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Need to up your calorie burn?

16 Oct

It’s not done by longer cardio sessions. And you are already weight training (hopefully). You can apply this to both cardio and weight training: Make your exercise sessions harder.

What the heck do you mean, Kelly? Good question…let me tell you. Make your working session happen at a higher % of your VO2 max. Don’t know your VO2 max, or even what that is? It’s easy to be tested all over the country (locally, I recommend Baseline Fitness /www.baselinefitness.com/ – they can also test your body fat and resting metabolism, great numbers to know if you want to track your progress).

If you don’t know your VO2 max, then use your body’s cues to know how hard you are working. If you can carry on a long conversation with someone next to you, you are not working hard enough. On a scale of 1 – 10 (the perceived exertion scale), how do you feel? You will know if you are not working hard enough at a 5 or so. You are working hard at an 8 and above. Don’t use sweating as an indicator either – sweating is largely based on the number of sweat glands you have and has little to do with how hard you are working.

That’s easy to apply to cardio, right? So how do you apply it to weight training? Lift heavier, faster, superset, or mix some cardio in between sets. Doing 20 reps of a weight that’s too light does very little for you. Doing 8 reps of a weight that you couldn’t possible lift for a 9th rep will do you good and burn serious calories at the same time.

Why do I have to work harder when I work out? Most people want to get more out of their workout for a variety of reasons (better fitness, weight loss, to run a marathon, etc.) Working harder not only gives you the fitness edge, it creates an after-burn that can last many, many hours after exercise (14 hours is the latest amount I’ve seen based on a recent study). Do you want to work at an easy or moderate pace and burn only an hours worth of light jogging on a treadmill, or do you want to work hard for possibly less time and continue the burn for hours after your exercise session? Sounds like a no brainer to me. Play with some ways to increase how hard you work during your exercise sessions. Do cardio intervals and superset with heavy weights, etc.

If you need help with what to do with weights or cardio to increase the burn, I can help – check out my website for more info (www.fitnesskelly.com).