No bread is an island

...entire of itself. (With apologies to John Donne!)
I live and breathe breadmaking. I’m an evangelist who would like everyone to make his or her own bread. I want to demystify breadmaking and show it as the easy everyday craft that it is. To this end I endeavour to make my recipes as simple and as foolproof as I possibly can.

I call my blog 'No bread is an island' because every bread is connected to another bread. So a spicy fruit bun with a cross on top is a hot cross bun. This fruit dough will also make a fruit loaf - or Chelsea buns or a Swedish tea ring...
I'm also a vegan, so I have lots of vegan recipes on here - and I'm adding more all the time.

5:2 (IF) AND EXERCISE Guest blog by GymBoffin


(Back in January, I posted about exercise and fasting - how they are intimately linked. Since then I've been steadily increasing my exercise routine, with very pleasing results. I'm now quite a bit stronger than I was, and I expect this improvement to continue, as I up my routine.

I've been helped along the way, as I say in that link, by the threads on the subject on Mumsnet. So much so, that I've asked the originator of those threads to share her knowledge and expertise here on my blog.

So this is a guest blog, by GymBoffin - who is happy to answer any questions on exercise and the science behind it.)

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

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

Hormesis
"What doesn't kill you makes you stronger"
Hormesis Mattson , BlackSwan and Hormesis - 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. 
Examples:
- 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)

RESISTANCE Training / LIFTING

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.

WARNING
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.

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

AVOID OSTEOPOROSIS

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

KETTLEBELLS Kettle
Beginners:
. Two-handed swing
. Sumo Deadlift
. Turkish Getup
. Swing
. Clean and Jerk
. Press

Improve your GRIP STRENGTH GripMen , BodyBuild

CALCULATORS:
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


A little about myself
I have always enjoyed exercise and my sedentary job makes it essential if I want to keep healthy. I've also been motivated to build up muscles, bones and general health by seeing how my late mum suffered osteoporosis and limited mobility from age 60. Both sides of my family usually survive into their 90s, but with poor quality of life. 

I train to improve my strength and fitness, while minimising risk of injury. Just as with 5:2, my priority is to develop a healthy lifestyle, rather than an extreme diet or exercise program.

My 20s and 30s were before fitness centres arrived, so I just hiked and jogged. I had powerful leg muscles and a BMI around 22. However, I had weak spindly arms, no abs and couldn't do a single pressup. I often had back and neck aches from office work.

At 41, I joined a gym, started pump and ab work, which soon stopped the back aches. I enjoy the social contact, equipment and classes at a gym and I was motivated to train much more often than I did at home. I gained muscle, but maintained BMI.
At 50, I threw out steady state cardio and the girlie weights; I started heavier lifting, also spin. I tried pressups and was astonished I could do some, then built up to sets of 30.

However, due to the menopause and abandoning a hated low carb lifestyle, my weight rose until my BMI hit 24.9 this year. This hindered my training progress.
I was motivated to do 5:2 by reading the health benefits of hormesis and realising this was also why HIIT was so effective.

I had added HIIT a couple of years ago, which massively improved my cardio fitness and also my endurance. It is very time-efficient.
I agree with tip about training with people who stretch you. All my classes contain fit, muscular young men, sometimes in the majority.
I was chuffed to win our gym situp contest, thrashing muscular hunks of all ages. I regularly beat nearly all of them in Tabata too.
fgrin
The HIIT benefits seem to have been accelerated now by 5:2, which has further improved my body composition: I have more muscle and less fat.

My weight loss on 5:2 has been very slow , but I am now about BMI 22.5, with a lot of muscle. I would like to lose another inch or so from my waist, to reach 26", but I accept this will take several months. 

I belong to 2 gyms, so I can enjoy a variety of equipment and classes: HIIT spin, CrossFit, boxing, Tabata and biweekly Zumba. I do my own thing in the weights area.

Lifting Tip: Use the legpress machine, because this is much easier on the knees than heavy squats. I don't squat with more than 30kg, but I do double bodyweight legpress. Otherwise, no lifts above bodyweight.

I train 60-90 mins on 5-6 days per week. I got used to fasted training within a few days. 
Tips for FDs:
- Have a double espresso or other high-caffeine drink 10 mins before training to help release fat stores for fuel.
- Take zero-cal BCAA (Branch Chain Amino Acids) every 4 hrs during FDs and 10 mins before training. This helps maintain muscles.
- Plan calories to have a protein shake after training. Shakes make protein available more quickly to repair your muscles.

At age 57, I'm still improving fitness and strength. Currently, I'm building up these:
- max strength, with 3 sets of 3-5 reps lat pulldowns, bentover row, modified deadlift, leg press
- chinups: a few full ones, plus a few sets of machine- assisted chins and reverse pullup/row on the bar 
- plyometrics: jumping on/off benches, squat jumps, plyometric pressups (weak attempts !)
- interval sprints.

Studies have shown benefits even for people in their 80s and 90s who start exercise. So, it's never too late to start - no excuses !


Wed 1st January 2014
I've read a fair bit about minimising biological aging.

One major aspect is also avoiding major injuries (car crashes etc) or serious illnesses like cancer, all of which can seriously affect your biological age and also hinder exercise. One can only try to avoid the major risks, but luck clearly comes in.

Regular exercise, especially including HIIT and weightlifting, can reverse biological aging. So, those exercisers who manage to avoid major illnesses and injuries, can maintain a biological age of even 20, right into the 80s.
With exercise and normal healthy eating, it seems the cutoff is age 90, when the organs etc just wear out.

However, some people in regions like Okinawa or that Sikh centenarian marathon runner, have managed to keep active at 100. This seems due to calorie restriction. Studies seem to suggest that IF may have the same effects.

So, the best practical strategy for most of us is IF combined with HIIT, hormesis with both. The task is to find the optimum level for both for each individual, so that the combined stress of these 2 interval regimes improves the body resilience, i.e. don't overdo either and over-stress the body.


2nd January 2014
Dr Varady's ADF book
- She listed a huge number of health benefits that exercise brings.

- She said her study participants did not have problems with fasted training.

- She did a study comparing 3 groups: 
Exercise only (moderate cardio on gym bike) /ADF no exercise / ADF with exercise.
Those who just exercised lost only ⅓ the weight of ADF alone
The ADF exercisers lost twice as much weight as ADF alone


Most dieters lose weight in the ratio 75% fat: 25% muscle
-Muscle burns 7 times as many cals as same weight of fat.
- This is a major reason for regaining weight after diets, because fewer cals are then burned per day for the same activity. 
In her studies, no one regained weight after ADF (probably different in the real world without professional support)

-Exercisers no-ADF lost 1.2" waist Nd increased good HDL cholesterol 
-ADF no exercise lost 2" waist and decreased bad LDL cholesterol.
-The ADF exercisers lost 3" waist and zero muscle. They increased HDL and lowered LDL cholesterol.

Emphasises what we already knew: diet is key, but exercise can boost it.


Another quote from Varady that I must share: she says repeatedly that if you exercise on ADF, you gain muscle (in contrast to most diets where 25% of loss is muscle).
She says ADF without exercise approx. maintains muscle.

It is frustrating we have to extrapolate from ADF to 5:2. Also it is not clear if she means previous non-exercisers. 
However, I have gained muscle and also lost a few lb, while just continuing HIIT and lifting. We know successful LeansGainers have also gained muscle.

My hypothesis
IF, regardless if ADF / 5:2 /16:8 / Fast 5, can increase muscle with intensive exercise
.

3rd January 2014
FD Eating, Shakes & Training

Everybody
- For the average exerciser, protein shakes are not normally necessary. Ordinary FD food is sufficient. Gyms earn money from selling shakes.
BUT nobody should eat any junk on an FD training day.
Intensive exercisers (full HIIT, heavy lifters) see below.
- Eat whatever works for you, within the 500 cal limit (600 for blokes).
- Varady's book and lifting sites recommend AGAINST sub-500 cals, in case you lose valuable muscle mass. 
I now decided it is safest to always have my full 500.
- Do include sufficient protein. If you do decide on a sub-500 cal, then supplement with zero-cal BCAA (Branch Chain Amino Acids) e.g.Xtend is top quality.
- Many folk save some or most calories to eat after training.
- You can train completely fasted and eat afterwards, but depends on time of day and the individual.
If you do so, take BCAA and a double espresso or other high-caffeine drink about 15 mins before and a shake or more BCAA immediately afterwards.
This is one of the exceptions when a normal exerciser needs a shake.
- Do not eat a proper meal (excludes protein shake) within 2 hrs before energetic training or you may feel crap & lethargic.
I either train completely fasted or leave at least 4 hrs before training, so my tum feels empty. 
A walk is fine after any meal, as it aids digestion and is not very energetic.
LOFs (Liquid Only Fasts) can be EITHER near-zero cal with tea, coffee, veg juice only OR up to 500 cals as protein shakes. 
Liquids aren't as filling for the same number of cals as solids, but LOFs work fine for some. Try an LOF if you want, but no advantage over a normal FD, except time saved cooking.
A shake LOF allows 2-3 shakes for a woman, 3-4 for a man if you take no other cals. Examples : RTD shakes like Oh Yeah or Atkins mocha flavour, or make from powders (check calorie count !!) with good quality 80%+ whey / casein protein, e.g. Weider (80 plus, CRFM or BodyShaper) or any SciTec Nutrition shake

For intense trainers only
- Save some cals for a protein shake (or 25g protein in any other form) immediately after training, before shower etc. Or at least take BCAA. 
You need protein ideally within 15 mins to replenish muscles, so this is recommended even if you have a meal later. 
Shakes supply protein more quickly than solid food, which must be digested more.
- If you feel the need when you get home, have a meal, 2nd shake or kefir.


Healthy Waist
I keep recommending waist measurement because it more directly represents body fat than BMI or weight.

I suggest an initial target of 34.5", then a final target of 31.5"

All medical-type orgs and governments agree that for women a waist from
. 31.5" (80 cm) increases health risk factors and 
. 34.5" (88 cm) increases risk significantly

I append a simple summary from Oz Heart Foundation plus more detail from an excellent WHOreport(World Health Org) which shows risk for various waist-BMI combinations and different ethnicities.







Q. How much weight would a press up be considered lifting - it feels like more than the 30% machines in the park - maybe half? It would make me feel better about my press up crapness if I could consider it equivalent to lifting 30 odd kilos!

GymBoffin. The equivalent lifting move to a pressup is a bench press, not a lat pulldown.

Theoretically, you could measure the exact weight of your own narrow pressup by putting both hands on the scales. 
In practice, to save you crash-landing with nose and chin on the scales ....
smile
Best estimate from lifting sites is that it's equivalent to about 2/3 your bodyweight in pure force, compared to a bench press on a machine.

We compare pressups to a machine because both are easier than a free weights bench press - you have to balance a bar, you don't have to balance the Earth beneath you, or even grip it. 

A pressup or a machine bench press is in turn equivalent to about 2/3 free weight. 

Example: A 120 lb (54.5 kg)person who can do 10 pressups should be able to do:
. 10 reps of 80lbs on a machine bench press or
. 53 lb (24 kg) reps with a dumbbell or barbell.

This is just theory though !
Nip into a sports shop, find 2 x 12 kg dumbbells, get your DS/ DH to distract the staff, while you lie on your back and see if you can do 10 reps before you are all thrown out.


Q. A friend 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.

GB.  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)


Fast Fitness (HIIT)
Dr Mosely, the inventor of 5:2, developed some Fast Fitness routines using some of the latest fitness science.
These routines, which are in his book, are based on the same same principles of Hormesis (high intermittent loading with recovery intervals) as the 5:2 diet.
They go well with any form of IF, or any other healthy eating plan.

Dr Mosely's Fast Fitness (very HIIT)

- Each routine is a full HIIT session 
- Unless you are super-fit, no more than one per day or 3 total per week

1) 20 sec intervals, any of these: running, stair-running, stationary bike, cross-trainer, swimming, rowing machine.

.Warmup for 1-4 mins, until you feel ready
.20 sec burst as hard as you can, at a level where you can't do another 2 secs.
.about 2 min gentle exercise to recover
.another 20 sec burst at max intensity.
.final recovery period of at least 2 mins

2) As above, but with 5x 60 sec intervals at 90% capacity, with 90 sec recovery periods in between.

3) FatBurner - Only practical on a stationary bike: 
. Set resistance very high, so you can just pedal
. Brief warmup 1-4 mins
. Repeated intervals of 8 secs max speed, with 12 secs low speed recovery
. Start by doing the intervals for at most a total of 5 mins (even 1 min) but build up the time. Very fit folk can eventually do say 15 mins
. Brief cooldown 1 min

Dr Mosely's 5:2 Fast STRENGTH

- Basically HIIT with 2 exercises 
- Can be done at home or in a park
- No equipment required, but a skipping rope is very handy
- Maximum is 5 sessions per week

Example Pairs:
high energy (e.g. rope-skipping, burpees, jumping jacks, sprints, step-ups, mountain climb), with static strength e.g. plank, side-plank, wall-sit
OR just do strength training pairs some days:
-press-ups with sit-ups
-tricep dips with squats

Routine:
. Brief warmup for 1-4 mins, e.g. skipping or jogging on the spot
. As many reps of exercise 1 as you can in 30 secs
. Rest 10 secs
. 30 secs of exercise 2, as many reps as you can
. Rest 10 secs
. Do these "double intervals" of Exercises1 and 2 for 5-10 mins
. Brief cool-down, then stretch
========================


Couch to HIIT

Start with "walking intervals" to improve your cardio fitness:
. 5 mins walking at normal pace to warm up
. 1 min brisk walking or, if you can, 30 secs of this + 30 secs slow jog
. 1 min normal walking pace, to recover
. Repeat the 1 min brisk / normal intervals 5 times
. Continue the rest of your walk at normal pace

Aim to do these intervals 3 days per week.
On one day you can vary the interval length: 2 mins brisk walk, 2 mins recovery

Here's how to build from there:

. Over a few weeks, try to increase the number of your intervals to 10 
. Try some of the walk uphill
. Then gradually replace the brisk walk recovery by a gentle jog.
. Build up to "sprint intervals" consisting of fast sprints alternating with jogging to recover.

------------------------------------------------------------------------


4 comments:

  1. Very nice article. Nice and thorough.

    For those who are having trouble practicing 5:2 Intermittent fasting, also know that there are many other variants available. We have alternate day fasting, intra-day variations like the leangains or Warrior diet and many others. Definitely try to find the method that suits you the best. In general, they all involve fasting and thus are beneficial to both health and weight management.

    I recently wrote an article about exercising at home without any additional weight. Using HIIT methods mostly, to really tax the body even without heavier weight equipment. Maybe you'll have a read:

    http://www.hungerfitness.com/building-muscle-at-home-without-equipment/

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, Holger - good to have your input.

    Currently working my way through your blog - very interesting, and very useful!

    Paul

    ReplyDelete
  3. your blog - very interesting, and very useful! La Fintess

    ReplyDelete