The end of Phase 1

Hi guys! So after working out with HIIT workouts for a month (three to four times a week), I thought it’d be appropriate to mention what results I got out of it.

Truth be told, I am slightly bumped that I do not see my abs forming yet. I suppose it’s still covered in a layer of stubborn belly fat. Unfortunately my stubborn fats are from the guts, the hardest to burn. Though I do feel stronger and more toned (specifically my arms and legs). I know my endurance has definitely improved from when I first started out. Remember that crazy intense workout I did? Yup, click the link if you need to refresh your memory. I was only able to complete 4 rounds in an hour and a half, but by the end of this 1 month of intense workouts, I managed to complete all 5 rounds in an hour and 2 mins. So I know for a fact that my endurance has definitely improved. Though my patience is wearing thin. I know it’s just been a month but I am wondering why the body fat percentage has not decreased and why the muscle percentage remains stagnant. In truth, I have been eating clean and healthy as much as possible, though there were some days (like maybe 2-3 days in a month) where I have indulged a little bit more. Even if the stubborn belly fats in my tummy area didn’t decrease so much, I would have been comforted if the fat percentage in my body dropped. The only consultation I get out of this is the fact that my endurance has improved greatly. So I decided to do some research and came across this thing called ‘MAX Workouts‘.

If you click on the link, you’d find out the 6 mistakes when working out according to Shin Ohtake. Watch this video for a more detailed explanation by him. That link is for the ladies, this is the one for the gents. Be warned, the video is very lengthy and wordy, but very detailed, very accurate and very informative. If you are too lazy to watch the whole thing, here’s some of the things that caught my attention from the video.

If you’ve been hitting the treadmill, bike or elliptical thinking that you’ll burn fat and get trim. Well, I gotta tell you, you’re putting in a whole lot of effort for not a lot of results. The truth is, doing long, moderate cardio keeps you flabby, weak and prone to injury. And when I say long hours of cardio, I’m not talking about hours and hours of cardio like training for a marathon, but just your average 45-60 mins cardio routine that most people do few times a week – perhaps including yourself. Here’s the thing, long cardio eats away your muscle tone. And since muscle increases metabolism, you’re losing your body’s most efficient fat burner. In fact, your muscle burn 3 times more calories than fat. And so, the less muscle you have, the less calories you’ll burn and more fat you retain. Not to mention, popular cardio activities like running, causes you to pound the pavement over and over again, putting way too much stress on your joints, a surefire way to get injured. I’m not saying don’t do cardio, infact, cardio is a great way to burn fat but only if you do it right. When you do cardio the right way, it tricks your body into naturally producing a flood of fat-burning hormones and saves you from putting unnecessary stress on your joints so you don’t get injured. So the most effective way to perform cardio is with Short, High-Intensity Intervals. These cardio workouts multiply your calorie burn in half the time because it triggers your anaerobic metabolism which skyrockets your heart rate and melts away your fat without eating away your muscle tone. In fact, Short, High-Intensity Interval cardio is so effective that you’ll keep burning calories around the clock up to 48 hours AFTER your workout is over. How can that be? Because it elicits a powerful physiological effect known as EPOC (a.k.a “The After Burn”). Let me explain, EPOC is a scientific term used to measure your body’s rate of oxygen intake following a high-intensity activity and the higher the intensity of the activity, the more oxygen and energy are needed to restore your body. As a result, your body continues to burn calories for up to 48 hours after the workout even while you sleep! And here’s the real kicker, guess where those calories come from? Your stubborn fat.

You see.. one of the biggest mistakes people make, is that they focus on the number of calories they burn during the workout so they work out longer to try and burn more calories and that’s where they go wrong. You simply cannot workout long enough to equal the amount of calories you can burn with the After Burn effect. The bottom line, you need to focus on the amount of calories you burn AFTER the workout.. NOT during. And that means, it’s the quality of the workouts NOT the quantity that determine how much calories and fat you burn. Fitness is INTENSITY dependent NOT time dependent. So you see, the secret to shrinking your waistline and getting rid of belly fat permanently is NOT to workout longer. You just need to know how to workout smarter by doing shorter, high-intensity workouts and by not wasting time doing ineffective exercises. You know, like the 200 crunches and 50 side-bends you do to finish off your already lengthy workout. Well, you may not want to hear this, but those “extra” ab exercises are NOT going to get you any closer to getting washboard abs or erase that little bit of muffin top you have left. Here’s the thing, unlike trying to zap a blemish on your face, there is no such thing as a SPOT treatment when it comes to burning off fat even though your body tends to deposit more fat in certain areas as opposed to others, burning it off doesn’t work the same way. For example, if you tend to carry more weight in your hips and thighs, doing isolated exercises such as leg lifts or inner and outer thigh machines won’t help those areas slim down. These one-muscle-at-a-time isolated exercises simply don’t burn enough fat or calories which is why your trouble areas never seem to get any smaller or tighter. If you want to burn massive amounts of calories and tighten and tone your entire body, you need to do full-body functional exercises. These exercises involve your entire body and stimulate more muscle at the same time which boosts your metabolism and increases your calorie burn. Although losing weight is important, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to have a lean and fit body because if you lose muscle weight, you’re gonna end up looking soft and flabby. Losing weight is only part of the big picture, if you want to get toned and tight, you have to burn calories from fat, not muscle. Lifting weights will not make you get big, bulky muscles and look like one of those muscle-clad women on the cover of a bodybuilding magazine, not even close! Unlike men, women’s bodies don’t produce testosterone to stimulate large, bulky muscle growth. In fact, it’s so difficult to build large, bulky muscles, that you would have to use illegal substances to get that big – steroids. What you will get by lifting weights is a super lean, toned and fit body and that’s because your muscle is metabolically active which means it burns more calories. In fact, one pound of muscle can burn up to 20 calories a day. That means if you just replaced 5 pounds of fat with 5 pounds of lean muscle, you’re going to burn an extra 100 calories a day. Replacing flab with lean, tone muscle keeps your metabolism running on high (day and night!). And women who have discovered this secret have been lifting weights for years to keep the fat off and get rid of the cellulite without getting manly looking muscles. Another big mistake that prevents you from optimally burning fat and getting lean is staying in your comfort zone. We’re all creatures of habit, so we tend to gravitate towards things we’re familiar with and are used to doing but when it comes to fitness and fat loss, staying in your comfort zone and doing the same things over and over again is the quickest way to halt your progression and prevent you from burning fat and achieving your “wow” body. In fact, did you know it only takes 3 weeks for your body to adapt to a workout routine, at which point you stop getting results? If you want to get better results, you’ve got to change things up. You body needs to be constantly challenged in order to maintain your lean muscle – to keep your metabolism kicked into high gear so you can beat the fat-loss plateau, to avoid getting injured and continue burning calories.

So after watching this video by Shin Ohtake, I realised why my stubborn belly fat isn’t going away, or why my body fat percentage decreases and increases or why my body muscle mass remains stagnant – the long hours or workout, and repeating the same workout routines for more than 3 weeks. I have been losing my muscle and fat, and not burning the stubborn belly fats from the guts. If you ask me, I am pretty sick of not seeing any real changes to my body.

I have tried working out and eating clean and the results are very, very slow and very little. I was honestly tempted to try out that colon detox tea that girls are so fascinated by – Skinny Mint Tea – because I hear it reduces bloating but after having read reviews, I have realised that this product is just a quick fix solution that doesn’t do much changes to benefit your body. All it does is cleanse the colon which takes away necessary fluids from it which may cause water retention which is not what you want. You want to lose weight and get in shape the right way.

Herbalife is my go to for maintaining a healthy diet. I actually hate the word “diet” because it comes with such negative connotations. I prefer using the word “lifestyle”. Look, I am not anorexic, bulimic, obsessive or whatever, I am just keen on wanting to get fit and toned and I am only frustrated because I have been working hard to reach those goals only to find that my body looks the same. I do not want that toned body to show it off to anyone, this is something I am doing for myself. What Herbalife has provided for me are proper nutrients with low calories in each meal that aids in the progression of weight loss but it is not a quick fix solution. Exercise is a necessary part of that equation. Of course, sometimes it gets really tiring to drink the shakes for each meal, so at I replace two meals instead. A shake for breakfast is necessary for me as it boosts my energy. Also, my digestion has improved. When replacing the meal, choose healthy options. I would recommend Shin Ohtake’s program as he provides proper dieting in it as well. 

In case you are wondering why I want to lose weight when I am not fat to begin with, it’s because I want to lose weight from the fats only to gain it back with muscle weight. Makes sense now? I am not crazy about being skinny, that isn’t even my aim. My aim is to get fit, lean and toned. So despite feeling discouraged by what I attempted with creating Phase 1 of my own workout program, I am also excited to try MAX workouts and after 3 months, I will provide a review of it, so stay tuned.

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