I’d like to introduce you to your new best friend. His name is Gonzo. This Gonzo isn’t a Muppet alien with a big nose and an unrequited crush on Miss Piggy. Far from it. This Gonzo I’m talking about is an approach to exercise – a method that will help you burn MORE fat, in LESS amount of time.
Going Gonzo is another term for Burst training, or interval training, which uses short bursts of higher intensity when you work out. So for example, if you’re on a brisk walk for three minutes, then you do a one-minute burst, where you walk as fast as you can or you break into a run – that’s burst training. So how does it work?
First, it’s important to understand how to gauge the intensity levels of your workouts. You can do that with what I call your Perceived Exertion Scale.
Check out this video…
See that happy face? When you’re at about 60-75% of your maximum, you’re at that happy face level. That’s when you’re exercising at a nice, long, slow steady pace.
But when you push to a 75-85% that smile turns into a look of determination. You couldn’t carry on a conversation with your workout buddy, you’re focused, on a mission.
- Then, at 85-95%, you start to go Gonzo. Because that’s when you’re doing burst training. That’s when you’re going for broke. That’s where you make a Gonzo battle-cry face, because it’s an all-out effort that you can only keep up for a minute or two.
Here’s an example of how you can put it all together for an effective workout:
Warm up for 5 minutes to get your body loose and moving. Then:
30 seconds Happy Face Pace
30 seconds Determined Face Pace
60-90 seconds Gonzo Pace
Repeat this cycle 5 times.
Going Gonzo also helps you raise your Lactate Threshold. When you reach your lactate threshold, you’re starting to “feel the burn.” That’s the feeling of your body producing more of the waste product lactic acid than it can clear away. The more the lactic acid builds up, the more you feel the burn. The lactate threshold is what keeps you from pushing harder and breaking through your workout barriers. Check out this video that demonstrates how it works.
If you only work out at a steady state (in the happy face range), you never reach that limit. But when you push yourself to go Gonzo a few times a week by doing some burst training, here’s what happens:
You raise the calorie count of your workouts.
You train your body to clear lactic acid more efficiently, so you can work out at a harder level more easily.
You raise your metabolism for several hours afterward, so again, more calories burned more efficiently.
And you start to activate your fast-twitch muscle fibers, which improve muscle tone, and, once again, this cranks up your body’s natural calorie-burning engines.
- When we go Gonzo and do burst training, we start to tap into those deeper fat stores. If you’re already an exerciser – and we just saw in your survey that most of you exercise pretty regularly – burst training is the key to breaking through any plateaus you might have reached – so if you’ve been working out and suddenly you stopped seeing results, burst training can help you break through that plateau.
That’s what makes going Gonzo such a powerful timesaver, and that’s why people with packed schedules use this type of training. It’s all about efficiency, and performing at your peak levels. And when you’re performing at your peak, you’re more likely to be the best version of yourself – at home, at work, and in your community.