Week One to figure fitness shape: why muscle is as important as cardio

Submitted by Annapurna

cruise control treadmill = minimal benefits

Join me as I work my way into the best shape of my life!

Lesson 1: write it down! Keeping a journal keeps you honest. I not only write my workout but when I worked out and what I ate throughout the day.

Lesson 2: The worst thing for anyone to do at the gym: mindlessly run to an episode of “Glee” for an hour. That is the quickest way to get bored with your routine and quit or slag and the quickest way to undo any muscle building that your strength training.  Your resting metabolic rate drops 2-3% every decade after the age of 20, mainly due to a loss of muscle.  So, while your resting heart rate may go up with cardio, if you’re trying to get rid of that pear shape, you’ll just be a smaller pear rather than toned and able to fit into that one pair of pants that’s your Holy Grail.

Lean muscle mass is more metabolically active than fat. Cardio will burn calories while you’re engaged in the activity but will stop burning those calories when you stop that activity. Strength training keeps the calories burning throughout the day.  As does small, nutritious meals. Protein takes longer for the body to digest thereby using more calories to break down protein-packed meals.

An adult over the age of 25 loses 0.5 pounds of muscle every year. Muscle is the biggest hunter of glucose, so if you’re losing that much muscle per year, you’re increasing your chance of diabetes, especially if you have a family history.  Strength training tears down and rebuilds muscle constantly. This muscle will keep your insulin regulated, which lowers or keeps Type 2 Diabetes at bay and keeps you energized.  As does cutting out sugar and processed foods. Good carbs like veggies and proteins will also keep the insulin at bay.

1:3 training is 6 intervals w/each interval = 30 sec of hi-intensity @70-80% max then 60 sec low @30% max

Study after study after study show shorter, high-intensity bouts do more to raise metabolism and burn fat than longer, less-intense sessions. That is how professional athletes train. Yet…This obsession with the treadmill I can only attribute to false information, like urban legends on the Internet. I can also attribute it, at least in the case of most women, to an obsession with being skinny above all else rather than valuing strength, grace, or health.

Begone cruise control cardio! Instead try this recommended by : warm up thoroughly, do 5-10 high-intensity 30-60 second sprints with 30-60 second rests at a slower pace in between. In 20 minutes, you’ll have done more than you would have done in 1 hour — and keep your metabolism boosted for hours afterwards. Click here for another treadmill workout that will burn 500 calories in 40 minutes.  How’s that for efficiency!

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