In this era of body positivity I worry that it isn’t ‘woke’ to talk about weight loss. But what is key to know is that I don’t care what people weigh…at least the number certainly isn’t important to me. After all, it’s just a number, and that number looks and feels and acts differently on different people. so essentially, on its own, it’s meaningless. What I do care about is how people FEEL.
Extra weight causes people to snore more (and therefore everyone sleeps less), it causes joints to hurt, blood pressure to rise, increases your risk of certain diseases, confidence to go down…you get the picture. But if that isn’t the case for you, then this article is not for you! If you have a clean bill of health from your doctor, and you feel great then all the power to you! Keep doing what you are doing!
For those of you that have good reason to want to drop a few unhealthy pounds I thought I would dive into some of the myths around weight loss and exercise so you aren’t spinning your wheels!
Fat loss myth 1: Stick to cardio for weight loss.
This myth was busted a long time ago but some people still hold onto it. Interestingly enough, evidence suggests that, for some body types, steady-state cardio can increase your levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that prevents optimum fat burning. Steady-state cardio also lacks intensity, which means it will fail to stimulate your fast-twitch muscle fibres – an essential part of lasting fat-loss results.
This is why high intensity interval training is such a key component of a fat loss exercise program. It stimulates those fast twitch fibres like nobody’s business! Next weeks newsletter will explain what this is in more detail.
Fat loss myth 2: It’s all about volume and frequency.
One of the challenges I have faced over the years is to help our members drop the whole ‘eat less exercise more‘ theory of weight loss. This simply doesn’t apply to all people when it comes to shedding fat. Its all about eating high quality foods and doing high intensity exercise, rather than more exercise and less food in general.
With the caveat, if you aren’t active at all then any level of activity is better than nothing, this only applies if you are already active and are fit enough to take up the intensity to really burn that fat!
Fat loss myth 3: Steady state cardio before weights in a workout.
Many years ago, when I started working out, that statement was almost biblical. Get your heart rate high prior to your weights and you will burn more calories during your weight training. The problem with this is that your cardio fatigues your muscle, making you less likely to actually lift weights to the peak of your ability (essential to promote muscle growth and muscle growth = fat loss).
Weights and sprints require the most muscle-fibre recruitment and have the greater cross over to fat loss, which is why they are included in as many peoples weight loss programs, assuming they are physically able to do that.
Fat loss myth 4: The more ab work you do, the better your abdominal definition.
This goes along with the same mindset of doing tricep work to get rid of the loose skin under your arms. You can work the muscles as much as you want but if you have a soft layer of fat over top of it you will never see the muscle itself. I’m all about core work and tricep exercises but just know you can’t spot reduce…you can only reduce your body fat overall.
Exercise your core so that it is strong and can support you in your exercise efforts, not so you can have a six pack.
Fat loss myth 5: High reps for fat loss, low reps for building muscle.
If you walk away learning one thing, this is it, the more lean muscle mass you have, the more calories you will burn at rest. If you are interested in fat loss you need to also be interested in muscle gain. It will make your fat loss efforts so much easier!
To build the lean muscle mass you need for fat burning, place the priority on hypertrophy, or muscle building. Do routines that consist of 8-12 reps and do two or three sets of those exercises two to three times a week. And if time is limited focus on your largest muscle groups such as legs, glutes, back and shoulders. Bicep and tricep work is great but aren’t an essential part of a resistance training program.
Confused about what is the best resistance training program for you and your unique body and goals? Book an appointment with one of our amazing coaches today and we will custom design one for you!