For today’s blog, I thought I would share the basic principles we use to help our members achieve their fat loss goals. Please remember people are highly diverse in their abilities and experiences so things will need to be adjusted accordingly. Our top priorities at the Bodysmith are always our members’ goals and their safety. I guess you could say we like them an awful lot. So without further delay, I would like to present:
The Hierarchy of Fat Loss
- Proper Nutrition. You will probably get sick of hearing us say it but nutrition is the cornerstone of body transformation. In truth, exercise is the easy part. When you come into class or for a session we are there with you to assure you are pushing yourself with proper technique and exercise selection. The bad news is that four hours in the gym each week are no match for 164 hours of not following a proper diet. Don’t get me wrong, exercise is vital but no amount of exercise will offset the damage of a poor diet. Additionally, good nutrition is vital for recovery and injury prevention. Serious business indeed.
- See number 1. Yep, its just that important.
- Resistance training. Properly designed resistance training programs increase muscle mass. An increase in muscle mass means an increased Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR). In short, the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn even while sleeping! Sounds like a pretty sweet deal. Combined with all the other benefits of resistance training such as bone/joint health and balance and you’d be nuts to leave this out. Our Customized Programs and Get Strong classes are designed for just that.
- High-Intensity Metabolic Interval Training. Long steady-state cardio has been shown to be an inferior method for fat loss. The most current research shows that short and intense bouts of exercise that raise the heart rate, then allow for adequate recovery are a much more effective fat loss tool. This type of exercise boosts your metabolic rate for several hours after the session ends while utilizing more fat as an energy source. Our Get Fit and Get Lean classes are the perfect fit in your fitness routine.
- High-Intensity Steady State Aerobic Training. This is just plain old-fashioned hard cardio work. It won’t add muscle but it will burn excessive calories. You must be working hard for the entire session to make this worthwhile. Use with caution as this form of cardio will burn muscle as well.
- Low-Intensity Steady State Aerobic Training. Again, the research does not support a very useful role in this mode of exercise but when you are in a fat attack mode every calorie burned helps. Plus a nice walk or easy bike ride is great for the mind and spirit. I am a big fan of that! Use as needed but just remember where it lies in the hierarchy.
Putting it All Together
If fat loss is your goal then I’ll lay it out for you. I understand that time is a precious commodity so to help you prioritize your training follow these recommendations:
- Always, always, always focus on nutrition. Get the hint?
- If you have 1-3 hours to devote to exercise spend all of it on #3, resistance training.
- If you have 3-5 hours for the gym focus on #3 and #4. Resistance training and high-intensity metabolic interval training.
- If you have 5-6 hours then add #5 into the mix. High-intensity steady state aerobic training.
- If you have 6-8 hours to spend in the gym then, boy would I like to hire you to teach me your time management skills. I own a gym and can’t find that sort of time.
As always, listen to your body and communicate with your Bodysmith coaches if you are experiencing any pain during an exercise session or class. Pushing yourself to the point of injury will only derail your training and hinder your ability to achieve your goals.
See you in the gym!