The act of exercising is for so much more than simply burning calories. We can improve our function, begin to eliminate dysfunction and chronic pain, improve our athleticism and other physical attributes, and most importantly, maximize our health.
But that's all the boring stuff, or at least that is how the industry is painting it. You want to lose weight damn it, and you need to know exactly what you should do in order to burn that stupid fat that is on your body. Trainers are releasing fat loss programs on a daily basis, supplement stores are selling you all the pills and powders your budget allows, and gyms themselves are flirting with you by offering discounted memberships for your very own fat loss journey.
I mean, let's be honest - offering the solution for burning body fat makes a lot of money. In a country, and world, with an ever expanding waist line - more and more people are lining up to have their problems solved.
Which is why I released a completely FREE Fat Loss Text that coaches you on exactly what you need to do to burn that stupid body fat and live your life at the same time. Yes, you heard that right: My newest E-Book "Live your Life and Lose the Fat" is available now on my website for your download. Just click that book title above and drop your email address into the box and say hello - I want to know who is checking out my book.
I'm not here to get rich, although I certainly wouldn't hate a garage with my dream car and the freedom to surf every morning. No, I'm just tired of reading bullshit blog after bullshit book that is filling people's head with unverified science and risky tactics in order to drop a few pounds. What's worse is that people will often lose a few pounds in the beginning, which confirms the method in their mind, but soon gain them back (and some) because the methods don't hold the test of time.
To the contrary, my little book is going to teach you the 6 most important habits to build into your life so that you can finally get rid of your body fat, become healthier, but not sacrifice everything you love in the process. Seriously, check out "Live your Life and Lose the Fat" right now.
With all of that said I'd love to give you some more weapons in your arsenal by breaking down exactly how you should be working out in order to maximize your fat loss. I want you to leave this blog knowing what path you need to follow. And when it comes to exercise as a general idea that path can be summed up in a single sentence.
"The best form of exercise is whatever you are driven to do consistently"
Really, the best type of exercise is whatever you are willing to do consistently. Far too many people sit on the sidelines because they think they have to do the conventional exercise routine - lift a little weights, do a little cardio, and some stuff in between. The mentality that anything short of a near-death experience at your local gym is not worth your time needs to stop.
Realize that the function of exercise is to become more as a person, and not less. Although the industry won't let you think that. No way, it's all weight-loss all the time.
To be honest, it is disheartening to think that we've gotten to a place where people only feel as though exercise is worth it if you slaughter yourself during the session.
What's worse is that I used to be that trainer who told people to skip the spin classes, never take Zumba, and focus on the structured lifting and cardio programs. In my younger mind, the only way to get fit was to eschew temptation and dive head first into a sea of sweat and tears. Surely, you'd come out the other side looking sexy as hell and stronger too.
Except, most people don't want to, nor should they, indulge in "gym-first" lifestyle. In fact, most people want to do just enough of whatever they can tolerate in order to reap some rewards. Chances are at least a few of you reading this feel the same way:
"I want to work out and get my results and move on with my day".
Now, this isn't a free meal ticket to making excuses and avoiding the reality that exercise is harder and less fun than drinking margaritas on a boat in the Caribbean. Your workouts should challenge you in some aspect of fitness - breathing, endurance, strength, coordination, and athleticism. Some of those workouts should be tougher than the rest, but not every single one of them.
And yes, there are some workouts that are proven to be more effective than others. A well-designed strength and conditioning program can help you get stronger, build muscle, and shed pounds of body fat much more effectively than randomly throwing some calisthenics into your day, or only doing the "fun" classes at your gym.
But to return to the core point of this section - I support your efforts to exercise, no matter what it is, if you can commit to doing it on a very regular basis. After all, you should exercise to live and not live to exercise. There is no line in religious texts or political doctrine that states you must spend at least an hour a day crushing your body and soul in a gym.
Just get up everyday and do something! Seriously, you should exercise every day of the week in some manner for at least twenty minutes. Even the busiest, most stressed-out individuals could find a twenty minute window to jog in place, do some jumping jacks and squats, and mobilize their upper spine.
In my book "Live your Life and Lose the Fat" I dive into what a seven day workout schedule would actually look like if we were being extremely conservative. The graphic in the text points to the exact breakdown of strength training, interval training, long-duration cardio, and "something else" that is necessary for results to take place.
The whole book is written with the middle 80% in mind. I wasn't so much speaking to those who despise exercising to the point of avoiding for years on end, nor was I was talking to the hard bodies who refuse to miss a day of highly structured fitness. I wanted to give the "every-person" a realistic look at what a workout schedule could/should look like.
I highly encourage to read my text, but if it isn't in the cards, no worries - I'm going to detail that breakdown a bit more below...
How Should I Organize My Workouts to Optimize My Fat Loss
We've already established that no matter what you choose to do: a Zumba class, a long run around your neighborhood, or just knocking out some squats while you prepare dinner for the family, is appropriate for the purposes of exercising everyday.
Yet, if you are looking to specifically lose body fat (and maintain some level of sanity and fun throughout the summer months), then you'll need more structure to your plan. You'll have to hit the major categories each week to ensure your body is receiving all the proper stimuli to initiate change.
And like any discussion on fat loss realize that your diet and sleep patterns are going to have a major impact on your ability to succeed with your exercise program - no matter how great it is. I'm here telling you right now that you don't have to give up everything you love in regards to food and drink, but you do have to be an adult about it.
Your 4 categories are as follows:
When discussing a fat loss program all of these elements need to be present.
-Strength training helps build and preserve muscle mass which boosts your metabolic rate, makes you stronger and more capable, as well as provide the "shape" to a fit body. A traditional movement-based bodybuilding program can serve as the backbone for any training program.
Strength training should occur AT LEAST twice a week for a successful fat loss program, although three times will yield greater results.
-Interval Training develops your ability to utilize energy substrates (read: the calories you ingest and store) for fuel, mobilize fats into the bloodstream, and increase oxygen transport throughout the body even when you aren't exercising. Examples of this would include a light weight circuit, a HIIT class, sprints on a treadmill, or using a Air-Bike or Rower for time/distance intervals.
Interval training should be utilized no more than twice a week in a successful fat loss program. The high demand of the exercise requires more rest than most know, and so it is imperative to not overdo this aspect of fitness training.
-Long Duration Cardiovascular Training is just what it sounds like. You'll want to spend at least forty-five minutes in an aerobic state to work that energy system, develop oxygen transport systems, and increase your total work capacity. These adaptations will make every other workout seem easier, provide oxygen to tired muscles, and improve your circulation.
A long duration workout only needs to occur once per week to yield benefit for the cardiovascular system and metabolism. Aim for one forty-five minute to an hour session per week.
-Something Fun (FOR YOU) is your license to do whatever the hell you want for a workout. Want to dance your ass off and lose your mind in Zumba? Do it. Want to spin at your favorite studio, do yoga, Pilates, or go for a hike? Do that instead. The key here is relating back to the first point of enjoying something in regards to exercise. Find that thing and never let it go.
Once or twice a week, eschew the common workouts that make you a little bored and a lot tired and just have fun. Find your mobility in a Yoga flow, or lose yourself in the rhythm of hip hop dance. Work through the intrinsic nature of Pilates or capture the glory of nature as you hike.
And if none of these things appeal to you, then just go play sports, play with your children, or volunteer at a local charity that builds homes, resurrects playgrounds, or any other physical labor. The key is to exercise mindlessly.
So here you are at the end of another article telling you how to lose fat. Did this one feel different?
It should have because I'm not here to tell you to beat your body into the ground and walk past the desert table of your best friend's wedding. I'm not telling you that you should only lift weights, run long miles, or slaughter yourself everyday.
To the contrary, I'm encouraging you to exercise every day in some manner for at least twenty minutes. And I'm informing you what you should do and how much you should do it if you are looking to do more, which I hope you are.
If you need guidance for your journey, then look no further as I'm currently accepting online clients for the first time since mid-2017. I had many projects on my plate over the last year and didn't want to lose the quality of my programs by expanding beyond my capabilities. If you want a specific plan designed for you and your needs, then click this link and let me know.
As always, much love, and be great. This doesn't have to be that hard, I promise. You can have your cake and fit body too.