One of the questions I am most commonly asked about in terms of exercise is which type of workout is best for burning calories and shedding weight.
Most women have been told that in order to lose fat, they have to hit the treadmill or elliptical for hours at a time. While they initially see results, they typically hit some type of weight loss plateau. In addition, they see very little change to their overall body composition. They are a bit smaller, but don’t look any more fit than they did before they started working out.
I know the feeling. Working out without seeing results can be incredibly frustrating, which is why I am committed to helping women workout smarter...not harder.
If you want to shed unwanted weight, look more fit, feel stronger and burn fat effectively, you’ve got to do two types of workouts: HIIT and Strength Training.
Here’s why these are the most effective strategies to get the body you want.
Burn fat more effectively.
HIIT burns calories while working out, but continues to burn calories long after working out. The simplest explanation for this is that you are requiring more of your body during high intensity intervals in terms of the way your body gets and uses oxygen. After your workout is done, your body continues using that same pathway as it is repairing your muscles.
In addition, HIIT keeps your body guessing, which keeps your body working. Over time, your body becomes more efficient at running. For example, the first time you stepped on a treadmill to run, you probably found it a bit more challenging than the 20th time. That’s because your body adapted and was able to use less energy (calories) the 20th time than the 1st time. That’s why you see a lot of weight come off when you initially start running, but then eventually see a plateau...unless you run longer!
Research has also shown that HIIT workouts increase your body's resting metabolic rate for 24 hours after your workout is complete. Simply put, your metabolism speeds up for 24 hours after your HIIT workout.
Take way less time.
Because of the nature of HIIT, you can’t do it for too long. It is designed to be effective and efficient. The short bursts of high intensity exercise are meant to bring you to the edge of your oxygen stores so that your body is forced to dig deeper. This means most HIIT sessions won’t last much longer than 20 minutes, with some being as short as 4! That sure does beat an hour a day on the treadmill.
Won’t get boring.
Unlike long form cardio, HIIT comes in a variety of styles. You can do everything from sprints to burpees. No two workouts ever have to be the same which means you won’t ever be bored. You can do a Tabata one day, a sprint set another, then a plyo series the next. The same HIIT principles apply, but the workout can be varied!
Strength Training Workouts…
Build lean calorie burning muscle.
The only way to get lean and look toned is to increase your muscle mass. Because women lack the testosterone needed to bulk up, their muscle gains are going to be small. However, lifting weights is the only way to build that muscle. The more muscle mass you have, the faster your metabolism will be. It is estimated that for every pound of muscle you gain, your body burns 35-50 more calories per day. So, 4 pounds of muscle means 120-200 more calories per day burned, which is 10 pounds per year.
Shape your body.
Without weight training you can lose weight, however, you will simply become a smaller version of what you were. If you want to shape your body into a lean, toned, fit looking physique, you are going to have to build some muscle while shedding those unwanted pounds.
This means your overall weight loss might not be as rapid, but with a solid strength training program, you will see fat loss and get a leaner, more shapely version of you.
Strengthen your bones.
Weight training not only builds muscle, it builds bones as well. Increasing your bone density fights against osteoporosis later in life. In addition, it can keep you from injury in terms of small fractures. In the same way you increase the need for your muscles to work hard during a strength training workout, you are also requiring your bones to work...thus strengthening them as well. One study found that women who did high-intensity weight training two days per week for a year were able to increase their bone density by one percent, while those not in a weight training program actually decreased their bone density. This was the case in more than one study, showing the positive benefits weight training has on bone density.
Ladies, it’s time to step away from the elliptical and start working out smarter. You truly can start to see some incredible results even while spending less time in the gym.
Talk to you soon,
P. S. If you are interested in learning how to implement these strategies along with some simple, but highly effective nutritional strategies, check out my FAT Loss online program. This program will get you Fast Attainable Results that last! Read more about the program and sign up here!