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Bodybuilder, movie star and politician Arnold Schwarzenegger discusses his rise to the top. I remember as a childhood kid his movies like ‘Conan and terminator ‘ to name a few Arnie has a famous saying “if it jiggles its fat” that’s right he likes to tell it as it is no fluff.
Obviously on the subject of fat , starving yourself is NOT the approach I recommend! My burn REALfit program is based on the opposite: train more and feed the muscle and fuel the training. I’m simply making the point that it’s NOT intensity PER SE or even ANY type of particular workout that creates the fat loss, IT’S THE CALORIE DEFICIT and I’m sure Arnie would also agree !
To burn fat, focus on establishing and maintaining a calorie deficit.
To increase speed of fat loss, focus on increasing the size of the calorie deficit. Calorie deficit = fat loss is a liberating concept because it makes you realize you have endless options for achieving your fat loss goal using all kinds of different combinations of nutrition and exercise. Furthermore, none of the workouts have to beat you into submission to achieve a calorie deficit, especially if you work diligently on the nutrition side of the equation.
Countless clients of mine have achieved their goal weight with walking (low intensity exercise) as their only cardio. They chose walking because that’s what suited their needs and their personality (see my success stories )
Here’s where intensity comes in: From a body fat loss perspective, using higher intensity training makes the workout more EFFICIENT. The higher the intensity, the more calories you burn. The more calories you burn, the more fat you lose, if all else remains equal (ie, if you don’t compensate by eating more).
Some trainers claim that low intensity steady-state exercise is “ineffective” or even “totally worthless.”
THIS IS TOTALLY FALSE!
Low intensity training is not ineffective, it’s simply less efficient. For example, it takes a lot of time walking to burn enough calories to put a major dent in your fat stores. If you were to increase the intensity of your cardio, you’d burn more calories in less time and you’d drop the fat faster. You’d also be improving time efficiency by achieving a calorie deficit with less time investment.
But think about this: If that high intensity workout made you start to dread it, or if you started to think of it as torture, or if it got you injured, then how long would you stick with it?
If you can’t stick with it, what good did it do you? It gets tossed on the ever-growing pile of other quick fixes.
It’s surprising how often a moderate approach, or even the slow and steady approach, beats out the quick and intense approach if you extend your time perspective and think long term.
For building muscle training intensity is a critical factor. For muscles to grow, you have to literally break down muscle fibres, disrupt your body’s homeostasis and create a stress response. The adaptation to that disruption is strength and hypertrophy, but it only occurs if you can recover from the stress. The major point is that intensity is a critical factor for all kinds of health and fitness training, but it’s also the one variable that has to be managed the most carefully and sensibly.
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