I still remember huffing up the hill – the almost “iconic” (in my life, anyway) hill that I first climbed several lives ago (and indeed, so much has happened in the years succeeding that it does indeed feel like another life).
Huffing, puffing and PANTING up the hill – – and quite literally gasping for breath as I tried to get up the stairs as quickly as I could to “end” the torture.
Funnily enough, the more I did so, the more out of breath I got and the more the torture “persisted”.
Regular readers of this blog/email newsletter will know the feeling I got after climbing that hill the first time – and for those that don’t know – well – it felt like a Mack truck ran over me.
I was sore everywhere – especially my upper back and abs, which felt like they’d been through a pounding. My forearms felt worked to the bone, and my thighs felt like a pulpy mess.
And more – but today’s note is not about that.
Today’s note makes reference of the fact that all these years later, I can mosey on effortlessly up that hill – – scarcely breaking a sweat – – as the people all AROUND me huff, puff (and in some cases wheeze, hehe) their way up that same hill.
And of course, look at me with that mixture of appreciation and “recognition” which pretty much says “here is a guy that is in shape” – in stark contrast to the giggles I got when laboring up the hill all those years ago.
My, how the tables have turned eh.
And while the exercises in the 0 Excuses Fitness System are of course to be given the primary credit for my transformation, they are not the entire story.
(Note – – if you want to partake of the exercises I used to literally “see fat melting before my very eyes while exercising” – – well — here is the course that details it all – – http://0excusesfitness.com/advanced-hill-training/).
When I first started climbing that hill in earnest, I’d take the stairs – – all the way up and all the way down.
I was under the impression that this gave me a better workout than the sloping path-cum-stairs route, mostly because of all the extra huffing and puffing involved – – and whats more, I’d take the stairs two at a time.
Although all of this helped me lose fat – and quickly, the REAL key to losing fat and getting in better cardio shape (w.r.t. that hill) was not taking the steps two at a time.
In fact, it was, if this makes sense, ignoring the steps altogether.
These days what I do (when I do climb that hill) is make it a point to take the route with a slope – no matter what. Sure, that route has stairs at the “fag” end of it, but do I bound up the stairs two at a time?
No – – I just effortlessly and calmly “glide” up the stairs – – one at a time and watch my BREATHING – – and funnily enough, and I’ve tested this – – this gets me to the top QUICKER than those around me trying to “bound” up the hill.
And it also gets my legs in better shape.
Don’t get me wrong – bounding up or taking the steps two at a time is a great, great cardio workout anyway – – akin to hill sprints (but not quite) – – and the main reason behind this is the emphasis on the quads as you “take the steps two at a time” (as opposed to sprints when the whole BODY works as a whole).
And the quads being the largest muscle group in the body, this naturally causes more huffing and puffing, and this is good – – but working the ENTIRE leg in unison is even better, my friend.
Slopes and “calmly” ascending the stairs do more for your calves and shins than taking them two at a time ever will. I’m seeing veins in my calves these days that were NEVER EVER there, and let me tell you, it’s a rare sight indeed to see veins on your calves unless you’re either a pro athlete or in otherwise excellent shape.
Not only that – – my thighs haven’t lost any mass – – if anything they’ve even bigger than before.
Heart health, you ask?
Well, let’s just say I’m getting up that hill quicker than ever before – – and quicker than those who try and go “two stairs at a time”, and NOT breaking much of a sweat while doing so.
Enough said, eh?
Last, but not least, does any of this mean stairs – – or taking them two at a time is BAD?
Not at all. As I said in an earlier post “Stairs vs slope”, stairs can give you an excellent workout – – and they SHOULD be incorporated into your routine – – but take them one at a time.
Go methodically – – one at a time – – and at a steady pace – – and you’ll be amazed at the record speed in which you a) get in better condition and b) the fat literally FLIES off your body (especially your lower body and glutes).
Give it a try – let me know how it goes!
P.S. – If you’re looking for DRAMATIC and RAPID fat loss – – and want some hidden secrets as to how to jack up the fat burning effect of already potent hill workouts – – well then – – THIS is the course for you – – http://0excusesfitness.com/advanced-hill-training/