April 18, 2014
Don’t be Afraid to Sweat!

Many times I’ll see a 20/20 client start their program with their personal trainer and their shirt is just dripping with sweat at the end of the workout as if they just got out of the swimming pool.  Fast forward 12 weeks later and that same person is still covered in their own sweat, but 30 or 40 pounds lighter.  However, there will be times where I will observe a personal trainer finishing up with a client and I couldn’t even tell if they had just worked out or are about to begin.

If you are one of the latter, it is time to do some self-reflection and rethink your workouts.  It’s time to dig deeper and get that heart rate up a little higher.  Don’t be afraid to sweat!  I will admit.  I love getting on the elliptical for an hour and just zoning out with my music on Level 10 maintaining a steady state and steady heart rate.  It gets the job done and I feel I accomplished something for the day.  However, after a month of the same routine, your body adapts to the stress and the workout is no longer as effective.  The heart rate is lower, and your body naturally adjusts to how much you need to expend for the workout.  It’s no longer a challenge. 

If you are seeing your weight loss progress go from 2-3 pounds per week at the beginning to less than a pound to 1 pound per week, it’s time to step it up!  Get that shirt dripping with sweat!  Throw in some high intensity interval training workouts to get that heart pumping.  In the late 1990’s, Japanese researcher, Izumi Tabata, introduced the Tabata protocol, which consisted of high intense, short interval workouts that would get the same results as long endurance cardio with half the time period or less.  It’s more efficient and you’re able to get more during your workout.  So the next time you see your 20/20 personal trainer, ask them to put you through a high intensity workout. 

One benefit for high intensity training is a more effective benefit for fat burning versus steady state cardio.  Exercise physiologists have yet to figure out a definite reason as to why, but one theory is the afterburn effect.  After an intense workout, your body’s metabolism burns hours after the workout and sometimes days after.  This is known as the afterburn effect. 
High intensity workouts are not the answer to all of your training, but if you use a combination of these workouts and compliment it with steady state endurance workouts 1-2 times per week, which will shock your body to adjust to a new stimulant and assist with your fat burning.

The difference between losing 15-20 pounds in a 12 week period to losing 30-40 pounds in that same timespan is intensity.  The more you push yourself to your threshold, the more benefits you’ll get.  Continue to work and continue to improve!  

Written by Nelson Lau

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