As you know, there are numerous fitness training options for Charleston area residents looking to lose those unwanted pounds and get in shape in the new year.
Charleston gyms, health clubs, and fitness training facilities in 2020 continue to offer up a wide variety of options for various workouts and exercise routines to meet individual preferences and needs.
Recently there has been significant growth in the smaller private studios in Charleston offering various types of boutique fitness training with specialized instruction for things like Yoga, Pilates, Barre, personal training, indoor cycling, and others.
The good news is this provides Lowcountry residents with lots of options according to their individual wants, needs, and budget. The question becomes which is the best workout or facility to go to for you?
That truly all depends on your individual preferences and needs. In all fairness, there is no one exercise modality that can provide optimal benefits across the board for all components of fitness.
For example, most experts would agree that Yoga and Pilates provides superior benefits to core strengthening and flexibility improvements than traditional health club machine workouts.
On the other hand, the metabolic and hormonal responses from a Yoga or Pilates class would not provide the same benefits for lean muscle development and fat loss as say strength training would.
This is not to say you couldn’t lose fat or tone up using Pilates or Yoga, it’s just working the body differently than say high intensity weight training for example.
Middle age adults and exercise
For the purpose of this discussion, I want to address the specific wants and needs of the middle age adult who wants to lose unwanted body fat, look better, have more energy, be stronger, and have more muscle definition.
He or she may certainly also want to improve core strength and flexibility, but what they really want MOST of all is to trim down and increase energy levels.
From a true body transformation standpoint not all workouts are created equal. Shaping Concepts is a private personal training studio located in Mt. Pleasant that specializes in what I believe are the optimal workouts for middle age adults looking to primarily change the shape of their physique.
After 20 plus years of research on fat loss and body transformation, I’ve found that burst training or "metabolic resistance training" as it’s sometimes called, is the most effective and time efficient means for middle age adults to lose body fat.
While it’s extremely effective for exercisers at any age, burst training is optimal for middle age adults due to the hormonal responses that come with it. This is important because what may have worked to help you lose weight and tone up when you were in your twenties and early thirties will likely not work as well as you get older.
The reason is simply that your metabolism and hormonal levels have changed. It’s not uncommon for clients coming into our studio to report their frustration with dieting and doing long duration cardio workouts without seeing the results they want.
These methods used to work for weight loss, but now all they seem to be losing is a lot of sweat while doing cardio!
Misconceptions with weight loss and cardio
There’s a big time misconception that weight loss is simply a matter of calories in versus calories out. The rationale is that if you cut back on calories by dieting and burn off even more with long duration cardio you’ll automatically lose body fat. Unfortunately as you may have painfully learned, the human body doesn’t work that way.
Here is something that you'll want to remember...
Losing body fat is 100% controlled by the hormonal balances in your body!
As you get older several key hormones that regulate body fat start to decline. The primary players are testosterone, growth hormone, and IGF-1. The rate of decline is increased with inactivity and a poor diet.
Specifically, resistance training, which a lot of people leave out in favor of cardio, has the biggest role on supporting these hormonal balances.
At some point in your mid-thirties you’ll start losing around two pounds of lean muscle tissue each year due to hormonal shifts if you’re not doing resistance training. Therefore it becomes your top priority as far as exercise goes.
A lot of people shy away from resistance training, especially women, who think it will only make them get big and bulky muscles. Plus they figure cardio is going to be more effective at helping them lose weight.
This couldn’t be farther from the truth!
Resistance training will not automatically create “big and bulky” muscles.
Let me explain...
First off there has to be a positive caloric balance (meaning you’re consuming more calories than you’re burning off). Chances are you won't be doing that if you're controlling your diet in attempts to lose weight.
Secondly, you’d need to be regularly using heavier weights with progressive overloading to create hypertrophy with the muscle. By programming workouts to cover various forms of providing an overload stimulus, you need not worry about getting big and bulky.
Thirdly and most important, you’d need to have the support of adequate androgen hormones like testosterone to build a good bit of lean muscle. Chances are as a middle age female, this isn't going to be the case.
The main reason you want to be doing resistance training anyways actually has to do with the hormonal responses.
This is where burst training comes in...
Traditional resistance training using free weights or machines at the gym can certainly help you improve metabolically active lean muscle and reverse falling testosterone levels. However, this can be optimized.
By increasing intensity you can improve levels of growth hormone, IGF-1, and more importantly the adrenal hormones adrenaline and nor-adrenaline. From a fat loss standpoint, these are the real powerhouses of fat burning catalysts.
What makes burst training so different is you’re doing resistance exercises in short “bursts” of all-out effort followed by very brief recovery periods. This is in stark contrast to the typical “three sets of ten reps with the same exercise with a minute or two rest between sets” that you see most people doing in a health club.
By doing short bursts of all-out effort (typically 10-30 seconds with an exercise), then moving quickly to another movement with minimal rest, you’re stimulating your central nervous system in a way that traditional resistance training or aerobic exercise doesn’t.
The primary difference is you’re stimulating very powerful fat burning hormones like growth hormone, adrenaline, and nor-adrenaline.
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not how many calories you burn DURING the workout that matters. It’s what happens after the workout that really counts for fat loss. When you provide your central nervous system with an overload by doing short-bursts of all-out effort, you’re setting the conditions to be optimal for fat loss for the next 24-36 hours.
Of course diet and nutrition play a key role in all of this and cannot be left out of the equation. The burst training is simply setting the hormonal conditions to be optimal for fat loss. From there you have to be adhering to a diet that creates short term deficits while also being supportive in nature from natural whole foods. We need this combination in essence to “give your body a reason” to burn excess fat stores.
The burst training workouts only take 30 minutes to complete. For middle age adults struggling to manage busy schedules with work, family, and other responsibilities, this alleviates the challenge of trying to fit in an hour or more at the gym every day.
At my Shaping Concepts personal training studios we provide a FREE consultation and trial of the burst training workouts so you can experience the difference for yourself. We’ve helped hundreds of Charleston area residents lose weight and get their body back using burst training methods and a supportive nutrition diet.
See our success stories page for just some of the numerous testimonials we have regarding the effectiveness of our programs. I encourage you if you’re stuck in a weight loss plateau or simply not seeing the results you want from your workouts, to come in and learn more about the burst training difference.
No high pressure sales tactics, that’s simply not our style. You have my word on it. I look forward to helping you reach your fitness and weight loss goals.
Even if you’re not a Charleston area resident, I’m always happy to help in any way I can. Don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions you may have.
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