When it comes to fat loss, most people automatically think of cardio and a strict diet, but is this really the best method? Yes cardio training does shrink you; however you will lose muscle as well as fat, is this really what you want? You need to shape the muscle underneath the fat, so you reveal a strong shapely physique when you reduce your body fat. Girls don’t worry you will not get big and bulky; you simply don’t have enough testosterone.
Research has shown that regular resistance training can increase your Basal Metabolic Rate by up to 15%. So for someone burning 2000 calories per day, that’s a potential 300 extra calories, more than a Mars bar, burned every single day. Muscle weighs more per square inch than fat, so whilst your weight might not be dropping very quickly, your clothes are feeling baggier and you are seeing a healthier, slimmer and better toned you in the mirror. That’s far more important than what your bathroom scales show surely?
How does your body actually use calories?
It’s your lean body mass, that muscle mass underneath your body fat, which burns calories 24/7, allowing you to actually eat more calories without gaining weight. The body is an adaptive system. It will adapt to whatever loads you place on it. So if you are a heavier person and you’re carrying around body fat, then your body will adapt by creating stronger muscles to lift your body. As you lose the weight, you won’t need as much muscle to lift yourself out of the chair, or walk up and down the stairs etc. and your body will start eliminating your muscle through catabolic action. This will result in your metabolism slowing down; remember it’s your lean body mass (muscles) that burns the calories. A lot of people end up at a place where they have lost body fat and their lighter, but it’s suddenly easier to put on weight. Why, because they don’t have the muscle mass they once had.
What’s the solution to this?
Add strength training to your exercise routine. I don’t mean the traditional body building type workouts where you would do chest one day and shoulders the next, you need to do whole body workouts which challenge all your muscle groups through athletic movements and compound lifts. This will keep your body buzzing and your metabolism high and importantly keep your workouts varied and fun so you are more likely to stick to it. The best fat burning program in the world will only work if you stick to it!!!!
Am I saying don’t do cardio?
No, sure cardio does burn calories, but that shouldn’t be your main reason to do it. You should use cardio to keep your body active and your heart healthy. You can do any cardio you like but I wouldn’t advise doing long slow stuff as this will potentially just bore you. Try mixing it up instead of jogging, do short sprints. Or get your cardio done by using resistance training such as kettlebells, battle ropes, medicine balls etc which are an amazing cardio workout and much more fun than jogging on the treadmill or sitting on a bike for hours on end. That being said if you do enjoy going for a long run or cycle carry on, but just remember more isn’t always better.
How will I fit all this exercise into my busy schedule?
You don’t need to exercise for long periods of time to get some benefit. In actual fact working for just 20 minutes could be all you need. The HIIT bootcamp class is a great place to start. It lasts just 45 minutes and you will get a full body workout. HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training, I’m not saying it will be easy; you will be breathing hard and not fully recovered before you start your next exercise. It is a team environment where both the trainer and your fellow classmates will motivate you to achieve things you never thought possible. All abilities are welcome as you work within your own means, so don’t worry if you are new to exercise or a regular exerciser this class will challenge you and you will see results.