Workout No No’s
With trends changing almost daily within the fitness industry I find that clients are now more scrambled than ever deciding which approach of exercise is best for them. Every day I am approached by people wondering what is the best way for getting in shape. Although I may be biased with my company’s approach as being superior, the truth is that it completely depends on what your goal is. The objective of Body & Soul is to get in the absolute best shape of your life by burning tons of body fat, and achieve a lean, sculpted body. If that sounds like something you are interested in, I feel that a great place to start is with the process of elimination. Before you can truly decide what to do, you need to decide what not to do. In my eyes, there are so many “don’ts” when it comes to getting the results you are after. The following is a beginning list of the top “workout no nos”.
Workout No No #1- Performing daily body part workouts
Unless your goal is to become the next Arnold Schwarzenegger and enter a body building show, this really is not the approach for you. The reality is that training your whole body more frequently will result in bigger strength and muscle gain, greater fat loss, and more metabolic boosts than training each muscle group once per week– and the science supports this. It’s critical to understand that the more muscle you have the greater your resting metabolic rate (RMR). Your RMR is the total number of calories you burn every day regardless of activity. Adding several pounds of lean muscle mass will result in an additional daily calorie burn of up to several hundred extra calories per day.
Workout No No #2- Performing marathon workouts lasting 60 minutes or longer.
The majority of those who want to lose weight end up spending endless hours doing consistent paced cardio on a treadmill, elliptical, bike, or step machine. A landmark aerobic training study determined that 45 minutes of steady state aerobic training 5 days per week had zero effect over dieting alone when it came to weight loss— that’s 45 hours of activity for nothing! However, the lack of results wasn’t solely due to the length of the workouts, but also the low-intensity nature of these workouts. Muscle-building hormones like testosterone are maximized in about a 30-minute high-intensity workout window. It is at about the 45-minute mark that anabolic hormones begin to fall as their catabolic (muscular breakdown) counterparts, mainly cortisol, simultaneously begin to rise. The bottom line is that shorter, more focused and intense workouts produce better results than one hour plus marathon sessions. If you have to workout for longer than 30-45 minutes to feel satisfied than you probably weren’t working hard enough in the first place or you were committing some form of the other deadly workout sins.
Workout No No #3- Using single-joint isolation exercises that address only one plane of movement
Single-joint, isolation exercises (bicep curl) involve the use of only one joint at a time. Though single-joint, isolation exercises may result in a better “burn” in a specific muscle, it doesn’t mean that they are providing the optimal muscle-building stimulus when compared to their multi-joint, compound movement counterparts. Multi-joint, compound exercises involve functional movement patterns that occur in the real world across multiple joints at the same time thus resulting in greater total muscle activation, fat loss, and muscle growth. In other words you are getting much more bang for your buck here. You will be spending the same amount of time for a working set of exercise, but involving so much more of the muscle system into the workload that your overall development will go into warp speed.
Deadly Workout Sin#4- Using low-intensity work periods lasting 2 minutes or longer to burn fat
Many have the relentless tendency to perform endless hours of cardio and if they do use weights they tend use loads that are so small that they can barely be seen by the naked eye. To be clear, women never have to worry about gaining too much muscle. Using heavier loads and more intense efforts will just result in greater calorie burning, a faster metabolic rate, and a tighter, more toned and athletic physique. For the best real world example of which style of training is best for lean muscle gain and fat loss, just look at the body of sprinter versus the body of an endurance athlete. Sprinters are not only more muscular but actually have a significantly lower body fat percentage than endurance athletes. I have, in my day, come across many overweight endurance athletes, but have yet come across a sprinter who has been anything but completely lean. The bottom line is that intensity is the only thing that truly makes your body change. If you are doing something that is not challenging and your body can already accomplish, why would your body change for the better? Improvement is basically forcing your body into change by challenging it. We call it, “controlled chaos” and man, let me tell you. IT WORKS!!
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