So, I gave you the secret to my plateau busting, fat torching method - hopefully you gave it a try and found out how fun and rewarding it is! But did you ever wonder why these type of workouts are so much better at getting rid of your stored fat, in comparison to other workouts? Well, I wondered. So I researched it a little and what I found was super interesting.
Ok, we all know that we have fat cells (about 25 billion in a human adult). That's a lot of potential for fat storage! And we also know that we don't actually lose fat cells, but rather shrink them.
The type of exercise I've been incorporating into my workouts consists of metabolic bursting. Basically, it's a warm up, then cyclical bursting (going all out hard as you can for a short time, then recovering), then a cooling down period. And the reason this works so great is that immediately afterwards, your body will dump free fatty acids into your bloodstream where they can be burned off and expelled from your body via waste, breath, sweat, etc..
This is probably why it's important to incorporate some type of exercise that gives you that EPOC (post exercise oxygen consumption) where you are in a continued state of fat burning once exercise is over. EPOC burns calories, so it is important for anyone trying to lose weight to increase the time spent in EPOC. Resistance training has a greater effect on post-exercise oxygen consumption than cardiovascular training.
Here's a break down of what happens:
1) fat is broken down into chylomicrons which enter the blood
2) enzymes called lipoprotein lipases break fats into fatty acids
3) Fatty acids are absorbed into fat cells, muscle cells and liver cells. Once in the liver, fatty acids can either be further broken down or used to make glucose. The liver can only store 100g of glycogen (stored glucose) and muscles can store 500g of glycogen. Anything more will be stored in fat cells.
*Carbs are broken down into glucose, making it widely available to the body. So you can easily see how easily eating too many carbs will easily make you store them as excess fat.
Fat cells release their contents (triaglycerol) into the blood as free fatty acids and they are transported to the tissues needing fuel. So after I do a short bursting workout (average of 10-12 minutes or so), I lift some weights or do some form of strength training because I figure that my muscles are using these FFA's so they don't just get restored in my fat cells. It seems to make sense to me, especially since I'm noticing change. However, I don't claim to understand all of this science stuff. It's still pretty Greek to me.
Prior to this form of working out, I had been exercising - burning mega calories in fact - yet not really seeing much in the way of results for all my hard work. Whether I made my metabolism sluggish doing some stupid things in the past or just fell into bad habits for too long, I'm not entirely certain which culprit was to blame. I did know one thing, something needed to be done differently. And sometimes, that's all it takes. We know how important it is to confuse the body every now and then and that is why you run the risk of plateauing and never getting anywhere with fat loss if you do the same exercise day after day.
I think the whole biochemical process of fat loss is intriguing (and confusing) but it's important to at least be somewhat aware of what goes on in your body so you can understand why some things work and other things don't. There is a reason some people get results while others seem to be on the hamster wheel going nowhere with their fat loss efforts. Everyone deserves to get rewarded for their hard work! If only it didn't need to seem so complicated! But in my experience, the leaner you get, the harder it is!
Thursday, April 3, 2014
I've never been big on competition. I get the competitive mindset though. I understand that it can drive people to do better. But I'm not at all competitive. Maybe some people would just call me a slacker. I can live with that.
This little meme describes my attitude - I hope we all make it. Because I do. I want everyone to succeed at what they do so they can live a happy life. Just think of what the world would be like if we were all a little happier?
There will always be someone smarter than you, prettier than you, faster than you, richer than you, funnier than you, stronger than you. But...
And yes...that means YOU!