It is time for another post, and the subject of training is high this week in my conversations, so this article is about exercise and how it fits in with a weight loss program.
Obviously weight loss comes down to very simple maths, less goes in than goes out. From this we can either reduce calories in, increase calories out, OR a combination of both (this is the winner for me).
Any weight loss program will somehow reduce your calories. Including mine, I just do it in a very special way.
The purpose of this blog post is to discuss types of exercise and how it will help with the weight loss goals you have.
AEROBIC exercise (running, cycling, aerobic classes, the aerobic machines in the gym, etc.)
This type of exercise burns fat, this is common knowledge that sometimes gets a little in the way of common sense.
Aerobic exercise burns fat, that is true, when your body works in the aerobic zone you do burn lots of calories, some from fat and if you go long enough, some from muscle. This is where most of my conversations turn to the subject of…
ANAEROBIC (RESISTANCE) training (weights, free weights, resistance machines, body weight exercises, etc.)
This type of exercise builds muscle, one second ladies, I will explain more.
Muscle building is a very important part of weight loss. Muscle building can be loosely divided into 3 types of training:-
1. Mass building, (body builders etc.), this is training done with VERY heavy weights, people training in this area lift heavy weights, with a goal to make only 8 – 12 repetitions OR LESS in their final set.
2. Toning, people who are doing this should be working their final set up to 12 – 15 reps.
And finally we have…
3. Endurance, training for long distance races, marathons, etc. final sets of 15 – 20 reps.
The weight used should always start light, for a warm up. Work up to the “heavy” sets, BUT the weight used in the final sets should reflect your training goals!
The final set is with a weight that ONLY allows the target number of reps. That is, if your aiming for 12 -15, BUT could do 20, the weight is too light. This works the other way too, and if you can´t make 12, the weight is too heavy. (Just like Zen-SLIM.)
If you train in the wrong zone, you will get the wrong results, this is important. As you get stronger, your weights will increase, this is normal. Train in the right zone and and don´t be afraid of lifting “heavy” weights.
The body builder is trying to build BIG strong muscle fibers, and his heavy weights do this, the person doing 15 – 20 reps, is quite possibly a marathon runner, or iron man cyclist, he is trying to build DENSE muscle fibre NOT big muscles. Thats the person who is thin, ripped and wiry. Thats the person we want to copy for now. We are looking for dense, compact muscle, great for burning fat, and looks good too.
How does resistance training fit into your weight loss program? Well that all depends on you. Your present fitness level, activity level and your confidence all must be considered. The Zen-SLIM system is 100% nutrition based, so exercise comes second in our consultations. When it does come up however, our philosophy is this:-
We need to combine aerobic exercise with resistance training. The problem of YO-YO dieting is one that we feel is the biggest in the industry these days, and we are working hard to combat this.
When someone starts to diet, traditionally, they instantly cut calories, and maybe start burning some fat with aerobic exercise. Weight drops rapidly, but it´s not all fat, some muscle is burned in the process. Size reduces, the person feels good about themselves, they reach their target and slowly return to a “normal” eating routine. Now with the loss of muscle comes a reduced calorie burning potential, (with less muscle you you have less capacity to burn fat). And so slowly the person returns to their original size, only this time with a higher overall body fat percentage and less muscle. Sooner or later they try to diet again, this time losing more muscle, and even though size does reduce, they have more fat by %, this starts the YO-YO. Every time losing a little muscle and starting to slip down the slippery slope.
This is the reason we recommend measuring and not weighing as a check method during our diet program. It is possible to work hard both with the training and diet, to lose size but to maintain a steady weight. This can be misleading and disappointing, when in fact this is a great outcome and is a good sign the weight loss will last!
At Zen-SLIM, we believe in losing weight slowly, we aim for 2 lb. (1 kg) per week, of weight loss, this will ensure that nearly all that is lost is fat. More than this weekly and we like to check on things. (Thats not to say some folk can´t lose more, everyone is different).
I always recommend increasing activity levels and I like to let the client decide whats inside their comfort zone. But I ALWAYS recommend a combination of resistance and aerobic training. Even if this is 3 gentle walks per week and a some body weight exercise at home. If your confident enough to go to the gym, go and get some advice. I worked many years in gyms, and never once laughed or joked about an overweight person training. I love to see people of any standard trying to make their life better!
Bottom line is with more muscle you have the potential to burn more fat with EVERY movement you make throughout the day, (muscle also takes up less space than fat, so win win). Include some resistance training in your exercise program, and get more from your aerobic training, simlpe.
I am happy to offer more advice on training and excercise, my healthy eating system does not depend on it, but your life might!
I will, as always, try to answer any emails or comments you may have, whether you subscribe to our system or not. I´m here to help. I am human, and love to share my health and fitness related ideas.
Weight loss is big business these days, don´t let the glossy ads or fancy shakes lead you down the path of YO-YO dieting. Get a good system, work hard and train for life, it´s the only one we have.
Contact me, Jason, through the Zen-SLIM website for more information or leave a comment, I am new to blogging and always grateful for feedback.