Weight Loss Exercise – Which Is For You?

Does cardio lose the most weight?

Way more false than true. Where it’s true: for the complete exercise novice for the first six to eight weeks getting started; also, folk with higher than 40% bodyfat generally get a good result with progressive low-medium intensity cardio programmes.

After that, the proven winner is some form of resistance training. This is for you 30% down to 15% men, and 40% down to 23ish% women. A progressive, whole body routine applied three or so times a week is a surefire way of burning stored fat as a daily process. The downside is that it can be a bit monotonous, so is often broken down into parts – workout A/workout B, and so on. Circuit training also pops up in this section.

Ahead even of that is intensity training and metabolic training, either doing heavy things sporadically or continuously. Examples of a high intensity workout would be a clean and jerk session, sets that look like 5/40kg, 5/50kg, 4/60kg, and going on to look like 3/80kg, 2/90kg, 1/95kg, 1/97.5kg, fail/100kg, 1/100kg, 1/102.5kg etc. Alternatively, the intensity is measured by heart rate, so a hill sprints session where you think you’re going to have a heart attack would be a high intensity workout also.

Metabolic training would be doing the clean and jerks with supplemental exercises like jump ups or hitting a punch bag for 60 seconds, or protocols like the tabatta using whole body exercises like the burpee.

Cardio training such as long distance running often gets a bad review due to the fact that after a certain point, the body stops burning fat reserves between runs as it adapts to activity volume. In other words, you find you tend to start get fatter even while getting fitter.

It also gets a bad review due to the high rate of injury that it delivers, but this is more due to previous lifestyle and conditioning than the exercise itself. So, endurance fanatics, you guys ought to hit the odd yoga class now and then to iron out the repetitive strain effect.

A long, endurance type activity is perfect for a once-a-fortnight, fasted-state smash-out for those rebuilding/maintaining metabolic flexibility. It’s a real secret weight-loss weapon; prolonged use of muscle fibres + raised carbon dioxide in blood + low insulin, high glucagon state = greater efficiency in hormonal management of Leptin, Grehlin, Insulin, Glucagon & Thyroids for the next week. Probably more.

By only doing it every other week, you give yourself ample recovery time. As an example, a few days ago I had to skip breakfast and lunch while doing some loft removals and walking about ten miles, most of it carrying my boy. I could have eaten a whole whale that night, and must have drunk about eight litres of water that day!

Other examples would be a 90 minute run with a weighted vest, a  biathlon (run to the local swimming pool, swim, run back), a Tough Mudder (stupid but fun) or even some sort of all-night sexual rampage with the three consenting adults of your choice would count. All of these will have the good long-cardio effects as long as you don’t eat too much that day (pun intended).

Finally, please remember that all of the above is technical nonsense: the exercise that is best for you is the one you will actually do.

All the best x