Monday, December 7, 2009

"Quick Fix"

I was emailing one of my Online Personal Training clients about these two words that should not go in the same sentence as the word, fitness. No matter what new and improved product, what the fake television doctor advertisement says, how many minutes you can get those sweet abs in or how less you have to work to achieve the body of your dreams….It’s NOT happening!

If you look at the rest of the world, the only thing that is getting results faster are computers and unless we become some cyborg mutation, don’t plan on this world ever getting the same “quick” results with our bodies. Now don’t get me wrong, you can get quick fixes through surgery or starving your poor body dry, but we are personal trainers and when you ask us what the secret is, we are going to tell you the same thing we tell our clients…hard work!

Well now, let me take that statement back because a lot of people who want to lose body fat may be working too hard! What???? Did I just say that? YUP!

Seriously, I have seen thousands of people who are either under-training or over-training when it comes to losing body fat. There is a happy medium and all you have to do is calculate a few numbers will enable you to know exactly what to do to get the fastest “Healthiest” results your body can possibly fathom.

This is no over night fix, but if you want to know what the healthiest “Quick Fix” there is on this planet, then trust me when I say it is easier than boiling water. Actually, I better not say that because I learned how to boil water back when Aimee and I started dating nearly 6 years ago. Ouch!

Here is goes! There are two steps you must remember:

Step 1 “Quick Fix”) Burn Body Fat Quick! It is really simple and you have to trust me on this one. A lot of the members that I come in contact with fail to understand that you don’t have to crawl out of the gym in a pile of sweat soaked clothes to get the best work out and burn the most body fat. Actually, it is the exact opposite.

When you are on the elliptical, treadmill or bike, reading your magazine or watching your little television, are you paying attention to where your heart rate is? Probably not, because every time I look at people in the cardio area, they are doing everything but looking at their heart rate. Why is the heart rate so important? For one, it will share some very important news as to whether you are building endurance or burning fat.

The most important ingredient to incinerating body fat the quickest over a given time is oxygen. If your heart rate is beating at a slow rate, your body isn’t burning calories fast enough. If your heart rate is beating at a fast rate, your body may be burning calories, but not the calories you were hoping for if your goal is weight loss.

Think with me for a second. When you are doing your cardio session, there is that point in time when your body starts to warm up and your sweat conductors start to release a glistening sweat over your body to keep it cool. At this point, you start to feel your heart rate in your chest a little and maybe your breathing starts to pick up as you feel your muscles are longing for more oxygen. This is called the threshold between aerobic (with Oxygen) and anaerobic (without Oxygen).

When you cross over in to the anaerobic side, your body lacks the delivering of oxygen to your muscles which will cause your muscles to burn until fatigue sets in. The more and more you train in this level, the more endurance your body builds up. There is nothing wrong with training in this zone, but if the main goal is to reduce body fat, your body is working against you.

Training in the aerobic fat burning zone allows oxygen to burn off a higher percentage of fat calories over a period of time without losing any muscle (and I will share the importance of keeping all the muscle you can next post). You may not sweat like crazy or walk out of the gym feeling like you just had the best workout of your life, but you know that you are reaching your goals when you see the results on the scale.

What rate should me heart be beating at to get the best results? Here is the calculation:

220 - 30 (Age) = 190
190 – 60 (Resting Heart Rate*) = 130
130 x 65% = 84.5
84.5 + 60 (RHR) = 144.5

*To determine your RHR (Resting Heart Rate), take your pulse for one full minute when you first wake up in the morning.

Again, remember it is not how hard your heart is beating, but how hard your heart is beating with access to oxygen that gets the faster fat burning results. Stay tuned for the next post, Step 2, which explains how to easily keep the body fat off over a longer period of time.

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Happy Training,

Adam Freeman
O2 Fitness Clubs
Fitness Director & Personal Trainer

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