I want to teach you where you should put the majority of your focus on if you're wanting to lose fat, build some muscle and just care about your overall health.
This Hierarchy was explained very well to me by my Coach Jeremiah Bair.
I would love to share with you what I have learned from him.
To the right, you will see The Fitness Hierarchy
Ranked from most-least important:
Most people are surprised by this, expecting cardio to be the number one focus, followed by stepping into the gym a few times, and dieting hard for a couple weeks every January.
Now why doesn’t this work?
In order to lose fat we must eat fewer calories than we burn in a day.
It is impossible to erase a poor diet with exercise. Why? Because you just don’t burn very many calories when you exercise (about 5% of your total daily calorie burn comes from exercise.)
Calories in < Calories out = Fat Loss. This is called Energy Balance
Main takeaway here is watching your diet to control the “calories in” side of the energy balance equation is much easier than trying to lose fat by ramping up the “calories out” side of the equation.
This is why Nutrition is the most important factor to pay attention to.
Lifting weights actually burns fewer calories than cardio. But, resistance training has many more benefits for you than cardio:
It’s a huge psychological boost
Find a plan you can see yourself sticking to for a really long time.
Cardio is still helpful. We just don’t want to put the majority of our focus in it.
Cardio has obvious cardiovascular health benefits-it’s good for your heart.
Cardio has carryover to your resistance training. It allows you to recover quicker - both between sets and between training sessions.
Now the biggest issue with cardio is that your body adapts very quickly to it.
When you adapt to something, you become more efficient at it. Becoming efficient means you’re burning less calories.
So take this for example:
If you were to run 1 mile you might burn 100 calories. As the adaptation occurs, the calorie burn decreases. So after running a mile every day this week and burning a 100 calories each time you may end up only burning 90 calories the next week, and then 80 the next. The only way to keep burning 100 calories is to increase the distance and/or time spent running. The problem is - who has the time or desire in our busy lives to keep adding miles forever?
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Kayli is a certified personal trainer and online coach that specializes in fitness, wellness, nutrition, mindset, mobility and everything in between.