“I know I need to do more cardio to get lean.”
“Why would I take a walk when I could burn thousands of calories in class?”
“I want to lose fat – not build muscles!”
“I keep my weight under control when I run, so I just keep doing that.
Hrm. Let’s talk about it.
When it comes to exercise for fat loss, there is a rough hierarchy of where you should spend your time. Of course, the best routine for you will be the one that you enjoy and can be consistent with, but understand that different activities yield different results.
Want a strong, curvy physique?
Want a higher metabolism?
Want a solid core?
Want to burn fat in your sleep?
Want to appear leaner or more defined?
…it’s not gonna come by sweating buckets in spin class.
You gotta spend time building your exercise routine around strength training while [optionally] adding other activity on top. And the real kicker? Nutrition needs to match that activity. You can’t be eating like bird to look, feel and perform like athlete.
Here are some other things I want you to notice about the pyramid:
>> Steady state cardio activity is the least important place to put your efforts – and yet somehow, is the first thing people think about for fat loss.
>> Your active hours of the week should be varied. Just because you have 9 hours per week to work out doesn’t mean you should spend them all strength training.
>> Bootcamp-style and functional fitness classes can include a mix of weights, higher and lower intensity cardio. Unfortunately, you’re likely missing out on the benefits of a structured weight training program and probably not seeing the results you could be by reworking your routine.
>> The hours spent outside of formal exercise are almost more important than the hours spent doing formal exercise. Seek opportunities to move your body all the time.
>> I didn’t say “hierarchy for weight loss”. Weight loss + fat loss are distinctly different. You may not even know what a comfortable and appropriate weight is for you while you build muscle through challenging strength training.
Do you need an exercise audit?