Fat loss is the main objective of everyone exercising. But very little amounts of people are achieving this? Why?
Most individuals’ cycle of weight loss ends up like this….
You’ve stopped being as active as you once were…
You’ve put on fat
You’ve lost muscle
You want to look better.
You’ve tried and done all the things you are supposed to, but they haven’t worked as much as you’d like. That isn’t your fault.
You did all of those things, and possibly drank those weird tea cleanses, because you want to be slim, trim, hold a good amount of muscle, look good in your clothes, be and feel attractive, and feel good.
Is this a bad thing?
No, but when people attempt to change their health they adopt all of those gimmicky ploys throughout mainstream media and shy away from resistance training like it is the plague.
With resistance training being so effective at pretty much any endeavor people want to take on for their body, why are people still slaving away their 6-7 pm on the treadmill?
Has that worked for anyone?
A few reasons why people still do that…
Beginning something new that they know nothing about is hard and scary
It is stigmatized by the general crowd that gravitates to it
Weight training is exceptionally hard
They don’t want to look bulky
Reflect on the people you often see on those cardio machines, or reflect on the last duration you were really dedicated to exercising and were really consistent on cardiovascular training…
They’re running and biking at their gym for a result, at least I hope they have a result in mind, being sure to stay out of the athletic jock zone, but has their result even been somewhat acceptable to their standards or sustainable? Have they gotten what they wanted out of that drudgery they call the stairmaster?
Do they have the body they thought they’d have with the 8 months of their “a clean diet, no alcohol, and exercise”?
I’ll tell you,
Typically, they still haven’t achieved it…
Or they’re vacillating between a fatter version of their un-muscular self, back and forth each year. They haven’t gotten their desired body still.
But do people lift weights (resistance train)? Even when the latter hasn’t worked for them….
Because that’s not exercise, that’s ego boosting, I’M ABOVE ALL OF THAT I’M A VIRTUOUS SNOWFLAKE.
Losing Fat is the Objective NOT Losing Weight
First, let’s assess some things there are some misnomers strewn throughout the typical train of thought for weight loss, they go a little something like this.
You want to lose fat and exercise does that, so it is deemed good. Right? So exercising is okay.
Let’s begin with the reasons why you choose to move your body at all.
Why are you exercising?
“To lose weight!”
Kind of, you’re wanting to lose FAT.
Okay so you want to lose fat why?
“To be healthier!”
Yes, you do, that brings us to a very important point, no matter what you eat, having excess weight, even if it is gained from eating “healthy foods”, is in and of itself unhealthy.
being healthier is not just eating healthy foods, it is also being at a healthy ratio of fat and muscle.
Trigger warning i’m going to have some callous words about having a high body fat percentage.
Being fat is unhealthy.
It comes with:
Increased disease risk
lower energy levels
More prone to heart attacks. Even if you are fat and still eat kale everyday.
“So being at a lower weight will promote cardiovascular health. I just have to be at a lower weight then all my problems solved?”
No. You have to have to lose fat and preserve/build muscle.
“So, I just eat bland foods, abstain from alcohol, and blast my thighs, glutes, and entire lower body tendons on my Stairmaster and treadmill until I’m a thinner version of myself? There has to be pain, or I gain?”
Wrong. No. Stop it.
As a caveat, I am not disparaging the effort what so ever of exercising, it is good you are wanting change and taking initiative.
What I want to do is make sure your initiative isn’t futile and a waste of time. I want to promote the idea that you can waste your time in the gym doing the wrong things with an unrealistic expectation. Aka running or elipticalling yourself silly will not allow you to lose fat and build muscle.
If you think you’re going to lose the majority of your fat through long, strenuous bouts of cardio and dieting. You are severely mistaken and on the path for disappointment.
Also, your health is going to suffer and you’re going to lose muscle mass during those long bouts.
It is not peoples fault whatsoever and change is hard, because this attitude of exercise is ingrained in mainstream media. The incessant touting of you’ve got to burn it to earn it, purchase this $29.99 metal cage that you do crunches in, THAT is what you’re missing from you and your dream body! Want a curvy butt? Drink tea tree oil cleanses. You will be whole then!
This misinformation and chatter is criminal.
I also am aware that stopping yourself and witnessing that you’ve been in a rinse and repeat cycle that needs to change is difficult to do, especially with everyday obligations of family, work, children, etc. People fall within fixated patterns of their life, its inevitable.
So, it is hard.
and in fact, here is proof it is not easy, according to the CDC, the percent of adults age 20 years and over with overweight, including obesity is at 70.7%.
That is unacceptable.
But another real reason individuals don’t lift weights because its deemed vain, associated with unintelligent block heads, and it is purported to be self-absorbed.
We need to get passed that idea.
You’re not going to look like those identity hounds. You’re not going to all of a sudden be wearing neon garb on a Saturday morning drinking out of a shaker bottle with some tart powdered mixture embellishing how “GREAT IT TASTES”.
You know who I’m talking about, the tight neon t-shirts with their desired “.COM” plastered across their chest. We also need to get passed the idea that just doing cardio will give you the HEALTHY body you want and that you will turn into “those guys” if you start lifting weights.
We need to understand that training and moving your body with resistance, not just running and accumulating miles, is where your body thrives. Its meant to move. The muscles are meant to push and pull with resistance on your back and extremities to a degree
The idea that you don’t want to do an activity because others who do it look potentially silly, bulky, and grunt their faces off while THEY’RE doing it is inane and just an excuse. Don’t worry about those guys, THEY look foolish. Not you.
If you met everyone you drove next to on the freeway I’m sure you’d come across some characters that would have questionable attire and life choices. You’re not accountable by association. But you are accountable for the status of your health.
The huge stigma of bumbling juice heads with lifting weights that needs to vanish. Individuals don’t lift weights because its deemed vain, associated with unintelligent block heads, self-absorbed, and the one that takes the cake, and one of the most popular reasons, they don’t want to get “bulky”.
This just shouldn’t be.
It needs to vanish because resistance training is overall better for your goals.
That is if your goals are weight loss and promoting overall health.
A study of over 8000 men from ages 20-60 were reviewed and the ones with higher musculature were much less likely to develope cancer and cardiovascular disease.
You’re not going to get bulky and over cumbersome. Generally, that takes years and years and drugs to fulfill that existence of the body builder (as well as a body building program that requires 2 hours in the gym everyday).
So don’t fret.
And ladies, you have 1/7th of the testosterone (male hormone that plays a large role in muscle building) of men have per liter in your blood. Building muscle is downright a chore for you “guys”. You are not going to get bulky lifting weights… you simply don’t have the hormonal capacity.
Viva la Resistance
Weight training (resistance training) is typically superior to any other exercise when it comes to FAT loss and changing body composition.
Because its more effective at losing fat, while preserving lean body mass (very important) compared than cardio and dieting on their own.
The better ratio your body is composed of from muscle (lean mass) to fat, the less chances you will suffer from all cause mortality and cardiovascular disease
Resistance training is more effective at building muscle as well. Something you want.
“BUT I DON’T WANT TO GET BULKY”
Remember as stated above, that takes years and years and syringes upon syringes. Ladies you do not have the hormonal profile to build large amounts quickly to become bulky.
Cardio just isn’t the best option, if you have to choose one
I am not saying cardiovascular training and endurance training is bad. If you want to lose weight sure, but if you want to lose fat, it is obsolete in comparison to resistance training.
When cardio is added to resistance training, it reaps some better results.
But people have finite amount of time. Those calories they burn through cardio can just be subtracted from their diet.
I am saying for a normal person, one who is pressed for time, who wants to lose weight, they should be focusing on resistance training through compound movements for the majority of their time they spend in the gym, or allocate more time to it, not pumping their extremities senseless on their elliptical for an arbitrary “calories burned” number.
The more cardio you do the more stress that is on your body
If you log large durations of miles it increases your likelihood of a atrial fibrillation
In some research cardio has shown to actually increase weight gain
If you want to feel good, and look good, too much cardio can be an impediment to that result.
Reasons why cardio doesn’t work well
Cardio up regulates the metabolism and cravings. More on cravings here.
It is very easy to eat back all of the calories you’ve burned in your training session.
Remember we want to lose fat, cardio DOES allow us to lose weight faster, but muscle is included in that.
If you want to look good, you need to hold onto your muscle, if not build more, during your fat loss or you’ll be just holding the skinny-fat look.
But it’s the thought that counts….right? If I spend 4 days a week in the gym the fat just has to fall off regardless of what I’m doing in it?
I think you already know the answer to that claim now…
The effort you exert doesn’t matter if the result isn’t achieved or you’re progressively getting closer to it.If you want to lose fat and preserve muscle, the most optimal way is through resistance training.
Resistance training changes how you look. Cardio also does change how you look, but too much of it negatively impacts your composition.
Another crucial factor people don’t like to admit is your health is very dependent upon how you look. If you skip out on 3 nights of sleep you are going to look ghastly, people are going to be concerned because the look you have shows that you are in an unhealthy state.
But when you have 20 lbs of additional weight wrapped around your waist, you are overweight and look unhealthy. But it is not acknowledged.
This tip toeing around the area and people aren’t concerned for your health is a double edged sword. Regardless of the idea of “fat shaming”, your muscle mass compared to the ratio of fat, determines how you look. If you look fat, it’s because you are fat. And if you are fat, you are unhealthy. End of health analysis. Your appearance reflects your health status. Just as how you look when you’ve under slept you look unhealthy and in fact are in an unhealthy state.
When I say how you look I’m referring to the composition of your body.
The composition of your body matters quite greatly, much more important than the numbers on your scale this following Tuesday.
The composition of your body refers to how much of your body is fat, muscle, bones, tendons etc your body has on its frame. No matter what anyone says, this greatly correlates to how you look.
You want to have a good amount of muscle mass on this frame with limited body fat. Cardio does not do this optimally to your frame.
Having more muscle and lower amounts of fat is more desirable, because you are really looking healthier.
You can have a 140 lbs man who is 10% body fat
You can have a 180 lbs man who is 10% body fat
While the 180 lbs man has 4 lbs more fat than the other guy, he is also holding 40 lbs more muscle than the other. and they look STARKLY DIFFERENT
Even if we don’t say it the proof is everywhere.
Very obese people are not on the cover of health magazines. It’s because we have an innate knowledge that that is not good for us.
Why do you think very attractive muscular men and women are plastered on every type of medium?
It’s because we are drawn to it, and drawn to it we are because those attributes are signifiers of health, vitality, immunity to disease, and wellness.
As humans, we are drawn to healthy individuals, it catches our eye. And for good reason. Our lives depend on it!
It is because our ancestors who wanted their kids to be strong and healthy had a much better chance if their future parent was strong and healthy. Signifiers of strength and health are low levels of body fat and muscle mass. Those who have strong and healthy children had a much more likelihood of surviving. Everyone wants their children surviving. So, our ancestors who found healthy and strong people desirable had a much more likelihood of passing on their genes. We are the same as our ancestors.
So, it isn’t vain, unintelligent, or egocentric to want to change how your body looks. It is a massive signifier of health.
It is self-preserving, lowers your risk for disease, and allowing yourself to be the best possible you.
This means changing your body composition.
It is silly to spend all of your precious time slaving away on a machine not getting the results you want in order to do that. You’ve got to burn fat.
The best ways to burn fat and build muscle
Resistance training burns more FAT than cardio does
You need to be focusing on the movements that require the highest demand of energy.
These promote the most metabolic stress and mechanical stimuli to burn fat and preserve your musculature.
Weight training has been shown to burn more fat comparable to cardio.
Cardio has shown to decrease your lean body mass (muscle)
If you are going to do cardio, the shorter the better
So, forget the stigmatic representation of the dumbbell area and the squat rack. Ignore the grunters, stringers, and the obnoxious bright red beats headphones.
You are there for your health and they’re there for their identity. Don’t sacrifice your time, effort, and health because you don’t want to resistance train and be a “meat head” you wont accrue their identity or stature, but you will lose fat much faster and have some fun learning something new along the way.