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Getting The Most Out Of Your Gym Time?

Jan 28, 2008
So you finally took the step and just signed up at your local health club. Attempting to lose that extra fifteen pounds on your own had not worked out quite as well as you hoped. Throwing you hands up, you came to the conclusion the gym held the secret to your weight loss. After all, everyone joins the gym and all research proclaims how exercise is so important. I hate to break this to you so soon in your quest, but that high initiation fee and pricey monthly cost is no guarantee that the gym alone is the answer to weight loss. Yes, exercise is critical to muscle tone and bone strength in later years. But only if you fully understand the science of how to most effectively use that hour in the gym, the benefits are minimal at best.

I have seen the same people in my gym for years, and despite coming three or four times a week, are in the exact same overweight condition they started in. They are diligent and work hard but still lack the basic knowledge of making exercise work for them. You first need to understand that diet, especially as we start to age, is much more crucial to weight loss than exercise is. If you objective was solely weight loss, and not accompanying better health and fitness, then concentrate on the diet alone. A sad fact is that more people wind up gaining weight from joining a gym and losing weight. Of course, the salesperson signing you up never mentioned that I bet. Weight training and cardiovascular training that are done incorrectly do nothing to burn calories or raise your metabolism. Your visit becomes not much more than a social visit at best. Many, many people use the illogical thought that a gym visit entitles them to treat themselves to a snack as a reward. The ice cream cone they are now eating is well deserved after that intense workout. You actually burned maybe a few hundred calories and then rewarded yourself with twice that amount. Can you see the end result of this logic?

I see people doing very moderate levels of cardio workouts while consuming a high, wasted calorie sports drink, like Powerade. Unless you are a world-class marathon runner, running five minute miles, for twenty-six miles, trust me; you do not need sugar calories to support your level of activity. The end result of your workout, in this case, is that you gained a bit of weight as the calories in exceeded the calories spent. Nine out of ten women who enter the gym go directly to a cardio machine and ignore the weight training equipment. Every one of them will tell you that you burn many more calories doing an hour of cardio than you do during an hour of weight training.

Not true, and let me explain. For the short-term or the actual hour you spend, the cardio burns more than twice the amount of calories than a challenging weigh training session. The key here is that the weight training must be vigorous. Not gut-wrenching, but you must push your muscles to some level of exertion. About an hour after your cardio, your metabolism returns to the exact point it was at before you started. So the calories burned in total are only those during the workout. Now, here is what happens after weight training. Muscle fibers are torn during weight training as that is the basis for all muscle growth and strength increase. The repair takes energy over and above the normal amount of energy the body needs for normal conditions. This repair effort forces your body to continue to expend calories to produce the energy needed to do the repair. This increase in burn rate continues for almost thirty-six hours after the workout. The end result is that, over time, the weight training gave you much more back than your cardio did, and the added benefit of muscle tone and strength. I am guessing you never looked at it from that angle.

As I mentioned, the weights must tax your muscles. Doing four sets of a shoulder press where all four sets are easy and the last set no different from the first is not going to do the trick. Each set of any exercise must be increasingly more difficult and result in fewer repetitions of that set. This is the key to getting the most out of it. Most women will step in at this point; hold up their hand, and state "I don't want to be muscle-bound". Think about this statement and just how illogical it really is. The vast majority of men who weight train three or four times a week, for years, have little more than some well defined muscles. They are far from muscle bound. Without a large amount of added protein, ultra-intense workouts, and TESTOSTORONE, bulging muscles are not a concern. To middle-age women in particular, hard weight training will add well-define, tone muscle and added bone strength while avoiding sagging skin areas like the triceps. It really is time to put this widely accepted fallacy behind you and focus on the major muscle groups that support your body. Muscle recovery and the presence of muscle burns calories and fat. The body needs no additional energy to support fat. Building and keeping muscle takes work by the body. The body needs calories to accomplish that work. If you maintain the same amount of calories in your diet, your body will gradually return to a normal weight for your size and frame.

Good nutrition and hard weight training will give you the optimum, toned body when you make it a way of life. Super-models and actresses, who use eating disorder, starvation and crash diets to maintain a superficial appearance are doomed to a lifetime of poor heath and the stress of the up and down syndrome that goes with it. How many starlets do you regularly see on entertainment shows who have 30 to 40 pounds swings in a short period of time? A starved, pencil thin body of a model is not a natural state, only a sickly sign of starvation that marketers of fashion dangle out in front of you as a prize to be sought. The bad health effects of that condition are not much better than those of the overweight. Balance and common sense, along with proven training techniques are the only way to a natural, toned body of normal weight and optimum health.
About the Author
Swimwear my be our business, but good health and nutrition are my passion. Bought to you by http://www.shirleyandcompany.com Stylish and Unique Swimwear and Juicy Couture clothing and accessories are just a click away.
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