Hope you all had a great weekend!
In the September Reset Challenge, I shared the foods that help and harm metabolism. Besides what we eat, our physical activity has an impact on our metabolism, too.
In my post about the 7 Reasons Runners Struggle to Lose Weight I mentioned that if we run (and only run) we can hit a plateau and miss the metabolic boosting effects from strength training. Distance running has been shown to create inflammation and can slow the body’s metabolism. (Learn more about how to reduce inflammation here.)
I’m sure you know by now that strength training and interval training are more effective for your metabolism and create a greater after burn. Interval cardio, or high intensity training, can burn 3x more body fat than moderate cardio.
So what are the best ways to incorporate strength and intensity training?
First, heavy weights are more effective than light weights. They help you burn twice as many calories afterward as a session with light weights.
Second, you want to move your largest muscle groups first for a greater metabolic effect for increasing muscle mass and fat burning. So you would begin with quads, glutes, hamstrings, back and chest and finish with smaller muscles groups like shoulders, abs, calves, triceps and biceps.
And finally, the most effective workout combines high intensity cardio with heavy weights.
A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning compared two groups who performed the exact same set of cardio and weight exercises. The first group completed all the weights first and than did their cardio interval routine.
The second group alternated cardio interval training in between weight sets.
The study found that the second group had 10x as much fat loss, plus improved muscle mass gains, increased body strength, and better endurance.
So for example, you would complete a set of squats (weight) and then mountain climbers (intense cardio) and continue to alternate the two types of workouts. This workout style can be very effective in a short amount of time- even 10 or 15 minutes is enough. (Ideal for anyone who says they have no time to workout!)
Need a sample workout? Try one of these:
For dozens of interval and strength workouts, check out my pinterest “Strength” board.
Do you incorporate weights or interval training?
How do you balance variety of training with running?