Published April 01, 2014

Exercise Which Type and How Much?

It’s so impressive how many people jump into a gym to spend hours on a treadmill thinking it’s the best way for a rapid fat loss. And how wrong they are!

Look, for example at a marathon runner, who has the body of a stick insect. Look at the sprinter, with all his leg muscles highly defined. The reason is quite simple. Excess of cardio activity overstresses adrenal glands, which secrete too much cortisol. This leads to muscle break down, compared to high intensity training, which builds lean muscle.

The situation for overweight people is even worse. Those dealing with insulin resistance will have too much glucose released from the liver. During cardio exercises, they will store fat instead of burning it. The explanation is simple: Moderate activity makes muscles try to be efficient in energy usage, which means it will try to burn less fuel every time the same exercise is done.  High intensity training requires the muscle to adapt to intense activity, growing bigger, stronger and requiring more fuel (fat) to burn, even during sleep! Attempting to burn calories by cardio exercise is not a good way to burn fat.


So, what is the best training for rapid fat loss?

Resistance training, weight exercises or anything related to short intense bursts of exercise.


How much is too much of high intensity exercise? 

The goal is not pushing you to the limit. The idea is more like stimulating metabolic changes that maximize fat burning, by muscle growth, without too much stress. Once you achieve certain fitness, you should not require more muscle growth. Recovery will be more important. Excess of exercise will cause muscle breakdown and a process of fat storage will build again.

Weight exercise and high intensity training will achieve rapid fat loss, mental and physical benefits. But it is very important not to over stress your activity, so you must listen to your body.


How do you know you are properly recovered?

When you feel good and you wish going to work out, when this feeling is spontaneous, you are fine. On the contrary, when you feel too tired to start your activity, give yourself a chance.


How important is the diet related to workout?

Rapid fat loss starts in the kitchen, not in the gym. If you eat too much, you will never be able to burn the excess of calories, so you will gain weight. This doesn’t mean you can’t have a piece of cake once in a while, moderation is essential.

Excess of cardio exercises increases appetite and overeating, so these kinds of exercises should not be the only physical activity to perform.