I’m on a multi-month project right now…finishing my basement. I need to correct you before you start thinking I’m doing all the work, rather I’m (well really my wife) is doing the contracting and handling all the subs. The framing, plumbing, and electric are done. We are currently stalled on finding a reasonably priced drywall installer. Now don’t worry, I’m contributing to this project. The one thing that I am doing is mapping out the cabling for the home entertainment system. This brings me to the point of today’s thought. Well really it is about training for fat loss…
There are so many ways to set up the home entertainment system. I’m figuring out the right wires for the components and speakers plus connecting them so they all talk to each other. Does the Blu-ray player go through the receiver, or does the TV act as the receiver and the signal gets sent back to the receiver to send the signal to the speakers.
We know HDMI cables are the best way to transmit the signal. However, you have Toslink, RCA, Cat 5e/6/7, etc. that all work for transmitting video, audio, or just simply data. This also applies to training for fat loss.
Fat Loss Training
The fat loss industry provides countless ways to shed those unwanted pounds from pills to crazy devices, to fancy programs. Just like picking the different cabling setups for my “man cave” you have a bunch of options, but some are definitely better than others.
My goal today is to provide you with several tips to help set you up with a long-term approach to sustainable fat loss. Right now, the fat loss industry focuses on high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which uses glycolytic methods. Basically, glycolytic intervals fall into the following guidelines of work (exercise) for 20-90 seconds with 10 – 270 seconds of rest, and as you probably guessed a very high-intensity (work rate). This translates to working very hard for a short period of time and then follows it with incomplete rest. HIIT is the HDMI of exercise, or to move away from my example above, is the fat loss king.
High Intensity Interval Training is king
I personally like this type of training and am currently going through Shaun T’s Insanity MAX 30 program.
Say you need to maximize fat loss for a specific event/trip/summer than HIIT works great. If you only have a short period of time for results, than this approach is the best way to go.
What I’m going to say next however, is that there is more than one way to reach your goal (and especially sustain your goal). Constantly using high-intensity methods puts you on the express track to burnout…or worse, injury.
I want you to think about this scenario, say you are closer to middle age than high school athlete, an office worker with a high stress job, and a few kids at home. You haven’t worked out in 10 years, but are ready get back in shape. In this scenario, it is likely that you would have high blood pressure, probably also have a body fat percentage above 25 and may even be pre-diabetic.
The question becomes…do you need to jump right into a HIIT program? The reason I ask is should fat loss be your first priority? What would happen if you built an awesome base of moving and feeling better? Spoiler alert: you would be living a happier, healthier life. An approach like this sets you up for long-term, sustainable results.
I want to share some tips to help you build that base, and start your journey to health.
Tip Number 1: Use Low Intensity Training
Is your mind spinning?? Here’s the deal. When you haven’t been exercising for a long time you don’t need heavy weights, max sets, or balls-to-the-walls intensity to stimulate your body to adapt. That means that both low-intensity strength training and low-intensity aerobic training work great in the beginning.
I know you are probably thinking I’m crazy, but here’s why you should be doing aerobic work. A stronger aerobic system stimulates the parasympathetic branch (the rest and digest) of the autonomic nervous system, it builds the cardiovascular system, it helps relieve anxiety/stress, and improves sleep, and the list goes on.
Starting with low-intensity cardio allows you to eventually transition this training to your “off days” as you start to implement a strength program. Then the low-intensity cardio just becomes daily activity rather than training.
Tip Number 2: Use Anaerobic Alactic Conditioning
Yes, HIIT delivers results. So do other methods.
Think about how a baby goes from learning to sit, then to crawl, then to walk, then to run, etc. Jumping straight to HIIT would be like trying to get that baby to go straight to running.
Yeah, it sounds fancy, but what is it? Anaerobic alactic training primarily uses ATP as the body’s source of energy. The “anaerobic” means it does not require oxygen and the “alactic” part means it does not result in the accumulation of lactic acid.
The anaerobic alactic energy system gives you surges of energy in very short periods of time, basically work periods less than 10 seconds and rest periods of 90-120 seconds.
Using this type of training makes you feel like you’re working hard, without tapping into the lactic system which puts the total-body beat down on your system. Skipping the lactic system allows you to recover quicker from your training days.
You can try it with sprints, jumping, sled pushing, kettlebell swings, battling ropes, or just about any exercise.
Tip Number 3: Spend more time on Sleep, Recovery and Nutrition
Seriously, if you want fat loss than you need to first address your sleep, recovery and nutrition. Even if I give you the fanciest HIIT program and you crush yourself doing it…you won’t see the results if you are supersizing everything as you go through the drive-thru. The junk food needs to go.
Sleeping 4 hours per night does not give your body time to do its maintenance thing.
Fixing your nutrition and sleep creates the optimal environment for your body to recover and improve from your exercise program.
Tip Number 4: Start with your cardio
Yeah, I’m not a fan of doing cardio conditioning. I tell myself that I want to get the most out of my strength training so I’ll do my cardio at the end of the workout.
You probably know what happens…you come up with every excuse not to do your cardio because of _________ (fill in the blank) excuse.
So trick yourself by front-loading the energy system training. This would be a great time to do the anaerobic alactic conditioning.
Wrapping it all up
You guessed it. Fat loss training is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Sure, HIIT may help you bust through a fat loss plateau, but most folks don’t need to jump straight to it. Build the base, develop your aerobic energy system, fix your nutrition, get sleep, and focus on recovery. This will set the stage for a healthier and happier life. And, don’t worry improved body composition will also be a by-product.
Start today, I know you can do it!
p.s. Are you looking for an easy to implement program that includes portion control? Check out the 21 Day Fix here. I would love to talk to you about it so shot me a message if you are interested. Contact me here.
p.p.s. Or you can jump right into Shaun T’s Insanity Max 30 program here