It’s the season for my favorite weight loss show (to criticize) and it has me thinking… It’s time we talk about balance and moderation. A lot of pop culture has us under the impression that in order to get fit and lose weight, we have to spend half a day in the gym, eat like a bird and fit the rest of our regular life into what’s left.
I’ve been a personal trainer for a long time and have picked up some tips along the way that might make working toward your weight loss goals a little less punishing.
When you’ve got weight to lose, it can be tempting to block out a 2-hour window for cardio or weight training. However, there are multiple reasons why being at the gym for longer than 45 minutes can be detrimental to your efforts. Here are a few:
Hormone response. These are the chemicals that tell your body to grow muscle, burn fat and slow the metabolism. They all work hard while you’re working out, but after a certain period of time (40-60 minutes) they start to flatten out.
Quality of work. When you’re working out, technique is a factor. You want your time to be effective. Past an hour of intense work, your focus and technique usually starts to suffer, putting you at risk of injury.
Joint recovery. Working hard does not mean working long. The trouble is, the harder you work the more force that is put on your joints. Your joints need recovery so they can be ready to go at your next session. Joint injury is a common cause for people having to stop working out.
Life beyond the gym. I’ll be the first to say that staying active and working hard toward your fitness goals is important. And the best part of putting in the work in the gym is improving your quality of life outside the gym. It’s why we focus on functional training, why our classes are under an hour long, and why we talk openly about things like healthy food choices, navigating parties while you’re on a food plan and other fun ways to stay active.