A Weight Loss Secret That Works For Everyone
Can’t shed those extra pounds? There is a simple trick to making them come off…and it just so happens this trick can also help shorten your workout.
An Intro…or more like an Aside
I thought about this “weight-loss trick” the other day when I started wearing my MotoACTV watch again. The very first day I started wearing my MotoACTV watch and heart rate monitor again I realized that I was not jogging at my typical intensity level (i.e., my heart rate was lower than normal for my typical jogs). This worried me a bit because I thought I was jogging at the same intensity without the watch (which I had not worn for more than 3 months). I thought I had grown so aware of myself that I could maintain my intensity level without actually monitoring it…but I guess I was wrong.
Longer story short, when I started wearing the watch and monitor again I shed 2-1/2 lbs within the first week. I am 100% sure it had to do with tracking/monitoring and increasing my runs’ intensity.
It’s All About Calories
We all know that slow and steady wins the race. This is even true when it comes to burning fat…but weight loss is all about burning calories! And it just so happens that slow and steady is not the trick to losing those few extra pounds…especially if you find yourself at a weight-loss plateau. If you want to lose weight you have to burn calories (specifically more calories than you eat). And, if you’re concerned about burning fat, don’t worry because if you’re burning calories you’ll eventually be burning fat too.
What’s The Best Way To Burn Calories?
There is no doubt about it, the trick to burning the most amount of calories per workout is universal and applies to everyone no matter your age, weight, or health conditions.
What’s The Trick?
Intensity is the name of the game when it comes to burning calories, cutting weight, and scorching the fat off. A lot of people get caught up in long distance runs for weight loss – but don’t get sweat weight confused with true weight loss.
Yeah, I like a long-distance run as much as the next guy or gal (and by long distance I mean right at about 4 miles…so yeah, I know it’s not technically “a long-distance run”…but it is for me). I mean there is something to be said about finding that “runner’s high”…which I get on occasions around the 2.5 mile mark…but lets not kid ourselves…I very rarely get the “runner’s high”. I, like most normal people, have to cut back on the intensity to achieve the 4 mile run under 38 minutes or so.
So, on the long runs, you are;
- Losing more water weight,
- Taping into your “fat-burning” zone for a longer period of time,
- Achieving the ever allusive “runner’s high,”
- Boosting your self-esteem by beating your previous long-distance record.
But is this what you need to shed the extra pounds…?
The answer is no…at least not on it’s own. I have been addicted to working out for over the last 18 years (ever since I realized that to maintain a healthy weight I would have to workout). And since the beginning I’ve had to figure out how to best keep the weight off…and the best trick you can have in your bag is INTENSITY!
Why Does Increasing Intensity Help Burn Calories?
Well, it’s quite simple really – it’s all about heart rate.
If your heart is pumping harder it means your muscles are working harder, which means your muscles will be needing more energy (i.e., calories) and oxygen, and the only way to get the muscles what they need in the time they need it is to get that heart pumping faster.
But a temporary heart rate increase has a lot more to offer than just providing instant energy to your muscles. An increased heart rate means your increasing intensity, which means your working out your muscles harder which, in turn, means you’ll be using energy/calories to repair those muscles well into the hours following the workout’s completion…something that doesn’t really happen during a slow and steady long-distance run (unless you are a “real” long distance runner…but if you are you probably have no extra pounds to shed anyways).
So, How Does One Increase A Workout’s Intensity?
There are really two main ways to increase a workouts’ intensity…and they apply to both cardio and strength training.
- Add Weights: For example, if your plyometric workout (or your daily walk) no longer gets the heart pumping simply add weights (ankle/wrist weights or dumbbells).
- Increase Speed: If you can’t afford the weights simply do the workout faster. For example, run/walk your miles in less time, or complete your superset with less of a break between exercises…the point is to speed up the workout to get the heart pumping a bit more.
And that’s pretty much it.
One Last Important Note
I would like to say one more very important thing about increasing your workouts’ intensity before I sign off. If you want to get serious about making sure you are increasing the intensity than INVEST IN A HEART RATE MONITOR! This is a crucial point if you want to make sure your staying in your target heart rate zone for the amount of time needed to truly intensify your workouts. Check out the equipment page on this site to see a few heart rate monitors I’ve used.