Fitness and Fat Loss
Over my last lot of blogs I have covered aspects of nutrition such as what macronutrients and micronutrients are and how to get them in your diet and helping with weight loss.
I’ve also gone over the training side of things like how to increase your fitness and strength.
And if you haven’t checked these out you can you can read all of them on rmfitness.net
But what about putting it all together?
Food and fitness working together.
So what training should you do to lose weight?
Easy. Any of them.
When fat loss is your goal, your training is there for one thing. To help put you into a calorie deficit. This means that the exact training that you do doesn’t really matter as you are not working towards any fitness specific goals.
So whether you run all the time or you spend your days in the weights room, both are doing to help put you in a calorie deficit to help you lose fat.
People can get hung up on what training to do. Lots of people think that High Intensity Interval Training is the way to go. Yes it’s very intense and will help with your fitness but in theory all you’re doing is burning calories. And any form of exercise if going to burn calories.
So don’t feel like you need to going to every HIIT class on and leaving in a puddle of sweat just to lose fat.
The key to training for fat loss, and every fitness goal, is consistency.
This is why it’s good to get a good mix of everything at not get fixated on only doing one training method.
Yes in theory one method is all you need because, like I said, your work outs should be to help get you into a deficit.
But it’s good for well rounded health and fitness to change things up and modify your work outs whenever you see fit.
Go flat out for a short period of time. Take a bit of a rest period. Then back flat out again.
Pretty straight forward. But far from easy. There’s a reason it has high intensity in the name.
Despite it being straight forward, it is proven to be one of the most effective training methods.
So what is it?
HIIT is typically a form of exercise, and it can be pretty much any form of exercise, performed at a high pace (thus the high intensity) for a short period of 20-90 seconds.
This is then usually repeated for a total time of 10-30 mins.
The great thing about it is that you can do it anyway you want. On a bike, treadmill, hitting a punch bag or body weight exercises.
There was study in Canada that compared 15 week HIIT program to 20 week endurance program. The study showed that the HIIT program was more effective at increasing the body’s metabolism which means that there was a greater rate of fat loss.
So with HIIT you are burning more fat in a shorter period of time.
Low Intensity Training
So after covering high intensity training and reading all the benefits of HIIT, why would you consider low intensity?
Like I said at the start, it’s good to get a mix of everything and leave no stone unturned. Each training method will have different benefits.
What makes lower intensity training so valuable is the lower stress on your body.
In a previous blog I talked about over training and the effect it has on your immune system.
It is very easy with high intensity training to push too hard for too long. This is what makes you feel fatigued and the likelihood of getting sick and injured increases.
While HIIT and weight training have loads of benefits, low intensity training definitely shouldn’t be overlooked if you’re looking to lose fat.
Its low stress typically low impact and you’re at a much lower risk of running your body into the ground.
This also important if you are a beginner and/or have low fitness levels. This is a good way of easing into training.
Yes HIIT is great. But if you are unfit and a bit overweight, going straight into doing hill sprints might not be the best way to go about it. Start with lower intensity and once you start to progress then you can try kicking it up a gear and try HIIT.
It may go against what you would think, but lifting heavy weights can help burn a lot of fat.
It has been proven that going onto a strength program will help burn fat.
A well rounded strength program should target training the whole body. This means that you should improve strength in your upper body and lower body, increase muscle mass and lower your body fat all at the same time.
There are also post work out benefits too.
After a good weight training session, your metabolic rate will be elevated and stay elevated and you will continue to burn calories after your work out.
So weight training can help increase the rate in which you burn fat, even after you’ve finished training.
Another big bonus of strength training is how it effects your body composition.
As you burn more calories and your body fat starts to go down, you will have lean muscle start to come through.
So doing heavy compound exercise will help lose weight, lose fat and increase lean muscle.
So it really doesn’t matter what training method you use. As long as you go into a calorie deficit you’ll lose weight and lose fat.
And as I covered, these are 3 very different training methods with different benefits.
This is why it is important to do a mix of everything. Yes as long as you’re doing exercise, which will help get you into a deficit. But HIIT is fast and effective, low intensity cardio is easier on your body and strength training burns fat after training and helps develop lean muscle. Combine these 3 and you will see results.