Cape Argus Cycle Race Start Line

Image source: http://www.capetown.travel

The race start was located in the centre of Cape Town and depending on what seeding group you are in, this means you could start start as early as 6.15 am if you are a pro rider or as late as 10 am if you are just riding for fun. Pro riders are let out very early to avoid the traffic (slow cyclists), sun, heat and wind! As I was an international rider I ended up somewhere in the middle (group JJ) and my seeded group set off was at approximately 8 am.

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The winner of the 2013 Mr Olympia is Phil Heath. He takes the crown for the second year running, shattering the hopes and dreams of the other competitors (read Kai Greene.)

Possibly the biggest Mr Olympia yet. With many familiar faces including the return of Jay Cutler.

  1. Phil Heath
  2. Kai Greene
  3. Dennis Wolf
  4. Shawn Rhoden
  5. Dexter Jackson
  6. Jay Cutler
  7. Roelly Winklaar
  8. Mamdouh Elssbiay
  9. Branch Warren
  10. Lionel Beyeke

HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training and as the name suggests, it is a form of cardiovascular exercise where the participant alternates short bursts of fierce anaerobic exercise with a less intense exercise such as walking. HIIT is very popular with athletes, fitness, models and bodybuilders looking to lower their body fat percentage without loosing muscle mass. HIIT is often performed for 20-40 minutes max and not as frequently as other forms of cardio such as LISS (Low Intensity Steady State), this is because HIIT has a much higher impact on joints, muscles and recovery.

Examples of HIIT Cardio:

  • Cycle at a casual pace for 60 seconds then flat out for 30 seconds, repeat 25 times.
  • Jog for 60 seconds then sprint for 30 seconds, repeat 20 times
  • Swim for 2 laps then flat out for 1 lap, repeat 15 times.

man sprinting for HIIT

HIIT is often seen as a more effective method of cardiovascular training and more mentally stimulating. However, it’s also more mentally challenging and has a much higher impact on body. Anyone looking to add cardiovascular training to already intense training schedules may want to increase their calories and stick to lower intensity and lower impact exercises or else they may risk burning out.

LISS cardio stands for Low Intensity Steady State cardio. As the name implies, it is a steady cardiovascular form of exercise where you where you keep your intensity low but your effort consistent. LISS takes on many different forms such as slow jogs and is excellent for losing weight. LISS is used by bodybuilders, fitness models, athletes and people looking to lower their body fat percentage. By keeping your your intensity low (approximately 65%) for long periods of time your body is encouraged to use fat stores. LISS is often performed for 30-60 minutes, twice or more a week.

Examples of LISS Cardio:

  • fast walks or slow jogging
  • hill walks or incline on a treadmill
  • moderate swimming in a pool or the sea
  • walking up large sets of stairs or stair stepper machines
  • using a cross trainer or elliptical machine
  • steady rowing or rowing machines
  • steady cycling or using an exercise bike

man jogging

However, low intensity steady state cardio is sometimes criticized as it may cause higher muscle wastage compared to other forms of cardiovascular exercise used for weight loss. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) for example is also know to be very effective and can help to increase muscle retention. However, LISS can be carried out much more frequently than HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) cardio and is much less likely to have an impact on other training. For example, a weightlifter could use an exercise bike 5 times a week for 30-60 minutes with very little impact on their tendons, joints, muscles, and energy levels that would usually be impacted by weightlifting. Unlike weightlifting, low intensity exercises are also much less likely to cause injury.

Some people may find LISS training easier as it’s less physiologically intense and is not as physically demanding. Anyone older who is exercising or fears repeated injury, should start with a low intensity form of exercise and allow the body to strengthen before moving onto more intense forms of cardiovascular exercise. However, one of the biggest complaints about low intensity training is that it can be extremely boring and for busy people it takes a significant amount of time to complete.