Though I happen to be of the camp that thinks all, or at least most, fitness is fun, we cannot lose sight of the fact that “fun” exercise is not always synonymous with EFFICIENT exercise. Let me explain, using a few scenarios to illustrate.
Emily is a #cardiocrazy and group exercise junkie. She starts off her morning with an hour of steady-state cardio on the treadmill. Been there? *raises hand* She then makes her way into an hour-long Zumba class (for the record, this would never happen… Zumba I do not 😉 ) and caps off the morning with an hour of yoga because she knows it is good for her (this would happen ha #meatheadyogi). She burned up a ton of calories, incorporated some restorative exercise, which is “good,” but heads home only to dive head-first into a bag of pretzels to satisfy her raging hunger… er, is it cravings? Oh. And she may be back tonight for a spin class, schedule-permitting.
> In short, Emily has been at the gym WAY. TOO. LONG. Unless you are a professional athlete or fitness competitor whose job it is to stay in shape, there is no reason you need to be exercising for hours each day. For one, it is excessive. And, just think of how much else you could accomplish if you streamlined your workout routine so that you are in, out and done in less than an hour. QT with the fam? Friends? Work? Relax? Sign me up!
Fast-forward six months and Emily has undergone what I like to call #cardiorehab. While [steady-state] dates with the treadmill still happen, they are far less frequent and used strategically within her weekly exercise plan. She has learned the value in lifting heavy weights, that intensity NOT duration is what drives results in the gym and that the caloric model of metabolism explains only part of the equation. [That is, sustainable fat loss requires both caloric deficit AND hormonal balance, the latter of which is often overlooked in talking about diet and exercise. How many of you have heard someone say to someone trying to lose weight, “just exercise more and eat less?” Using exercise as the primary tool for weight loss creates a slippery slope when really, nutrition is what gets sustainable fat loss over time.]
With this knowledge, Emily has learned (and continues to practice) to prioritize short-duration, high-intensity workouts over those that are longer in duration and more moderate in intensity. In other words, the “fun” exercise (i.e. yoga, group ex, running) serves to complement NOT replace the heavier lifts and sprint workouts (i.e. HIIT cardio). By maximizing calorie-burn both during and after the workout (up to 24-48 hours?!), THIS is efficient exercise; and exercise that need be fueled by more than that which constitutes the carbatarian diet. <– That, I was.
**It is worth mentioning here that there is nothing inherently wrong with steady-state cardio, group fitness classes and/or restorative exercise. In fact, each can have a place in a balanced lifestyle, if you *choose.* But, IF fat loss is your primary goal, these options do NOT give you the most bang for your proverbial buck.
#FitFun Friday [No-Equipment Required] Workout #1:
Perform a five to ten-minute dynamic warm-up, then set your clock for 30-45 minutes. Moving directly from one exercise into the next, push hard then rest until you can push hard again. If you get to the bottom, work your way back up (starting with 10 reps). As always, be safe, modify as needed and make sure to get a quick stretch or leisure walk, time-permitting. See how far you get, record it and try to beat it next time!
*REMEMBER: Quality rest leads to quality work and quality work leads to quality rest. #legooo
90 jumping jacks
80 air squats
70 step-ups (do NOT alternate; if you don’t have a platform and risers, use a bench, a chair, a half-wall)
60 lunges (alternate)
30 ice skaters
20 lateral lunges (do NOT alternate)
If you try it, let me know what you think on my Facebook page!
Are you doing hours of exercise and still look exactly the same? I know I was. If you are ready for a change, and are interested in learning more about hormonal fat loss exercise and nutrition, be on the lookout for my 8-Week #CardioRehab program, COMING SOON!