01 Feb LESSON Three- 3 MEANS OF ACTION
3 Means of Action
By: Chad Davis, BOWADX Founder
Taking action is not a secret when you expect results to occur. To pick up a piece of cheesecake, you would take action by reaching out your hand to pick it up. You would follow that by pulling your hand back toward your mouth. I would follow that action by slapping it out of your hand and saying, “What are you thinking? It’s not your cheat day.”
The 3 actions I am referring to are resistance training, cardiovascular training and nutrition. If you think of it, the entire realm of fitness is action. Let’s look at the importance of these 3 actions more closely.
Resistance training is a must in the 3 areas of action. It’s needed to build muscle. Doing cardio alone will most likely lead to the loss of muscle along with fat. “So what?,” you say. The “so what” is that doing cardio alone will lead to a drastic loss in your overall metabolism, as well as your resting metabolic rate. That’s the absolute last thing you want to happen. You want to gain muscle my friend. Each pound of muscle burns a whopping 35-50 calories per day. A gain of ten pounds of muscle can lead to an extra fifty pounds of fat loss a year. The loss of ten pounds of muscle can lead to a gain of fifty pounds of fat in one year.
Ever wonder why so many people yo-yo with their weight? Simply put, most lose weight by losing muscle and fat. That slows one’s metabolism to a screeching halt, thus causing one to work miserably trying to keep their weight down. You see, any little extra thing eaten will lead to fat gain due to the slowed down metabolism.
You will not have to worry about this if you gain muscle as you lose fat. The gain of muscle will actually increase your metabolism as you lose weight in fat. Example, you are starting metabolism is 1600 calories per day, and you lose ten pounds of fat while gaining eight pounds of muscle, your metabolism will increase to over 1900 calories burned per day. So an extra unexpected 100 calories here and there will not lead to weight gain because you are still in an overall deficit for the day. Point in hand: always include resistance training.
You, like most, may think doing cardio is as monotonous as watching the grass grow. I don’t jump for joy when thinking about it myself. So why is it so important you ask? Well, cardiovascular activity, when done correctly, puts your body in a strong and steady oxidative state for a given amount of time. This oxidative state is causing extreme fat burning throughout your body. Resistance training causes more of a glycolytic, sugar burning state than that of quality cardiovascular training. You probably want to focus on burning fat rather than burning sugar. Now listen to me, you need to be highly aware of the term “oxidative cardiovascular training.” The term oxidation refers to, you guessed it, oxygen. This is when your body is utilizing oxygen to oxidize fat for an instant energy source. This is a good thing since you want to be burning fat for energy while doing cardio. The problem that most get into is that they are not in a steady oxidative state. Most end up cranking the treadmill up to a speed that will just shoot their heart rate up to 75 or 85% of their maximum heart rate and staying there. This causes one to get out of breath which leads to oxygen deprivation; a big word for lack of oxygen. When the body can’t get enough oxygen to oxidize fat, the body has to switch over to a better and more efficient energy source. That source would be sugar or glucose. Again, I think you would prefer to burn fat over sugar when doing cardio. It will cause the body to release fat, but that is not enough. I will touch on that here in a bit.
Studies show that the best zone for burning fat is when your heart rate lies between 60 and 65% of your maximum heart rate. Yes, I occasionally recommend my clients to do interval training to strengthen their hearts, which will lower their overall pulse or BPM (Beats per Minute). Hey, the less your heart beats per day, the better. Common sense will pledge to that.
I actually often do a mixture of HIIT(High Intensity Interval Training) Cardio and Low Intensity Cardio. I did say that the high intensity does put your body into a glycolytic zone, BUT it does push your body to “release fat”…yet not burn or “oxidize” fat. You can do high intensity cardio and release all the fat you want, BUT you better make sure you burn that released fat. Otherwise, all that released fat will simply travel through the blood stream and be picked up and later stored in your body’s preferred storage areas, such as your hips and stomach region. Here is what I do…
I start my cardio routine with a quick warm up to get my heart rate to about 60-65% of my maximum heart rate, which is about 125-128 beats per minute. I will hold that for about 3-5 minutes. I then will crank up the pace to where I am about 75-80% of my max, which might be around 155-165bpm and is my Anaerobic “fat releasing” state. I will hold that for 1-3 minutes. I will then drop the pace back down to where my heart rate is at 125-128bpm, which is my aerobic “fat burning” state. I don’t start counting my time for the “fat burning” until my heart rate reaches my personal target of 125-128bpm. Otherwise, I will most likely be in a non- fat burning state. My goal is to RELEASE FAT and BURN THE RELEASED FAT. Too many people do HIIT cardio all wrong. They do their cardio in a one minute on/one minute off type of fashion. If you get your heart rate to 165bpm, unless you are Lance Armstrong, it will take your body longer than one minute to recover and get it down to a “fat burning” zone of 125-130bpm. You will simply be at 70-85% of your heart rate throughout your entire cardio routine and only release fat, but you will not be burning much of anything but sugar and protein. I can’t give you the perfect cardio routine for you. If you choose to do the HIIT style of cardio on occasion, I would just recommend you start by doing a warm up, followed by spiking your heart rate high for one to two minutes, then lower the intensity or speed down until you are somewhere between 122-130bpm. Maintain that 122-130 beats per minute range for a full 2 to 3 minutes. Your low intensity zone time frame does not start until you hit your desired heart rate. For some, that may take 1.5 minutes, for others it might take two or three minutes. So, your interval training might be one minute hard at a speed of “8” on the treadmill, with an incline of “6” for one minute, followed by a lower speed of “3.5” at an incline of 4 for three to five minutes, then the cycle repeated for five to six times. That would cause your body to “RELEASE FAT” and “BURN THE RELEASED FAT”. You will have to really pay attention to your heart rate to do this right. I do that by checking my pulse for ten seconds and multiply that number by six, or my utilizing the handheld handles on the newer cardio devices. Now, for all of you who are a bit over weight, don’t start with this kind of cardio. You will be asking for trouble. Start with steady state cardio until you feel that you are ready for HIIT cardio training. Most of my cardio sessions are around 30 minutes in length. There is never a need to go over 45 minutes in any given cardio session. If you have to do that, you need to make adjustments to your nutrition plan. Finally, while I am thinking on it…Don’t hold on to the treadmill!!! That is a big pet peeve of mine. Only hold on if you have a disability and need to for added stability.
I recommend doing a bare minimum of 2-3 total hours per week of cardio at 65% of your maximum heart rate or via the HIIT style of training. Here’s an example equation to get an idea of where your heart rate should be per minute.
(220-Age) x 65% = ___________ (Fat Burning HRT)
(220-Age) x 80% = ___________ (Max HRT)
Your third component is perhaps the most important of the three actions. Simply put, you are what you eat. My friend, 75 to 85% of your results stem solely from your nutritional habits. I don’t understand why anyone would go to the gym and workout with weights and cardio only to follow it up with a salad topped with enough dressing and toppings to equal out to a medium cheese and pepperoni pizza. Don’t try and justify good workouts with bad nutrition.
When dieting down for a competition or photo shoot in the past, I would rarely change my workout regimen. My changes would come primarily from my calories and ratios of protein, carbohydrates, and fats in my diet. It’s actually pretty simple. One pound of fat burns or needs 3,500 calories to survive. So, to burn off that pound of fat, you would need to decrease your calories by 3,500 calories spread out throughout the week. An actual 500 calorie a day drop per day with proper activity should lead to a one pound loss of fat each week.
Your key to nutrition is to know what number of calories is too much and what number of calories is too little for your body to run efficiently on. Yes, you can eat too little and cause your metabolism to shut down and actually store food and needed energy, energy in the form of fat. There are probably more individuals in that boat, who are dieting, than those who are still overeating.
In the next few weeks, I will begin to really dig deeper into nutrition. I will be getting very advanced within the Project Lean Hunter protocol. So get ready and stay tuned to gain some great knowledge that I have learned the past 27 years. Apply all these tips and plans and you will be sure to reach any weight loss or lean muscle gain milestone you have set for yourself in the near future.