What if I told you that when it comes to losing weight and burning calories that your long endurance days on the treadmill and elliptical are a waste of your time?
What if I asked you to try to remodel your house with your hands but no tools? I’m pretty sure you’d tell me I was crazy. Sure you could do some of it but wouldn’t it be much harder that way?
Well, your body is a pretty amazing miracle of a machine and it has tools of its own.
Perhaps it’s time to start using them?
Muscle tissue is the most abundant tissue in the human body.
Fat tissue, while it can be abundant in some, causes the body to work by burning approximately 2 calories per pound for maintenance of that tissue.
In someone who isn’t currently activating their muscle mass to a high level, their body would be working to burn 3-4 calories per pound to maintain that tissue. A slight advantage.
In someone who is actively working their muscle tissue (as in strength training), their body has to work harder burning 5-7 calories per pound of tissue.
What’s that mean for you? Well it means that those small numbers add up over time and if you really want to burn off that excess weight you’ve been carrying it’s time to add in some strength training and take your cardio into more of a short burst style like you’d see in metabolic resistance training or HIIT training.
When done correctly, metabolic workouts can increase your body’s need to burn calories (to repair and maintain that muscle mass we just discussed) for up to 36 hours after your workout!
Now I know you’re wondering what you’re going to end up looking like when you put the focus on muscle instead of cardio because for decades they’ve been telling us that ‘cardio is the way to burn fat and muscle makes you bulky’, right?
Here’s the thing, there are many factors involved when it comes to what your physique will end up looking like – hormones, time under resistance, how much that resistance is, etc.
I’m here to tell you not to worry.
When you begin working in this direction, the first thing you’ll notice is strength gains, the second thing will be muscle tone and the third (only because you were having so much fun with the first two) will be the change of your body shape.
The only way you will get “huge” is with a large amount of dedicated effort to that specific goal.
So instead of avoiding weights (yes, lifting only 5lbs is considered avoidance as well) it’s time to change focus and start working toward building that muscle tone you’ve always secretly admired on other people.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re 27 or 87, if we don’t build our muscle tissue and maintain its health, our health will begin to go downhill.