What’s The Best Exercise For Weight Loss?

As a personal trainer, it’s common for people to ask me, “What’s the best exercise for weight loss?”. Most people don’t get too specific about what they mean by weight loss – the body is made up of different tissues, including skin, fat, muscle and bone – but usually they mean fat loss – we don’t get too many people who want bone or muscle loss.
Best Exercise For Weight Loss
The honest answer to the question, “What is the best exercise for weight loss?” is simple – there is no ONE best exercise and exercise alone isn’t enough, you also need to reduce the amount of food being consumed in order to reduce the amount of body fat you’re carrying around.

Why Exercise is Vital for Fat Loss Success

People who are physically trained, meaning they work out three to five times a week doing both cardiovascular (or aerobic) training as well as resistance training (using weights, machines and body weight) are better able to use and break down fat than people who are unfit and who do not train regularly. The muscle cells of regular exercisers are more efficient at using the energy from body fat to fuel their activities. This tells us that in order to get your body to a point where it easily uses its fat stores, you have to work out regularly and consistently – not for a couple of days or weeks in a year, but every week. There is no such thing as a “quick fix” when it comes to increasing physical fitness and creating a body that can burn fat efficiently.

The Role of Resistance Exercise in Fat Loss

Resistance training helps to preserve muscle mass. Muscle is the most metabolically active tissue of the body – it’s the “workhorse” tissue and uses most energy, so it makes sense that you would want to preserve as much of it as possible. Resistance training also results in calorie burning during exercise as well as afterwards when the muscle tissue repairs itself (known as “after burn”).

Cardio to Torch Body Fat

Cardiovascular training will really burn calories while you exercise. Changing the type of cardiovascular exercise you do will help you avoid overuse injuries. Examples are: jogging, cycling, elliptical training, rowing, swimming and so on.

Stretching Makes It All Possible

Flexibility training (stretching) doesn’t have much of an effect on your ability to burn calories, but it’s important because it supports both cardiovascular and resistance exercise – when the muscles are overly tight you will not be able to perform other exercises properly.

If you are honestly interested in improving your muscle mass and reducing excess body fat, you will need to commit to regular and effective exercise as well as improve your diet. How do you ensure your exercise is effective? You get help from a qualified and experienced trainer who cares enough to do a full fitness analysis that includes posture, strength, cardio capability, and flexibility as well as a complete body composition analysis.

Email Rudi if you are interested in getting your fat-loss questions answered with a free, obligation-free fitness consultation.

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Burn the Fat Workout

September 26, 2012 by  
Filed under Articles, Exercises, Fitness Articles

Here’s a fast, effective Burn the Fat Workout for you to try.

Warm-up

Before you begin working out, warm up by jogging, skipping, hopping, doing bear-crawls, etc. You do not need to use any equipment for this.

Burpees – Calorie- Burning Powerhouse Movements

Your first exercise is going to be a set of burpees. There are two ways you can do them:

The first is the walk-out burpee, for this burpee you are going to walk out one leg after another instead of just hopping out.

The harder burpee is the explosive burpee, which is where you push out your legs at the same time instead of walking them out one after the other. For these you can do a specified number of burpees, or try to do as many as you can in a set time (say, 60 seconds).

Squatting with Dumbbells – Upper and Lower Body Burn

The second exercise is squatting with dumbbells.

Level One of this exercise is squatting while holding the dumbbells on either side of you and then pushing them straight up above your head as you stand up.

If you are a little more fit you can do the harder levels.

For Level Two you do the same thing as level one, except you don’t let the arms rest, so they are by your shoulders while you are squatting and then up when you stand up, and so forth.

Level Three is a bit harder, you are going to do the exact same thing as Level Two, except when you are squatting, you are going to do a little hop.

Mountain Climbers – Fire Up Your Furnace

The third and final exercise is mountainclimbers. These are great for getting the heart rate going. For this one you are going to place your hands and feet on the floor, almost like push-up position, but your back will be higher up. You are going to alternate bring your feet in toward you quickly.

Cool Down

Once done with your workout, you should cool your body down with slower movements and some stretching.

Turn your body into a fat-burning furnace

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Skinny Fat – What’s That?

July 24, 2012 by  
Filed under Articles, Fitness Articles

Skinny fat is a strange term. How could someone be skinny and fat at the same time? Well, that’s easy. Skinny fat people tend to have very little muscle and, instead, a large amount of fat. They don’t look “fat” or large and often, when they originate wanting to “lose weight”, others scoff and think they must be joking or worse, showing off.

Skinny Fat - What is That?

You may have seen someone like this. She’s wearing a size 4 but when you go to touch her arm, it’s soft. So are her belly and legs. When these people are properly fat tested, they have 30% body fat and higher (this means their bodies are made up of 30% fat or more – that’s about 1/3 fat and 2/3 everything else like muscle, bone etc). What’s even more interesting is that they don’t necessarily weigh a lot but that doesn’t mean they’re healthy because fat isn’t particularly heavy.

Men and women can be skinny fat. It’s not healthy and as they get older, these people can get large. If they have a lot of fat around their organs (visceral fat), they’re at increased risk of cardio-respiratory disease.

How can someone who is skinny fat change things around? It’s going to take eating well (cutting out the excess sugars and fats while increasing the fruits, vegetables and healthy protein in the diet) along with some good regular exercise with emphasis on strength training (increasing muscle mass using anything from body-weight exercises to gym strength machines and free weights). By regular, we’re talking at least three times a week for an hour or more at a time.

Walking on a treadmill for half an hour a day won’t be enough. Building more muscle will help the skinny fat person burn fat faster and get into a much healthier state. Finding out how to do this properly would be a very good first step to overcoming the often hidden and potentially life-threatening condition of skinny fat.

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Body Fat Burning Secret – Metabolic Magic

June 29, 2011 by  
Filed under General Articles, Weight Loss Articles

In simple arithmetic terms, what is someone trying to do when they’re trying to lose weight? They’re trying to create a difference between energy coming into the body (as food) and energy being burned (energy expenditure). To lose weight you need less energy being put in (that would be food, folks) and more being used by the body. If the opposite is occurring – more going in than being used, you end up with a surplus of energy and many of us have experienced the end result of that… additional body fat.

One Way to Increase Metabolism

A fairly simple way to explain how energy is used in your body is with a model called the Total 24-hour Daily Energy Expenditure (TEE). Researchers Dr. Leibel and Dr. Rosenbaum suggest that TEE can be separated into resting metabolic rate (RMR), about 60% of TEE; the thermic effect (heat and energy-releasing reactions) of exercise and physical activity, about 30% of TEE; and the thermic effect of food (digestion, absorption and metabolism of nutrients), about 5 to 10% of TEE.

As you can see, RMR has a large influence on a person’s metabolism and the ability to use energy. As trainers we want to enhance this aspect of the Total 24-hour Daily Energy Expenditure so more energy is being used (more calories burned by the body even at rest) and we definitely DON’T want to reduce it. So, what is it that we must avoid and what must we make sure we do in order to increase RMR? Luckily the answer is very simple.

AVOID LOW-CALORIE DIETING

Hill (2004) states that basal metabolic rate (BMR; very similar to RMR but measured using even stricter guidelines) can be suppressed up to 20% by dieting. The main reason for the slow down of metabolism with dieting is that people tend to lose a lot of muscle mass in diet-only programs (no matter what is said to the contrary by those marketing specific low-calorie diets) and muscle is the magic ingredient for maintaining your resting metabolic rate.

PARTICIPATE IN EXERCISE, SPECIFICALLY STRENGTH TRAINING

If losing muscle mass results in a reduction of resting metabolic rate, then the answer is to build muscle mass. The most efficient way to do this is with a safe and efficient weight training program but even moderate intensity aerobic activity can increase your resting energy expenditure. In a 16-month study done by Potteiger and colleagues in 2008 it was found that adult females who did aerobic exercise 3 to 5 days a week for 20 to 45 minutes per session at moderate intensity saw an average increase in RMR of 129 calories per day. The males who exercised aerobically for the same times and intensity saw an average increase of 174 calories daily.

The good news, as far as helping your body burn more energy every moment of every day, is that you don’t have to starve yourself – in fact that’s the worst thing you can do. You will have to exercise or be physically active on a regular basis to keep your muscles active and maintain muscle mass. The most efficient way to increase your resting metabolic rate is to do regular strength training.

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Weight Loss – What Works, What Doesn’t and Why

Losing weight implies a subtraction of some kind – you want to subtract body weight (preferably body fat) – and there are several different ways to go about it; one is through diet which means subtracting calories from your food intake. That’s what low-calorie diets do, you eat fewer calories (calories measure the energy value of foods) to try to reduce your body fat percentage. Basically what this means is that you input less energy (food) so that your energy output is greater than the input.

Sounds simplebut there are quite a few variables to being able to lose weight, one of which is your metabolic rate. A fast metabolism means you burn energy (measured in calories) quickly. A slow metabolism means you burn it slowly. It’s easier to put on weight if you have a slow metabolism because your body isn’t burning the calories you’re eating fast enough and so stores them, eventually, as fat.

Dieting actually slows down your metabolism and so make your body more likely to get fat. Sounds like a horror story but it’s true. Read on for the top four factors that slow metabolism and make people fat. Don’t worry, there’s also a solution for what you can do to combat them once and for all.

  1. DIETING: Eating too few calories for too long will result in loss of muscle (the body will eventually start breaking down muscle tissue in order to get the energy to survive) and a slowed metabolism. The other thing that can happen with dieting is that the body, realizing it’snot getting the calories its usedto, goes into an ages old “starvation mode” and slows down metabolism to save as much energy as possible just in case the shortage of food continues long-term (as was the case centuries ago when humans had less control of their environment than they do today).
  2. AGING: Once the body reaches full maturity (about twenty years of age) there is a gradual loss of muscle tissue each year, adding up to about 10% every decade and accelerating around the ages of sixty to seventy. With this muscle loss comes a slower metabolism which is why so many people complain that it’s harder to lose weight as they age.
  3. EXCESSIVE  AEROBIC EXERCISE: Overdoing aerobic exercise will eventually eat into muscle tissue, especially in those parts of the body that are not being moved much during the exercise. For example, you’ve probably seen long-distance runners with small upper bodies, that’s because the arms and chest are not used particularly during long-distance running. Don’t forget, loss of muscle tissue will result in a slower metabolism.
  4. INACTIVITY: If you have a sedentary job, are not active generally or you are bed-ridden due to illness or injury you will lose muscle tissue and in turn slow down your metabolism. A great example of this is what happens to a broken leg in a few short weeks of inactivity – the muscles whither and the broken leg becomes significantly smaller and weaker than the healthy one.

What do each of these four factors have in common? Loss of muscle tissue. Muscle is the energy burning powerhouse of your body; the more you have, the faster you’ll burn calories. Muscle cells burn about three times as many calories as fat cells!

Exercise increases metabolism naturally. Strength training (using machines, free-weights and your own body weight) is very important to this process because it is all about  increasing muscle tissue. Knowing how to do strength training correctly and actually doing it regularly is one big way to guarantee you keep your metabolism going and ensure your body becomes and remains a calorie-burning machine.

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My problem is I have trouble getting started.

November 1, 2009 by  
Filed under General Articles

As a trainer I get a lot of questions & comments about fitness & exercise. A recent comment intended to elicit some  help came as a statement ” the hardest part to anything for me is just getting started”.
 
My fitness tip went as follow:
 
Well there are many ways to skin a cat (easy cat lovers, just a metaphor).
 
1 – First you need to have a worthwhile goal.
 
2 – Then comes a very powerful factor and that is your level of interest, desire or motivation towards that goal.
 
3 – Next is well how badly do you really want to achieve this worthwhile goal? Is it important for you to attain? What are you willing to do to make it happen? What level of priority will you make this goal in your life?
 
Get the idea?
 
Answering the above questions will shed light on how hard or easy it is going to be for you to get started and continue at anything.
 
 
Rudi M
www.gofitnow.com

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