No time, No problem: exercise for those on the go
I have found myself in the lab again (reading and testing exercises out on myself), and I believe I may have found an anti-aging, growth hormone producing, non-time consuming new exercise that may be of huge benefit to everyone that reads this article.
What is this brand new, state of the art, stream lined new beauty you may ask? Well, it’s not new. I’ve actually written about it before in one of my articles, and Everett Aaberg has discussed this topic frequently, but sometimes it’s not about the information, it’s about the packaging. We’ve both talked about the benefits of anaerobic exercise to facilitate long term hormonal changes and muscular development, but while I was reading a wonderful article from Dr. Joseph Mercola, I learned about a particular type of anaerobic exercise which he calls “Peak 8” training. I’ve talked about the incredible benefits of anaerobic resistance training, and those methods still hold true, but I believe that this particular method would be a great addition to any exercise routine or perhaps a replacement for several of your incredibly long cardio days. I also like it because it is very simple and it only takes 20 minutes.
The following is the basic outline of Peak 8 training:
- Warm up 2 minutes
- 20 – 30 seconds maximum exertion (elliptical, bike, running)
- 90 – 100 seconds active recovery (still biking or running just at a speed you can catch your breath at)
- Repeat up to 8 times (may vary initially, depending on current conditioning)
- Cool down 2 minutes
Remember to keep this exercise in perspective. Everyone will have a different max exertion that may not initially last 20-30 seconds. Someone could walk briskly and be at max while someone else may have to sprint full speed. You also may not be able to do 8 repetitions at first; you may need to start with 2-3 and work up to 8 as a goal. This is important to keep in mind as you start.
I think one of the biggest benefits of Peak 8 training is that you can do it in a short amount of time, you don’t need a lot of instruction, and it has the potential for wide ranging health improvements. A study published by the Journal of Sports Medicine in 2003 found that “exercise above lactate threshold and for a minimum of 10 minutes appears to elicit the greatest stimulus to the secretion of HGH.” This means that doing intense anaerobic exercise (resistance circuit training, Peak 8, etc.) is a safe and natural way to generate HGH, which is a hormone that promotes muscle and effectively burns excessive fat, not to mention its role in promoting overall health and well-being. In an age where people are actively searching for synthetic HGH, this may be a very safe and natural way to develop this vital hormone.
If you’re over the age of 30 and leading a very sedentary lifestyle, you’ve likely entered a phase called somatopause (age related growth hormone deficiency). As your HGH levels decrease, your levels of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) also decrease. This is an important factor in driving the aging process. A study by Growth Hormone and IGF Research in 2008 showed that humans who have a decrease in HGH and IGF-1 have a correlation with increased percentage of total body fat and visceral fat, decreased muscle mass, decreased physical fitness, decreased immune function, and physiological declines in estrogen and androgen concentrations. They concluded by stating that the natural decline in GH and IGF-1 is correlated with an increased aging process. This means that we can naturally produce HGH through appropriate exercise that can have a profound effect on our current and future health. Wow, that really makes me want to go get some serious resistance training circuits done and follow it up with some additional anaerobic exercise like Peak 8!
It’s important to remember that a good routine contains balance. I wouldn’t recommend doing Peak 8 more than 2-3 times per week, and I would make sure to view it as an adjunct to a resistance training program that contains not only anaerobic benefits but strength, stability, and postural corrections as well.
I would also like to thank Dr. Mercola for the article about Peak 8, from which a lot of this information was retrieved.