HARVARD STUDY: Only 20mins daily = less abdominal fat

I’m in San Jose today with 3 of my kids awaiting the arrival of the other 2 this evening.

We’ve been “only” a family of 5 for the past month while my 11 year old was in Argentina in a student global village program and my 18 year old was wrapping up some stuff in Barcelona & Toronto.

Yesterday my wife left for Guatemala to speak about motherhood at a women’s conference.

Lots of travel going on in our lives these days.

But through all the back-and-forth, I’ve managed to still make training a priority (I travel with my 24kg kettlebell and my gymnastics rings).

After speaking to a lot of my fitness friends, I’ve found one of the common things among us when it comes to training is the power of habit and consistency.

And this doesn’t matter if you use kettlebells, are a powerlifter, a crossfit guy or a meathead bodybuilder…

Doing something physical consistently and making it a habit is the key to health.

Kettlebell swings, OS Resets, Loaded Walking…

The more often you do something, the more it becomes a habit…

…kinda like brushing your teeth.

As it turns out, we were onto something…

 
In a STUDY from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, researchers found that men over the age of 40 that did “weight training” everyday for at least 20 minutes…
 
“…had LESS increase in age-related abdominal fat than men who spent the same amount of time doing aerobic activities.
 
Men that did both aerobic activities and weight training had the best results.
 
Researchers studied the physical activity, waist circumference (in centimeters), and body weight of 10,500 healthy U.S. men aged 40 and older participating in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study between 1996 and 2008.
 
Their analysis included a comparison of changes in participants’ activity levels over the 12-year period to see which activities had the most effect on the men’s waistlines.
 
Those who increased the amount of time spent weight training by 20 minutes a day had less gain in their waistline (-0.67 cm) compared with men who similarly increased the amount of time they spent on moderate-to-vigorous aerobic exercise (-0.33 cm), and yard work or stair climbing (-0.16 cm).
 
Those who increased their sedentary behaviours, such as TV watching, had a larger gain in their waistline.
 
“This study underscores the importance of weight training in reducing abdominal obesity, especially among the elderly,” said Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at HSPH and senior author of the study.” 
Huh… you don’t say? <=sarcasm

The most alarming thing to me is that they just called the 40 and over crowd “elderly” (having just turned 40 myself last week – who you callin’ old!?!)

Seriously though, this means a lot for you and me for a few of reasons…

  1. You can stave off muscle loss due to aging (a phenomenon called “sarcopenia”) by just doing some form of resistance training everyday.
  2. You can stave off fat gain around your midsection (which is linked to heart related issues later on in life) by training everyday.
  3. Kettlebell training is the best way to combine “cardio” and “resistance” training in one shot.
The thing with training everyday though is that you can’t just go balls-to-the-wall in your daily sessions.

You must adopt the mindset of practice… otherwise you’ll burn yourself out or get injured.

You can’t snatch everyday.

You shouldn’t do Double Front Squats everyday either.

The idea is that you do something everyday, but create balance in your routine where you manage the load and volume so you don’t burn out…

…a PROGRAM, not random “workouts”

So here’s an example schedule – 1 kettlebell, 20 minutes per day – that you could incorporate so that you don’t burn yourself out…

  • Monday – 10 minutes of Get-Ups (sets of 1 per side), 10 minutes of Chin-Ups & Squats (sets of 60% of your max)
  • Tuesday – 10 minutes of Swings EMOTM, 10 minutes of Crawling
  • Wednesday – 20 minutes of Rucking (walking with weight in a backpack)
  • Thursday – 10 minutes of Get-Ups, 10 minutes of Chin-Ups & Squats
  • Friday – 10 minutes of Swings EMOTM, 10 minutes of Crawling
  • Saturday – 20 minutes of Snatches EMOTM (1 arm per minute, low reps) or 20 minutes of Rucking
  • Sunday – OFF
Once you can do 10 get-ups in 10 minutes – 5 per side – move onto a heavier weight.
 
Start with low reps on your ballistics – 7 reps for swings, 3 reps for snatches.
20 minutes per day, everyday.

Simple.

Have an awesome day!

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