What do you need to burn fat?
I recently found one of my colleagues at office running around our department like an excited little kid.
He had suddenly realised that he should do something about his belly. Being very good at office work and sporting facial looks that were equally as good, it was undoubtedly time this handsome young man did something to streamline his body and, in turn, his health.
But, I was horrified to listen to his training programme, which he was narrating to another senior colleague.
He explained with pride the pain and strain he was undergoing, not because of weight training, but intense stretching and ‘balancing acts’ he was asked to perform!!!!
For a person who has never set foot into a gym or been out of serious sports at least for half-a-decade, intense stretching and balancing work are not only stupid but also downright dangerous.
Being a good student in the field of fitness and bodybuilding for a little over a decade, and still living, breathing and learning about training and scientific concepts every day, I can say for sure that a novice should not train in such a manner.
It’s all money now
With Rumpelstiltskin working overtime in the modern fitness industry, fancy gadgets, crazy movements and hi-sounding mumbo-jumbo are certainly the in-things.
Little do people realise that there have been world-class bodybuilders, athletes and sportspersons who were lean, athletic, muscular and long-lived when the fathers of modern day fitness trainers were in diapers.
Hardcore gyms where sweat, tears and hard work were ‘mantras,’ are now taboo. Uncivilised, rustic, crude, grotesque, and distasteful – these are some of the words generally used by some high-profile clients to describe a place like my own training facility, ‘Masters Gym.’
Where science and experience speak
Having transformed my own body from ‘ridiculous’ to ‘reasonably good,’ and also trained several thousands of people through my stories and free mails, I wish to say only this much – training science is a constant and not a variable. Over a period of time, certain names undergo metamorphosis and reappear with more style.
However, to lose fat, what a trainee needs to do is still the same, after all these decades – create a calorific deficit through sensible nutrition plan and increase expenditure through weight training, or at least, any form of resistance training.
The trainee need not workout like a bodybuilder, but the tools used by him and a professional bodybuilder or sportsman are the same. The training methodology, poundage, routine and diet plans alone are different.
What to do
The training routine should have movements for all major muscle groups to increase metabolism and strengthen vital areas like the lower back. A person need not go crazy over abdominal movements because there is nothing called spot-reduction. Working the abs when the lower back is weak may wreak havoc on the spine.
Intense stretching movements may also lead to muscle tears or injury. The trauma created by such stretching may do more harm than good to a beginner. Stretching and flexibility are not synonymous. Stretching is only one of the means to achieving flexibility.
Weight training should always be accompanied by cardiovascular training, to burn maximum fat and strengthen the heart (which weight training also does).
Gradually increasing intensity over a period of months will bring about amazing transformation while ensuring that the trainee’s immune system and recovery mechanism do not take a beating.
The tools a trainee needs are some basic weights, a manual treadmill or stationary cycle (maximum a recumbent bike, if the trainee has knee problems) and a good diet chart.
I am sure that there may be people reading this story and shrugging it off saying, “He’s all sour grapes.”
I feel sorry for them….or, maybe I shouldn’t?
_ C. Lakshmi Kumar