Squats in the Bathroom, huh?

Squats in the Bathroom, huh?

 This is such a simple quick activity that you can add to YOUR every day.  A simple thing that you can work on Nourishing Your Everyday to boost energy, lose belly fat and lower your blood sugars.  The challenge can be remembering to do these.  When I worked in a cubicle I got caught a few times doing squats in a dress.  The look on people's faces when they came around the corner and found me doing squats was pretty comical but made me a bit self-conscious.  So I tied my burst exercises to going to the bathroom.  Every time I had to go to the bathroom I would drink  a full glass of water and then I would do squats in the bathroom. So if you decide to do squats in the bathroom I won't be the only one.  LOL

What is burst training & why should you care?

Burst training or burst exercises are very short and intense bouts of exercise.  Any exercise that is done at near-maximum effort for 30-60 seconds counts as short burst training.

Your goal is to push yourself as hard as you can.  The harder you push, the more likely you'll reach oxygen debt.  This means that you will consume more fuel.  When you are in an oxygen debt, your body several physiological processes are set into motion that consumes excess calories and fat long after you have stopped.


Things you can do!

  • do as many pushups or sit-ups as possible
  • sprint 100 yards
  • lunges, squats or pullups 
  • sprint on a stationary bike, elliptical machine or stair stepper
  • running up and down the stairs with or without carrying a weight
  • jumping jacks
  • running on the spot

The point is that you must feel that you HAVE TO stop or slow down at the end of the 30-60 seconds.  As long as your effort is all out and lasts no longer than a minute and is followed by a longer recovery period.

If you are working out on a treadmill, stationary bike, stair stepper or elliptical machine you would sprint for 60-seconds, slow down for 2-5 minutes, and then sprint again. This can be repeated several times depending on fitness level.


Schedule to Maximize Burst Training

  • Burst right out of bed - 2 minutes upon rising
    • a short 2-3 minute burst first thing in the AM helps lower your morning blood sugar
    • increase the efficiency of how your body uses glucose throughout the day
    • keeps your blood sugar levels lower if they often start out elevated.
  • Beginner - Burst throughout the day  - 30 seconds - 3-4 X/day
    • if new to exercise start with 3-4 sessions of 30 seconds bursts every 4 hours 
    • work up to 4-8 X/day
  • Intermediate - burst 30 seconds 4-8X/day
    • if you are already comfortable with fitness then start at this level.  
  • Evening Burst - 2 minutes 1 hour before bed
    • approximately 2 hours after your last meal and at least 1 hour before bed
    • this helps burn off any blood sugar that is still circulating from your last meal, decrease insulin levels, and get you ready for a fat burning sleep.

Optimizing Bursts

When you do your bursts about 1.5-2 hours before meals you stimulate the production of an amazing hormone called growth hormone.  Growth hormone burns fat and builds muscle.  Who doesn't want to optimize that?!!  

There's a catch... There's always a catch.  If you eat too soon after your burst. insulin will inhibit the surge of growth hormone.   So when you plan your bursts about 1.5-2 hours before you eat you get the benefits of 90 minutes of a growth hormone surge.


Although there are many benefits to having overall fitness, adding in burst exercises throughout your day is a simple thing you can do to help keep your blood sugars in check and optimize fat burning.  

I encourage you to add in some burst exercises in your day and optimize growth hormone.  Comment below and let me know that you have taken on this challenge.


 IResearch/Benefits of Short Burst Training

  • A 2005 study put non-athletes on a 2-week burst training program that tested their endurance level, a direct measure of cardiorespiratory fitness, before and after. They found that subjects’ endurance actually doubled.
    • Burgomaster, K.A., et al. 2005. Six sessions of sprint interval training increases muscle oxidative potential and cycle endurance capacity in humans. Journal of Applied Physiology, 98, 1985–90.
  • 30 seconds of maximum intensity burst training elevated growth hormone more than 30 minutes of moderate aerobics and kept growth hormone high longer.
    • Pritzlaff CJ, Wideman L,Weltman JY, Abbott RD, etal. Impact of acute exercise intensity on pulsatile growth hormone release in men. J Appl Physiol. 1999 Aug; 87(2):498-504.
  • Six sessions of high-intensity, low-volume interval training and six of high-volume endurance training were compared. They concluded that short burst training is a time-efficient strategy to induce rapid adaptations in skeletal muscle and exercise performance.
    • Gibala, M.J., et al. 2006. Short-term sprint interval versus traditional endurance training: Similar initial adaptations in human skeletal muscle and exercise performance. Journal of Physiology, 575 (3), 901–11.
  • Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, showed interval-trained groups achieving significant improvements in calorie and fat burning during exercise with an “exercise session that was 15 minutes shorter than the aerobic group.”
    • Treuth, M.S., Hunter, G.R., & Williams, M. 1996. Effects of exercise intensity on 24-h energy expenditure and substrate oxidation. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 28 (9), 1138–43.
  • Dr. Mark Smith, an exercise physiologist, conducted a 12-week study where subjects exercised in short one-minute bursts throughout the week -- a total of just 12 minutes a week. At the end of the study, the participants had lost an average of 13 inches and improved by more than 12 beats per minute on the Harvard Step Test. In another study, conducted at Colorado State University, Dr. Smith and his colleagues compared three minutes of burst training to 20 minutes of traditional aerobic exercise. Three minutes of burst training burned 74% of the calories that the twenty minute period accomplished!
    • Smith, M.J. 2002. Sports conditioning—a comparison: Moderate-intensity continuous activity and high-intensity intermittent activity. www.xiser.com; retrieved Jan. 21, 2009.
  • A study in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed that exercise intensity had a “13.3 times greater effect on systolic blood pressure, a 2.8 times greater effect on diastolic blood pressure, and a 4.7 times greater effect on waist circumference in men,” than did exercise duration.
    • Williams, P.T. 1998. Relationships of heart disease risk factors to exercise quantity and intensity. Archives of Internal Medicine, 158 (3), 237–45.
  • Both Smith and Williams studies, quoted above, demonstrated that HDL (good cholesterol) increased significantly as a result of intermittent — but not continuous — exercise.
  • Wisloff et all, in a 2007 study published in Circulation concluded that exercise intensity was “an important factor for reversing LV [left ventricular] remodeling, improving aerobic capacity, . . . and quality of life in patients with postinfarction heart failure.” The ramifications of this, “suggest that training programs based on these principles may yield more favorable results than those with low to moderate exercise intensities.”
    • Wisløff, U., et al. 2007. Superior cardiovascular effect of aerobic interval training versus moderate continuous training in heart failure patients: A randomized study. Circulation, 115, 3068–94.
  •  A 2005 article in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that seven 30-second sprints every third day for 2 weeks significantly enhanced fat burning and doubled aerobic capacity of recreational exercisers.
    • Talanian, J., et al. 2006. Two weeks of high-intensity aerobic interval training increases the capacity for fat oxidation during exercise in women. Journal of Applied Physiology, 102, 1439–47. 


I strongly recommend that you consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program.

You should be in good physical condition and be able to participate in the exercise.

You should understand that when participating in any exercise or exercise program, there is the possibility of physical injury. If you engage in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, and assume all risk of injury to yourself.

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