Looking to lose weight and tone your body? ? Train like a gymnast.
I always talk to people who are wanting to lose weight, who tell me they started running and are trying to drop 30 pounds. My heart goes out to them but we are all guilty of doing this at some point in our lives. Not only is running hard on your body's joints and muscles through the repetitive movement and impact, but now they are doing it with what equates to an extra 30 or maybe 50 pound back pack on them. Why do we do this? Simple. It costs nothing and we can all walk upright on our feet so we go with what we know. No one wants to pay for a gym membership and walk around not knowing what to do, so we go to our comfort zone, even though it's boring and kills our body so we quit the next week because it's not enjoyable.
Is there a better solution? Absolutely. Resistance training provides so much more benefits for your body and weight loss goals. Whether it's using your own body weight, dumbells, kettle bells, or whatever, overloading your muscles is the way to go. Let me explain as simply as I can.
When you strength or resistance train, you overload your muscles. They break down and with proper nutrition and rest repair themselves and get bigger and stronger. This adaptation allows them to grow and develop. When this happens you begin to build lean muscle tissue. Lean muscle tissue incinerates calories like you wouldn't believe so you create a viscous cycle. The more you strength train the more lean muscle you build so the more calories your body burns on a daily basis. There is no pounding on your joints and you start shredding fat as it's converted back into calories your lean muscle is screaming for. It is proven that when you strength train, your body and metabolism is fired up for 39 hours after. This is called EPOC. Post Exercise Calorie Burn. Like anything in life, if you don't use it you lose it. This is true with your muscles. Atrophy or loss will set in. Look at someone's leg after they have a cast on for 6 weeks! !
The opposite happens with running or walking. When we do this it puts our body in a very catabolic state. This means breaking down, which is the opposite of anabolic (building up), as in anabolic steroids. In the absence of strength training, our body and muscles continue to break down which means less lean muscle tissue, which means less calories burned. In fact, 2 hours after running your metabolism and caloric burn is back down to normal. Not to mention that you will have to jog for an hour to burn the same calories you will doing high intensity interval training with weights in half the time. This is because when you do LISS (Low Intensity Steady State) training, like jogging for 40 minutes to an hour; you have to go at such a light intensity to keep the pace that your heart rate plateaus at about 50 to 60 percent of your maximum. Your body reaches LISS very quickly and stays there for the duration of your run. The worse part of LISS is that it converts or changes fast twitch muscle fiber into slow twitch. This not what you want! ! Unless your chosen sport is shuffle board I guess.
Don't get me wrong, their is an aerobic benefit to your heart and lungs when you jog, but they don't out weigh the costs, for someone looking for weight loss. I know for a fact through the use of a heart rate monitor on clients and myself that I get closer to max HR for a longer time doing HIIT training with weights, which will give you a better aerobic benefit. Not to mention the lean muscle tissue you build that incinerates calories and the boosted metabolism for a day after. Add in the functional strength that helps you do better in every sport you play and life in general and it's a no brainer.
There's a reason why gymnasts are the best athletes in the world. You can add MMA fighters to the mix if you want. They have the best strength, stamina, endurance, balance, flexibility and power pound for pound of any human being on earth. This is because they spend their day either holding up their own body weight, plus, or throwing others body weight around.
To end, after reading this if you still are not convinced that you need to change your training methods, are still scared to go to a gym, or just plain love to run please do yourself one favor. . Stop going on the slow, tedious runs that take for ever and start doing HIIT anaerobic training where you sprint full out for 20 seconds then rest for 2 minutes. You will get far more benefits from this type of training in less time and it will save you the pounding.
So step out of your comfort zone, join a gym, get a program from an expert, and get some results for a change! You pay a mechanic to fix your car when you can't yourself, so why would you think you can fix your body and health when you don't know how. You are a way better investment than your car will ever be!