Tip 1 - Group Class cardio isn't any better than regular cardio
I put out an article on cardio recently and why it should not be your go-to method for fat loss . If you participate in a group class style cardio workout, such as Zumba or Bodypump, then you may think you're exempt from the findings I presented. Sorry, but no...
In 2015, Berthiaume et al. found that participants of group exercise courses DRASTICALLY overestimate the amount of energy they burn during a session by nearly 70%.
In raw numbers, that's a difference of nearly 200 calories, which can easily add up over time if you're not aware of it.
Additionally, group classes suffer from all of the same shortcomings as traditional cardio when it comes to body composition: all they do it add to your energy deficit, which can be accomplished all the same by cutting calories from your diet, and most any form of cardio won't contribute to gaining any appreciable amount of lean mass.
Tip 2 - Carrying more muscle = "Free Cardio"
How important is that lean mass, though? Glad you asked.
In 1994, Bosselaers et al. took 10 bodybuilders & 10 lean control subjects to examine how their energy expenditure differed across 24-hours.
Even when sitting around doing nothing, the bodybuilders burned nearly 15% more calories over the course of a day when compared to control. And these control subjects had a similar level of leanness, meaning the obvious explanation here is that the bodybuilders were able to burn more calories by simply carrying more muscle mass (remember: lean tissue is expensive for your body to keep).
I keep close track of my own resting energy expenditure, as I do for all of my clients who are able to track body composition. Using myself as an example, the fact that I carry additional lean mass gives me a REE of roughly 2900 calories. A 15% reduction in that value would give me a REE of 2465 kcal. That's a difference of 435 calories.
Yes, even more than group cardio people *think* they're burning, and WAY more than they're actually burning.
As the tip says, think of it this way: gaining muscle = free cardio.
Tip 3 - If you want to lose fat, GO TO BED
Another thing I've been writing a lot about lately: Circadian Rhythm. You all need to put some respeck on its name.
I came across another research review today that really drives home what I've been talking about.
In that review, the authors note: "A recent study shows sleep duration correlates with the magnitude of weight loss as fat in response to caloric restriction; short sleepers appear to have more difficulty losing fat compared to long sleepers despite similar amount of weight loss."
This should be sounding all types of alarms for anyone trying to loss fat: YOU NEED TO GET ENOUGH SLEEP.
If you look up that study (here it is), you'll find this conclusion: "We observed a significant positive relationship between sleep duration and the loss of body fat, both in absolute (adjusted β = 0.72 kg/h; p < 0.05)."
Theoretically, this means that over time, each additional hour of sleep you get can result in an additional 1.5 lbs of fat loss. I know many of you would be plenty happy to lose "those last couple of pounds." You can literally do just that in the comfort of your own bed.
To support this, I'll take myself as an example: I take my body composition data every morning, today was no different.
I've been sick since the day before the New Year, so my sleep was all out of whack. I found that my progress starting this sixth week of contest prep wasn't similar to what I experienced last week, which was a great week of progress (and suprise suprise, full of good sleep).
For reference, from Monday to Wendesday, I had gained just under a pound of lean mass (remember, I take averages here, so the numbers may not be exact, but they show a definite trend) and my fat loss had completely stalled.
Last night, I finally got my first good-night's sleep of 2017; as a result, my body composition readings took a huge jump. I lost over a pound of fat & gained roughly another pound of muscle "overnight." At least that's what my measurement tell me, and they haven't been wrong yet.
No, I'm not trying to tell you good sleep will turn you into Arnold Schwarzenegger in a week. I'm telling you that if you want to optimize your body composition, and ESPECIALLY your rate of fat loss, then you NEED TO BE GETTING ENOUGH QUALITY SLEEP EACH AND EVERY NIGHT. It is permisive to your goals, not a magic bullet.
8+ hours with a consistent bed time & wake time should do the trick.
The techniques, strategies, and suggestions expressed in this website are intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. The author is not rendering medical advice of any kind, nor is this website intended to replace medical advice, nor to diagnose, prescribe or treat any disease, condition, illness or injury.