Ditch The “Go Hard Or Go Home” Approach To Training Forever

By Ange

Have you heard of people referring to an certain exercise regime as the perfect fat burning workout? Some mental images might come to mind. You, laying in a hot, sweaty mess after throwing down a series of burpees, kettlebell swings, box jumps, thrusters and sprints all in the hope of being able melt excess fat off your body…

I am not going to lie. When I first become a PT, I used to judge my personal workouts and my client workouts off my ability to push into the red zone. I am proud to say my training philosophy has come a long way since then.

Too commonly, women associate this type of workout to be more likely to lead to great amounts of fat loss because of the successful marketing of HIIT programs and pressure that personal trainers feel to have their clients leave the gym with ‘nothing left in the tank’.

And while high intensity workout will certainly rev up your metabolism, burn lots of calories and offer long-term benefits, like increasing aerobic fitness and work capacity, they may not be any more likely to help you get leaner in the long run.

Here is what I have learnt about myself

I love a good boxing or hiit session, but as someone who already has a humming metabolism, my hunger levels go into overdrive with this type of workout. And I am a compensator… meaning that I subconsciously end up eating more following this energy crushing workout. And if I am able to have the willpower to stop more food from falling into my mouth, my energy levels throughout the day crash, making me want to Netflix and chill for the rest of the day.

To be able to lose body fat, being on a calorie deficit is KING. Being on a calorie deficit means eating less food that you need. And trust me, if you are on a deficit- it  is not fun and your will be hungry.

Your body is already looking for more food and energy. A deficit is bearable providing that you are not over taxing the system already trying to do it’s best.  For this reason, I usually put my deficit day on non training days, so that I can stay more focused on the primary factor that create weight loss. The deficit.

Too much high intensity exercise can make sticking to your diet in the long-term more difficult because the calories deficit is unbearable. Further to my point, if you then end up down regulating physical exercise throughout the day, you are further reducing your caloric spend.

A reason to move more… throughout the day

Have you heard of the term NEAT?  It refers to the calories you burn during physical activities other than sleeping, eating, or structured exercise—things like typing, cooking, gardening, housework, or even just shifting around in your chair.

Did you know that the difference between two people’s NEAT can vary up to 2000 calories per day. Our resting metabolic rate will allow us to burn on average a calorie per kilogram of body weight per hour. Any additional movement will amplify the amount of energy that is used by the body. If you are relatively sedentary your could be burning 5-10% more than this. If you are quite active and chose to fidget and move around throughout the day, this could be 20-40% more.

Ditching the “go hard or go home”  approach to training

It is time to get real. A growing body of research shows that if you burn lots of calories via exercise, your body adjusts by spending less energy elsewhere, independent of NEAT or your energy intake.

If you are leaving the gym in a mess, with less energy to cook, clean and go about your life. It might be time to dial it in and refocus your workout on building lean muscle mass and leaving a little extra in the tank to being more active during the day. For fat loss, aim to increase your NEAT by moving more. Aim for 10,000 steps per day and minimise your time spent sitting.

Train on muscle/ diet off fat

Diet and exercise are different tools with different strengths. When it comes to losing fat, the food you eat (or don’t eat) is a lot more important than what you do in the gym. But human metabolism is too complex to allow you to manipulate any aspect of it without affecting other aspects.

Want to know more?

We regularly welcome new members into our 28 day trial program. Over 28 days you will learn how to really understand the science of weight loss and how to get your metabolism to do the work for you.

In this challenge we will teach you:

  • How to set up a winning mindset and learn that you can do ANYTHING
  • The power skill of successful habit formation
  • How to increase your metabolism to burn fat
  • The essentials to building lean muscle tissue
  • How to set up a winning food program and stop dieting forever
  • The keys to staying slim in the long-term
  • Your unique calorie needs and provide simple and easy to follow meals plans and recipes
  • Skills around stress management
  • how to track strength gains

We have only 10 places available for new 23W members. If you want to know more or chat to one of our coaches contact us at [email protected]

To claim your place in the challenge, simple head to our Join 23W page and enrol now. 

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Our founder

Ange Drake is an personal trainer, women’s empowerment coach and fitness blogger in the northern suburbs of Melbourne. She is the director of one of the few womens’ only strength training gyms in Melbourne, 23W. Ange helps women to learn how to use strength based training, nutritional strategies and a positive mindset to transform their bodies, relationship with food and mind.

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