by Kindal Boyle
I was an addict.
A straight up junkie.
I was addicted to burning calories. In my mind, burning calories equalled skinny. And the more calories I could burn the skinnier I would get.
Or so I thought.
So I ran on the treadmill for sixty minutes, two times, every day. And it didn’t stop there…
I would run to the gym, which was about a mile, so I could then run on the treadmill. Figure that one out for me.
This was back in college when, I guess you can say, I first got into fitness.
And no matter how much I ran, I never got the results I wanted.
At one point, I did achieve a skinny look… but under my clothes, I was mushy. I was able to grab a handful of my stomach because there was no muscle there.
My arms looks frail.
My legs below my knees looked great. Above my knees it was just cellulite and a non-existent butt.
And it’s because I was too focused on burning calories and completely NOT focused on…
If you were took look at the overall fitness world, I think we have reverted to being back in the 1980’s when aerobics, leotards and spandex bodysuits reined supreme.
Okay, so we don’t wear leotards or bodysuits (thank God)… but the majority of fitness seems to only care about burning calories.
It’s gotten so bad, most studios only care what the number on some device says.
Some studios even limit the amount of weight members can lift.
To get the body you’ve always wanted, you need to strength train… especially as a woman.
The CDC conducted a five year study and found 82.5% of women DO NOT get the required amount of strength training.
That’s a lot.
If you do just straight cardio, you can burn a lot of calories during the workout.
Cardio is very important and you shouldn’t ignore it.
You’ve heard the claims, "burn 900 to 1000 calories during workouts!" It’s actually complete BS.
An in-depth study conducted by Harvard shows the real number of calories burned for a HUGE number of different activities.
What was the highest? Running a 6 minute mile pace for 30 straight minutes produced the highest real calorie burn between 495 and 733 depending on your weight.
Stanford has shown calorie tracking devices are anywhere from 30% to 90% inaccurate. They track heart rate almost perfectly, but fail to track calories burned.
Most high intensity workouts will burn between 350 and 400 calories.
But cardio mixed with strength training, like we do here at This Time Fitness, burns calories during the workout and up to 48 to 72 hours after the workout... depending on your fitness level.
The fitter you are the faster you'll recover and the less your post exercise calorie burn will be.
This is called post oxygen consumption and happens during the recover period that only strength training gives your body.
When you stop cardio, your calorie burn stops almost immediately.
When you strength train, you keep burning calories days later.
Most women want a lean, tight body. This is often called getting toned. A body with some muscle definition and little visible body fat.
It takes discipline and genetics to achieve this body.
But you can only achieve a lean, tight look through gaining muscle mass.
Cardio alone does not build muscle. It burns fat… so as your body shrinks because of fat loss, it tends to look frail and skinny.
Add in strength training and as you lose body fat, you’ll notice that tight, TONED, look you want.
This is vital. All women begin losing muscle mass in their 30s. Unless you’re strength training.
All women begin losing bone mass around their 40s. Unless you’re strength training.
If you're not strength training and you're losing muscle mass and bone mass... that's a dangerous combination.
You already know weak bones lead to osteopenia (when bones are weaker but not so weak they break easily)… and clearly this isn’t a good thing.
But I think the loss of muscle mass is more dangerous because it means a less metabolically active body.
Muscle is youth.
If you can maintain and even gain muscle mass, you’ll look much younger.
If fact, a recent studies have shown metabolic training and strength training, like the workout style we do at This Time Fitness, you can lower you biological age by 9 years. Some say 13. Either way that is great.
Muscle is youth!
Finally, stronger joints. Having trained women for the last 8 years, I would say over 93% of women suffer from some sort of joint pain.
Take out injuries and most of the time this is due to weak muscles.
Muscles that aren’t getting used start atrophying quickly and muscles that are subject to horrible posture and get really tight.
In fact, did you know, women who do only yoga tend to have weaker joints because they tend to hyper-extend their ligaments through repetitive stretching.
Ligaments are the tissue that holds your bones together. If you stretch these out… you’ve just created a very weak joint that does not heal.
And women who only strength train and don’t do mobility or flexibility, like yoga, get really tight and lose their full range of motion.
It goes both ways. I love yoga and think yoga and strength training are the perfect fitness combination. It’s why we offer yoga at This Time Fitness too.
The stronger you get, the stronger your joints will be. And with a little trigger ball therapy, you can create a mobile body that feels insanely good.
By adding more strength training into your weekly workout habit right?
But maybe you’re wondering…
That is what we are going to work on next in the series.
But rather than wait for the next post, come in to This Time Fitness and try 14 days at the studio (UNLIMITED) for just $14.
When you come in the first thing we’ll do it go over proper squat and pushup form. Plus we’ll look at your mobility and see what hot spots we need to begin fixing.
If you can’t come to our studios, make sure you checkout our online training.
You can get fully filmed workout videos that will push you to the limit and allow you to workout anywhere you want.