One Awesome Way to Lose Weight
There are a zillion ways to lose weight. You know the usual way most people go about it: eat as little food as possible, do a ton of walking, and run away from pizza like your hair is on fire. But guess what? It’s also the boring way.
As a personal trainer, my job is to get clients in great shape. Weight loss is just one part of the equation. I also want my clients to be lean and muscular. That means shedding bodyfat while at the very least preserving the muscle mass that they have. The icing on the cake is making them more athletic. So our goal is to transform into a superhero. The client is Peter Parker before stepping into the studio, and the training program is nothing more than a radioactive spider. You get to pick your costume.
If you want to be a superhero, then read on. If you like the idea of starving yourself while following the tree bark diet, then this post probably isn’t for you.
Arguably the best way to lose weight is to improve on what we call your workout density. This is how much work you get done in your workout. If I run a mile in 15 minutes and you can do it in 10, then you have a greater workout density. You know that creepy guy at the gym who spends five minutes in between sets hitting on the front desk girl? He has low workout density.
With workout density, you have three choices:
- Get more work done in the same amount of time
- Get the same amount of work done in less time
- Get more work done in less time
Numbers 1 and 2 work well in the long term. Number 3 is doable, if a) you have an upcoming deadline to get in great shape and b) you’re crazy. Number 3 is tough. I would encourage staying away from the third option so you don’t burn out too fast.
Improving your workout density cranks up a concept called EPOC – which is a scientific way to explain the process of keeping your metabolism elevated long after a workout is over. Things like jogging and group aerobics may burn calories during the workout, but your metabolism quickly goes back to baseline after the workout is over. It kind of makes the effort futile.
At my personal training studio, I’m always trying to get my clients to do more. We chip away at rest intervals and add in small things like an extra interval or another 25 meters per row. Small things lead to big changes. Most clients spend the rest of the day as a walking furnace because their metabolism is so high. So now you can do workouts that not only drop bodyfat but also make you more athletic. It’s quite empowering. Best of all, I rarely need clients to cut calories because the concept works so well.
Here are a couple of practical examples:
- Weight training circuit:
A1. Front Squat – 8 x 3, 3-1-X, rest 45 seconds
A2. Wide Grip Lean Away Pull Up – 8 x 3, 3-0-X, 45 seconds
Each time you repeat the workout, cut out 5 seconds of rest from each rest period.
- Sprint Workout
- 50 meter sprint with 45 seconds rest. 15 minutes total
Add 5 meters to each sprint the next time you do the workout.
Want to lose weight? Then you have two options: start walking and avoid food or turn yourself in to a superhero. The choice is yours.