Breakthrough Health and Fitness Expert

Breakthrough Health and Fitness Expert

LoveToKnow Exercise wants to thank fitness expert Jonathan Roche for sitting down to talk to us about exercise. Jonathan is one of the nation's foremost authorities on heart rate-based interval training. Through his company, Breakthrough Health & Fitness, Jonathan promotes the use of heart-rate based interval workouts to achieve maximum fitness and weight loss results in the shortest period of time. Jonathan says, "It's not how hard you train. It's how smart you train."

Jonathan, a native of Boston, Massachusetts, is a certified personal trainer, an award-winning fitness video instructor, a 13-time Boston Marathon Finisher and a 11-time Ironman Triathlon Finisher, selected All-American by USA Triathlon in 2003. He has run 12 Boston Marathons as a member of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute team and has done four of his Ironmans as fundraisers for various charities. Jonathan has also written and performed in three workout DVDs for Gaiam, Inc and has frequently featured on NBC, ABC and the WB in Colorado as a guest fitness expert.

Jonathan, you promote interval workouts, and I'd like to open by asking what makes interval workouts so effective?

JR: By shifting back and forth between pushing hard for 3 to 5 minutes and then recovering for 1 or 2 minutes, you can burn 30 percent more calories than exercising at one set pace. Interval workouts also can help leave your metabolism elevated for up to 12 hours after each workout, so it truly is the best way to maximize your fitness and weight loss results. Intervals also strengthen your lungs and heart, improve your recovery rates and decrease boredom. Most people find the workouts easier than doing hard cardio workouts because the rest periods let people concentrate on working hard for each interval.

Your readers can access a free sample Interval Workout by going to: and clicking on Free Workouts on the left hand side.

Can you tell our readers about your Yahoo Group and why your Yahoo Group members are able to stay consistent with their workouts by receiving your daily Fitness Missions?

JR: I send a daily fitness mission and motivating article to over 10,000 members 6 mornings per week (Sunday is our rest day). I try to provide tips that can be applied right away. By receiving daily motivation, tips that can be used and will help right away, and by me guiding the readers on how to maximize their workout results by shifting back and forth between Interval and our No Excuses Workouts (in home strength training requiring no equipment), members are able to stay more consistent than if they are just trying to crank along on their own.

Your readers can sign-up for free by going to:

You also have a weekly BlogTalkRadio show you use as a motivation tool. How do you use that help to keep people exercising consistently?

JR: BlogTalkRadio is a powerful tool because people can call in with questions or download the show to their Ipod to listen later. I have between 200 and 300 live listeners per week, but between 3,000 and 6,000 people listen to the archive each week. They find it motivating to listen to people they can relate to ask questions. It provides another opportunity to interact and support people on their fitness and/or weight loss journey.

Your readers can access the show (which is on Wednesdays at 1PM east coast time) by going to:

For clarification, explain what you consider to be a workout.

JR: I define a workout very differently than most people. I consider anything that gets your heart rate elevated or works your muscles more than sitting down to be a workout - regardless of whether it is 5 minutes or 30 minutes. Most people think of working out as driving to a gym and sweating like crazy for 30 minutes. To be successful in starting and more importantly staying on a workout program, you have to start slow and keep it fun. Hammering yourself right out of the gate (like most people do January 1st) is the quickest way to burning out or getting injured. I honestly believe that a true victory (and workout) for anyone new to fitness is to walk to the mail box and back. You have to crawl before you can walk, so I tell people to take it one baby step at a time and just do something.

Please explain your walk to the mailbox approach a little more.

JR: Almost anyone can walk can walk to their mailbox and back. Doing this is a great initial workout for someone who has not exercised for a long time. I love it because it is easy to understand, is not overwhelming and is a great first step in someone's wellness journey. Once they do this a couple days in a row, they can add an extra trip and before you know it, the rocket has left the pad!

You have a saying, "Don't let speed-bumps become roadblocks?" In closing, can you explain what you mean by that?

JR: We live in an all or nothing society. When it comes to working out and/or eating properly, most people take this same approach. When they miss a workout or eat a whole thing of Ben & Jerry's ice cream, they give up. I view the days where you drop the ball as speed bumps. Just roll over them and get back on the train. I tell people not to turn speed bumps into road blocks. A day or two of bad choices is not going to kill them. They just need to stay positive, do a workout and start being consistent again.

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Breakthrough Health and Fitness Expert