Do those “Insane” workouts HELP or HURT???

My friends laughed at me as I explained “my” version of resistance training and cardio.  I used to be literally embarrassed to admit what I did for my aerobic exercise, because it was so different from the 45 minute to an hour-and-a-half treadmills, eliptical, and killer classes that everyone else was doing.

“Doing that little cardio ain’t gonna do CRAP to help you burn off fat you silly boy!” they’d exclaim.

Welp, you’ve seen my videos for years now.

I love my friends, but all of them have at least some…if not a LOT…of extra pudge on their bodies.

(That’s ok, more for me to hug).  😉

The Pennington Biomedical Research Center embarked on a very in-depth thirty-week long study proving that resting metabolism DOES slow down, sometimes substantially, when physical activity, such as in the case of these “insane” workouts we’re seeing marketed, is increased dramatically.

You see all those videos out there teaching everyone how to work themselves into exhaustion; the ones that try to encourage you to “challenge” yourself, by working out so hard that you can barely walk, let alone stand after a workout.  Lots of different programs that shall go unnamed.

The part that has bothered me the most, is that the main thrust behind the sales of these programs is in marketing the sheer *enthusiasm*…a sense of comradery in an almost militaristic-style group, everyone pushing themselves to the edge physically as a sense of accomplishment, to take weight and fat off.

Everyone knows…(don’t they?)…that pushing the body hard four to seven days a week in sheer energy expenditure will result in losing weight and fat.  This result can’t help but happen when so much time is devoted to expending large amounts of time and energy to physical exertion…

…But is it really healthy, AND, can it be maintained as a lifestyle for the rest of a person’s life?

My research and experience suggests that not only is it almost never maintained as a lifestyle, but anything akin to that much work also taxes the body, and particularly the immune system (something I focus on a great deal for over-40-ers) far too much.

I have been cringing for years as I’ve watched these promotions. 

This type of physical activity CAN and DOES take weight off…but the problem is, it will rarely (literally less than 10% of the time)…(!)…KEEP the weight off.  And NOT just because the lifestyle can’t be maintained…

…But worse:

The resting metabolism of almost everyone who exercises in this way slows down, making the NEED for this kind of activity, on an on-going basis in order to maintain results…mandatory.

And it gets even worse that THAT:

In order to maintain that kind of weight and fat loss, people must do a lot of continued exercise and consume fewer calories or they will literally regain the lost weight, and perhaps even more.

SO: The person must not only work themselves to exhaustion often, taxing the immune system and certainly their bodies, joints, etc, but they must ALSO continue to reduce their caloric intake to keep their results.

Reducing calories is all too often beneficial for us over-40-ers for a multitude of reasons.  But, in my opinion, not like this, and not for this reason.

Reference: (Journal Clinical Endocrinology Metabolism 97: 2489-2496, 2012)

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