We all know that relaxation, healthy diet and exercise are very important for our body. But the real challenge is how to continue with them amidst our busy life. The 8 Second Secret book will help us to find ways to practice these important healthy habits in our daily life in a timely efficient and effective way.
We will explore more about this book as we interview its principal author, Dr. Gail Trapp. Dr. Trapp, who has a PhD in Exercise Physiology and she is an expert in exercise and weight management.
1. Your book was called “The 8-Second Secret”, what motivates you to write it and why did you choose that title?
I was approached by the publisher and asked to write the book because of my research work. The title came about because the exercise program we developed used interval training that involved short, repeated bouts of 8 seconds of sprinting on a cycle ergometer (exercise bike).
2. Could you explain more on what is “The 8-Second Secret” and its relationship to losing weight with just 20 minutes a day?
The exercise program involved coming into the laboratory three times a week for 15 weeks and doing the sprint training on cycle ergometers. each person did a 5 minute warm up, then 20 minutes of sprinting, followed by a 5 minute cool down. The sprinting protocol was a 8 second sprint (flat out speed with minimal resistance) followed by 12 seconds of relative rest (just turning the pedals over). This was repeated for the 20 minutes. Our subjects (young, healthy, overweight women) lost significant fat (up to 8 kg). It is important to note that the fat loss was variable and some women lost more than others.
3. Your book provides quick, easy to follow guidance for increasing your fitness and strength levels in a time-efficient, effective way. How effective are these guidance in losing weight?
The program in the book is supported by the evidence from our studies. Not only did these women lose weight, they became much more aerobically fit and improved their health.
4. What do you think is the ultimate solution to obesity, diabetes, stroke, and cancer in America?
There is no ultimate solution to diabetes, obesity, stroke and cancer. Some individuals will suffer these issues regardless. However the scientific data are irrefutable. If you are physically active, have good cardiovascular fitness and eat a Mediterranean style of diet, you will reduce your risk of a whole range of lifestyle diseases. We all need to eat more fresh vegetables and reduce our sedentary behaviors.
5. Besides losing weight, what other benefits should a person expect to derive following “The 8-Second Secret”?
The people who did the 8 second secret exercise program lost weight, improved their metabolic profile (insulin levels dropped significantly and blood lipids improved) and increased their aerobic capacity. They also increased muscle mass in the legs and trunk – which is a good thing.
6. If we follow the guidance and strategies of this book strictly, on average, how many pounds can we expect to shed? What is the one thing that helps dieters to lose weight?
The average weight loss after fifteen weeks was 3 kg (6.6 lbs) but it is important to note that the weight loss was variable and these subjects did not change their diets. If you added a sensible eating plan such as the Mediterranean diet you could expect a greater average weight loss. Remember some people lost as much as 8 kg (17.6 lbs) without changing their diet and these were university students who had pretty awful diets.
7. What are the unique features that make ” The 8-Second Secret” different from the other weight loss books and what are the main features that account for your successful results?
The unique features are the sprinting intervals and the short time spent exercising. The program involves 20 minutes of sprinting, 3 times a week. If you add on the warm up and cool down, the total time commitment was 1.5 hrs per week. That is a very small time commitment and even the busiest people can find half an hour three times a week. We think the weight loss is due to a number of physiological changes brought about by the repeated short sprints.
8. Your book includes diet information like eating plans, what is the basic premise of this diet/eating plan?
The best diets are ones that are healthy and sustainable so we suggest the Mediterranean diet. Lots of fresh vegetables, fruit in moderation, legumes, whole grains, unsalted nuts, olive oil, fish and poultry with minimal red meat and a glass of red wine. Avoid processed foods, soft drinks and juices, eat whole, fresh food.
9. What are the simple relaxation exercises included in this book? Is it simple to follow?
The relaxation processes suggested in the book are simple and easy to follow but there are lots of resources out there and each individual needs to find a relaxation exercise that works for them: meditation, yoga Tai Chi, stretching……the list is extensive.
10. As there are readers and subscribers who are struggling to lose weight to help them shed the fats, do you have anything specific or advice that you want to say for them?
For people who struggle to lose weight I would suggest that they start to focus on good health instead. Eat well, sleep well, be as active as you can possibly be and if you are able, make sure that you are doing some high intensity activity every day.