I see this so often in the gym – people that lift weights every day of the week and people that spend hours on monotone cardio machines, be it to lose fat or to just be able to keep their current physique and to put on some extra muscle. Most of them never even consider the possibility that the reason whey they’re not making any progress is that they’re over-doing it and possibly even damaging their health. The sad thing is, getting more toned can be so much easier if you know how.
Let’s start with the benefits of working out
Regular exercise has a lot of proven benefits. It can give you more energy, help you lose weight and build muscles (while at the same time boosting your metabolism) and it can help you improve your general health.
The negative effects of overtraining
Sadly, overtraining can have the opposite effects on your body. When combined with the wrong diet and too little rest, exercising too much can cause serious damage. If you are feeling more tired all the time instead of energized because of your workouts, you might be suffering from adrenal fatigue and should reduce your training frequency.
Don’t exercise more and cut calories
Somebody probably told you to exercise more and cut calories to lose weight. But by doing that, you damage your metabolism and might even gain some weight in the end. When you eat less and work out more, your body gets the message that you’re starving and that it needs to slow down to conserve energy. In addition, the excessive, long cardio sessions that many believe to be ‘a great way to lose fat’ can lead to both muscle loss as well as weight gain due to an increase in cortisol levels.
What you need to do instead
- Stop wasting time & energy on long, boring cardio sessions! Focus on lifting heavy weights and HIIT (high intensity interval training) instead for better results in less time! I recommend mixing the two – eg. weightlifting for 30-60 minutes on Saturday and 5 minutes of HIIT (for example by doing burpees) on Wednesday. Trust me, it’s way more fun as well!
- Don’t exercise every day and let your body rest for at least one day after a workout. I recommend training max. three times/week.
- Stop counting the calories you burned during your workout, as that number is irrelevant. You will lose fat & build muscle during the days after your workout anyway.
- Prioritize sleep, especially on workout days!
- Cut out most carbs and replace them with healthy fats, vegetables, wild-caught fish and grass-fed meat. Eat some healthy carbs (sweet potatoes, white rice) after your workouts to help you build muscle and recover.
- Drink a natural, grass-fed whey protein shake (I use this one) within 30 minutes of your workout to help with muscle recovery.
- Include MCT oil in your diet (I add mine to my bulletproof coffee every morning and on salads), to help your body burn fat for energy.