Exercise! - Interval Training and FEM - does it work?

02-04-2007, 07:32 PM
Hi there!

I was wondering if anyone out there in chickyland has tried the interval training technique, (8 sec. sprint : 12 sec. normal pace) on bike or elliptical and is it working for you. Please also describe how often you have done it and with what machinery / excercise. The FEM diet has been presented in conjunction to the intervals in Australia, would be good to know anyone trying that as well. Thanks and looking forward to your responses :)

02-05-2007, 12:39 AM
I've decided to include the below description in case everyone thinks I'm a crazy lady!!! I took this from the ninemsn.com.au website in the Big Girl blog section.

Here is basically what the 8/12 cycle exercise program is:

On a stationary exercise bike, you sprint for 8 seconds then go as slow as possible for 12 seconds, keep doing this for 20 minutes (ie 60 cycles).
Itís best to do a 5 minute warm up ride at the start and a 5 minute warm down at the end.

It is recommended to do this 3 times a week (4 if you can manage it) and combine with some resistance exercises on the other days.

When you start, donít go ****-for-leather on the sprints, do what you can manage, and only do as many minutes as you can manage.
Most untrained people should get up to full sprints and the full 20 minutes within two weeks.

The sprints should be as hard as you can go, itís the effort that counts _ Professor Boutcher says an rpm of more than 100 on a bike with 0.7kg resistance.

The 12 second rest should be as slow as you can, personally I almost stop pedalling until the bike slows right down until I can feel the resistance again then just keep it turning over _ then you can give it a big burst of effort when it comes time to sprint again.

You should start sweating about 4-6 minutes and be REALLY sweating at the end _ sweat and body heat is key! All I can say is Iím glad there are very few people who see me soon after doing this exercise!

BUT donít get overheated, if you feel faint or giddy stop. Make sure youíve got a well-ventillated room but not so cool itís going to keep your body temperature down.

Below is a summary of Professor Boutcherís study:

The study put 45 women aged 20 years with a BMI of 23.5 kg/m2 through either a high intensity intermittent exercise (HIIE), a steady state exercise (SSE), or a control exercise on a stationary exercise bike over 15 weeks.

The HIIE was an 8-second sprint immediately followed by 12 seconds as slow as possible pedaling done continuously so that they completed 60 sprints in the 20-minute exercise bout, three times a week. Women started for only 5 minutes the first week and then built up the number of minutes and intensity of sprint.

The SSE was 40-minute continuous stationary bike exercise. Both types of exercise had a 5-minute warm-up and a 5-minute cool-down.

On average SSE women increased body fat slightly by .5 kg whereas HIIE lost 2.5 kg over the 15 weeks. (However, once a number of HIIE women who didnít have that much weight to lose in the first place were taken out of the equation the average weight loss was closer to 4kg).

HIIE women lost more fat off their legs than their arms but also significant fat from their abdomen, which suggests that this type of exercise may be particularly successful with men.

A new study is starting - the FEM (Fish oils, Exercise, and a Mediterranean diet). Females aged between 18 and 30 years with a BMI of over 25 kg/m2 may be eligible for this trial. If interested, write in to this blog and weíll send you the details.

Will you lose fat if you carry out a program as described above? Maybe, however, not all individuals will lose fat.

Losing fat is not simply brought about by eating less and exercising more.

The design of fat loss programs should be based on an in-depth examination of many individual factors that may hinder or prevent the body from burning fat and these factors should be assessed by qualified individuals.

Also many of the ďfactsĒ we hear about weight loss are myths. For example, the evidence is overwhelming that starvation diets make people fat and obese. They also bring about more lifestyle diseases such as heart disease.

Another myth is that eating fat makes you fat or eating a low fat diet makes you thin. In our Mediterranean diet, clients typically will eat more fat and more calories. However, the ďfatĒ are good which are found in fish and nuts.

The most important message is to eat a lot of unprocessed foods such as fruits and vegetables. Donít worry about having to learn to read food labels - eat foods that donít have a label!

People should not starve themselves but should eat unprocessed foods that excite fat burning. Processed foods, in general, produce the opposite effect by turning on fat storage. They also make many cells operate inefficiently resulting in overweight and problems such as high cholesterol levels.

Fat loss programs are best done under the supervision of a team of professionals so that clients do not waste energy and money carrying out programs that will not work because their bodies have been programmed to store fat rather than to burn fat.

02-05-2007, 09:20 AM
:lol: I didn't think you were a crazy lady but I had never heard of it before so that's why I didn't reply...

I do interval training doing one minute of sprinting and another minute of walking or slower running on the treadmill and I like it a lot and it's good for a change. I don't see why this program would be any different, anything that shakes up your workouts is good IMHO...

As for the food plan, well I certainly advocate the less processed the better and eating several times/day...

02-05-2007, 09:22 AM
A question, what site did you get this information, could you post it?

02-05-2007, 10:49 AM
I do interval training at three speeds- one day walk fast/slow, the next time jog/walk, and the third time, sprint/walk, on the treadmill. I rotate through these speeds. The intervals give your heart and cardio vascular system a thorough workout. I use the ellipitcal, the rower and the bike for steady state sessions.

The sprinting intervals are also referred to as HIIT. This one sounds like a variation.

In the long run, it still comes down to diet. You can sprint as much as you want, but if you are eating too much (taking in more than you use up), you still won't lose weight.

02-05-2007, 05:37 PM
Howdy gals,

Here is the link I got it from:


Ilene - Member we talked about the intervals and stuff- at first I was doing "intervals" of sprinting in between weights and stuff- which is DAMN hard and fantastic and I'll continue to do that cause its an awesome workout!! I found out about this interval training thing from Dad last week and wanted to see if anyone else has tried it. I've actually joined up to this study they are doing, casually, cause I'm not sure if I can continue the intervals 8/12- they are VERY strenuous!!! :stress:

Yeah the processed thing is so true- i love it when he says "dont always read the label- eat food without a lable!!". Although that could be interpreted as going out for pizza five days a week ;) :rofl:

Northern Belle - You are very very right- diet means a whole lot eh... if only my belly would listen to your good advice!! :lol: I will check on HIIT and see what its about too!

02-05-2007, 07:46 PM
Chimi -- thanks for the link... I'll certainly give it a try some day...