The problem is that most people spend their precious workout time on exercises and programmes that are, generally speaking, a waste of time. Inappropriate workload, intensity, frequency, tempo and duration are the key components that must be understood to optimise results.
I’m not talking about individual exercises that may not be appropriate for certain individuals based upon their conditioning level or training goals. I am talking about training principles that are scientifically proven to create the ideal physiological benefits to maximise health and fat loss.
The common method people undertake when attempting to achieve fat loss and health is to think that the more calories they burn the better. Hence, they run for as long as they can as hard as they can. However, frequent medium-to-difficult sustained efforts over a medium-to-long duration (aka “chronic cardio”) leads to over-stress, fatigue, burnout, injury, accelerated aging and an increased disease risk.
Whereas the correct resistance training improves androgen (rejuvenation and repair) levels and if done correctly can improve “usable fitness.” Correct cardio and resistance training have their place in a well-rounded health and fat loss routine.
The aim of any health and fat loss programme should be to maximise your fat burning hormone profile. It should also not over expose your body to prolonged stress or cause muscle loss. Therefore the most effective programme will focus on energy system training, fat-burning hormone production and metabolic efficiency. It should also be periodically reviewed to consider progress and match your lifestyle requirements. Below are some recommendations to consider when creating an optimal health and fat loss workout:
Move: Your body should use fat as a fuel at low intensity work. First look to increase your steps per day… walking is extremely good for us and should be done every day. If you are going to run (for more than 30 minutes) do so at an easy pace. This will not overstress your system and teach your body to utilize fat as a fuel.
Intervals: Burn more belly fat with sprint intervals. A large number of convincing studies show that high-intensity interval training is the best for losing belly fat.
Resistance exercise makes the muscles become more sensitive to insulin — equates to less fat-storing hormone release. In addition, strength training resets the part of the brain that is involved in releasing hormones, so that cortisol balance (stress) improves. It also elevates the most beneficial fat-burning hormones — testosterone, human growth hormone (HGH), adrenaline and lactic acid. The key elements of your resistance workouts should include the following:
a) Train with a high volume: perform a high number of reps and work for the “pump”. Body weight exercises are perfect for this
b) Use whole body multi-joint exercises: Single-leg squats, lunge jumps, step-ups, chin-ups, push-ups, inverted rows, wall shoulder press/stands, full sit-ups — again body weight stuff is perfect
c) Use very short rest periods: this will require more maximal effort and produce more HGH and lactic acid — the belly fat-burning hormones
d) Once per week lift heavy: this type of training boosts HGH and testosterone and maximizes insulin sensitivity
Although any exercise you do has some benefit (and of course doing something is better than nothing), these principles will provide you the best possible workout schedule. Train smarter, fight the aging process and feel better by choosing the most effective and efficient exercises for your workouts.