In my last column we talked about “Crash Diet Kelly” and how she makes her life harder by crash dieting and exercising at at rate she is unable to sustain for more than a few weeks. Thus, she gains more weight after the crash then what she was at when she started.
How do we “fix” her metabolism so that she is able to eat “normally” again and not have to do 7 plus hours of cardio per week?
Here is our plan of attack:
To get stronger she must lift weights (resistance train) and try to progressively overload the muscle. More strength typically means leaner muscle tissue. Lean muscle tissue is the driving force behind your metabolism.
Longer duration workouts aren’t always necessarily better. I would prefer clients/gym goers to work out more intensely for 30-45 minutes versus a 90-120 minute workout with 20 percent of that time spent checking emails, Facebook, the cute gym member running on the treadmill, etc.
If Kelly was not doing any weight training, we would suggest adding two full body workouts per week. This will allow adequate time to recover between workouts and keep intensity high(er). If Kelly was already working out two times per week, we would evaluate her work schedule, life commitments, etc., and go to three or possibly four days per week.
We ultimately want body composition changes to come from weight training and good/better food choices and amounts not from excessive cardio.
That’s correct, we said reduce cardio. Remember, more is not necessarily better. We might drop 5-10 minutes per cardio session. If Kelly was doing six sessions of 60 minutes per week, we might drop her to 50 minutes six sessions per week. This will accomplish two things; not create a crazy difference in calories burned, as well as not freak out the client. Although it’s counter-intuitive to think less cardio is better, in this case it is. Assuming two to four weeks have passed and client compliance is good, we may make a further reduction down to 45 minutes or “only” five cardio sessions per week.