So your solution to an ever-increasing muffin top is sweat, sweat and sweat again? Spin it off, run it off, feel the burn. But reducing yourself to a drenched, breathless mess won’t necessarily fix the problem. In fact, it can make it worse. I wince when I see people who are obviously trying to lose weight, pushing themselves to the brink with sprints, for example, because they’re only working anaerobically and using sugar as fuel, says Minetti.
This isn’t going to shift fat for someone who is metabolically inflexible. If you go hard on the cardio, you’re likely to be running across the road for a Lunch Bar (obvious) at the end of your session as your body panics over depleted glycogen stores. Our brains normally run on pure glucose, so the body needs a certain amount of sugar for survival. But focus on strength training with some cardio alongside and the results will be different, says Minetti.
The body responds differently to different kinds of exercise. For example, when you run, you produce human growth hormone (HGH), but when you train with weights, you produce testosterone, which directly counteracts the cortisol and insulin in our systems. And don’t be put off by testosterone – you’ll produce just enough to increase your metabolism, not to leave you looking like Bakkies.
Dynamic strength training is the BFF of the metabolically challenged. Studies have shown it’s the best form of exercise to mobilise the fat from fat cells and dump it into the bloodstream in order to be used by the body. We think it’s to aid muscle recovery says strength training and metabolism expert, Dr Christopher Scott. Plus, recovery periods between intervals offer extra fat-burning opportunities. With long bouts of cardio there’s one long recovery period. However, If you do 12 sets of weights, then that’s 12 recovery periods, says Scott. Bonus!
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