Burn body fat without(!) doing all of the extra cardio!

Burn body fat without(!) doing all of the extra cardio!
When most women think of wanting to lose weight and burning fat with exercise, images of long sessions on a treadmill or bike, running for an hour each day or highly intense exercise classes usually come to mind.  But what if there were a better way?  What if there were a way to lose that unwanted body fat without all of that heavy cardio training?  According to a new study, that is exactly what is possible:


In this study the researchers noted the following:

"Usually when we talk about obesity, body composition or weight loss, we only hear about aerobic exercise," said Lopez. "This paper shows we can use resistance training and achieve meaningful effects with a diet based on caloric reduction. We can reduce body fat percentage, whole-body fat mass, body weight and BMI. If you're comparing the literature, these effects are similar to aerobic exercise with caloric restriction in adults who are overweight or obese."

While this article highlights the benefits of weight lifting for resistance training, we should keep in mind that it is the principle of resistance training that really counts.  In other words, if we use resistance training properly we do not have to lift weights.

First, what is the working principle we need to focus on?  In resistance training it is all about time under tension. We need to use a resistance such as a weight or body weight that can apply a stress to the muscle to the point where the muscle fatigues, experiences microtears, and then recovers and grows.  This is how we achieve muscle growth and improvements in strength.

Another principle to look at is the amount of weight required and the time required.  Clinical studies show that exercising with light weights for high repetitions can yield similar gains as using heavy weight for a brief period of time; this is good news for those of us that do not want to lift heavy weights.

But what if you don't want to lift weights at all? What if you love your yoga and pilates and want to use these exercises to achieve loss of unwanted body fat but without having to do all of the extra cardio?

According to the research we need to do the following:

  *   Be on a progressive program that includes a calorie restrictive diet. Eating healthy and keeping the calories under those required to maintain body weight so your body taps into the stored fat for energy

  *   When performing exercise such as pilates, it will be important to take the exercise to failure. So in other words, you keep the muscle groups you are working on under enough tension for a long enough period of time that the muscle cannot do any more. These principles go back many decades, such as the work that Arthur Jones did when starting the nautilus program

For those of you that like to grab a short workout at home, try a wall sit. Place your back against a wall, and then slide down until your thighs are parallel to the ground.  Now hold that position for as long as you can. Do this about 4 days a week, and each time you do, try and increase the amount of time you hold this position. At first you might only be able to hold this position for 20 seconds, and that is ok. Try and work up to 2 minutes or more. What you will find is that this very brief period of exercise, when performed to failure, will get your legs stronger and firmer than you would have thought possible.


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