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There is a lot of good and bad information out there when it comes to losing weight through exercise.  We all hear versions of them everyday, luckily I have the education to pick out the bad ones.  I am going to give you a quick version of that education right now.  If you take the time to understand these simple rules then you will reap rewards from your time at the gym.

1. Have a specific purpose to each workout (I will list a few examples).  Far too often people just "get a workout" but don't know what they got from it.  If that is you then STOP WASTING YOUR TIME.  That approach does not work because your body will very specifically adapt to your workout.  So if you just get a workout then who knows what change you asked from your body.  Make a goal of burning 500 calories, or making your abs sore, or running 5 miles, or lifting a specific weight for the first time.  These goals will get you to push yourself but also demand something more of your body, and that demand is when the good stuff happens.

2.  Understand muscle confusion.  Muscle confusion is when your body is subjected to work that it is not used to, hence it gets confused.  Since your body will try to get unconfused it will have to react to the workout and change itself.  Change one or all of the following components each time you workout.
  • Frequency - How often you do something
  • Intensity - How hard you do it (Track HR or weight that you lift)
  • Time - How long you do it (Time on the tread or sets and reps)
  • Type - How you do it (try something new often)
3.  Understand afterburn.  Most of the good stuff that comes from exercise does not happen while you are actually exercising, but after you are done while it recovers.  This process is called 'Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption', but you can think of it as the extra calories that you burn after you are done exercising.  To maximize this concept you should frequently revisit number 2 in this article. 

So let's say that you do a workout that burns 300 calories while you do it.  If you do this workout fairly often then you may get an additional 200 calories of afterburn to recover from it.  BUT, if this is your first time doing this workout then you can burn up to 900 calories recovering from the very same workout.  This will greatly impact your fat burning potential.

4.  Eat damn-it.  When you incorporate 1-3 you will have a body that needs food.  If you don't eat you are sending a bad signal to your body.  You are telling your body that you are going to starve it, so it will respond by slowing down the metabolism so that you don't starve to death.  To avoid this problem you should eat as close to your workout as possible before and after the workout.  Yes, that is 2 meals...

5.  Respond.  Finally, as soon as you see your workout stop getting you results then it is time to respond.  Don't wait weeks or months to make sure that the program stopped working, it did.  Far too many people let comfort with exercise dictate what they do and don't do.  You don't have to be one of those people.  Instead, be one of those people who is always getting results.

If you want more instruction, or have specific questions don't be shy.  Send an email or start a topic in the forum.

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