WORKOUT DESIGN – Why Can't I Lose This Fat – Part 3

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In Part 1 of this series, I introduced you to Angela, a new client of mine.

Angela is beyond frustrated by her failed attempts to burn off her post-baby body-fat.

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In Part 2 of this series, I described the 3 paths that Angela needs to walk down if she wants to achieve successful and permanent weight loss.

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Path # 1 Nutrition

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Path # 2 Exercise

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Path # 3 Mental / Emotional / Spiritual Strategies

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In today’s post, we will be looking at Path # 2: Exercise.

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In particular, we will be looking at:

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The Most Effective Training Methods for Fat Loss

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Some methods of training are more effective than others.

1.  The Best Methods:

  • Elevate your Metabolism – Long Term
  • Elevate your Metabolism – Short Term
  • Burn Calories

2.  Secondary Methods:

  • Elevate your Metabolism – Short Term
  • Burn Calories

3.  The Least Effective Methods:

  • Burn Calories

So, what does all of that mean?

The following section gets pretty detailed. If that doesn’t interest you, skip ahead to the section labeled Let’s Put This Plan Together

THE SCIENCE OF METABOLISM

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How To Elevate Metabolism – Long Term

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Your Resting or Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the amount of energy (measured in calories) that you burn simply by living…i.e keeping your heart beating, brain thinking, kidneys filtering, etc…

The amount of calories that you burn outside of your BMR (i.e exercise or the Thermic Effect of Food) is insignificant when compared to your BMR.

So, how do we increase BMR?

  • Increase muscle mass
  • Move to the Arctic…BMR increases to “warm them bones”
  • Get sick…a fever will increase your BMR
  • Stress…stress hormones can increase BMR

And the winner is:

Increase Muscle Mass

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And before any of the women reading this article say “I don’t want to get big muscles”, look at these ladies:

Gabrielle Reece - Volleyball
Gabrielle Reece – Volleyball
Amanda Beard - Olympic Swimmer
Amanda Beard - Olympic Swimmer
Iris Kyle - Ms. Olympia
Iris Kyle - Ms. Olympia

Maria Sharapova - Tennis Champ
Maria Sharapova - Tennis Champ

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All of these women lift weights.

And all of them have built very different bodies.

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And you WILL NOT turn into Ms. Olympia if you lift weights.

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REPEAT AFTER ME

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“I will not turn into Ms. Olympia if I lift weights”.

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Sheesh.

There are a lot of teenage boys that wish they had as much muscle as Ms. Olympia

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How To Elevate Metabolism – Short Term

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When it comes to increasing your metabolism in the short term, we are looking at EPOC.

EPOC or Exercise Post Oxygen Consumption  is essentially a measurement of how quickly or slowly your metabolism (BMR) returns back to normal after exercising.

When it comes to fat loss, we want to focus on exercises and workouts that give us a very high EPOC.

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Burn Calories

This is where most people make their mistake. They hop onto the treadmill, enter their weight into the computer and start running, keeping one eye on the amount of calories burned.

WRONG

Activities that burn calories, but do nothing to increase your metabolism are next to useless in your fat burning battle.

Don’t get me wrong. There is a huge health benefit to putting in the miles on a cardio machine, but when it comes to fat loss, you don’t get much bang for your buck.

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THE BEST FAT BURNING TRAINING METHODS

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1.   High Intensity Resistance Training

High intensity resistance workouts are the superstars of this entire program. When performed properly, they elevate your BMR, drastically increase your EPOC and burn a fair amount of calories per workout.

Various studies have shown these types of workouts to:

  • Increase metabolism for up to 36 hours post-workout…36 hours
  • Drastically outperform diet and aerobic exercise in fat loss studies
  • Maintain muscle mass in subjects on a Very Low Calorie Diet

The Details

High Intensity Resistance Training works best when you focus on:

  • Total Body workouts
  • Pushing yourself until your muscles burn with lactic acid
  • Perform supersets, tri-sets, giant sets, etc…
  • Compound exercises – squats instead of leg extensions
  • Big muscle groups – legs, back and chest instead of arms and shoulders
  • Performing sets of 5 to 15 repetitions

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2.   High Intensity Anaerobic Interval Training (HIIT)

High Intensity Anaerobic Interval Training will increase your EPOC drastically and burn a whole bunch of calories. It is not as effective as High Intensity Resistance Training at increasing muscle mass and BMR.

The main technical differences between High Intensity Resistance Training and High Intensity Anaerobic Interval Training are:

  • Lighter weights are used with HIIT training
  • Rest intervals are minimized (30 sec. MAX) with HIIT
  • EDTs and Circuit training are used instead of supersets
  • Reps can be higher – larger range – 8-30 reps

Basically, you will be substituting speed for strength.

And how effective is HIIT (anaerobic) training?

9x more effective at burning body-fat than aerobic endurance training.

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3.   High Intensity Aerobic Interval Training

High Intensity Aerobic Interval Training replaces resistance exercises with traditional cardio activities like:

  • Running
  • Cycling
  • Swimming
  • Stair Master
  • Rowing

High Intensity Aerobic Interval Training will also increase your EPOC and burn a whole bunch of calories. It is even less effective than High Intensity Anaerobic Interval Training at increasing muscle mass and BMR.

Think of sprinting hills.

More info on HIIT can be found here.

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4.   High Intensity Aerobic Training

High Intensity Aerobic Training is simply hard, sweaty, painful cardio.

Think about rowing for 60 minutes without a break. Your lungs burning and your muscles aching.

High Intensity Aerobic Training burns a ton of calories, but doesn’t increase EPOC significantly and hardly does anything to increase your BMR.

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5.   Low Intensity Aerobic Training

Low Intensity Aerobic Training is going for a walk.

It doesn’t do much of anything for fat loss, but it is good for your heart and every calorie counts in this battle of the bulge.

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OK, Let’s Put This Plan Together

First off, I realize that in today’s society, time is precious. There are only so many hours in the day.

Angela has set aside 6 hours a week for her Fat Loss training Program.

  • 2 1/4 of those hours will be spent on High Intensity Resistance Training – 3 x 45 min.
  • 3/4 of an hour will be spent on High Intensity Anaerobic Interval Training – 3 x 15 min.
  • 1 of those hours will be spent on High Intensity Aerobic Interval Training – 3 x 20 min.
  • 2 of those hours will be spent on High Intensity Aerobic Training – 2 x 60 min.

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What About You?

Take a look at your schedule. Really look.

If you have less than 3 hours of available time to exercise:

  • Focus on High Intensity Resistance Training

If you have between 3 and 5 hours, divide your time between:

  • High Intensity Resistance Training, and
  • High Intensity Anaerobic Interval Training

If you have between 5 and 6 hours, work on:

  • High Intensity Resistance Training,
  • High Intensity Anaerobic Interval Training, and
  • High Intensity Aerobic Interval Training

If you have between 6 and 8 hours, work on:

  • High Intensity Resistance Training,
  • High Intensity Anaerobic Interval Training,
  • High Intensity Aerobic Interval Training, and
  • High Intensity Aerobic Training

If you have more than 8 hours, add in some Low Intensity Aerobic Training.

Conclusion

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Before you start any training program, please make sure that you can handle the punishment that you are going to put your body through. Seeing you doctor is always a good idea.

I shipped Angela off to her MD with a request for a bunch of blood tests. (Thyroid problems run in her family and her basal temperature is a little low)

Also, keep in mind that she has me hovering over her making sure that are running smoothly.

Better safe than sorry.

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In my next post, I will break all of this theory down into actual workouts.

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So get ready people. It’s time to melt some blubber.

Stay tuned.

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