I hope you are feeling well today.
In this issue I will be featuring an exercise article by George Hynec. He is a health and fitness professional who runs a personal training studio in Cherrybrook. George will be speaking at the Born To Win seminar and offering some great free services to attendees.
In the next issue I will be featuring an article by myself on peak performance in all areas of life but for today, I hope you enjoy reading this research article and gain some insight into the science of exercise.
An offer from George Hynec
Sign up for the upcoming Born to Win seminar and get a free muscle building / fat burning program with nutrition guideline as well as a free phone consultation from MA Training worth $100.
This has got to be a good deal considering the cost of this life changing seminar is only $75. Click on the link below to learn more.
Simply send me an email indicating you have registered. Once i confirm with Chris Lyons I will contact you with some questions re your goals and then build a program for you.
I am going to be taking part in this seminar, taking a look at mental toughness and exercise, what is the best way to train, affects of training on hormones, endurance vs intervals training and more. We'll also do a kettlebell demonstration.
Aerobic vs Anaerobic
Much has been written in popular magazines about aerobic training and how it is the only way one can burn fat. In this article George Hynec takes a critical look at aerobic vs anaerobic exercise as well as other ways of burning fat.
Aerobic means ‘with oxygen'. Oxygen burns body fat. Aerobic training, like brisk walking, jogging, swimming or bike riding, stimulates oxygen through our body and helps the blood vessels supply nutrients to muscles, flush waste products and repair muscular growth. It takes about 20-30 minutes to achieve the fat burning phase. Aerobic training burns fat only during training.
It is amazing how many people, trainers included, still cling on to the idea that the only way to burn fat is to do heaps of aerobic training. I guess this myth became entrenched over time in the same way as body building protocols became, for a long time, the only way to build muscle. How many times have you been told by an ‘exercise guru’ that “the best way to burn fat is to exercise in the fat burning zone"? To lot of people out there that is still the only solution. OK, it does add to the energy deficit and overall calorie balance that favors fat loss. But it's not the only way of fat loss success – after all if that was the case there would not be any overweight distance runners.
The biggest problem with aerobic training is that you get better at it. For example if you are doing 5 km runs day after day, the work required to run those 5 k’s will become less and less as you get fitter. So, to continue to improve you either go further (do more work for the same amount of calories) or you run it faster. Going further kind of defeats the purpose. Not a lot of fun running for an hour to burn the calories you once burned in half an hour? And going faster involves the same problem. Eventually, the new speed becomes too easy for you and you have to go more intense to get the same benefits. Quite simply going any harder will send your body into the anaerobic zone.
Therefore, at some point you are not doing aerobics any more. So, if you have to stop doing it at some point to get the benefits you seek why not do anaerobic work to begin with?
From the above example it is clear that our body adapts easily to aerobic activity hence it is an inefficient way to burn fat because firstly, we need to continually extend the cardio session to maintain the same calorie burn (which is impractical) and secondly, our body metabolism returns to normal shortly after. Prolonged aerobic exercise has also been shown to be associated with increased levels of glucocorticoid, hormones which are catabolic in nature.
Our metabolic rate is what determines how many calories we burn each day. The key is not just how many calories we can burn during exercise, but how many calories we can force the body to burn all the time.
Studies have been done comparing the effects of weight training vs aerobic training e.g. “Effects of resistance vs. aerobic training combined with an 800 calorie liquid diet on lean body mass and resting metabolic rate”. (Journal of the American College of Nutrition, Vol. 18, No. 2, 115-121 (1999).
In this particular study the subjects were split into two groups: an aerobic training group and a resistance training group. The aerobic group performed 4 hours per week of aerobic exercise. The resistance training group performed 2-4 sets of 8-15 reps. 10 exercises, three times per week (the resistance program was very basic, but began with 2 sets of each exercise and progressed to 4 sets of each exercise).
The results showed that both groups lost weight, however the resistance training group lost significantly more fat and did not lose any lean body mass, even at only 800 calories per day. Also, they actually increased resting metabolism compared to the aerobic group which decreased metabolism.
The conclusion one would draw from this is that increasing our metabolism improves fat loss. Anaerobic training is more appropriate to lose fat since it speeds the caloric deficit as well as burn calories for many hours after training (afterburn effect).
These findings have been supported by other studies but have been disputed by Dr. Eric Ravussin of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center (Louisiana State University). His research challenges that adding muscle mass boosts metabolism. “Tests on overweight people show that a calorie is just a calorie, whether lost by dieting or by running”. And on the theory that muscle helps us lose fat "If anything, highly trained people are highly efficient, so they burn fewer calories at rest." The research team also found that dieting alone did not appear to cause muscle loss along with fat as is commonly believed.
The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, is one of the few done under controlled conditions that can actually demonstrate what happens to a human body while dieting and exercising. The researchers said that “As long as the energy deficit is the same, body weight, fat weight, and abdominal fat will all decrease in the same way." And their recommendation ? Pretty much the same old recipe - "For overall health, an appropriate program of diet and exercise is still the best".
Well, here we have it. For best results it boils down to doing bit of both. Combination of aerobic and anaerobic training (see below) gives us a more ‘wholesome’ approach to achieving great levels of fitness.
Cardio respiratory (aerobic) exercise - walking, jogging, running, cycling, swimming, aerobics, aqua aerobics, cross-country skiing, rowing, skating. Muscle endurance - same activities as above, but using light weights for high repetitions.
High intensity intervals. Same activities as above, but done at much higher intensities for shorter intervals. In other words short bursts of intense muscle activity. Also known as ‘sprinting’.
Strength training (weight lifting), calisthenics (push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups), isometric exercise.
· Reduce the risk of injuries
· Prevent repetitive stress on specific joint
· Counter the possibility of boredom
· Add variety to your workouts to keep you motivated
· Develop the entire body, rather than specific areas
· Improve more than one energy system
The other key factor to consider in fat loss program is the amount of time spent on exercise. Most people are not prepared to do the time! A study done at the University of Wyoming showed that it takes at least 5 hours a week to see real body composition changes. Researchers studied more then 1000 people and proved that those who trained for less than that were not happy with the way they looked and felt. Those who trained for 5 hours or more per week tended to be happy with the way they looked and felt about themselves.
No fat loss program is complete without sound nutrition. I often use a system of macronutrient rotation to stimulate metabolism, i.e. you rotate the 3 major macronutrients – protein, fat and carbs. Exercise routines are structured in synergy with your food cycling. You will put your body through very intense physical activity to the point of overtraining, however the overtraining is ‘controlled’. Pretty much the same way as elite athletes condition themselves for competition. After 36 days of nutrient / exercise cycling, you back off at the point when you get very close to the edge and go through a recovery and strength building phase for 10 days. The program is divided into 3 rounds with 3 phases in each round described briefly below:
Phase 1 - low carb with fat loss, lactic acid and HIIT (high intensity interval) training. In this phase you are forcing your body to rely on fat for energy and setting it up carb load phase. In this phase you are allowed quite high intake of fat (mainly good fat that is). About 100-130g per day for an average male and 70-100 for a female. Carbs are low – about 30g per day.
Phase 2 – nutrient isolation with HIIT / rest training. This is where we go through fat and carb deprivation forcing your body further to burn body fat for energy, then we deprive the body of protein and fat by carbo loading (fruits-only day). This is setting you up for a desperate need for protein.
Phase 3 - low fat (protein and carb loading) with muscle rounds, HIIT, super set training, triple drop and triple add set training. In PH1 you created a need for carbs. Low carb eating increases your sensitivity to insulin and carbs. During this switch from low to high/moderate carb diet your body will store everything it can due to rapid surge in insulin levels. So in this phase you will be storing carbs and protein which is then used for rapid muscle building. The storage will settle down after couple of days and your body returns to fat burning mode. During this phase it is important to protein load particularly on the first day. Take 1 scoop of protein (20g) every 2 hours putting your total protein intake from the shakes to 160g. Body will just suck it up increasing the muscle building and fat burning effectiveness. This will increase your calorie intake but it is only 1 day and your muscles will thank you as you put them through some hard workouts in this phase which focuses on muscle building.
As you can see from the above description your metabolism does not know whether it’s coming or going, eliminating any possibility for a slow down, so typical with most diets, particularly with low calorie ones.
The bottom line is – your body will never feel that it has to hold onto fat stores to survive, which is where most diets go wrong. In addition, as exercise is cycled as well, your muscles cannot adapt to any particular training protocol.
Written by George Hynec of MA Training.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article and I really hope it opens your eyes to your exercise options
To your continued success,
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