To Shed the Fat with Exercise Start with Resistance Training
Want to Shed the Fat with Exercise?
Start with Weight Training, NOT Cardio.
In previous articles I touched on the “Hierarchy of Fat Loss” and the importance of incorporating as much muscle and body parts as possible when you exercise for fat loss. In this article I want to explain why and how weight training trumps cardiovascular (cardio) training when it comes to shedding those unwanted pounds and inches with exercise.
First and foremost as it is always worth repeating, exercise is second to nutrition, particularly in terms of managing ones caloric formula when it comes to dropping unwanted fat. With that said, in order to comprehend the varying levels of effectiveness with exercise when it comes to fat loss, it is important to understand how body fat is utilized—“burned” for fuel.
The only place body fat is utilized for fuel (burned) is in the muscle cell (mitochondria to be exact) in the presence of oxygen. Therefore the more muscle one has and more the muscle is challenged, the better we are to burn fat.
To illustrate this point of science we like to use the following analogy:
Imagine you are going to have a cookout and you plan to use a char-coal grill. Now is this char-coal useful if it hasn’t been lit? No. The only way you can have the cookout on the char-coal grill is by making sure you have a match to light the char-coal to generate a flame, which in turn will provide the heat to cook your food.
What else is paramount for any fire to exist? Oxygen. Think about forest fires. What is the biggest fear of fire fighters while battling a forest fire? Wind.
Any added oxygen to an existing fire; such as with wind only will make the fire more intense and burn even more forest area.
To continue with this analogy, if char-coal is the amount of lean body mass (muscle) we have and oxygen is the aerobic or cardio work we do to generate the wind; weight training then is the match or the method to light the char-coal to generate heat and burn calories.
Think about why many people are frustrated with the progress of their exercise program when it comes to fat loss and body shaping. Typically they have no concern for or knowledge of how much char-coal (muscle) they have. Few if any actually decide to ignite (progressively weight train) their char-coal.
Let’s look at this analogy from a gender perspective in order to better illustrate this frustration.
First, men typically can shed the fat quicker than women. Why? Men have more char-coal (muscle) than women. Men typically are not afraid to ignite (weight train) whatever char-coal (muscle) they have. So when men even just start a light walking program which in essence is blowing air on the hot char-coals to increase the flame they then burn fat fast.
Women on the other hand do not have as much char-coal (muscle). Typically, most women are afraid to weight train in fear they will get “big and bulky,” when in fact this myth is what is sabotaging their process. In fact, what is “big and bulky” is the fat that is on top of the muscle, not the muscle itself. This result only happens when individuals fail to follow the science of the “Hierarchy of Fat Loss”. This science should be the center or driving principle behind any safe and effective weight loss strategy.
So fear or just plain failure to incorporate any progressive weight training is like having a char-coal grill with some char-coal in it, with hope it will cook the food for their Bar-B-Q without being lit.
How crazy would it be to pull up to a friend’s house for a Bar-B-Q and see them fanning some un-lit coals? You ask them, “what are you doing?” and they say, “Trying to start the fire for our Bar-B-Q. “. Wouldn’t you think not very productive?
This analogy relates to when people want to lose fat, and join a “traditional” gym. Yes any exercise is better than no exercise. However most have no plan and typically the first mode of exercise that comes to mind when people want to lose weight is cardio. However, most people never even first consider controlling their caloric intake relative to their caloric burn, or think to weight train so that whatever muscle they do have will magnify the results of any cardio they may perform. More muscle will ensure even greater and faster results from cardio due to the activation of the skeletal muscle from weight training workouts leveraging muscles ability to utilize fat for fuel in the presence of the added oxygen.
Now imagine if those same people (men or women) who want to maximize their caloric management to drop fat would incorporate some total body progressive resistance training first. By incorporating weight training at least once per week, (preferably 2-3 times/week on non-consecutive days) individuals would be in essence lighting the char-coal (muscle). Once we have our char-coal lit, then is the time to do (as much as possible) cardio to keep the oxygen feeding the fire for max results.
Good news, when we talk about activating our muscle or lighting the char-coal via weight training, this doesn’t require hours in the gym. This can be accomplished in as little as 20-30 minutes. Most programs recommended at “traditional” gyms are designed by individuals who love working out. Whatever free time they have, they spend it at the gym and think everyone else is the same. The reality is most people do not love to work out and do not have the interest or the luxury of FREE time to spend endless hours exercising. This is why understanding this “Hierarchy of Fat Loss” is critical for the average person who wants to transform their current body for the better while removing the excuse of “I have no time”.
Bottom line: all exercise supports the weight loss body transformation process when you have your caloric formula in-line. However, not all exercises are created equal. Part of the education empowerment process here at the “Kitchen” is helping people understand how all of them work in this Hierarchy to avoid frustration and giving up.
For more information, please feel free to schedule a FREE consult with any of the fitness professionals at My Fitness Kitchen®.
This FREE Consult is a strategy session for us to learn your goals, factor in your availability, interests, limitations (if any) and prepare a personalized game plan following our L.E.A.N (Livable Exercise and Nutrition) Lifestyle while empowering you on the “Hierarchy of Fat Loss”.
With ZERO RISK and ZERO OBLIGATION You have nothing to lose by meeting with us other than unwanted body fat!