If you’re like most people, you’ve come to accept the conventional wisdom that if you want to lose body fat and gain lean muscle, you need to exercise. Of course, if you’re like most people, you’ve also been conditioned to believe that the more you work out, the better. After all, if two workouts per week increases lean muscle, wouldn’t six workouts per week be three times as effective? It only makes sense that the more you exercise, the more calories you burn, the faster and leaner you’ll become, right? Wrong. When it comes to increasing lean muscle and losing body fat, nothing — absolutely nothing — could be further from the truth.
The reason why you want to stay on the couch is simple. At Body in 45, our emphasis is not to exercise in order to burn calories, but to create a need for positive change in the body. (However, our high intensity workouts do burn four to five times more calories than aerobic workouts alone.)
Do you ever notice that as you progress through your high intensity routine, your muscles feel weaker by the time you’ve finished? That’s because the stress of training has depleted your body of strength, created micro-trauma in your muscles and disrupted your body’s physiology. Congratulations! Your body switch has now been flipped and is prepared to change. This change requires only one thing in order to take proper effect – TIME. What your body requires after a workout is not more stress, but enough time to allow the proper response to occur. What’s the proper response? Simple . Your body now needs to repair itself. It wants to rebuild your muscles into sleek, well-defined shoulders, a sculpted back or head-turning glutes.
So go ahead and relax about relaxing. After a workout, for the next three, four or even five days, give your body a chance to adapt to the stress of training. Over the course of those days, your body is in full repair mode. You may not know it, but you’ll burn even more calories while you’re recovering. Your metabolic furnace has been officially stoked. And the good news is that it will stay elevated for days after the session is completed.
Don’t interrupt the recovery process; your job now is to simply allow it to occur. So whatever you do, don’t convince yourself that the more you do, the more results you’ll get. More is better only when it comes to laughter and parking spaces in Birmingham.