Muscle is denser than fat. Muscle takes up less space in the body, and also increases thermogenesis. The more lean muscle mass you have, the higher your metabolic rate, and the longer you will live.
Case in point, the scale is not the best tool for monitoring fat loss. Two individuals can have the same body weight and height, but have completely different body compositions and body dimensions. The leaner person with more muscle will weigh more on the scale due to the higher amount of lean tissue.
The majority of women opt for aerobic or cardio-style exercise as their exercise of choice. What they don’t realize is that excessive long, slow distance (LSD) exercise is counterproductive in changing their body composition. When done excessively and as their only form of exercise, cardio (LSD) reduces muscle mass, increases inflammation and oxidative stress, disrupts hormone balance, affects healthy adrenal function, increases cortisol thereby increasing insulin, accelerates aging and will not boost metabolism.
For over 25 years now, I have advised thousands of clients, men and women alike to re-think their exercise of choice if they want to look their best, feel better, drop body fat, balance hormones, prevent adrenal exhaustion, reduce belly fat, develop tighter glutes, boost metabolism, and have a leaner physique.
Sure, if one has extra time in their schedule and their adrenals are healthy, they’re well nourished and rested, adding in a small amount of cardio is perfectly fine. I’m a huge fan of walking every day, especially outdoors in nature. But if you’re short on time, busy with your profession and family, and don’t have hours to commit to exercise yet want the best results, strength training and short duration interval workouts balanced with parasympathetic-style activities are going to be the better option to boost metabolism.
My own personal workouts are structured and focused on a balance between interval style and strength training, various styles of yoga, conscious breathing exercises, rebounding on a mini-trampoline, hiking and walking.
Conscious breathing is one of the easiest, most effective ways to raise your metabolism and relax at the same time.
The time I commit to a workout is 20-35 minutes, and that includes my warm up and cool down. My goal is more work in less time spent, preventing muscle loss, developing strength, healthy aging, a less catabolic environment, healthy adrenals, feeling good, keeping inflammation and oxidation at bay, healthy mitochondria, and increasing energy.
What tends to work with interval-style exercise, strength and resistance training is that they are extremely effective for hormonal balance, creating an anabolic response, increasing and helping to maintain lean muscle tissue and strength, healthy mitochondria, post-exercise calorie burning is ramped up along with increased insulin sensitivity and growth hormone, and it is superior for fat loss.
My personal workouts include a variety of Olympics lifts, push ups, chin ups and pull ups (pushing and pulling exercises), a variety of deadlifts (one of my favorite), squats, various styles of single leg exercises, lunges, and plyometrics. I use a variety of equipment including dumbbells, the TRX, sandbags, medicine balls, bands, pulleys, stability balls, kettlebells, barbells, and my own body weight. Building and maintaining muscle will keep you looking younger, leaner and feeling better than ever, plus boost metabolism. I also balance more intense workouts with walking and parasympathetic activities such as meditation, breathing exercises, gentle yoga and Qi gong.
Remember, there are no short cuts. Consistency is key. Listen to your body. Be patient… it’s a process. Follow the lifestyle principles and the 12-week exercise program found in my books, Fat Loss Revolution and The Power of 4 and you will change your body, boost your metabolism, balance your hormones, and feel better than ever!