6 May 2020

Why doing intense workouts may be doing more harm than good right now.

By Matt Whykes, BEXSc.
Kinesiologist, YUL Fitness


At any other point in time, doing intense workouts such as HIIT would be recommended by most coaches as a way to improve your fitness to the best of your ability. 

But now, it may be important to not exercise to your absolute max; but why?

During this pandemic, we need to step back and look at our main priority; preserving good health.

Now don’t get me wrong, exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health, but there’s a catch when it comes to high intensity training.

In a study by Nıeman and Pedersen (1999), it was shown that high intensity training may actually hinder immune function, as the long, intense workouts they performed decreased interleukin levels for 48-72 hours post-exercise.  

This means that they are less capable of fighting off infection in the time after their race, which is not ideal when we consider preserving good health as our top priority. A similar phenomenon may occur during any type of high intensity exercise, hence the need to tone it down.

In contrast, moderate intensity training, according to Neiman and Pedersen (1999), greatly improves immune function. So keeping some kind of moderate intensity movement in your routine is important (now more than ever) to keep your health at its peak and prevent sickness.

So how exactly should I go about exercising now?

You don’t need to eliminate your HIIT workouts entirely; however you should limit it to about one third of your total training volume, and try not to perform them on consecutive days, as there may be risk of overtraining according to the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee (2018).

Here are some guidelines for training during the corona virus pandemic:

  • Daily exercise, for at least 30 minutes.
  • Try to get outside to do your exercise, as fresh air is great for your mental and physical health.
  • Keep it moderate; you should still be able to talk during your exercise.
  • Make sure you spend some time recovering before you jump into your next workout. 
  • Pay attention to your body – If it’s telling you to back off, do it!

*This post is a summary of Jordan Metzl, M.D.’s article “Why You Might Want to Cool It On High-Intensity Workouts During the COVID Crisis” https://www.shape.com/fitness/tips/moderate-intensity-exercise-during-coronavirus.


Nıeman, D. C., & Pedersen, B. K. (1999). Exercise and immune function: Recent development. Sports Med27, 73-80.

2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee. (2018). 2018 physical activity guidelines advisory committee scientific report. In :. US Department of Health and Human Services.

Metzl, J. (2020). Why You Might Want to Chill Out On HIIT Workouts for the Time Being. Retrieved 6 May 2020, from https://www.shape.com/fitness/tips/moderate-intensity-exercise-during-coronavirus


Photo by Fitsum Admasu on Unsplash

4 April 2018

The most popular question? How to lose belly fat? Have you accumulated extra pounds? You look at yourself in the mirror, and the image that is returned to you is not what you had in mind?

The body changes and evolves with time and lifestyle. Whether positive or negative, the body will follow and gradually change according to your habits. It’s so devious that we wake up one morning, and paf! our body is not what it was. During all this time, we had never noticed anything. But why is this so?

The body takes a lot of time to metamorphose and develop. It’s a living organism, and its bones, organs or muscles change very gradually depending on what you do with it. It is with the months, even the years that our most precious vehicle (our body) molds and evolves to be the one of which it is today.

Your body today is the addition of the last 3 months and what you did with it during this time.

No exercise? He will be flaccid and limp. Junk food? You will be swollen, swollen, fatter and atrophied muscles. It’s not more complicated than that. It is with this in mind that YUL Fitness has developed programs that are easy to create and accessible to everyone. Check out our programs here.

It’s a huge task to develop and maintain good habits every day, you surely know something about it. Have you ever tried to change your lifestyle? Do more exercises, eat better? Did you succeed?

Here’s how to lose belly fat and finally burn fat.

  1. Add vegetables you like to your diet: At lunch time for your dinner, add some tomatoes or carrots to your side with your favorite dish. What will aim to fill you and you avoid wanting to eat too much, or eat something else more sweet like a bar of chocolate or other sweets.
  2. Reduce your portions just a little: It’s not necessary to completely cut your meals in half. Do not skip a meal! Just reduce your meal by 25%, without changing anything else. This small sacrifice will add up every day, and at the end of the month, you will have lost one or two kilos very easily.
  3. Add protein to each of your meals: white pasta only? Or sliced bread in the morning with nothing else? Add a few grams of protein to your meals, between 15 and 25 grams will do. Eggs, cheese, red or white meat, or fish, the choices are not lacking! Proteins increase the recovery and speed of metabolism and can not store in fat like carbohydrates.
  4. Increase the intensity of your workouts: still the same speed on the treadmill? Little jog too easy? Weights of 5 kilos for months? Intensity is very important for fat loss since the intensity mobilizes the energy resources to use the fats on our body. It also increases basal metabolic rate for 48 hours and allows for more calories. Do 1 minute intervals of running and 1 minute of walking on the treadmill, at a very uncomfortable speed during this minute. Add a few pounds to your weight training and do a maximum of 8 to 10 repetitions (without being able to do more). For effective exercises, subscribe to our fat loss training program here.
  5. Increase the weekly activity dose by 120 minutes: you train and then do not do anything else? You are not alone! Many think that training is enough. But no, add 30 minutes of activities over 4 to 5 days a week! Or if you do not train, it’s even more important! Go walking, hiking, play a sport with your child, bike, swim or snowshoe. Everything to move! More calories burned, more fat burned!

    Try these 5 tips to learn how to lose belly fat and burn fat for more results! Your extra pounds will go away over time, and your image in the mirror will look more like what you want.

    Find out more tips on how to lose belly fat in this video.