I hope you all had a great Labor Day weekend full of squats, deadlifts, and chin ups. Myself, I holed up with my girlfriend at a hotel in Santa Monica for a nice #staycation. It was much more relaxing than the #mancation I had the weekend before, I have to say.
Last week’s blog brought about some controversy. A lot of people called me out and told me I was a fraud for telling people to workout more and eat less, which I never actually said. In fact, in this week’s blog, I am going to tell you why working out more and eating less (or even just eating cleaner) is NOT the answer to your weight loss journey. Yes, you will lose weight, and I can’t knock that, but I can and will show you a faster, more effective, long-term way to drop those pounds.
Before I do so, I want to keep you all in the loop RE this weekend’s FREE CHARITY BOOTCAMP. With the success of the last charity bootcamp for Autism Speaks, which we were able to raise a couple hundred bucks, we are continuing into this Saturday, 8am, @ Barrington Park for the CLARE foundation. Shoot me an email for more information or check in with me on Facebook.
Before we start, there are some facts about weight loss you need to know:
1. Weight loss doesn’t always equate to fat loss (i.e. “skinny fat”)
2. You must be in a caloric deficit to lose weight
Now that you have the basics down, here’s me making this much more complicated :-0
There are a million different reasons I HATE the myth of exercising more and eating less for weight loss. I’m going to save you (and myself) time from a thesis paper that will be about 50 pages long, and ring off THE TOP 5 REASONS I HATE THE MYTH “EXERCISE MORE AND EAT LESS FOR WEIGHT LOSS.”
Law of repetitive motion (I = nf / ar)
I = nf/ar, where I = injury, n = number of repetitions, f = frequency, a = amplitude, and r = relaxation. With all steady state cardio there is going to be a high nf and very small ar, which will equate to a large I (risk of injury). Even if you aren’t doing cardio and are doing some weight training instead, most often is the 3 sets of 20 reps for “toning” with little or no rest period (high I). First off, this set and rep range is complete BS for toning, but you’re also putting yourself at a higher risk of injury then if you were following a more structured progressive routine.
2. Big movements for weight loss
When you activate more musculature, you are using more energy. When you are using more energy, you are burning more calories… I’m sure you get the picture. To activate the most musculature, you can’t just bike or jog, you have to use full ranges of motion in your joints to activate more. When you’re in a restricted range of motion, you are restricting your metabolism! And, most often, you are decreasing your flexibility by remaining in that set range of motion.
3. Sustained caloric deficits equal long-term metabolic damage
Layne Norton of biolayne.com always talks about the effects of long term dieting on your metabolism. Long term dieting negatively effects fat burning hormones, and this is tough to reverse. Here’s a study that I’ve referenced in the past that breaks down which hormones are being effected and the direct impact it has on your weight loss.
4. The variability plateau
Everybody knows that eventually you are going to plateau on your cardio, which is why some people choose to go longer and/or harder as your body adapts, however there is a big neural component to weight loss. Your metabolism increases as you use self-limiting exercise, or put in other terms, increasing the variability of your exercise selection. A self limiting exercise is one that your body is not yet efficient at doing, so you have to use more energy to complete the movement. Once you get good at the exercise, progress the variation of the movement. Here’s an example:
Box Squat à Air Squat à Skater Squat à Pistol Squat
5. Exercise frequency isn’t the only variable!
There are many variables aside from working out more often (frequency) that you can change to boost your metabolism and/or burn more calories such as variation of the exercise (as state above), intensity, and rest periods. ALWAYS cycle in high intensity intervals with your steady state cardio to create more of an adaptation response from your body.