I know you’ve all been waiting with bated breath for the results of my cardio-after-weights experiment, and, on a smaller scale for the results of my one-day caffeine experiment. So here’s the short answer: they worked! Or maybe they didn’t. Humph.
This is what we in the business (the statistics business, people) call statistically insignificant. It’s also what I call a bummer. So with no further ado, I present to you:
Cardio After Weights
Experiment: I moved my cardio to after my weights, instead of before.
Pounds lost: 2
Bodyfat change: -1.8%
Analysis: Two pounds is cool but my weight can easily fluctuate a couple of pounds depending on what time of the month (yes I said it!!) it is. Also, the difference on the calipers between 20% bodyfat (the horror!) and 18.2% (my median number) is, get this, ONE MILLIMETER.
Conclusions: Well, what can I say? I guess I lost some weight. I’ll let you know if it reappears any time soon. But for all practical purposes, I think it is safe to say that you should do your weights whenever it darn well suits you and not worry over-much about the timing. And hey – cardio/weight circuits rule!! (I can’t remember which of you posted a comment on this but you are soooo right.)
Caffeine and Weight Loss
This was only a one-day experiment so pounds lost and bodyfat % are irrelevant here. Basically, I took one hydroxycut (aka Megadose of Caffeine) a half hour before one kickboxing class and then repeated the same class two days later without the caffeine. Here’s what I found:
Max heart rate w/ caffeine: 183
Average heart rate w/ caffeine: 174 (!!!)
Calories burned in one hour: 963
Max heart rate w/o: 187
Average heart rate w/o: 163
Calories burned in one hour: 899 (yeah, I guess I could have done one extra jumping jack to make it an even nine but I was tiiiiirrrreeeed.)
Analysis: Yep, I burned more calories with the little red pill than without and it felt like I wasn’t working as hard as I usually do despite maintaining a much higher average heart rate. But then I expected this – in the short term caffeine can definitely be a performance enhancer. In the long term, though, you risk addiction and *gasp* adaptation. National Geographic reports that it only takes about 2 weeks for your body to adapt to the daily dose of caffeine to the point where it needs it to function at a normal level.
Conclusion: I think if you have a specific event like, say, a race you are running or a tournament you are participating in then perhaps caffeine can give you an edge. I do not think it has much affect though as a weight loss supplement which, of course, is what Hydroxycut is marketed as. Perhaps if you were very careful to cycle it, it might help some but keep in mind that caffeine has a host of unpleasant (and unhealthy side effects). I remembered that the hard way as I lay awake until 1 o’clock in the morning after taking the caffeine pill (it was for an evening class). That was miserable.
PS> I’m dropping the 12/8 bike sprints for awhile. They were great and all and we had some good sweaty times together but between you and me, they were getting a little stifling – what with the demands and the exactness and the limited supply of bikes at my gym. So, they are going on the backburner:) Farewell, sweet sprints. It’s not you, it’s me.