Cut Your Workout in Half, and Still Sculpt The Body
Many people still stick to cardiovascular workouts with the belief that it will burn off all the excess fat on their bodies. Work out on a cross trainer for an hour, and the body will enter the fat burning zone, it’s true, but it will also start to burn muscle tissue after thirty minutes. To stabilize muscle tissue, short intensive workouts are better because they burn fat during the workout, and for many hours afterward.
The Physique of Athletes
A marathon runner looks very lean with very little muscle tissue compared to a 100m-sprinter. Shorter, more intense workouts build muscle fast because they take advantage of both aerobic and anaerobic exercise, whereas longer distance aerobic exercise such as marathon running dips in to cannibalize important muscle tissue to use as fuel during the event.
Why do sprinters build more muscular physiques? The short intensive workouts focus on anaerobic fitness. To build explosive strength on the track, sprinters do many hours of weight training, and practice short-term intense runs before their events.
The marathoner will always cannibalize muscle tissue during training because muscle is the preferred choice of energy, and it is more dense than fat. The less muscle tissue in the body, the lighter and faster the marathoner becomes in his or her chosen event.
Most people are still under the impression that weight training of any sort, including bodyweight training, weight machines, and hand weights will cause muscle bulk. Some women still avoid weight training because of this myth.
If you want to increase size, perform fewer repetitions and use a heavier weight. But to tone the body, use a lighter weight and perform more repetitions.
Weight training can sculpt the body giving it a sexy, leaner look. As a bonus, the more muscle there is in the body, the higher your resting metabolism, and the more you will have to eat to sustain that muscle tissue.
Assess Your Fitness Goals
Why do you go to the gym? Is it to tone up, build a stronger heart, or to meet like-minded individuals? Aerobic exercise may seem like a better choice for weight loss in the long term, but if you train 3-4 times for over an hour, the body is not gaining in strength, but losing it through cannibalized muscle tissue. Aerobic exercise builds a stronger heart, but it is not your best friend with weight loss.
To radically change your physique, you must start to weight train. This will shift any stubborn fat cells, sculpt the body, and raise the basal metabolic rate (BMR). If fat loss is your objective, you MUST incorporate weight training of some kind. This could be circuit training a couple of times per week, a body pump class, or a variety of body weight training exercises, including push-ups, burpees, sit-ups, squats, and chest presses.
Gain Muscle, Burn Fat
Weight training is the SECRET to long-term weight loss, and it will change your body shape forever. However, you do not need to become obsessed with weight training either.
Choose to make some simple, but positive, changes daily. For example, 20-30 push-ups in the morning, 30 sit-ups on a stability ball, 20 squats with weights (or without, if preferred), and 20 chest presses with weights performed on a stability ball. These are simple exercises, but they use your own body weight as resistance. When performed regularly, you will start to see radical changes occur in your body.
To lose weight faster, incorporate short intensive aerobic workouts into your overall plan. Sprint fast on a bike for one minute, then rest for another minute. Continue 10 times to boost the heart rate, burn fat, and enhance the basal metabolic rate. Intensive training is better than moderate exercise performed on the same item of equipment for up to an hour.
Why Is Muscle Necessary?
Muscle is very metabolically active. It requires calories to survive. This enhances your basal metabolic rate (the calories burned at rest), burns calories during and after your workout (often up to 48 hours), and tones the body.
Take advantage of body weight training by performing push-ups, sit-ups, chest presses, bicep curls, and squats. All of these exercises use the largest muscles of the body—the legs, buttocks, and back. Add short intensive cardiovascular workouts, and your body will turn into a fat burning machine!