Are you worried that the type of exercising you’re doing will make you gain fat?
Beware of articles with titles like “Why Your Workout Might Be Making You Fat.”
One reason given is that the adrenalin rush from being “addicted” to an exercise class can slow metabolism.
The other reason is that long duration cardio raises cortisol levels, which when raised, promote fat storage.
But this isn’t the same as saying, “Your workout can be making you fat.”
It would be more accurate to state, “Your workout is preventing fat loss.”
I’ve never heard of a sedentary person gain 10 pounds of fat as a result of taking step aerobics classes twice a week or taking up jogging five days a week.
Maybe they’ve put on fat due to eating more, feeling entitled to eat more due to the higher level of physical activity, as in, “I’ve earned a cheeseburger and large fries after that five mile run.”
But the exercise in and of itself, when all other things (like food intake) remain the same, will NOT cause increased fat storage!
I mean, think of the skinny people who want to GAIN fat. Do you see them spending more time jogging on a treadmill to gain fat?
If gaining weight from aerobics were that easy, then there wouldn’t be all these skinny people complaining that they can’t put on weight.
The truth is that certain kinds of workouts will result in a weight loss plateau. But even THIS needs to be qualified.
A sedentary person who takes up walking, jogging, pedaling or stepping, and whose eating habits do not change, will lose weight.
They will especially lose weight if the exercise is in the form of high intensity interval training (mixing brief maximal or near-maximal bursts of effort with casual pacing).
Fat loss may stall when you do long duration, steady-paced aerobics such as an hour-long trot around a track.
Doing high intensity interval training 2x/week will stir things up in the weight loss department. So will adding intense strength training.
Nobody gains fat from lifting metal.
To change body composition and slash off fat like a hot knife through butter, you must strength train – and intensely.
Another type of exercise that will activate weight loss is burst training.
Again … there’s no such thing as a particular exercise or workout that MAKES you fat or adds fat to the body.
Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained women and men of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health.