-14 12:07:34

Betsy Sorry that video was an iPad hallucination at the end I didn't notice - no video was intended
blush <curses & sticks iPad in microwave to buck up its ideas>

So, how are pressups involved in next level of TaeKwondo - do you have to perform a set to achieve the grading or is it just your wish to improve upper body strength ?

BetsyBell Sat 29-Mar-14 12:35:49

We have to set ourselves a personal fitness challenge for our next belt - to be performed at grading where possible, or the day before if it's something like running 5k.

I don't think it's a standard TKD thing, but it's our club thing, and a reaction to (mostly male) clubs where it's assumed everyone can just do 50 push ups at the drop of a hat. We are a women only club and welcome all fitness levels and ages.

Breadandwine Sat 29-Mar-14 14:57:18

Congratulations on the new thread, BC!

I have to pay you tribute for these threads - you're making a difference to a lot of people's lives, including mine! flowers

I've stepped up my routine so that on alternate days I do 4 sets of (3kg shortly to be upgraded to a 5kg) kettlebell exercises and weight-bearing exercises - 4 sets of 20 press-ups, one-minute planks and 15 pull-ups. Squats are on hold until my knees are fully recovered.

HIIT. Up to now I've been resting for 60 seconds between bursts, but today I reduced that to 30. Last few laps were hard work!

After finding out how much easier underhand pull-ups are, I'm looking to get the bars that can be fitted to a door frame.

About press-ups, BC, my son commented that hitting the floor between each one was not as good as going down to ground level then coming back up again.

BigChocFrenzy Sat 29-Mar-14 19:54:35

That's a wonderful exercise routine, BreadandWine . You have made amazing progress. Great motivation for everyone.

Yes, your son is correct that the Xfit (called hand-release) pressups are not as tough as the full ones. They, like the inclined press-ups, are a good way to build up muscle for those who can't do enough full pressups yet, or indeed can't manage any.

At your current high strength level, I would recommend concentrating on the full pressups. If you want to advance even further, you can start small sets of even tougher variations:

- Narrow arm pressups, which work the triceps more
- Diamond pressups (hands/ fingers together in a diamond) really tough on shoulders and upper arms.

These and other variations are shown lower down in the OP link IncreaseNum

Glad you enjoy the thread

Tiredemma Sun 30-Mar-14 15:38:18

Hi all- just marking my place.

Out for a 15 min 'hill sprint' (up and down!) - this pm

Breadandwine Sun 30-Mar-14 16:20:20

Thanks, BC - you're a great encouragement! smile

I had this sort of vision that I would reach some plateau with exercise - 'OK, this is my routine, I can do this for ever more and that''ll keep me fit'.

But not with you around - with you it's a case of 'Now you can do that, what about doing this?'

I should add to my routine above - in that I do daily back exercises every evening - I've also bought the grippers you recommended, so I'm doing 4 sets of 20 of those a day - and, when I'm in a supermarket queue or I'm waiting for a bus I go up and down on my toes - sometimes on one foot - I often clench, and I sometimes see how long I can hold my breath.

And that doesn't include me dancing round the kitchen when an infectious bit of music comes on the radio! smile

BigChocFrenzy Sun 30-Mar-14 21:41:51

B&W No resting on your laurels. Onwards and upwards !
btw this picture is maybe not so motivating for you

ErrolTheDragon Mon 31-Mar-14 13:53:29

Hello all. I'm still doing my JM dvd (first day of Ripped in 30 L3 today - quite challenging) plus today had my first little run of the year - hard, even surfaces bugger my hip so the only place I can do it hereabouts is the canal towpath. Its just about dry enough now to start using again. Its half a mile away so brisk walk there, then a mile jog out, 'sprint'/walk intevals back, slow walk home.

The Ri30 L3 has quite a lot of squat moves (inc squat jumps and jacks), I think my legs are going to know about this tomorrow!

ErrolTheDragon Mon 31-Mar-14 13:56:43

Right, forgot what I came here for...

Someone on the shred thread was asking for advice for an exercise which specifically targets lower abs, without straining the back. The raising/lowering legs type of thing is the sort she has a problem with. I have similar issues - I use a foam wedge for some exercises to keep my back flat but it feels like it's reducing effectiveness. Any advice would be much appreciated.

MrsFlorrick Mon 31-Mar-14 16:31:24

Hello everyone.

Still here. Place marking for later. Will
Come back and chat more later. DC need dinner in 30mins or I'm toast.

Spanglemum Mon 31-Mar-14 18:33:06

Wrote long post and it got lost. So frustrating! Love this thread.

BigChocFrenzy Mon 31-Mar-14 22:40:51

Great to see everyone on this thread. Keep posting your news.
Just finished my FD, LOF with 420 cals. As always on LOF, I had tons of energy all day.

This evening, I did 65 mins fasted training: 50 min HIIT spin, then 3 sets hanging from a bar, a few mins abs on the Swiss ball and finally skipping.

Errol Lower abs / lower back training normally means variations of raising & lowering legs.

Back pain with these is caused by bad form and / or untrained muscles

What can help avoid lower back pain:
- Keep one leg on the floor to provide support. Only work the other leg, then swap over.
- Only lower leg(s) as far as you can go without raising the small of the back off the floor, or curving the back
- Keep abs rigid and don't lower legs beyond the limit at which you can keep this rigidity.
- Strengthen lower back & abs muscle group via press-ups and plank (these two are not just upper body exercises)

BigChocFrenzy Tue 01-Apr-14 07:39:43

Try alternating heel drops to start.
As you get stronger, touch heel to floor further away.
Eventually, you can extend the leg horizontally 2" above the floor, without contact.

plecofjustice Tue 01-Apr-14 11:08:13

Any ideas for swimming HIIT in a 50m pool? All the guidance I've read indicates 25m lengths, and there's no way in a public pool to change speed like that really, as I'm going to have to change lane to do my HIIT sprints and rests?


ErrolTheDragon Tue 01-Apr-14 11:54:23

BC - thanks thanks- those were pretty much what I'd figured (and did some this morning at the end of my Ri30 - the last abs move is a pike crunch, which is impossible for me so I did some of those sort of things instead). Hadn't come across the heel drop though, wil try those too.

MetellaEstMater Wed 02-Apr-14 10:35:21

Hi everyone. Hope the training is going well!

Big HIIT victory last night - well an eye opener at least! I have a 10km at the end of May so thought I better actually get some steady state cardio done and go for a run. Expected it to be disastrous as had DD2 12 weeks ago and since starting back at the gym six weeks ago it's just been HIIT (on machines) and circuits. Well, what do you know? 5km done very easily and had I not had to get back for DD's bf I think I could have gone on! HIIT clearly works!

BigChocFrenzy Wed 02-Apr-14 11:54:52

Great to hear that, Metella
Yes, HIIT rules ! Seriously, that is why I keep coaxing everyone to do it, absolutely brilliant "best bang for your buck (time)".

How did the hill run go, TiredEmma

Plecofjustice Years since I swam, but I remember public pools are generally too crowded to get up any speed, or even remain at a constant speed or direction.
Would you be in someone's way if you just chose a lane and did different speeds ?

Maybe our resident swimmimg expert, MrsF could advise about pools ?

For HIIT swimming, also try to add an 8-minute Tabata routine:
8 intervals, each consisting of 20 secs maximum effort, followed by 10-20 secs much slower recovery.

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