A few years ago I wrote an article for Old City Life Magazine titled, “Why Women and Men Both Need to Focus On Muscle.” I have it posted on my blog now and you can find it on the link at the end of this article. Read it for an overview on why muscle is uber important as we age.
The article points to the need for more intense muscular strength training versus cardiovascular training as a means to increases the metabolic processes of our bodies. Cardiovascular training, although beneficial for our heart muscle, plays little role in furthering our fat burning capacity beyond the time we are actually experiencing the cardio activity.
Most lower to medium intensity cardiovascular activities simply burn calories at the time we are engaging in the activity, whether it is running, swimming, biking, elliptical training or etc. There is some EPOC, or called “Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption” after the exercise which means our bodies continue to use an accelerated amount of calories post exercise, however, EPOC is limited.
If you are wondering why you feel so good after a cardiovascular workout, there is no question, cardiovascular activity gets the endorphins running sky high! Continue cardio training for good mental and heart health as well as increased energy expenditure, but consider that for weight reduction and aesthetics, even an hour a day of cardio is not enough to change the resting metabolic rate needed to make weight loss easier and the body more tightened and tone. For that process to occur, a 24 hour improved metabolic rate through strength training utilizing specific and targeted muscle groups should be implemented several times a week.
Build a Better Metabolism- Fact or Fiction
Health professionals, including trainers, often overstate the increased resting metabolic rate of strength training. In a recent comprehensive research review, Donnelly and colleagues (2003) note that the majority of peer-reviewed resistance training studies (lasting 8–52 weeks) show increases of 2.2–4.5 lb of muscle mass.
These researchers suggest that an increase of 4.5 lb of muscle mass would probably increase resting metabolic rate by about 50- 75 kcal per day. Although this small change is not nearly as much as some professionals may suggest, it does help close the gap between energy intake and energy expenditure.
Although these numbers may not appear so impressive, where the real payoff exists is in how we prevent premature atrophying of the muscles. By training our muscles with increasingly heavier weights/maintenance weights, each year we prevent the downward spiral of decreased metabolism due in great part to decreased muscle mass. What appears as a minimal benefit in resting metabolic from increasing muscle mass (50-75kcal daily), is actually quite significant as each year passes and one does not strength train.
To help gain better clarity consider that research indicates after age 25 years of age, a 2-3% reduction in metabolic rate is predictable and due in large part to the reduction in muscle mass due to a sedentary lifestyle. Even a minimal 1% yearly reduction of muscle mass per year (versus the typical 2-3% of most under-exercised people) enhances the metabolic resting rate as compared to the non exercisers. Clearly, over the years this 1% adds up exponentially and is a positive contributing factor to aging less rapidly.
As many of you know, each year as we head into the holidays, I creat new programs for you that I feel will jump start you into a better lifestyle as we head into the new year
In upcoming articles look for holiday packages that may appeal to you and get you excited for another new year to come. Below is my 1st offering of the season.
A BodySmartWay Gift: Call/See Me By October 29th. Begin When You Are Ready. I can take only 3 people.
– Once monthly strength training for 70 minutes with structured guidance and individualization for 12 months.
– Once monthly typed plan.
Holiday Special Fee $995.00. Package as a gift to a loved one or friend and you receive 1 hourly personal training sessions complimentary.
If you do not live in the area, look for upcoming online specials this holiday season.
All My Best,
Why Men and Women Both Need to Focus on Muscle.
How To Begin a Bone and Muscle Strengthening Program
Why am I Training?