Not losing weight and unsure why? This could be the reason.
I recently had a conversation with a fitness enthusiast who was training for her first marathon. We were discussing her weekly mileage when she began complaining about her lack of fat loss, specifically around her midsection, and her diminished muscle mass. Quite upset and frustrated with her lack of weight loss results, even with the increase of cardio, I went on to explain that the answer to why she hasn’t lost weight and has even lost muscle definition is actually quite simple:
- People burn fat most efficiently at repose. Counterintuitive right?
- How about this, do you know what burns fat most efficiently? Muscle!
- Do you know what happens when a person does extended periods of cardio? Their body sheds muscle to essentially lighten the load. Huh?
- Fewer muscles = more fat
Take, for example, the marathon runner and the sprinter. The marathon runner is slender, bony, and often times frail. Now picture the sprinter – muscular, toned, and powerful. This isn’t just a coincidence. The human body was designed to adapt. It is simpler for “our machine” to run distance with a lighter total mass, whilst more important to retain muscle for producing speed.
What’s the solution?
High Intensity “Aerobic” Interval Training + Resistance Training.
Combining the two revs the individuals EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption – this is a fancy way of saying metabolism) for a longer period of time. Aerobic being the least efficient and then Anaerobic.
Boxing – Jumping rope, bursts of aerobic output with resistance against a heavy bag
Circuit Training – Sprinting on the treadmill at intervals that periodize your heart rate (i.e. 65% through 90%) and adding weights in a vertically loaded circuit, moving down the body, one body part at a time.
What have we taken away from the above?
Train for the body you want.