Many people that have come to me for Personal Training over the years have said the same things…
- “I go to the gym and do an hour to an hour and a half and don’t see any improvements”
- “I run 3-4 times a week and I get some results but they have now stopped and gone in reverse slightly. My ankles and knees also hurt!”
- “I do all the classes at my gym but I don’t feel worked”
I’m sure you know at least one person (excluding yourself) that falls into any one of these categories and ends up quitting for the lack of results. Just see how many unused gym memberships there are!
Here’s the problem with these forms of exercise…
As soon as you stop exercising, you stop burning calories. Given that we as a community have a more sedate lifestyle than ever before and exercise is one of our only means of activity, then 3-4 hours of burning calories is not going to do yourself any justice.
You are more likely to be using up the wrong calories! I quite often see a pattern of good results followed by complete stagnation, a lack of progress. All activity for a complete novice is going to be good but at some stage the progress will halt because there is not enough work being done to give your metabolic rate a wakeup call. This means fat cells will not be activated and a loss in weight comes down to a loss in muscle tissue.
Aerobic forms of exercise release the stress hormone Cortisol! When we have more stress in our body, the muscle tissue is used as energy. This explains why people under stress also lose weight but don’t look in good shape. If we are losing our muscle tissue, then as explained above we are making it extremely hard to burn fat tissue.
Below is a study that was done to see what type of exercise was best in terms of losing fat.
20 weeks of aerobic training versus 15 weeks interval training. The interval training group showed a NINE times greater loss in fat than the aerobic group!
A resounding ‘Leave aerobic exercise alone!’
“Okay then Chris what do we need to do?!”
- Use resistance to work your muscles. Start doing press ups or core exercises. It is the use of muscle tissue that targets the use of fat as energy and it is muscle tissue that gives you shape or what some will call “to tone up” as a goal.
- Sprint instead of jog for short periods. Make sure you consult your G.P. before starting this type of training.
- Vary the muscles you use, we have lots of muscles in our body, the more you work the more fat and muscle shape you will lose and gain.
I hope this helps you get yourself motivated and focused on what is the correct type of exercise for you and your body.