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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

Anglaise1 Mon 04-May-15 11:56:35

B&W glad you have found such a nice remedy for your sore throat! Do let us know how you get on at the doctors for advice about the hernia and exercise.
BigChoc an hour is no problem, even an hour and a half is OK without breakfast. Am struggling again to do more than 16:8 fasts, although I would like to lose a couple of kgs which have crept on again in the last few weeks before my next HM at the end of May. I couldn't make it past lunchtime today despite not running this morning, pathetic!

BigChocFrenzy Fri 01-May-15 22:38:31


We have a new


I've reworked the OP. Pop over and have a look


Breadandwine Fri 01-May-15 21:00:38

Thanks, Anglaise, MrsS - I saw the doc yesterday and he's given me the all clear on seated w/lifting, provided I lift my knees up towards my chest. I prop them up against the dining room table (cushioned, of course).

So last night I did 10 R and L lifts from floor to seat level and 10 R and L shoulder lifts (x 4) with my 9kg kb. I'm sure I'll improve on that while I wait for my op. Oh, and I did 4 x 20 reps of the steering wheel exercise.

I'm happy with that. He also said that I could still play table tennis! smile You really want to see my forehand smash! It's a wonder to behold! grin

I'm now on anti-biotics for my cough - and already I can feel a slight improvement.

Hope your DH is coping well with his health problems, MrsS, and that he gets his op quickly. Give him my regards, won't you? [fellowfeeling] grin

BigChocFrenzy Fri 01-May-15 11:28:29

Why Are You Running ? < Controversial ! grin >
As distinct from other types of exercise, I mean.

Walks and short jogs are a good gentle way for a couch spud to start working muscles & joints and build up a little fitness. However, after 2-3 weeks it's time to review:

Choose exercise goal / type:

Look at the body of an Olympic distance runner compared to an Olympic sprinter

. If your ideal physique is the sprinter’s body, then concentrate on anaerobic exercise: lift weights, do HIIT, sprints
. If the marathoner, then aerobic exercise, low- moderate intensity, long duration, e.g. jogging, biking, walking, swimming

All exercise will burn fat, the more intense the more fat:
. HIIT / strength training increases the RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate) for about 24 hrs. It soon increases fitness and may help correct insulin metabolism issues.
. Aerobic exercise may burn more calories during exercise, if it is lasts much longer than HIIT, but fewer afterwards. It is easier to do for the less fit.

MrsStevenPatrickMorrissey Thu 30-Apr-15 18:28:11

Vvv YouTube is definitley your friend, when your house bound and it's great you have a smart tv. Check out the Jillian michaels 30day shred (and there's a whole pile more) and come and join the shredders thread in exercise, even if it's just to post the days that you've completed....I know how hard it is to get out with kids and Dhs that work long hours....but you'll be amazed what you can do in half an hour and you won't even have to leave the house grin

vvviola Thu 30-Apr-15 14:15:15

Gym just isn't an option time-wise at the moment. I'm out of the house from 7:30am to 6:30pm, with only half an hour for lunch, and the moment I get in, DH goes into his home office for his second block of work, so I'm "on duty" with the kids.

So it's youtube (hurray for a smart tv) for me. DH has also agreed to lift the exercise bike in from the garage (where there is no space to use it) into the dining room, so I can use it when the DC are gone to bed.

Maybe I'll try alternating something like Zumba (did some classes before and loved it although I was utterly terrible at it!) with some HIIT on the bike.

Am hoping that when DH switches to "regular" hours over the summer I'll be able to work in some out of the house exercise then.

mrswhiskers Thu 30-Apr-15 12:39:55

vvv it's not dance based but I've just started doing Jillian Michaels 'banish fat boost metabolism' and it's really good.
It's 7 6 minute circuits (you can pick and choose what ones you do from the menu) and it's 30 seconds per move so it's not boring and if you find one move difficult you move to the next quickly.
It was recommended by someone on the main 5:2 thread.

BigChocFrenzy Thu 30-Apr-15 11:50:40

Hi Vvv smile Very important, especially for a newbie on her own, to find exercises you enjoy. Try several things out and make your choice.
HIIT normally keeps you to busy to be bored !
For downloads, Zumba and TaeBo are great fun. Try different ones, because the music and instructor make a huge difference in feel-good factor, degree of difficulty etc.

Could you try a taster month at a gym, so you have company ?
Some folk like that (me) whereas others like to exercise at home ( Errol who can probably recommend downloads, DVDs)
Also check out the Fast Fitness Blasts I I reposted here Fri 17-Apr-15 09:57 They only take a few mins but are based on Mosely's exercise research, very useful

MrsStevenPatrickMorrissey Thu 30-Apr-15 09:03:12

Thanks bigchoc & Errol I recgonise that move now....grin at that clip Errol one of my dc was sitting beside me when I was watching it, and asked 'is that cartoons from olden times'!!

vvviola Thu 30-Apr-15 08:50:36

I thought I'd start off easy yesterday evening doing a 10-minute beginners Pilates routine I found on YouTube. Nearly killed me. Crunches are not my friend.

I think a HIIT type, dance based thing might suit be better and I can work on the flexibility stuff later (I had originally thought some gentle flexibility stuff to get me started would be a good idea, but it was so utterly depressing that I'm sure I wouldn't keep at it)

Any ideas?

ErrolTheDragon Wed 29-Apr-15 22:36:39

Maybe their mums explained it to them. grin of course nowadays one can google and find the eponymous hound on YouTube

BigChocFrenzy Wed 29-Apr-15 20:24:18

The chaps are in their 20s and 30s

BigChocFrenzy Wed 29-Apr-15 20:23:13

Errol Spotty Dog is not age 50+ < indignant >
The chaps at the gym in my classes for boxing, HIIT etc all use this term, so do the trainers.
It may be UK useage compared to USA, if She Who Must Be Obeyed on DVDs is American or has copied them. e.g. think pressups / pushups

OctonautsAgain Wed 29-Apr-15 16:19:20

Errol yes I fear you're right, a late career as a bikini model is probably not going to be a realistic ambition grin

ErrolTheDragon Wed 29-Apr-15 16:11:14

Octonauts - my advice in addition to BC's would be 'lycra'. grin

OctonautsAgain Wed 29-Apr-15 16:06:48

Thanks BC and MrsS, I've posted on main thread. I read it every few days but never get round to posting!

ErrolTheDragon Wed 29-Apr-15 14:57:42

It's what JM does in Ripped in 30 and calls 'running man'. I suspect that 'spotty dog' only makes sense to >50yo brits! grin Here, Spotty makes his appearance ~6.5 mins in.

My PhD supervisor, who wasn't much taller than me habitually walked like Spotty Dog.

BigChocFrenzy Wed 29-Apr-15 14:44:56

MrsSteven Spotty Dog is a good cardio exercise, like This often used for warmup

BigChocFrenzy Wed 29-Apr-15 14:40:49

Congrats on your SV and dress sizes, Octagon
Great to hear from you again. Yes, do post your stats too on the main
Strut your stuff there wink and get some well-deserved compliments
I've just posted there about loose skin, since this is an important topic for many folk who don't venture onto the exercise thread

MrsStevenPatrickMorrissey Wed 29-Apr-15 13:42:04

Can I just ask what 'spotty dog' is??? In relation to the fitness blasts....I know what an actual spotty dog is grin

MrsStevenPatrickMorrissey Wed 29-Apr-15 13:35:59

Hi everyone, I came on to have a look for the fitness blasts that Bigchoc had posted a while back and just wanted to say hello <waves>

Wow octonauts well done on your weight loss, that's excellent, do post about it on the main thread, reading about your loss will really inspire the rest of us....and I just want to mark my place here as I have the same problem as you and would love to know if there's anything to be done to change it....

B&W so sorry to hear about your hernia, my dh was diagnosed with one last year, and a second one a few months ago, he had just recently taken up doing weights, and his gp told him it was ok as long as he was in a seated position, that way he could still work on his upper body...he still plays football and occassionaly runs, but he finds the running would leave him in a bit of pain. He has T2 diabetes and really needs to keep up his exercise so hopefully he (and you) will be called up for surgery soon, take care of yourself I'm off to find thses fitness blasts....

OctonautsAgain Wed 29-Apr-15 10:36:51

BigChoc and any other gurus, could I ask some advice please? I lurk on the main 5:2 thread and have posted occasionally.

I've lost about 15kg and gone down several sizes- am obviously delighted, but have been left with lots of saggy skin around my tummy. No stretch marks, but it hangs down like a pouch when I'm on hands and knees. Is there anything I can do to improve it? My abs underneath are pretty taut. I guess I just have to learn to love it as a badge of honour? grin

BigChocFrenzy Sun 26-Apr-15 00:59:17

Welcome, igivein smile
I suggest you try the Fast Fitness Blasts I reposted here Fri 17-Apr-15 09:57
You just need 5-10 mins most days. You can choose exercises to do indoors.
Although such a short exercise period is not long enough to burn many cals, it will boost your fitness level. Scientific studies also showed it can improve the insulin metabolism, which may improve your ability to burn fat.

igivein Sat 25-Apr-15 20:25:40

Hi BigChoc
Well, you said to pop over to the exercise thread and you'd fix me up with a body like Elle MacPherson, so here I am.
The 3 stone plus weight loss has left me feeling a lot more energetic than I was, but I'd like to get fitter as I continue to shrink.
At the moment I'm trying to make sure I religiously do my 10 thousand steps a day and I swim for 45 mins up to three times a week.
Limiting factors for me are: I work full time and have a 1 hour commute at each end. I have a DS (8) who requires tending (and a DH who requires a certain amount of attention too!).
I live in a rural area with very few sports facilities - the Olympic legacy in my nearest town was that the sports centre got demolished! You'd think being rural would be conducive to getting fit, but it's not really - it's fantastic if you've got a good junk of time, fine weather and daylight (been for a lovely 5 mile walk in the forest this morning), but in the winter dark nights, no lighting, no pavements and narrow national speed-limit roads make things a bit 'interesting'.
What do you suggest?

BigChocFrenzy Sat 25-Apr-15 07:56:17

Anglaise You could also breakfast on a low carb protein shake (powder with less than 2g carbs per serving) made with almond milk (dairy can be upsetting during exercise), no fruit, oats, bran or anything else to fancy it up or trigger problems

I can drink a shake 30 mins before training, but after even a small meal of solid food, I don't train for 3 hours, with 5 hours space after a main meal.

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