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The Science And Sweat Of High-Intensity Workouts

Rock-hard bodies in a fraction of the time. We’ll look at the 7-minute workout and the promises of high-intensity exercise.

In this 2011 photo, U.S. Navy sailors participate in  intense 10-minute workout intervals. (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael K. McNabb/U.S. Navy)

In this 2011 photo, U.S. Navy sailors participate in intense 10-minute workout intervals, testing fitness until only one participant remained. (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael K. McNabb/U.S. Navy)

The roar in exercise for a while now has not been about “going the distance” or “slow and steady” or “a nice, long walk.”

The roar is about hard, fast, intense workouts.  Really intense.  The 7-minute workout.  Crossfit.  P90X.  Insanity. Super-charged bursts of exertion, high intensity interval training, that will bust out the sweat and — if you believe the TV ads — the hubba-hubba beach bod in a hurry.

So does it work?  How’s it work?  Who’s it work for?

Up next On Point: The 7-minute workout and its go-crazy cousins.  The high-intensity path to fitness.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Chris Jordan, director of exercise physiology at the Human Performance Institute in Orlando, Fla. and co-developer of the 7-minute workout.

Jessica Matthews, exercise physiologist for the American Council on Exercise, professor of Kinesiology, Health and Nutrition at MiraCosta College, fitness writer for Weight Watchers and SHAPE magazine. She is also a yoga teacher, group fitness instructor and personal trainer. (@FitExpertJess)

Justin Lin, physical therapist and athletic trainer who wrote about avoiding injury during high-intensity workouts in “Don’t Be Fooled By Crossfit, Insanity Or P90X.”

Show Highlights

For transcripts of individual show highlights, read this hour’s complementary blog post.

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times: The Scientific 7-Minute Workout – “Exercise science is a fine and intellectually fascinating thing. But sometimes you just want someone to lay out guidelines for how to put the newest fitness research into practice. An article in the May-June issue of the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal does just that. In 12 exercises deploying only body weight, a chair and a wall, it fulfills the latest mandates for high-intensity effort, which essentially combines a long run and a visit to the weight room into about seven minutes of steady discomfort — all of it based on science.”

The Atlantic: Insanity: The Rise of the Supercharged Home Workout – “Insanity is the brainchild of Carl Daikeler and Jon Congdon, co-founders of BeachBody LLC, an outfit that, despite its hammy name, had in the 15 years since its establishment seen meteoric success. Their first breakthrough came in 2003 with the launch of P90x, a ninety-day fitness program developed with workout guru Tony Horton. It combined resistance training and muscle confusion exercises and sold a million copies in its first season. Four years later, they looked to expand their line with an even more intense workout, one that could deliver the same results in just sixty days. It seemed they had a winner in high-intensity home fitness.”

WBUR: Flunking The Insanity Workout But Coming Away Wiser — “Here’s the basic concept: Try harder. To wit: Typical “interval training” involves several minutes of moderate intensity and then a minute or so of high-intensity push — a sprint, if you will. The Insanity workout flips that formula, so that you do longer high-intensity intervals and then have relatively short rests. That approach struck me as meshing well with a wave of recent research findings that shorter, very vigorous workouts can provide surprisingly strong health benefits. And, as I wrote when I embarked on my Insanity, I was inspired by a 58-year-old doctor I deeply respect, who reported that the program was certainly intense but did not have to be truly insane. He ended up with lower body fat and feeling great. So I took the plunge.”

Tweets From During The Show

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  • http://kenid.myopenid.com/ Kenid

    Could the guests comment on if exerting oneself to a level lower than the “80% or higher” of one’s maximum heart rate for the ‘high intensity phase’ is still effective for the older or the less fit population?  Thank you.

    • adks12020

      I’m not an expert but from what I’ve read “intensity” should be based on what your body can handle. I’ve been an athlete my whole life and one thing I’ve definitely learned is overexerting yourself usually results in injury.

      • eliane5

        I work by knowing my heart zones which were a result from doing a 3hrs test.  internval training is taxing, and doing 3x/week is demanding to me – but the only differnce is that I am very aware of how much I can push 3x/week and still have the mental and physical capacity to do the rest of my monthly routine.

      • http://kenid.myopenid.com/ Kenid

         Thanks for the reply.  Exactly what I’d thought (from having taken exercise bio-mechanics and numerous exercise science courses during my college days).  I am concern when I see ‘less than the elite athlete’ type of people being subjected to media hype or ill-informed trainers to over-exert themselves.  “Listening to one’s body” is not usually emphasized in a big group exercise activity (from what I’ve observed). 

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    Can this training be used to reverse or prevent sarcopenia, the muscle wasting disease ? Also do supplements such as Acetyl-L-Carnitine with alpha-lipoic acid , PQQ, and Quercetin that act on mitochondrial function help to increase the benefits of this type of exercise ?

    PS

    I was hoping to see a workout video.

    Alpha-lipoic acid

     http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2007/oct2007_nu_lipoic_acid_01.htm

    Acetyl-L-Carnitine
     http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/alternative/acetyl-l-carnitine.htm

    PQQ : pyrroloquinoline quinone

    http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2011/feb2011_Generate-Fresh-Mitochondria-with-PQQ_01.htm

    Quercetin http://www.antioxidants.org/quercetin

    Quercetin also modifies
    http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2003/jan2003_report_quercetin_01.htm

    More on Quercetin

     http://www.einstein.yu.edu/news/releases/894/brain-region-may-hold-key-to-aging/

    “Scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have found that the hypothalamus of mice controls aging throughout the body.”

    “… focusing on a protein complex called NF-κB (nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells). “

  • LinRP

    This is ridiculous. You have to first MOVE well to be be a great athlete and stay out of the injury cycle. What does MOVING WELL mean? You have to be FUNCTIONALLY strong with great stability, mobility, and muscular balance front and back. If you are not, you will never reach your potential as an athlete, and likely be on the express train to injury. To be truly FIT, you need to relearn what the fitness marketing machine throws at you.

    Most people who do these 7 Minute workouts, Crossfit and Beach Body have good intentions but are not served by these programs. Have you seen the FORM people workout with? One in a thousand is strong enough to do these workouts correctly and derive the benefit. The brain will help the body get to that finish line no matter what.
    So if you are moving in a “no-matter-what” dysfunctional way, you are
    on an an express train to diminished performance and injury.

    Read and learn. Don’t fall for the quick, useless fixes.

    Is Functional Training A Fad? A Gimmick?
    http://pursuitathleticperformance.com/2013/is-functional-strength-training-a-fad-a-gimmick/

    Stop Leaking Speed
    http://pursuitathleticperformance.com/2013/stop-leaking-speed-you-need-functional-strength-training/

    You Need To Be Stable To Perform Your Best
    http://pursuitathleticperformance.com/2013/stop-leaking-speed-you-need-functional-strength-training/

    The Key to Generating Power and Speed
    http://pursuitathleticperformance.com/2013/functional-strength-training-key-to-generating-power-and-speed/

  • adks12020

    The big problem I see with a lot of these “intensity” workouts is that people who aren’t athletes to begin with just jump right into them. If you don’t know what your fitness level is and can’t read how your body is reacting to the intensity injury is going to happen. 

    I’ve been an athlete my whole life. I ran track and played soccer in school; now I hike, cycle, cross country ski, canoe, kayak, etc.  I know when my body reacts a certain way I need to lay off in order to prevent injury. A lot of people with little athletic experience can’t feel those things until it’s too late.

    I do agree with the “intensity” concept though. I’ve been really into cycling for the past few years. I do shorter, much faster, more hilly rides a few days a week and a longer ride on the weekend. The shorter, fast paced, hilly workouts build strength and muscle tone very quickly and the longer workouts build up endurance. 

  • ToyYoda

    This is great idea, but what if someone invents with the 6 minute workout?

  • TomK_in_Boston

    This strikes me as same as the fad diet or quick fix du jour.

    I’m a masters swimmer. We swim a coached 2500-3000 yd practice in the morning including all strokes and difficulty from “easy” swims to sprints with very little rest and it feels intense to me! I don’t get fully warmed up till half way through and I think it’s ridiculous to imagine I could have the conditioning and stress relief I have without putting in the time. Also I like putting in the time since my fellow swimmers are my friends.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=14100563 Jillian Nowlin

      Exactly. Taking the time to exercise is something one does for themselves, its taking time for one’s self. Its a way to relax mentally and emotionally, its a stress relief. If one is only exercising for 7 minutes, where does the stress-relief come in?

      • artemus_prime

        @TomK_in_Boston:disqus @facebook-14100563:disqus hey you guys. i tend to think of these workouts not as replacement for that long swim or the dedication to growing to a 10 or 20 mile run. i enjoy tennis and century rides on my bike. but after a break from exercise for a while, i found one of them useful to get my fitness back to a desired level and even further along. perhaps you could use one or a variation of these to facilitate or enhance your fitness level which may allow you to enjoy your preferred mode of exercise more. exercise should be part of one’s lifestyle and participating in any one process or procedure does not take away our choice to train in another way.  

        • TomK_in_Boston

          OK, a’, whatever you like but let me repeat my workout is not a single long swim but a bit of everything including sprints. When I sprint a 50 or 100 it is incredibly intense. When I do it in a meet I am so pumped that sometimes don’t remember anything between going off the block and finally touching the wall. So I think I already have those high intensity bursts.

  • HonestDebate1

    But why? I understand the concept of exercise and I understand there are many who have jobs where they are sedentary. For them a gym or a home treadmill can make sense. And I understand that staying “in shape” has benefits but it can cross the line to obsession. This seems as unhealthy as jogging 10 miles a day and blowing out your knees. Or slipping a disk doing squats.

    The larger picture to me is what are you building muscles for? In my case I need what I have to pick up out of the field, and then stack in the barn 2500 bales of hay. I may need them to fence the back 40. But I certainly don’t need muscles to look in the mirror and admire.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=14100563 Jillian Nowlin

    I love exercise and I love being active. I’ve been dancing since I was little tot and I started running distance in high school. One thing that has always been pressed upon me by my instructors is that to be kind to your body one shouldn’t push it to the extreme too quickly otherwise you lose form and technique which can lead to injury. That’s what I fear when I hear about these quick workouts.

    Furthermore, like everything else in our society that is pushed faster and more, when we do that I think we lose appreciation for what we’ve achieved and what we have. When I began running, it took me a year to run 4 miles straight, but when I achieved that I felt super accomplished and that feeling has stuck with me. I think if I pushed myself to do it more quickly it wouldn’t mean as much. I think we’re becoming a society that takes dedication for granted.

  • AC

    i’m not sure i should listen to this, the only exercise i get is hiking with the dog…
    i’m pretty sure this show is going to make me feel lazy and weak, lol…

  • Ray in VT

    I’m a bit skeptical about some of these sorts of workout techniques, at least in terms of how great of a shape it really gets on in.  I’ve seen a lot of people who do all of the exercises to get a six pack abs and such, but when you put them on the business end of a shovel, then they don’t last very long.  I’ve never seen anybody who does hard, physical work for a living end up with six pack abs.

    • BHA_in_Vermont

      Maybe because they finish their work day with one or two from the six pack ;)

      Your point is quite accurate. Hard physical work builds muscles that work together. Exercising to get six pack abs isn’t building “useful” muscle.

      • Ray in VT

        I see a number of people who lift weights 12 oz. at a time, and they’re working more on a keg than a six pack.

        I guess that these types of programs work for some people, so I don’t mean to be too harsh in my comments.  I do see a lot of people who want to get cut because they want to show it off, and if that floats your boat, then fine, but I’ve just never respected that.  I knew gym rats in college who spent all of their time in the weight room, but, again, I’ve never seen those type of guys hold up under the strain of hard work.

  • creaker

    It sounds so limited – I can see it being part of an exercise program – but no stretching, no aerobics = one ripped body that can’t run more than a few hundred yards, can’t touch their toes or raise their arms over their heads.

    Added: now the details come out – now that it’s a 20 minute workout and not 7, it makes more sense. But it’s still missing important stuff.

  • Alex Sloan

    A “7 minute workout” is just marketing lies for modern people with short attention spans who want an easy fix.  Easy fixes don’t exist for losing weight or staying in shape. (See Wikipedia article on yo-yo dieting). Fitness takes dedication, and discipline, both in the maintaining the workouts and proper diet. It takes a permanent lifestyle change.

  • ToyYoda

    Is there difference in physiological benefits between short high intensity workouts and long medium intensity workouts? Should I do a balance of both? Or prefer one over the other? Does it depend on my age?

  • Up_here_in_Vermont

    This workout technique works, absolutely.  I am a 56 year old man, a former personal trainer, and have been doing high intensity workouts for 30 years.  I work out less than 1 1/2 hours per week (and supplement with long walks for exercise and enjoyment), and my body is in top shape.  I had a semi-annual physical last monday and my doctor commented a few times about my peak physical conditioning. Please, give it a try folks… 

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    Thanks, but I’d rather work around the house and accomplish something while getting my exercise.

  • creaker

    It’s not the only one out there – Barre fitness classes are very intense and very popular right now.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kristina.campbell65 Kristina Robbins Campbell

    Love love love Body Combat! Totally changed my body and made my 46 year old body better than it was at 35:-)

  • AC

    do you have to screen the people for health issues first?
    i have lupus, can i do it? (my child disease is a bleeding disorder, i don’t clot well…)

  • sickofthechit

    See a doctor before you start one of these programs.  charles a. bowsher

  • http://www.facebook.com/juliann.jones1 Juliann Jones

    how do you recommend a person just over 50 approach this?
     

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    Averaging 15+ MPH from Middlebury to Montreal would be a feat for anyone but a hard core cyclist. This is no “pancake flat” route. I applaud you Sandy!! 

    • adks12020

      No doubt. I was just thinking the same thing.  I ride a bike a lot and I was thinking that seemed pretty darn good and wondering if I could even do that. I’m only 31.

  • khothem

    I am 44 years old and was a faithful “boot camper” for three years.  Before that I was always active and was a gym person.  The workouts were outside an hour long and I did it 3-4 times a week and also ate pretty well.  I felt great, I looked good and enjoyed my workouts.  They were with all women and were also social.  I pushed myself hard.  Since moving back to the east coast I decided to give crossfit a try.  I’ve been doing it since the fall and WOD 4-5 times a week.  I also eat pretty clean (whole30 – no processed foods, limited sugar & grains).  Since October I’ve become stronger and doing Olympic lifts, as well as running, functional exercises like squats, push-ups, etc. I feel great, and am more fit than I’ve ever been.  I’m also down three sizes and was again in pretty good shape when I started.  The “classes” are an hour long where we go over standards, work on mobility & warm up to our workouts that can go from 5-30 minutes or so depending on the workout.  I work out with all ages and fitness levels.  It’s super fun and again gives results.  The important thing I’ve learned in this kind of a workout is that you HAVE to find a “box” where the trainers stick to crossfit standards and require a foundations course for those just starting out.  

  • 65noname

    This is a joke; first your supposed experts are people who make their living selling people on the latest exercise fad.

    So far the whole discussion has ignored certain basic questions.  First, what specific benefit exactly does each different exercise provide.  Does a 7 (or 21) minute exercise plan with constant breaks provide any cardio benefit?  And, if so, where’s the science to prove it?  Do the various exercise routines being pushed by cross-fitesque programs provide the best manner of increasing body strength?  And, if so, where the science to prove it?

    This is similar to the running shoe craze, a whole marketi ng campaign based on certain claims but without any science to back up those claims.

    But this show has never shown much interest in accuracy or truth.

    • adks12020

      Interval workouts work. I don’t know about 7 minutes but I now when I ran track we did interval workouts all the time and they definitely work.  The intensity gets your heart rate up very quickly and the very short breaks don’t give it enough time to slow down before you start again.  You actually maintain a higher heart rate with intervals than with consistent medium intensity exercise.

      Professional athletes have been doing interval training for decades. There’s a reason. It works.

      • 65noname

        Athletes have done many, many things over the course of time that not only didn’t work but were counter productive. But the question is not whether they work.  I do them also.  And love them.  The question is what do they work on?  Do they improve cardio fitness?  Do they result in better weight loss? Do they improve muscle tone?  And does doing repeated sets of jumping jacks imporve cardio fitness? Or athleticism?  And what is the proper level and time period of the intensity?  And how often should they be done? These are all questions that science can answer.  But the current fad skirts over all these questions.    

      • eliane5

        I do interval work 3x/week as part of my triathlon training and it works to build my stamina which contributes a part of my overall endurance program. 

  • injun2

    I started a high intensity workout regime with a trainer in 2007 because my doctor wrote out a script for high blood pressure meds. I got a trainer who did this approach, and within 3 months without meds my doc was astounded how good my BP was. Within a year I had lost 50 pounds and within two years I had 6 pack abs. However, in 2010 I had a heart episode (at age 56) while working out (no history of heart probs) and my cardiologist told me this type of traing was dangerous, especially the anaerobic parts (running up  5 flights of stairs and back with 30 lb weights in each hand). I don’t get it, and have gained the 50 lbs back with traditional toning exercises. Is my doc just doing defensive medicine or is there any merit to this?

    • eliane5

      I’m not a doctor, but high intensity (most notably) the anaerobic work will impact your heart the greatest.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003902676765 James Downing

    There’s a very real danger for folks looking for a quick fix in trying these high-intensity programs and being discouraged when they either get injured, or find out they are unable to even finish them. 

    I was looking to help a friend get started with a good cardio routine, and mentioned P90 (as in, the first in the series, before the “x” craze) and he immediately shared that he had already tried the P90X workout that had been gifted to him. At 400lb, he (and the person who gifted him this set) saw this as the only viable route to a healthier lifestyle.

    I quickly provided clarification that it starts with a slower, balanced approach, and then can increase as the body acclimates to the change in lifestyle, but I fear that the marketing of these products is sending the wrong message to every day folks just looking to live a healthier life. 

    After all the folks that can actually benefit from these high-intensity workouts are probably not watching TV late at night.

  • CatInBoston

    I work out regularly by incorporating physical activity into what I do for fun: Circus arts! I do object manipulation (poi/staff spinning), partner balancing, and aerial acrobatics. It’s fun, social, and a great way to get a workout without even realizing it.

  • rsmith345

    to OPR: Can your guests comment about these workouts and children?   There is Crossfit, which has a separate program called “Crossfit Kids”.   This is supported by Reebok, which also funds a program called “BOKS” which was developed by Crossfit-users, and is run by volunteers as a before-school morning exercise program.
     If an adult chooses a high intensity workout, that’s his or her choice. If adults encourage kids to do a high intensity workout, some of those kids may injure their still-developing bodies.

  • J__o__h__n

    My interest in this topic lasted about seven minutes. 

    • eliane5

      hahahahahaha

  • gryf47

    I starting doing P90X soon after my 30th birthday.  I had been exercising at a gym doing cardio/weights for the previous year and reached a plateau.  That whole process took roughly 2hrs each day and one day not being up for going to they gym I popped in a copy of p90x that I got from a friend and it kicked my butt. For those that don’t know, the average workout in that program takes roughly an hour.

    It also has significantly reduced pain in one of my knees that was injured trough college sports that used to prevent me from running.

    It’s not for everyone, the workouts get repetitive after awhile (my wife can’t stand listening to it). I wouldn’t recommend it for someone coming off the couch, but it has helped me develop muscles that I was not working before, saved me a lot of money in gym membership, and most importantly gave me a lot more time a day with my family.

    -Rob N.Y.C.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=744390844 Martha Hedberg Latta

    I am a 51 year old breast cancer survivor. I’ve never been athletic and have never been over-zealous about working out. However, 6 weeks ago I started the Couch-to-5k (C25k) program. It is essentially interval training alternating walking/jogging. It works really well, and I can work it at my own pace. You work out 3x’s week/ 30-ish minutes per workout. 

  • peterntreed

    We will always do the easiest thing. Staying fit requires an environment that makes it easy. We need to design our cities in ways that promote walking, biking, getting out into the park. Make our environment safe and fun to be in and we will all be more fit (and certainly more well).

  • cuffle25

    I have taught ballet to children for 30 years. There is only one way to do this form correctly, without hurting the body. Children need to be guided and corrected continuously, to develop the strength and flexibility gradually.

    I worry about a lot of these exercise forms that are taught in huge groups without proper professional guidance. Also, can you address how all these systems apply to children and adolescents in their developing bodies?

  • pauljg

    What’s the hurry? I am a 58 year old ironman triathlete and I would love to go hard everyday, but I have found that exercise has to be sustainable. Being in tune with your body and what it is telling you, instead of what the video or trainer is telling me.  Cross training for triathlons has helped me the most. I have watched people do the classes at the local gyms and the P90X program and when they are done they fall off, because they haven’t learned how to push them selves and train without that voice in their ear.

    • eliane5

      so agree with you Paul!
      congrats on our IM!!!!!
      i also incorporate interval training in my routine, but, it’s meant to help  me with my endurance program.

  • emalunowicz

    I use to work out in a gym and my instructor put us through a similar workout. She called it Tobada, after a man who invented it. It was the same idea, with similar exercises – 30 seconds on, 10 rest. With stretches before and after, we struggled through an hour! It was amazing and great for mind and body. When I went for my annual checkup and they took my EKG, they asked if I was an athlete or played sports. My resting heart rate was nice and low. I’m happy to see I can now struggle through 20 minutes instead of the hour.
    Thanks,
    Liz

  • Philip de Oliveira

    I’m a 21-year-old aspiring composer who, as part of conservatory training, took a semester of Alexander Technique classes. While I had previously attempted various fitness programs, none of them stressed the idea of body mapping–of noticing where everything is in the body and how it is designed to move. I think it makes complete sense to first develop an accurate mental picture of how the body is constructed as a way of preventing injury and getting the best results out of any fitness program. Otherwise one may be moving and straining based on what A.T. calls “unreliable sensory appreciation,” which can lead to injury over time. The process of noticing tension or other external stimuli in an objective, non-judgmental way, allows the body to release and move more freely.

  • eliane5

    ***** not interested in the “quick fix” high intensity exercises as described by these programs. ****  they may sell a wonderful outcome but the commitment to keep it is the key.

    my challenge is enjoying my moderate and steady routines that change as my body changes to prevent re-adapation - and it’s a systematically change that I provide and do enjoy seeing and working thru.

    i am a triathlete, a scientist, going for my third master’s degree – but my moderate and steady routines is the key to my fitness and wellness.  My quality life is so pleasurable because of my routine and love making is even more – as we get fitter, the cardiovascular activities do spill into the bed where we can hold, tease, and go at multiple times during the day!  you cant get these outcomes with the “quick fix” because you are not training for endurance….

    be well. be healthy. be safe. 

  • Sy2502

    7 minutes isn’t even enough to warm up. The reason at 40 I look better than most 20 year old is that I spend a lot more than 7 minutes in the gym. But then looking at the list of contributors for this program, things get quite clear: package your own workout, sell it as magic bullet, laugh all the way to the bank. A quick and easy way to spot the quacks? Look for words like “muscle confusion”, which doesn’t exist (muscles don’t have brains, don’t have a memory, and don’t get confused).

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      whats better than 7 minute abs? 6 minute abs!

    • natalia

      The idea of a 7 minute workout is ridiculous, agreed. 
      But. Muscle fibers absolutely have memory. How do you think you learned to walk, write, type, swim, etc?
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muscle_memory

  • Sy2502

    I am sure Michael Phelps got his medals by swimming 7 minutes a day. Get real folks.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      This morning:
      warmup

      4 x (once each stroke) (4×50 25 stroke/25 free, 100 stroke kick, 100 stroke sprint, 100IM)

      300 Pull

      4x (4 x 25 free sprint, climb out and do 10 pushups)

      I’m still tired but it’s a good tired.

      M Phelps is amazing in all respects but he and the other greats separate themselves from the mortals the most by their “underwaters” the streamlined glides with dolphin kick they get off starts and turns.

  • Matt C

    6 months ago I joined a Crossfit gym in Somerville Ma.  Prior to that I went to a gym used machines and did cardio.  Outside of the gym I played soccer in an >30s league and ski.  

    The Coaches at my crossfit gym believe and coach in such a way that anyone whether you are 18 or 60 can do the work outs.  They do this by an intense focus on form and scaling.   The workouts are not 7 or 10 minutes long they are roughly an hour where the first 20-30 minutes are warming up and stretching, 5-10 minutes of review of technique for the different activities,15-20 minutes of weight training and 5-20 minute work out of the day.  During and after my workout if I have questions about stretching, form, injury prevention etc. the coaches are there to help me learn and understand.

    I have had an amazing experience, I have not had a huge weight loss rather I have had some significant changes in composition.  I am far stronger than I have been since college and I am far  more conscious of my movement.  I also learned early on that for me to do well and be comfortable working out as hard as I am I have to dedicate time to stretching.  I now spend 2-4 hours a week stretching on top of 3 hours/week in crossfit class.  I have no more back pain, I can run longer and faster and I like the change to my body.

    I was disappointed to here the experience of one guy who on his first week the “Coach” at his crossfit gym did not work with him to learn what his baseline actually was and scale the workout to what he is capable of.  Part of the issue is the certification process to coach at crossfit is not as robust as it needs to be.  In speaking with my Coach – each had to be a crossfit athlete, get certified and participate in a 6 month internship where they had to coach an existing Coach and assist that Coach in teaching their classes.

    I guess at the end of the day the most important thing is to know who you are hiring and to pick the right Coach and organization that can support your goals.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1291882273 Liam Healy

      Fellow Boston-area Crossfitter here.  So many of the commenters here are ill-informed.  A 10 minute crossfit workout means 10 minutes of intense focus, but leading up to it is about 40 minutes or more of warm ups, strength building, gymnastics, plyometrics, etc.  I’ve been crossfitting for 18 months and will never go back to an old-school gym.  The transformation is amazing.

  • Regular_Listener

    I have one word for you: fad.

  • rhobb

     Moms need support, too, so look around and find women who model an attitude you admire.

    http://healthcare-consulting.org/health-information-management.php

ONPOINT
TODAY
Jul 28, 2014
This June 4, 2014 photo shows a Walgreens retail store in Boston. Walgreen Co. _ which bills itself as “America’s premier pharmacy” _ is among many companies considering combining operations with foreign businesses to trim their tax bills. (AP)

American companies bailing out on America. They call it inversion. Is it desertion?

Jul 28, 2014
U.S. Secretary of War Newton D. Baker watches as wounded American soldiers arrive at an American hospital near the front during World War I. (AP Photo)

Marking the one hundredth anniversary of the start of World War One. We’ll look at lessons learned and our uneasy peace right now.

RECENT
SHOWS
Jul 25, 2014
Guest Renee McLeod of Somerville, MA's Petsi pies shows off her wares. (Robin Lubbock / WBUR)

There is nothing more American than a piece of pie. We taste and talk pies.

 
Jul 25, 2014
Pallbearers carry a coffin out of a military transport plane during a ceremony to mark the return of the first bodies, of passengers and crew killed in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, from Ukraine at Eindhoven military air base, Eindhoven, Netherlands, Wednesday, July 23, 2014. (AP)

Secretary of State Kerry to Israel. Obamacare back in the courts. Mourning as remains of Malaysia Flight 17 victims come home. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: July 25, 2014
Friday, Jul 25, 2014

Why the key to web victory is often taking a break and looking around, and more pie for your viewing (not eating) pleasure.

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The Art Of The American Pie: Recipes
Friday, Jul 25, 2014

In the odd chance that our pie hour this week made you hungry — how could it not, right? — we asked our piemaking guests for some of their favorite pie recipes. Enjoy!

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Hillary Clinton: ‘The [Russian] Reset Worked’
Thursday, Jul 24, 2014

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton took time out of her global book tour to talk to us about Russia, the press and the global crises shaking the administration she left two years ago.

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