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Building and keeping muscle, your metabolically active tissue is a key element for long term health, vitality, longevity and fat loss. One of the causes, as well as symptom of the aging process is sarcopenia (muscle loss). Sarcopenia leads to overall weakness and is a direct cause of a decreased metabolic rate.
As you can see from the photo, muscle is denser than fat. Muscle takes up less space in the body, and also burns more calories than fat. The more lean muscle mass you have, the higher your metabolic rate and the longer you will live.
Case in point why the scale is not the best tool for monitoring fat loss. Two individuals can have the same body weight and height, but have completely different body compositions and body dimensions. The leaner person with more muscle will weigh more on the scale due to the higher amount of lean tissue.
The majority of women opt for aerobic/cardio exercise as their exercise of choice. What they don’t realize is that excessive long, slow distance (LSD) exercise is counterproductive in changing their body composition. When done excessively, cardio (LSD) reduces muscle mass, increases inflammation and oxidative stress, disrupts hormone balance, increases cortisol thereby increasing insulin, and accelerates aging. For over 20 years now, I have advised my clients, men and women alike in another direction from excessive LSD exercise IF their goal is to look their best, feel better, lose body fat, balance hormones, prevent adrenal exhaustion, diminish belly fat and have rounder, tighter glutes, increase metabolism, and obtain a leaner physique.
Sure, if one has extra time in their schedule to add in some cardio, by all means. I’m a huge proponent of walking, especially in nature. But if you’re short on time, busy with your profession and family, and don’t have hours to commit to exercise yet want results, strength training and interval workouts are going to be the better option.
My own personal training sessions are structured and focused on interval style and strength/resistance training. The time I commit to a workout is 40-50 minutes, and that includes my warm up and cool down. My goal is an ideal body composition for me, more work in less time spent, increase muscle, anti-aging, a less catabolic environment, healthy adrenals, feeling good and increasing energy. What works about intervals and resistance training is that it is extremely effective for hormonal balance, enhances an anabolic response, increases and helps maintain lean mucle tissue, post exercise calorie burning is ramped up along with increased insulin sensitivity and growth hormone, and it is superior for fat loss.
My personal workouts include a variety of Olympics lifts, push ups, chin ups and pull ups (pushing and pulling exercises), a variety of deadlifts (one of my favorite), squats, various styles of single leg exercises, lunges, and plyometrics. I use a variety of equipment too including dumbbells, the TRX, sandbags, medicine balls, bands, pulleys, Glute-Ham Raise, Swiss balls, kettlebells, barbells, and my own body weight. Building muscle and maintaining an anabolic drive will keep you looking younger, leaner and feeling better than ever. I also balance more intense workout day with walking or hiking in the mountains and parasympathetic activities such as meditation, yin yoga and Qi gong.
Do you have to join a gym to increase muscle? Not necessarily. For a minimal investment, you can create the perfect set up at home. Visit my website for some of my favorite pieces of home gym equipment to get started on a workout program. You’ll even find yoga DVDs and foam rollers, which I highly recommend as a complement to your yang training.
Remember, there are no short cuts. Be consistent. Listen to your body. Be patient….it’s a process. Make it a sustainable lifestyle. Follow the solid principles found in my books, Fat Loss Revolution and The Power of 4 and you will change your body, boost your metabolism and lose fat for good!
Make an appointment. Schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation. I consult with clients locally in the Phoenix area and with men and women around the world via telephone or Skype. Thank you! Have a Happy Healthy Day!
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