It seems logical to think - if I spend hours training hard at gyms, throw in some endurance exercises, I will definitely lose weight and attain my desired “fitness” goal.
Well, not quite, and this is why:
In recent years, we have seen a surge of physical endurance training to assist in weight and fat loss. As it gains popularity amongst many fitness fanatics, we’re also witnessing a higher susceptibility to injuries. Some people are too scared and/or shy to seek assistance when it comes to training and prefer taking matters into their own hands. For others, having never learnt the correct techniques to exercise, attempts to embark on a healthy lifestyle has catapulted them onto a life of injuries which, if not given healing time and timely treatment, can turn into permanent problems. Persistent injuries mean time out from training, severely compromising progress and results.
Fat and weight loss is also hard to achieve as it is difficult to sustain a diet that’s favorable for weight and fat loss while training for endurance. Glycogen (stored carbs) is the primary energy source for endurance training and hunger and thirst will drive most people to the most convenient source of bottled energy such as Powerade and other carb based sports drinks. How many times have we seen this happen at marathons, triathlons and iron man challenge events?
Training hard, long and eating often will increase your body’s glycogen storage, mainly in your muscles. In fact, glycogen storage can spike up by as much as 60%. This is your body’s way of adapting to the increased demand of energy needed to sustain your endurance training. This is definitely a great way if you want to be more efficient at performing endurance activities but not so great when it comes to burning fat.
Furthermore, the longer and harder you train, the more your body craves carbohydrates with the depletion of your body’s glycogen storage . The more you consume carbohydrates to sustain training for longer durations, the more likely your body is going to store carbohydrates and turn it into fats when insulin level is increased. The end result here is, at best, not having lost any fat and if you have over compensated on the carbohydrates replenishment, the “excess” will be stored as fat.
What, then should you do if your aim is to lose fat, build lean muscles and lose weight?
The answer is mixing in high intensity training sessions with a low carb diet/high fat diet while cutting down on the number of long distance training. You will then find yourself spending less time training, losing fat, while building lean muscles.
The same analogy applies to travelling in an automobile. Let’s compare it to travelling long distances (interstate) without stopping and driving within the city, which requires you to halt your vehicle every few minutes. This short burst takes up more fuel (glycogen) and the former requires less, as the car is travelling at a constant speed.
As with everything in life, yin cannot exist without yang. Everything in life seeks balance - from the food we eat to the physical and mental training that we partake. Yoga XTC is results oriented and we strive to make everyone’s experience personable and memorable.
Balanced Training + Proper Nutrition = A Healthy Lifestyle.
Content by Christine and Kelvin.
Photographs by David Au.
Models from Wink Models.