Excessive weight and disease are linked in so many ways. The list of illness that are either caused or contributed to via obesity is extensive. Fortunately, there are many things that can be done to allow anyone to get down to a healthy weight.
Near the very top of the list is Exercise. There are specific ones that are beneficial, some that are a disaster and a few that you may not have thought of in this way. Of equal importance are specifics ways of doing or not doing training – factors that can make the difference between fitness and success or continued problems and injuries.
- Speed / 1a. Intensity. The greater the intensity, the greater the results. Intensity is produced mainly via speed. If you break down training and weight loss to a science, this would be one of the main principles. You will not only burn fat during the activity, you get the benefit of burning fat throughout the day (referred to as EPOC).
- Lift heavy weights. The numbers 3-5 are key. 3-5 sets of 3-5 repetitions, 3-5 different exercises, with 3-5 minute breaks in between. 3-5 times a week. Using this strategy, you will create a more dense, fat burning muscle. Lift something heavy from the ground to above your head. It is that simple and that challenging.
- Full body, multiple joint exercises. Engage in exercises that require the use of several joints. Otherwise, you are body building. As such, you need to use free weights. Machines are for said body building or rehab. Most people use them because they are easy, not because they are effective.
- Variations. Continue to train in the same manner, time and again, and the results will flatline fairly quickly. The body is wonderful at adapting to stress. As such, variety is not only the spice of life, it is the key to a fit, healthy physique.
- Light weights/low repetitions. The end result of using light weights for repetitions of 15-20 or more is a “puffy” looking physique. Glucose molecules will go to the muscles being stressed. Water molecules soon follow. Hence, the bloated look.
- Leg press. This one exercise has caused more injuries than virtually all others combined. The reason is that pressure is allowed to a small area (lumbar) and over time and with enough weight, damage will occur.
- Bodybuilding movements when you are not a body builder. As mentioned above, full body exercises will work the entire system(s) (including the cardiovascular and the lymphatic system – THE key to immunity). Doing things such as biceps curls or tricep extensions are waste of energy and offer little benefit in return.
- Long, slow anything. As a marathoner, this one pains me to say, but long, slow running or cycling or anything will not result in weight loss. It may be great for getting in touch with Nature. It can be a form of meditation or preparation for an event, but if you are looking to drop the pounds, long slow anything will not get the job done. Case in point. A 200 pound male will lose only about 2400 calories during the 26.2 miles of a marathon.
- Yoga. Many think of yoga as great for flexibility and muscular endurance. It is for sure, but it is also so much more. The postures that feature core twisting in particular do wonders for clearing toxins from the gut. This alone would do wonders for weight loss, not to mention overall health and wellness.
- Rowing. Go to a gym and you will see 50 machines of all sorts and . . . maybe. . . one or 2 rowing machines. It is unfortunate and rowing is an excellent exercise to enhance metabolism, work the core, strengthen the lower back and legs and burn fat. It is one of the major means to do Tabatas and other high intensity/speed exercises.
- Body weight resistance. It is pure “old school” but take a good look at ice skaters or dancers. You rarely see them hitting the weights. What you do see is these types of athletes — some of the fittest, leanest and healthiest in the world — focusing on body resistant exercises. Push ups, leg raises and squats are the “Big 3,” the stars of the show, so to speak.
- Taoist Healing Sounds. Technically, they are not exercises but are little-known variations of Qi Gong. There are several major ones, all of which focus on the yin organs. The major one associated with fat loss is the Spleen and the sound of the Spleen is “whoooooo.” Making this sound (out loud), while exhaling is a simple, yet surprisingly powerful tool in the fat loss arsenal.