Please welcome this weeks guest post from Dr Fitness! Missed last weeks article? Click on Fitness menu bar to read last weeks article about Spot Reduction.
So. Last month, the news reported some pretty depressing news. They were referring to a new study that said middle-aged women should workout every day for 1 hour just to maintain their current body weight.
When I saw this report I about spit up milk out of my mouth all over my dad!
The first thing that came to mind when I saw this was, “Why don’t you just discourage more women from exercising by telling them they should exercise 7 hours a week and all they get to do is to stay the same? That sounds more like torture to me!”
And who could blame them? Who has an extra 7 hours a week lying around the house waiting to be used? Not me. And probably not you.
As I re-read the article just to make sure me peepers weren’t deceiving me, I noticed something that I didn’t see the first time I read it. The participants in the study worked out at a ‘moderate’ intensity. And for laboratory scientist who’ve probably only been to the gym about 3.14 times in their lives, I’m guessing ‘moderate’ had something to do with pink dumbbells and elliptical machines.
In my years of working with women wanting to lose weight, I’ve found that nothing short of intense is effective. Now, I know what you’re thinking. And you want to know what? Get over it!
You’ve already seen what an hour a day of moderate will get you – the same you. No worse, but certainly no better. And I think we can all agree that anything less than moderate will yield even less impressive results. So what does that leave us with?
You guessed it. High intensity, baby! The top 2 benefits of high intensity workouts are:
1. Less time in the gym
No more 1 hour, 7 days a week junk. How does 45 minutes, 3-4 days a week work for you? Much better, right? When you train at a higher intensity, your body’s metabolism can be elevated for up to 36 hours after your workout. That means that high intensity training will have you burning extra calories and burning more fat, even while you’re sleeping!
2. Build more muscle
The more muscle you have, the more calories your body will burn during and after your workouts. A moderate intensity workout just won’t stimulate your body to build muscle as well as a high intensity workout will.
As well, the more muscle you have, the better shape your body has. Fat has, well, no shape. It just sits there. And jiggles. Kind of like Jell-O. Not exactly the image of sexy. It’s muscle that gives you that lean, tone appearance. It’s muscle that makes you look good when you’re showing off your beach body.
And let’s face it. When most people say that they workout for the ‘health benefits’, they’re usually lying. The truth is, they want to look good! Who doesn’t? Certainly nothing wrong with wanting to look good. Put on some muscle and you will too.
What’s that? What does ‘intense’ mean? It means that your workout should be uncomfortable on some level. Physically, mentally, it doesn’t matter. You just need to pushing yourself past your comfort zone. That’s when the real change occurs. Just like any other thing you’ve ever done in your life. And trying to lose weight is certainly no different.
So there you have it. It’s pretty simply. When you workout, give it all you can for 45 intense minutes, 3-4 times a week. Build muscle, get strong, and while you’re at it, lose a lot of fat. Sounds good to me.
DR Fitness – “Get Your Fitness On!”