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5:2 / IF Exercise & Fitness Thread Number 3: Advice and information for those following Intermittent Fasting .... and anyone else too

(941 Posts)
BigChocFrenzy Fri 01-May-15 22:31:37

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 they can minimise biological aging, i.e. "Bend the Aging Curve BendAge

Recent Research showed that lack of exercise is twice as likely to lead to premature death as being obese (BMI 30 -35)

Body Fat, Exercise & Diet
People who maintain their weight through diet alone without exercise are likely to have major deposits of visceral fat (the more dangerous kind around organs), even if BMI is ok.

They are TOFIs (Thin Outside, Fat Inside)

A MRI study found that:
45 % of women and nearly 60% of men with “healthy” BMI, had excessive levels of visceral fat i.e. clinically overweight

A Can J Card study showed visceral fat can be burned off via exercise, even if weight is unchanged (increased lean mass)


Hormesis, see Mattson , BlackSwan and Stronger is cutting edge science for nutrition & fitness.

Its principles are that alternating between “extremes” - e.g. feast & fast (5:2 / IF) , intense training & 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.

Fasted training

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

TYPES of Exercise

Main types: Aerobic, anaerobic, flexibility.

All exercise will burn fat, the more intense the faster the fat burn

e.g. HIIT (see below), sprints, strength training
. Shorter training period
. Increases the RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate) for up to 48 hrs
. Soon increases fitness
. May help correct insulin metabolism issues & target abs fat.

e.g. walking, running, cycling, swimming
. Longer training period
. May burn more calories during exercise, if it is lasts much longer than HIIT, but burns fewer afterwards
. It is easier to do for the less fit

Flexibility, Stability, Relaxation
e.g. yoga, stretching

The best exercise routine is one you enjoy and is sustainable.

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

HOW to Exercise

If you are a very overweight unfit beginner:
. Check with your GP before starting exercise
. Start by walking 5-10 mins twice per day, gradually increase
. Try walk intervals: alternating 1 min faster pace, 1 min normal
. Build up to a brisk 30 mins daily walk and you will significantly improve your health & fitness
. Swimming is also good, preferably crawl or back stroke for less strain on back & joints.

Everyone Else:
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. But stop immediately if you feel any sharp pain.
- You are supposed to drip sweat and pant heavily !

Efficiency / Intensity: This Study proved that at speeds of 5mph or faster, running will burn more calories per mile than walking

HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)

HIIT is an exercise strategy which alternates brief intervals of high intensity exercise with less intense recovery periods

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

. Increases both aerobic and anaerobic endurance

. May improve insulin metabolism, very important for health and abs fat.

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

HIIT can be applied to cardio or to bodyweight exercises, at home or gym.
Most gyms offer HIIT classes, e.g. spinning, circuit training, CrossFit, Tabata, Fartlek (=HIIT with irregular intervals)

FAST Exercise

"No time" to exercise ?
Or want to boost fitness & fat-burning metabolism

Dr Mosely developed a FastExerciseProgram to complement his 5:2 WOE
His Fast HIIT and strength routines can significantly improve metabolism & fat-burning capability

Other scientists like Tabata have developed routines now wisely incorporated in training.

HIIT Fitness Blasts

A few mins per day, 3-5 days per week

START with 2 mins warmup then EITHER

Sprint or Rope-skipping intervals
. 1 minute sprinting / skipping @ max effort +90 secs jogging to recover
. Do 5 intervals


Fast Blasts
Choose from:
Running, stationary bike @ low resistance, rope-skipping, burpees, jumping jacks, spotty dog, punching air or bag, step-ups, swimming, squats, lunges, pressups, tricep dips, situps ... or any combination you like.

Choose type of Blast:

4-minute Blast
. 4 mins @ 90% effort

OR "Tabata" = 8 x intervals of 20 secs @ 100% effort + 10 secs recovery @ rest or slow speed
( FreeTimerApp )

OR 2 x20-sec intervals=
. 20-sec @ 100% effort
. 2 mins walk to recover
. 20-sec @ 100% effort

END any HIIT or Fat Blast with a few mins cooldown walk / jog


Helps retain muscle mass during weight loss and hence to maintain TDEE.
Lift at home / in the gym weights area / 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 lifts
Sets are separated by brief rests
E.g. 3 sets of 12 reps = 36 lifts
Breathing: Inhale before lifting, exhale while lifting. Don't hold your breath.

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
- 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 HRP
- Also build up via inclined pressups IncPress , see bottom of wiki page
- To increase the number of pushups IncNum

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
- Squat down as far as you can without knee pain or hunching your back
- Push up from your heels, exhaling.

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

If you have access to dumbbells / barbells, then for maximum effect, work the large muscle groups:
Squat BentOverRow (press button "female")
BehindNeckPress (press button "female")

To increase Strength
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 Muscle
Lift lower weight, 3 sets x 8-20 reps, i.e. totalling 24-60 lifts

To Build Endurance
Lift lower (NOT Girlie) weight for 3-5 mins, preferably without pauses

Squats & lunges are excellent
Also this 2-min bodyweight workout especially for women, targeting the bum:

Choose the exercises & number of reps for your fitness level

The plank
. Start at 2 x 15 secs. Build up to 2 x 45 secs
. Advanced:
1) Use TRX slings, picture 2

Side plank + hip raises
. If you can, keep the side of 1 foot plus 1 forearm on the floor, free arm straight up in the air, picture 3
. Easier - free hand on your hip. Easier still - keep calf & knee on the floor, instead of bent at the knees
. Start at 3 sets of 3. Build up to 3 x 30

Leg raises
. Lie flat on your back, with legs bent to 90 degrees
. Lower the legs one at a time to 1" above the floor (straight leg if you can) then raise again
. Start at 3 sets of 3 each leg. Build up to 3 x 15
. Advanced:
1) Lower both legs at the same time

. Hands forward to really work abs & avoid pulling the neck
. Alternatively, cross your arms over your chest
. Start at 3 sets of 3. Build up to 3 x 30
. Advanced:
1) Raise legs to 90 degrees & bring them towards you when you situp (double crunch)
2) Legs nearly flat on the floor
3) One leg bent at 90 degrees, the other held straight 1" above the floor
4) Hold a weight disc / dumbbells / barbell above your head

Angled Situps
. Lie on your back and rest one ankle on the opposite knee
. Angled situp so your opposite elbow touches the knee
. Keep the other hand be in the air by your knee, or alternatively supporting your head - do NOT pull on the neck
. Build up to 3 sets of 20 each side
. Advanced:
1) with dumbell
2) Situps with legs rotated 90 degrees to the left, resting on floor. Then repeat set with legs rotated to the right, on floor
3) Lie on the floor, rotate legs 90 degrees to the left. Raise and lower legs like that, keeping back on the floor. Repeat set with legs on other side
4) Keep legs raised & rotated to the left and do situps (double side crunch) Repeat with legs raised & rotated to the right


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

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 GRIP STRENGTH GripStrength , GripBuild


. Sprinting improves fitness
. Regular 5 - 10 km runs burn significant fat, especially fasted

Running illustrates the "J or S-curve" effect, where increasing exercise improves health, up to a certain point, after which health worsens e.g. MayoClinic , RiceUni , JMed :

. Running 20 mins improves immune system

. A run of 90+ mins may weaken the immune system for up to 3 days.
With insufficient recovery periods, the damage is cumulative.
Elite runners have immune systems that handle that strain

. Long races 20k+ may cause micro-tears to the heart muscle in some runners, hence a 2-week recovery period is recommended.

Calories Burned for specific exercises: ExerciseCals
Fitness Calculators: 52FastExercise
Estimate fitness age: FitAge
Estimate Vo2Max iTunes App: Vo2APP
Running Calories burned: RunningCals
Running Standards: Age-RelatedRunCalculator
TDEE 24hr activity times & body fat TDEE-Detail

BigChocFrenzy Fri 01-May-15 22:34:46

Hello there, welcome to Exercise Thread 3 !
Old hands: I've added Fat Blasts, Abs, Bum, Runners, more science refs, more calculators to the OP

Share your exercise experiences with us

Running, cycling, lifting, yoga, 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 these threads, tell us something about yourself: your fitness level, previous exercise, goals etc.

confusedandemployed Sat 02-May-15 07:34:37

Thanks BigChoc. Now I have rejoined the gym I will jump onto this new thread.
I trained 3 times this week, combination of interval running (treadmill), bike /criss trainer intervals and weights. I was surprised how well I did, so I'll be upping the intensity next week, and possibly even attempting fasted exercise.
Looking forward to reading others' exercise regimes.

confusedandemployed Sat 02-May-15 07:37:39

Sorry just seen the bit about saying a bit about me: I'm 42, have a 2yo DD and before she put in an appearance I was very fit indeed. Training post birth has been hit and miss, mainly due to time / tiredness. Since starting 5:2 4 weeks ago I have felt that I'm not too tired any more so I'll damn well find the time to exercise! It's lovely to be doing stuff again. My foot issue is not the problem I was expecting (Mortons neuroma) so all is well.

Trenzalor Sat 02-May-15 11:05:09

Yay new thread!

Third post-child park run (she's 21months now) all a fortnight apart due to childcare. First two were 40min (some of you may remember my hmm at this) today I did a 36min 5k which is still a minute off my pre child PB (I was never fast) but made me very happy!

I've been working out with Jillian Michaels for two months now, so that's helped I think.

HotSweetTea Sat 02-May-15 11:38:13


I'm currently on an exercise bike, sweating profusely.

Joined the gym last week and this is my second stint. I'm so unfit. Want to tone up and lose just over a stone.

I'm 34 and have a 3 year old. I've never been one for exercise however so far I'm enjoying it. I think it's because of a mixture of things. I've just split with my partner and I feel like a new person, exercising is giving me something to focus on.

I've lost nearly a stone since he left and I feel amazing. I want to keep losing and I want to tone up.

Time at the gym is time for myself. I listen to my music and zone out.

I'm going to a pilates class today. I have a bad back (weight of bust) and am hoping this will help. Also going swimming,sauna, steam room after. I love that buzzy, clean feeling after. Can't wait.

I keep attempting the 5.2 and keep failing. Next week!!

BigChocFrenzy Sat 02-May-15 13:21:25

That's a good combination of classes, Confused
With ramping up so quickly, it sounds like you are on track to regain pre-birth fitness.
Do try and have an early night whenever you can. FDs are a good opportunity for that.

Well done on your 5k, Trenzalor I'm sure you'll continue to get faster and reach your pb.
Yes, your cross-training with JM must boost fitness: different muscles worked at different intensities, with more opportunities to exercise.

That's great to think of exercise as me-time, hotsweet You need to take care of yourself after that split and move on to a happier you.
You have a really varied program today, sounds lovely and should help your back.

Don't worry if you don't get down to 500 cals on FDs. Try easing your way in, first aiming say for 7-800, then lowering the calories when you feel ready.
Just try to stay within TDEE on NFDs, to make sure you have a weekly calorie deficit and you will lose weight.

Right I'm off to the gym now for my 2hrs Saturday workout: circuits and HIT spin.
Enjoy your weekend workouts everyone smile

Breadandwine Sat 02-May-15 15:21:39

Thanks, BC! Once again you've done a wonderful job! star

Here's a very inspirational and encouraging thread begun by an overweight woman taking her first running steps. Well worth a look.

I've lost nearly a stone since he left and I feel amazing.

That'll show him, HotSweetTea! Good for you! grin

5:2 will fit nicely into that programme you've set yourself. You can do this!

vvviola Sat 02-May-15 19:07:04

Just marking my spot as a reminder to myself to sort the dining room so DH can get the exercise bike in there before the end of the weekend

BigChocFrenzy Sat 02-May-15 20:04:53

Good planning, vvv Have you got some inspiring music sorted, or can DH sing tunefully while you pedal ?

BigChocFrenzy Sun 03-May-15 20:41:52

Choosing the right type of exercise for YOUR body

Individuals react differently to exercise, partly due to genetics, see NYTimes :
genes that control the body’s responses to aerobic or anaerobic activity are likely to be different, so individuals may be better suited to one or the other.

If you start exercise, then after several weeks training, you haven't improved, or you hate it, don't give up, just try another form of exercise, e.g. an unsuccessful runner can try changing distance - sprints / 5k / 20k - or switch to lifting weights or martial arts.

Many folk can manage a mix of exercise, but these pictures of marathon runner / sprinter show the basic body types for endurance / cardio / light build vs HIIT / lifting / explosive power

vvviola Sun 03-May-15 23:11:24

Singing is... em... not exactly DH's sting point. grin

The CD player is in the same room, so I have lots if cheesy Bon Jovi lined up I can also see the TV if I facied a longer cardio work out

All set to start tomorrow evening

vvviola Sun 03-May-15 23:12:08

strong point is obviously what I really meant ...

grannygrotts Sun 03-May-15 23:46:53

Not done any exercise for whole of April (apart from not using the lifts at work) and restarted JM's 30DS yesterday. I need the discipline of planning. If it's in the diary to be done, then I'm more likely to stick to it. I have a 10k in July so need to factor that in too.

So yesterday and today added in a 10 min easy run of a smidgin under mile afterwards. Can safely say my quads are not feeling the love at the moment.

Only got as far as D1L2 last time as I did find the same exercises every day a little too predictable even for me, hence the adding now of an additional 10 mins exercise straight afterwards - my choice of whatever appeals to me - to add a little variety.

Will see how it goes, but I need to get back into regular exercise especially as I am on holiday next week (coach trip, so a lot of sitting), so want a good start this week.

Just hoping that as I regain muscle I don't put on weight - although realistically I know that swapping fat for muscle is good weight. Mind games though.

Trenzalor Mon 04-May-15 09:05:11

The London marathon ballot is open until it's fills its quota (usually by midday) if anyone is feeling lucky!

BigChocFrenzy Mon 04-May-15 10:23:02

Do post if anyone is applying or actually gets in the London marathon.
Then we can watch & cheer you on smile

BigChocFrenzy Mon 04-May-15 12:45:25

Granny The aim should be to lose fat rather than a scales value.
Health risks rise with higher % body fat, but risks decrease with % muscle
Don't aim to be a TOFI

Also, toned muscle looks better than flab and broad shoulders flatter a pear shape or a post-kids waist.

Don't be nervous about being strong: Women don't have the hormones to pack on 20lb muscle - even a man lifting heavy won't gain more than about 0.5 lb per week. A powerful woman lifter may gain 0.25 lb weekly, but only up to a limited total.
The additional weight you may notice after exercise is water retention for muscle repair and it is temporary

Anglaise1 Mon 04-May-15 13:06:02

Oooh new thread, I missed that!
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!
I'm going to apply for the London Marathon in mid June as I qualify for the Good Time for Age time category. If I don't get in there is always Paris...

grannygrotts Mon 04-May-15 13:21:06

BigChoc yes, yes, I know that. BUT, the numbers play games with the mind! Are there any bathroom scales which reliably measure fat or are they a bit of a gimmick?

Anyway, have been sorting out my wardrobe in order to find holiday clothes for next week. Talking about numbers, I have the following, all from the same shop:

Jeans from 30 years ago - size 12 - fitting nicely and will once again become my fave pair of jeans (hence the reason I never got rid!).
Jeans from 5 years ago - size 12 - HUGE
Jeans from 5 years ago - size 10 - baggy
Jeans from 3 years ago - size 8 - fitting nicely if I breathe in to fasten the button.
Jeans from February - size 10 - now loose; need to tuck jumper into waistband.

No wonder it's been so easy to be in denial about the weight going on over the years.

MrsStevenPatrickMorrissey Mon 04-May-15 13:34:47

Hi all, marking my place on the thread. Another running slogger here! Did a ver nice slooow 3 miles this morning, was nice to actually have a little look around and take it some secenry! Did a 4 mile run yesterday but i tried to keep the pace up a bit and do a few sprints in it. Then I did an hour with Jillian with No More Trouble Zones yesterday evening, I really do think these workouts help with my running too.

B&w glad to hear you got the all clear for the seated weights, hope all goes well now for you, and I will indeed pass on your best to dh thanks smile

granny that is so interesting about the clothese sizes, I've found that I can trust the same size in any shop, very frustrating. I've signed up for a 10k in July too so we can keep each other on the straight and narrow wink

Well done on your 5k Trenzalor

BigChocFrenzy Mon 04-May-15 15:48:18

Granny With Tanita scales, I found I could change my %fat by 4-5% within 20 mins, without changing any conditionds. Can be affected by moisture on feet, how long since last activity ...... far too sensitive. Other scales would have the same problem.
I suggest monitoring waist trend over weeks.
Also, the US Navy Calculator for body fat has accuracy +/- 3%, so as accurate as calipers. Even there, I'd believe the change rather than the absolute value.

grannygrotts Mon 04-May-15 18:06:59

Sigh, so tape measure it is. Been resisting this since the beginning.

Seems after much searching of the elusive waist, I am the higher end of normal, so work to do.

Did D3 L1 30DS and followed it up with 1.4 mile run - seemed much further than that, but today is a FD for me so all in all not too bad. Had half scoop of protein shake afterwards as won't be eating until 8.30 p.m. - so have eaten back half the run.

Tomorrow am taking a rest day.

MrsSteven which 10k are you doing?

BigChocFrenzy Mon 04-May-15 20:25:27

I'm sure you kept your total FD intake within 500 cals or so, granny but just for any newbie lurkers:
. On FDs, even if you exercise, you don't get to eat more, so still aim to eat 500 cals (women) / 600 cals (men)
. On NFDs too, do NOT eat back exercise cals, so just aim to eat within TDEE.

Anglaise1 Mon 04-May-15 21:24:17

BigChoc can I ask some advice? I know you recommended a fast window during my marathon training, I think it was 14:10 I followed? If I want to lose a couple of kgs is there no way but to do 5:2 with 500 cals on fast days? Even 2 days a week I find this quite hard now. I run about 45kms a week (some HM and trail events coming up) but I know that exercise cals burnt shouldn't be taken into account. My TDEE is around 1400 cals but I usually burn around 2100 - 2600 because I run and or walk every day and don't have a sedentary job.

BigChocFrenzy Mon 04-May-15 22:39:20

Anglaise With your training regime and your 14-16% body fat, I firmly advise against 500-cal FDs. They would probably set back your training. If you want to 5:2, do so in your off / rest season, when you have lighter training and no races.
Your body already has lot of physical stress and IF with overall calorie deficit might risk overload.

If you want to lose atm, I suggest aiming for about a 3000 weekly deficit, which shouldn't damage training. This would theoretically be a 1lb loss, but since you are so lean, your loss might be much slower.

The deficit should be achieved by:
. totally cutting out alcohol, any junk, fruit juice
. then reducing fat, creamy sauces etc.
. Swap white starchy carbs for complex, which should maintain your energy for slightly fewer cals, but is mainly in order to lower GI.
Quinoa is excellent instead of pasta or white rice. Oats are a better breakfast than bread.
. Cut down fruit to 1 portion per day, preferably berries, for lower GI again
. Don't reduce lean protein or non-starchy veg.

Let's estimate you burn 16,000 cals weekly (just under 2300 daily). I suggest you aim for 13,000 via calorie cycling.
Example :
. 3 days @ 1600 cals - say Mon, Wed, Fri
. 3 days @ 2000 cals - Tue, Thur, Sun
. Saturday @ 2200 cals

If you hate tracking cals, you could just try alternating normal and much lighter days, so more of a contrast.
14:10 could help achieve a deficit or could help maintenance afterwards.

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