This post is the part 10 of The Ultimate Weight Loss Guide
At this stage, if possible, it is advisable to edit the exercise routine a little bit by adding the acceleration element. Such type of interval training with varying speed turns out to be more effective for losing weight than a lengthy walk of consistent intensity.
For example, I practice fast-paced walking interchanged with jogging. I jog for about 100 meters and then walk for 200-300 meters. The purpose of this interchange is to maintain your heart rate within the aerobic zone. That way fat burns most effectively. Nowadays there is a huge selection of sports watches and fitness trackers to track your pulse.
It is best not to exceed the upper limit of the aerobic zone which is defined by the following formula: 180 minus your age. For example, I’m 50 years old and my upper limit of the aerobic zone is 180 – 50 = 130 beats per minute. My optimal heart rate range for fat-burning is 120-130 beats per minute. By interchanging walking with slow jogging I maintain my heart rate within this zone and achieve maximum output from my morning exercise in terms of burning fat.
Interval training is a type of physical training that involves a series of low- to high-intensity exercise workouts: for instance, alternation between sprinting and jogging.
The task at hand which can be completed through interval training is a short-term achievement of the aerobic threshold (that is the degree of intensity which triggers the body to switch into the aerobic mode and begin using carbs instead of fats as a source of energy) and a return to the usual intensity level.
Interval training includes a whole variety of exercises: jogging, swimming, cycling as well as working with cardio-vascular machines – a treadmill, exercise bike, a stepper and others. In terms of workload conditions interval training is a series of aerobic (low-intensity intervals) and anaerobic (high-intensity intervals) workouts. Workload intensity level can be altered by varying the following parameters: speed, distance, exercise heart rate.
A recent study by a Sydney-based University of New South Wales compared the results of a 15-week program of high-intensity exercises performed at varying speed and of long-term steady-intensity workouts conducted among young women.
Although both two programs proved to be effective, the researchers concluded that high-intensity interval training allows to burn more fat. Women did an 8-second bicycle sprint, followed by a 12-second of leisurely cycling and repeated the routine for 20 minutes. The researchers found that these participants lost 3 times as much fat compared to those who maintained the same speed for 40 minutes.
Interval trainings make it possible to increase the efficiency of your workout and cut its duration. This kind of training was initially adopted by fitness coaches from the professional world of sports. Interval training is when running, jumping, sit ups, pushups and any other types of high-intensity exercises are interspersed with short periods of rest.
Eventually, you can add other kinds of sports with alternated workloads and varying motions. For instance, such sports can include tennis, boxing, badminton, cycling, cross-country skiing and hiking.
When the excessive fat mass has been cut down by 70 – 90 %, you can gradually introduce resistance training and alternate them with aerobic exercises.
In order to tone up your muscles and shape up the body alternate between aerobic exercises (our favorite walking) with strength training and add exercises for your arms, back, legs, waist and chest.
Strength or resistance training
Strength training as opposed to aerobic training is not aimed at burning fat. Power exercises are responsible for regeneration and incremental buildup of muscle bulk, which has been diminishing over the duration of stages 1 and 2. Feel free to work out anywhere, either in a fitness center coached by seasoned trainers or at home where you can use common dumbbells or even bottles filled with water.
Scientists from Tokyo Metropolitan University have found out that a 20-minute strength training done prior to aerobic exercises increases the fat-burning results by 10 %. Furthermore, all power exercises were performed using small weights, at low intensity and with a high number of repetitions (reps).
You may begin by doing a light strength training before proceeding to aerobic exercises. 3 exercises for your abdomen (an area for improvement – your belly), 3 – for your thighs: alternate between lifting your right and left foot while lying on your side.
The benefits of strength training
Aerobic exercises do help burn fat yet thus we inadvertently encourage the body to accumulate more fat deposits. That is why the body will seek ways to restore the fat reserves as soon as possible. All body systems are calibrated to treat fats as the primary source of energy, therefore, fat deposits are in high demand as fuel for aerobic exercises.
The body adapts to any kind of physical training by following the principle: “the more you spend, the more I save”. The endocrine system adapts, too, because at this point it is focused even more on stimulating the processes of stockpiling fats as a source of fuel.
Fat does not accumulate only because we burn it on a regular basis by doing our aerobic walks in the mornings. Your body would be happy to replenish its fat reserves back to their original level but there is simply no time for it. That is why even a short-term discontinuation of aerobic exercises will lead to an immediate accumulation of fats.
This brings us to the conclusion that aerobic exercises in their own right eventually can make anyone more inclined to gain back the lost weight. Indeed, this explains the phenomenon of rapid weight gain characteristic of former professional athletes. After they retire from professional sports they start to gain weight rapidly and irrevocably. As long as they adhered to their aerobic exercise routines, they kept their bodies in perfect shape and fit for pro sports.
However, the very same aerobic workload has made them more susceptible to gaining excess weight. In their case, the weight gain and consequently the approach to treating it are supposed to be carried out in accordance to other patterns and regulations. Yet we will not repeat their mistakes. We will learn from them instead!
The first and the most essential conclusion: it is impossible to retain the achieved results with rare or irregular aerobic training practices (for instance, even if you do a 5-mile walk a day yet do it only once or twice a week).
The second conclusion: at some point of this program an introduction of power exercises becomes a necessity because they facilitate the restoration and gradual buildup of your muscle mass.
If somewhere near the end of your second stage you start to alternate aerobic exercises with strength training, your body will get confused. It is going to feel at a loss as to what it should expect to happen the next day and how much energy it needs to store.
As a result, after serious deliberation, it will get ready for strength training as the toughest workload. And since the primary source of energy to be expended during strength training is creatine phosphate and glycogen stored in your muscles then the effect of super recovery kicks in which leads to a gradual increase of glycogen reserves.
Mind you, not fat reserves! Your body begins to adjust to new conditions: it changes its focus from the stockpiling (restoration) of fats to stockpiling (restoration) of carbohydrates (glycogen). Which is, basically, what we were trying to achieve in the first place.
As glycogen is the primary source of energy when strength training is involved, the body concentrates all its resources on the task of accumulating as much glycogen as possible while fats as a source of fuel take a back seat. In the end, we achieve the final goal: we transform our metabolism and the body becomes less prone to gain extra weight.
The fat-burning strength training program for this weight loss stage you can find in the bonus article: https://weightlosster.com/fat-burning-strength-training.
What about our muscles?
Eventually the number of quick muscle fibers will increase. As a result, your attitude towards strength training undergoes dramatic changes. In due time you will come to enjoy going to the gym. The endocrine system’s mode of operation undergoes some changes, too.
Now it can be more efficient in stimulating the mobilization of resources in stressful circumstances. Anabolic and lipid depositing processes have become significantly slower. Your body is adapting and beginning to function according to its basic program given to it at birth.
Having completed the first and the second stages you will be able to tell from your own experience that aerobic exercises are sufficiently effective in burning fats. It may as well be the reason why many of those who are trying to lose weight become reluctant, to put it mildly, to introduce strength training into their lives. Some people are unnecessarily apprehensive of bulking up their physique too much because of power exercises.
You have to keep in mind that dieting regulations alone cannot make your body attractive again and that strength training is a must. Diet plans alone do not affect our muscle bulk. It’s simply not enough to cut back on your food intake. Your task is to get a beautiful and well-built body.
Then we will shape your body according to your idea of beauty and the right proportions. We will do our best to get rid of the shapeless flabby muscles and sagging skin. These little “bags of skin” which you inherited from the past fat deposits, need to be filled up with something. Then let the fats give way to muscles!
Numerous studies have shown that resistance training makes a valuable contribution to body shaping as well as to maintaining the attained level of weight. Well-developed muscles properly support the spinal column preventing the development of spinal disc herniation as well as abdominal hernia. Equally important is the fact that it is the muscles themselves that actually burn fat. The more is your muscle mass the higher is the secretion of enzymes which help to burn fat.
With age, a female body invariably loses some of its muscle mass at the rate of about 2,5 kg for every decade. It is a natural physiological process. Loss of muscles leads to slower metabolism, while, as you may recall, the metabolic rate is directly associated with the speed of your weight loss process.
Therefore it is best to focus not on bulking up, but instead on the task of restoring and strengthening your muscles. Thus, it is your muscles that will provide your body with more tissues which subsequently can be utilized to your advantage for the purpose of burning fat.
That is why a carefully balanced training program reinforced with aerobic and power exercises is the tool which will help you eliminate the residual fat deposits as quickly as possible. Once we have introduced strength training, we have to change our dietary structure with respect to new tasks at hand. In order to build up muscles, we will require a great amount of proteins while for the restoration of energy we will need the right type of carbohydrates.
GO TO THE PART 11 OF THE ULTIMATE WEIGHT LOSS GUIDE >>> Sample Daily Schedule for the Second Stage of Fat Loss
What do you think about it? I would be very grateful if you share your opinion in comments!