How to Fastercise:

Tightercise & Shivercise


Think about what you do naturally as soon as you wake up in the morning.  You do a “morning stretch” by tightening up many of the muscles in your body for a few seconds.  This simple action of tightening your muscles releases four important hormones that help mobilize stored fuel in your body. Burning this stored fuel allows you to function comfortably for a while without hunger, even though you were fasting for many hours while you were asleep. 


Tightercise is simply a way to mimic your natural morning stretch at any time during the day.  And it has the same effect —when you feel hungry it mobilizes stored fuel so your hunger pangs will go away and you can function comfortably for a while without eating.  And it feels great and refreshing.

Tightercise not only holds off hunger but it is also handy for building muscle size and strength.  You can tightercise when you first wake up and when you become hungry. Simply tighten your muscles very hard for a few seconds—this should feel quite natural. You can tighten just one muscle group, such as your biceps, or you can tighten several groups at once.


Tightercise is more effective when the muscle is "balled up" while tightened. For example, hold your arms straight while you tighten your triceps; when you want to tighten your biceps, first bend your elbow fully, then tighten up. Tighten your muscles very hard for a few seconds until they start to burn or hurt. It’s unlikely that your muscles will cramp up. (If they do, that’s a sign that your body may be low in magnesium or potassium; take these electrolytes to remedy). After you tightercise, you may find that you catch a deep breath, and that’s a good sign that you’re sending the right signals to your body. The key to tightercise is to safely and comfortably tighten your muscles as hard as you can.


Shivercise not only holds off hunger but it is also handy for building fat-burning machinery.  Shivercise involves shivering or shaking many muscles all at once. For example, stand up, and move as if you are running in place, but lift only the heels of your feet off the ground.


Make small, rapid movements of your arms and legs like you would when shivering. The key to Shivercise is to move your body as fast as you can. You want to hit top speed in your stationary race! The faster you go, the more fat-burning machinery your body will make. 


Shivercise will make you start breathing faster right away, and you’ll know you’ve gone fast enough when you can catch a deep breath.

Doing Fastercise when you’re not hungry is unlikely to burn much stored fat. But, doing tightercise when you're not hungry can still promote muscle growth, and shivercise when you're not hungry can still increase your fat-burning machinery. For usual purposes, though, you don’t need to Fastercise when you’re not hungry.

tips and reminders:

  • Many people find that tightercise is easier to fit into daily life than shivercise, because tightercise is an almost invisible form of exercise. You can do tightercise while working at your job in a busy office, or while standing in line at the store or reading a magazine in a waiting room. 

  • Try tightercise and shivercise first thing after you wake up. Then, when you start getting hungry try answering with either fastercise or shivercise to put off your hunger. When it comes back you can do that once or twice again. You may find that you don’t need to eat breakfast at all; lunch can become your first meal of the day. 

  • When you eat, relax and enjoy. Eat a full meal, but don’t overfill yourself.

  • When you start getting hungry again after lunch you can use shivercise again to quash your hunger pangs. You may find that you’ll eat a lighter dinner. Or maybe you won’t want dinner at all.

  • It’s your choice how much eating you want to replace with shivercise, whatever works best for you. Just remember, it’s usually best to eat when you can no longer comfortably hold off your hunger with shivercise because you don’t want to burn muscle or slow your metabolism.

  • Taking a high-quality multi-vitamin supplement can be helpful, as well as an omega 3 fatty acid supplement.

  • Especially if you are on a low-carb diet, you may also need an electrolyte supplement (magnesium, potassium) because you can lose a lot of electrolytes when you pee a lot which can leave you feeling tired and cruddy. 

  • Consider sleeping with fewer covers or no cover; this may also help build your fat-burning machinery, as long as you stay warm enough to sleep restfully.

  • You can do other forms of exercise such as walking, swimming, or playing a sport in addition to fastercise. If you do, consider limiting the intensity so you can easily hold a conversation while performing the activity and try to stop before your muscles are tired or “burning."  These activities use up the glycogen stores that fastercise tells your body to draw from, so you don't want to burn up too many stores. Without stored glycogen to burn, you’ll find fastercise less effective at tamping down your hunger pangs—you may become hungry again fairly quickly after a bout of shivercise or tightercise.