Weight Training – Exercise Intensity & Metabolism
Metabolism is one of the most misunderstood terms I know of in the fitness world. I hear it blamed & used as an excuse for a lack of success in training or weight management issues more than than almost all the rest put together.
Your metabolism is simply the rate at which you burn calories in your fuel “engine”, and ultimately just a figure stating how many calories you burn each day.
What a lot dont realise is that it is a constantly changing value, and is hugely under your control, and not some arbitary constant that you are stuck with. For a moment lets come back to the car analogy, and imagine it is your car engine. Obviously depending on your engine size, it has a fuel consumption range depending on how you drive it, but you are very much in control of how hard you put your foot down, and thus at what end of the fuel consumption range you drive it.
Unlike the car however, human metabolism is also dually dependent on when and how you fuel the engine, and has the wondeful added benefit that if we treat the metabolism correctly it can also be significantly raised for your downtime, i.e. the time when you are not driving it hard, resting, sleeping etc. ( It’s a good job cars dont do this and burn a load of extra fuel while you’re not driving them! Yours just keeps burning and burning fuel (ideally fat) 24 hours a day…
So how to get a fast metabolism? what can you do to boost your metabolism and burn fat faster to lose weight? Your metabolism decreases slowly with age, but that doesn’t necessarily sentence you to gaining weight. It might even decrease 30% over your lifespan, but that is no reason to not have the body you want, right through your whole life.
Just take control of it, and turn it round using…
FIVE SIMPLE METABOLIC BOOSTERS
1) Strength Training – Boosts metabolism by up to 10% after a training program.
Despite what many men and women think, harder exercise is better for your metabolism. In one study, women received a greater metabolic boost from using 8 repetitions per set rather than traditional high-rep (12 reps) sets. So stick to harder exercises (pushups and more advanced bodyweight exercises) or dumbbell exercises. Higher Weights, Lower reps. You should be failing on your 7th or 8th rep, and then you know the weight is right.
2) Breakfast – Because it stops your overnight fast, it can boost metabolism.
The Jury’s still out. Your metabolism won’t go into “starvation mode” without breakfast, and it definitely does kickstart it in the morning, but more important are the other effects, and the fact that a good low GI style breakfast is associated with successful weight loss and ongoing weight management.
So try to make it a habit to consume some protein, fiber, fruit and wholegrain at this time. This will keep your appetite in check till your next break or even lunch and ensures smaller more balanced portions all day, by tricklefeeding the energy into your blood slowly over time.
3) Eating 6 small meals per day – Boosts metabolism and can help control cholesterol.
Simple and effective, and true. Try and split your meals up into smaller meals that can be eaten over the course of the day. This might also be part of the breakfast effect.
4) Protein – Burns more calories (uses more calories in digestion than carbohydrates or fat.
This is true, but how significant is debatable. But protein does definitely help by making you feel fuller for longer. And that’s where the main benefit comes in – preventing overeating later. Studies also showed that animal protein results in more energy burned than vegetable protein.
5) Interval Training – Interval training causes a higher increase in post-exercise metabolism than regular cardio.
I have seen this to be true with myself over many years, and with numerous clients.
A recent Australian study found that a shorter interval training program led to more weight loss than steady rate aerobic training programs that were twice-as-long. This confirms the original interval training study from as far back as 1994 that showed greater results from a shorter interval program when compared to a traditional cardio program.
Bottom line: Intervals work! But that shouldn’t really be a surprise to anyone.
So in summary, add:
* Strength training to your routines, with weights heavy enough to overload your muscles.
* Intervals to your cardio work
* Eat 6 evenly spaced mini-meals adding up to no less than 15% below maintenance figure.
* Maybe a little extra protein (dep on current behaviour) to your nutrition plan.
And you’ll soon be leaner, stronger, faster and much happier in restaurants
..thanks to your new faster metabolism.
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