By Michael Donlick and Phil Guarino
Flex Appeal Fitness Center
Have you ever wondered why the person walking on the treadmill for an hour a day never loses all of the weight they want to? Or why the step class instructor looks the same after being an instructor for 10 years? Well, the answer is complex – but we think we can cover the basics and give an understanding on how the body reacts to working out in a quick summary.
To change how your body looks (lose body fat), you need to create a small deficit between how many calories your body needs. Say your body needs 2,500 calories per day to look the way you do right now. Now you only give your body 2,100 calories by eating better and a little exercise, and your body will lose body fat.
Cardiovascular exercise is just that – a means to exercise your cardiovascular system. Yes, it burns calories and gives your body a workout. What most people do not realize is how fast your body adapts to this type of exercise. As your body adapts to cardiovascular exercise, you have to change the time, duration, or intensity just to get the same benefits. Ask a marathon runner to run a mile, and that is their warm up!
So, are we against cardiovascular exercise? Absolutely not! It is the correct tool to get your heart and lungs in better shape. It’s also a great tool in a complete exercise program, but it is not the only means necessary to get results in the gym! It is a piece of the puzzle and needs to be used correctly. As a matter of fact, most professional body builders do not do much, if any, cardio to get those ripped abs you see in the magazines!
The most underutilized tool at the gym are weights! Weight training always increases your body’s ability to burn calories. You burn calories while performing the exercise. Then the lean muscle gained burns more calories throughout the day. It’s a win, win situation! Don’t worry, you will not get huge muscles by doing the appropriate level of weight training. All fitness models do weight training; not too many people complain that a fitness model is too big!
So, in simple terms, eat better, workout with weights, do a little cardio, and you will get the body you’re striving for. Obviously, this is a very simple and generalized article. To really speed up the process and get the most out of your time at the gym, ask a professional. Personal trainers help people like you everyday. This is their chosen profession, and they want to help people get the results they are looking for.