How to Move LESS & Lose MORE

I’m always trying to find ways to EAT MORE and MOVE LESS. You could say it’s my favorite pastime. Last week, I prescribed two steps, and two steps ONLY, to lose fat, get fit, and feel great. That’s because I’ve figured out the solution to cut through the ‘overwhelming’ information out there and get straight to results. We’ll talk more about the ‘Move Less’ prescription this week.

Making ‘Moving LESS’ Work

Making ‘Moving LESS’ work for you requires developing specific skills that will ensure your success! There is definitely an art to this, but the steps are simple. These skills are:

  1. Choosing Effective Exercises.
  2. Applying Intensity Appropriately.

Developing these skills and applying them appropriately are what trained professionals – like myself – do best. This is why it’s so helpful (and highly recommended) to hire a well-qualified and experienced Coach to help you figure this out. I am just such a Coach, but there are many of us out there. Working with a coach is the most effective and safest way to get results.

Applying the two skills inappropriately usually results in excess belly fat, frustration with the lack of results from your efforts, or the dreaded plateau. If these are happening to you, then it might be time to consider hiring a Coach for a bit!

Choosing Effective Exercises

Effective Exercises, for our specific goal of burning MORE FAT in LESS TIME, are those that are either/all:

  1. Compound – meaning they work more than one muscle group, and usually the whole body, at one time.
  2. Anabolic – meaning they increase strength and lean sexy muscle mass.
  3. Functional – meaning they are useful in everyday life, like when you move boxes, children, or heavy things, and are not restricted to one motion in one specific situation (i.e., like a machine at the gym)

Compound exercises are extremely effective at eliminating six exercises in place of one. More is NOT always better. And compound exercises exemplify this principle well. Bodyweight squats are an example of a compound exercise because they work your trunk (i.e., abs), posterior chain (i.e., back butt, hamstrings), and heart (if you are breathing correctly). Squats can replace leg curls, leg extensions, crunches, adductor and abductor machine.

Picking compound exercises helps us do more work in less time, so the workout is finished in LESS TIME! Everyone has ten minutes in their day. And that’s all it takes! No more excuses.

Anabolic exercises build strength and lean sexy muscle mass, but my reason for emphasis here is for the challenge. Ladies, doing dumbbell curls for 30 reps with 8 pound weights (or less) IS NOT DOING ANYTHING FOR YOUR BODY. Nope, not even if you’re “sore” the next day. Soreness can be deceptive.

But anabolic exercises, with heavier weight for LESS repetitions, ARE effective in many ways. First, heavier weight builds bone strength, a necessary component of preventing osteoporosis and curing osteomalacia. Second, muscle mass is necessary for a long healthy, lean life. Most of your mitochondria, the root of metabolism, are found -where?- in our muscles! So we need as many healthy vibrant mitochondria as we can get for fat burning and healthy living! Third, using heavier weights allows us to do more work in LESS TIME, so we get finished quicker!

Do you see a trend here?

Functional exercises also save time because you develop a skill that translates to many different areas. Deadlifting correctly not only reaps physiological and physical benefits, but it teaches you the proper way to lift heavy objects from the floor, for instance.

Examples of Effective Exercises Include:

  • squats
  • push-ups
  • pull-ups
  • lunges
  • Sled pulls/pushes
  • burpees
  • deadlifts
  • overhead press
  • handstand push-ups
  • sprints
  • kettlebell swings
  • jumps
  • etc.

Now that we have some guidelines for effective exercises that you can use to judge your next workout, let’s move onto intensity.

Applying Intensity Appropriately

Increasing intensity is the BEST tool to Get MORE RESULTS in LESS TIME. Increasing intensity simply means increasing the challenge by A) adding weight and decreasing repetitions, B) performing exercises faster for less time, or C) a combination of both. This allows people to do a 4 minute workout and be done for the day! Often, I will simply do 100 KB swings (~4 min.) as my workout.

The flip-side of this is that excessive intensity at the wrong time can be the most dangerous thing ever. So there is a balance we are striving for. Just so you know, I am NOT a proponent of sustained high intensity workouts 4-6 days per week for MOST PEOPLE. Why? Because most people just want to look and feel lean and that can be achieved without so much work!

My guiding philosophy, remember, is to always look for the least amount of stimulus to achieve a desired end. This means that if I can give you a high intensity workout one day a week and you get great results, then there is no reason to do two days a week until the one day no longer yields results. Does that make sense? Why do more work and torture yourself if you can reap the same benefit with less?

Fortunately, intensity is relative to your current individual fitness status. Because of this, there are some principles you can follow to apply intensity appropriately to your workouts AND reap benefits safely and effectively.

How to Apply Intensity Appropriately

  1. Check in with yourself right now. What is your current fitness level? How long have you been working out? What sorts of things do you do? Do you challenge yourself at all? If you are honest with yourself, and are a beginner OR new to this type of training, ALWAYS go easy the first few weeks or even months!
  2. Focus on TECHNIQUE first. ALWAYS learn and practice proper technique before trying to add more weight OR do it faster. Technique is on one side of a continuum and Intensity is on the other. The better technique with which you exercise will automatically decrease the intensity. And the more intensity you apply will cause your technique to be not-so-perfect. The GOAL is the middle – to go faster/heavier without breaking basic safety rules on technique (e.g., rounding back in squat).
  3. Use the ‘Talk Test’ as you increase intensity. So it’s your big day! The day to go faster/heavier! Use the ‘Talk Test’ to judge if you aren’t working hard enough, if you’re just right, or if it’s too much. If you can carry on a conversation easily, you ARE NOT challenging yourself enough! Go faster/harder while maintaining technique. If you can spurt a few words but are breathing heavily, this is your sweet spot. Good job! If you cannot speak or even form words in your head, STOP IT! It’s too much! Back off or even stop for the day.
  4. More is NOT always better. 2-3 days a week, at most, is appropriate for high intensity exercise for most people. Anything more will only stress your body out, CAUSING that excess belly fat to hang around AND PREVENT you from losing fat. If you have this problem, lighten up a few days a week and see what happens!

That’s a Wrap!

So there you have it. It is more than possible to EXERCISE LESS and get MORE RESULTS! And that, my friends, is my specialty. Today’s article highlighted the key skills to develop to apply this awesome rule to your own life. AND we went into more depth on how to 1. Choose Effective Exercises, and 2. Apply Intensity Appropriately for safe, effective fat loss in your own fitness plan.  And that is how to Make ‘Moving Less’ work for you!

Your ‘Get Fit’ Assignment:

Think about your current fitness regimen. Are you consistently exercising? Is it working for you? If not, apply the principles in today’s post, comment below, and let me know your results.

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  • Vanessa Van Horn

    Reply Reply June 28, 2012

    GREAT info here Gerilyn- especially about the compound excersizing.. I can feel your passion for what you do in your post. Your VITALITY is jumping off the page 😉 and your give away looks great. Just signing up for it. Keep Shining!

    • gerilyn

      Reply Reply June 29, 2012

      Thanks for your kind words, Vanessa! I’m super-stoked myself! 🙂 Can’t wait to see all your transformations!!!

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