Exercise less, but with more
intensity. Now, not many people have probably told you to exercise less, right?
Well, what I’m getting at here is that most people are exercising far too much, but
with not enough intensity.
You see, while some of the top minds in fitness are starting to realize that
intensity is the fastest ticket to fat loss and lifelong health and fitness, most are
still recommending long, boring cardio workouts as the primary form of exercise
for burning fat. And this is really sad because while this type of exercise certainly
can burn fat, it is far from the most effective of methods available.
There are a few reasons for this, but mainly it has to do with the fact that this type
of exercise primarily burns fat while you’re exercising…while this may sound
good at first, it’s actually bad news. This can cause your body to start saving a
reserve amount of fat to have available for your next long cardio session. You see,
when you exercise like this exclusively, your body wants to hold on to your fat just
so it can be burned during the next time you exercise. So if you want to burn
more fat, you’ll have to do more and more of it.
Even if this type of exercise worked really well, anyone who has experienced week
after week of hour long cardio sessions done 4 or more times per week knows that
this is far from exciting or enjoyable.
Yeah, there are exercise addicts out there who like spending their whole week in
the gym, but I know most do not. The fact of the matter is that there are more
rewarding things in life like spending time with our families, so my goal has
always been to find the most efficient route to health and fitness.
So, the way we get the results we want is by increasing our intensity. Intensity is
the name of the game in productive results-producing exercise. It’s just the way
the body responds to a stimulus. The greater the stimulus, the greater the
response from the body, provided you give it time to rest and recover.
The basic principle here is, you can work hard, or you can work long, but you
can’t do both effectively. If you’re working hard enough, you literally won’t be
able to work very long or often…you’ll be challenging your body to improve, and
you’ll need to extra rest to extract maximum benefit from your exercise. It is a
simple concept but the #1 reason why people’s exercise programs fail them.
They are giving their body NO REASON to change or improve when attempting
something they’re already capable of.
And when you are working with sufficient intensity, your body switches to
primarily burning calories from the carbohydrates in your muscles instead of
body fat. And after your intensity based workout is over, you body then begins to
burn existing body fat and calories to fuel the growth and repair processes that
occurs (which is a massive combination of complex chemical reactions). The best
part is, you body can continue to burn body fat like this for up to 48 hours after
this workout is over! Now you’re working smart instead of long.
Now if we simply applied this intensity principle to aerobic workouts, we
instantly make our exercise more effective. But even when doing this, I still
found the results not to be up to my expectations. Why?
Because I also had to engage in resistance training or weight training on top of
this to build fat burning muscle mass and develop a stronger body. Having to
perform two different forms of exercise each week still kept me in the gym for at
least an hour 4 or more times per week. Better, but I wanted it to be even easier
and less time consuming.
Now, you may already know that adding lean muscle mass to your body is one of
the big secrets to burning fat all day long, even when you’re not working out. The
reasons for this are two-fold:
First, a pound of lean muscle requires about 40-50 calories per day to keep alive,
and when you add several pounds of muscle, you can create a calorie deficit in
your body which melts off even more fat. On top of that, the growth and repair
process mentioned above that occurs after intense strength training can burn
huge amounts of calories and body fat for up to two days later.
And the health benefits are tremendous…properly applied resistance training can
increase your heart and lung’s capacity for work, with helps reduce risk of