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The Truth About "Fat Loss" Workouts

Mar 27, 2024

Battle ropes, jumping jacks, squat jumps, burpees.

They're supposed to burn tons of calories and get you lean and fit but if you want an excuse not to do them I'm going to tell you why they're not only unnecessary but could be dangerous.

We're also going to discuss the real key to fat loss.

Hi, I'm Ivana Chapman helping you get lean and strong at any age.

HIIT or high-intensity interval training does burn more calories in a shorter period of time than low or moderate intensity exercise that's true but burning calories isn't really what fat loss is all about anyway .

Are you surprised by that?

There's a perception that you need these type of intense workouts in order to get fat loss results you don't I'm not going to argue with you if you love this type of training and it helps you feel fit and you're really motivated to do it.

I've done all of those exercises at some point as well but for a lot of people those types of exercises just represent another limitation or reason why they don't want to go through the process of getting fit.

For most people they're not sustainable. And the most important thing about exercise (as it is with nutrition which I'm going to talk about in a second) is your ability to do it consistently.

A lot of people get really enthusiastic about getting fit and they start to do these programs and they're doing three or four times a week jumping around and eventually they find themselves exhausted or injured.

All of a sudden they're back to zero again. Rather than starting at the level that they're at and then gradually building themselves up. Even for the very fit and strong person it's not necessary to do burpees.

I haven't done them for years personally. I get it that some people think it's a good measure of you know explosiveness and whatever.

I did my dissertation on plyometric training practices so I know that they do have benefits overall. You can get bone strength from plyometric exercises but you can also get that through weight training as well.

Every kind of exercise you choose is benefit versus risk for most people the benefit of doing all those kind of really high intensity exercises is a lot lower than the risk that's involved we need to stop thinking about how many calories we're burning with exercise it's a really negative way of seeing exercise.

I do exercise so that I can get stronger and feel better and build the muscle that I want. The amount of calories that you burn during a workout isn't actually that important.

It's a lot less than most people think anyway. Even for these high-intensity exercises yeah you're burning off more calories than a moderate exercise. You might get the same amount of calorie burn in 10 minutes of doing these intense exercises as you would doing 30 or 40 minutes of walking.

But there's very little risk to walking and the risk of these exercises well for a lot of people it can be quite high.

Even professional athletes have to balance their use of those type of explosive movements with strength building through weights and of course their skill development.

Whatever their sport is they need to practice the skills of that sport they need to shoot that ball into the basket. That's going to be the primary part of their training. Yes, they can get benefits from practicing squat jumps for instance or even single leg jumps because that's what they're doing in their sport but for the average person who just wants to be strong and mobile none of those exercises are really necessary.

Now I'm a strong believer in weight training for many reasons building and maintaining muscle is going to be the most useful thing you can do as you get older now for weight training.

You're not getting a lot of calorie burn during the workout.

If you're 170 lbs you're burning maybe 23 calories for a full hour of solid weight training. That's not even a doughnut. If you're heavier you burn a bit more. If you're lighter you'll burn even less than that.

It is very hard to out exercise your diet you can go out for a restaurant meal and consume 2 or 3,000 calories at one sitting if you weigh 170 lb you'll maybe burn off 350 50 calories for half an hour of jogging and not everybody wants to do that I've done battle ropes in the past there are a fun variation that you can throw in once a month or so just if you're feeling unmotivated or you just want to try something different but battle ropes at every session are completely pointless unless I guess you're competing in a battle rope competition.

I've heard that some gyms actually do that so in that case yes. The principle of specificity in sports science tells us that we have to practice the task that we are going to be in competing in if you're in a battle rope competition do those battle ropes.

Technique is really important for these types of exercises. I see burpees done with very poor form you can injure your back by dipping too low or thrusting in a weird position.

A lot of times people will also push themselves to the point where they're very tired that's when you lose that technique and that's when you injure yourself. Good technique can save you a lot of pain in the long run.

In order for exercise to be a lifelong thing for you and that is what I want for you you want to maximize the benefit and reduce your risk. That's how you can keep working out as you get older now.

It's totally fine if you're looking for a fun alternative to do once in a while. I choose very carefully what I put my body through weight training and cardio exercises that I enjoy make the most sense for me and I know that that's how I get the best result. I want to go back to battle ropes again because this video is pretty much inspired by me seeing someone in the gym doing battle ropes and all hunched over and not in good posture. Looking like their elbows were wonking all over the place and doing this under the supervision of a trainer. Which is probably worse.

It got me thinking about what people perceive as like a fat burning exercise and what actually does help you to lose fat.

High impact activities are not inherently dangerous. I'm not saying that. And they definitely can be part of a balanced program if you're condition for them and you're ready for them. And you don't include them so often that you're impeding your ability to recover.

But the truth is exercise alone won't make you lean anyway. I mean unless you're a 20-some athlete who spends hours in the gym.

For the rest of us nutrition plays a pivotal part of fat loss it's about creating a sustainable balanced eating plan that puts you into a calorie deficit. Which is the real key to fat loss.

But of course it's not without its own set of challenges. It does require commitment planning and having the right strategy in place.

Finding something you can commit to and do for the long term now I'm going to propose a few exercise alternatives that actually are still fat burning. In that they're burning off calories.

Nothing gets more sustainable than walking. It's probably the one thing you definitely want to maintain as you get older.

We should be moving more in general.

Most of us are at our desks all day long and it's really hard to fit in the movement that our bodies should naturally be doing.

People talk a lot about 10,000 steps a day but there's no real research saying that that's the ideal number or anything like that. It seems that a lot of benefits come at around 7 or 8,000 steps a day.

The 10,000 steps a day was actually created as part of a Japanese ad campaign to get their population more active and it was highly effective. Now it has been much more popular as well and a lot of people are hearing about 10,000 steps .

So it's not a bad thing if you can fit that into your lifestyle, your body will thank you for it.

It will contribute to fat loss because you're expending more energy.

I also recommend regular aerobic exercise cardio that you enjoy.

Try to pick something that you really love. So for me in the summer of I love mountain biking and playing tennis, I rollerblade.

In the winter I occasionally ski or skate but I spend a lot more time indoors focusing on my weight training and my martial arts training as well.

So pick something that you really enjoy and try to do that more regularly.

I encourage you to have a balanced approach when you're thinking about fat loss.

Do some weight training do some cardio exercise try to get in more movement overall.

The only way that fat loss is sustainable is with lifestyle changes that make sense for you that's something.

I can help you put together with my muscle focused fat loss plan HERE.