Balance is the word
Feb 06 2014
The key to weight loss is to change your metabolism. Popular opinion is that it’s easier to alter your metabolism through weight training than cardio; however both will do if the workouts are well designed and suit you. More than what you do, how you do it is more important. Here, the key is to focus on intensity. You want to achieve as much of anaerobic workout in your routine, as this will cause the body to release performance enhancing hormones. Our body depends on air to live, and by forcing it beyond its ability to breathe leads to the release of hormones in order to let the body survive. When done consistently, these hormones will change or enhance your metabolism.
The other thing here is to balance your anaerobic training. You should only do anaerobic work in short intervals, followed by short periods of rest, which is important for your heart to work aerobically towards recovery. Planning and executing the anaerobic sets properly will result in powerful cardio workout during every anaerobic workout. Simply put, circuit training with weights where you do many sets along with short breaks is not only a great anaerobic weight training workout, but is also a very effective workout for your cardiovascular system as well. On the other hand, while you need the stress to change your hormone balance, you must also guard against overstressing yourself. So make sure you take enough time to recover properly between workouts.
Your daily nutrition and lifestyle are just as important for proper recovery. The better you eat, the faster you recover. I don’t mean load yourself with paranthas after a hard workout! Focus on proteins as well as antioxidants to keep your system healthy and strong. Also don’t neglect sleep. The maximum recovery takes place while you’re asleep, so don’t compromise on it. It also helps your mind to stay refreshed, and you need to have the requisite level of concentration when executing your exercises properly, thereby minimising the chance of injury.
The best training programmes have elements of both aerobic and anaerobic training. Other important factors for weight loss are: pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone. The key is to maintain a healthy level of intensity, to eat enough to recover but not too much, and to rest enough between your workouts. Your metabolism will shift and the kilos will melt away if you balance these factors correctly.
(The author is a wellness expert and runs a fitness centre in New Delhi)