In our fast-paced, quick-fix, modern-day society we're regularly promised gadgets, pills and diets that will "burn calories 24 hours a day!" Sadly, this is impossible – no external thing or stimuli can deliver on such a promise. However, the good news is there is one thing that burns calories 24 hours a day and we all have it: muscle!
In addition to cardio activities and calorie-controlled nutrition, a key component of the Mountain Trek program is strength training. In other words, lifting weights. That's not because we're trying to get all our guests to enter body-building competitions: rather we want them to continue to burn calories after they leave the program and one of the best ways to do that is to build muscle.
Having more muscle is the greatest ally in burning fat you’ll ever have because muscle is anabolic and requires energy 24/7: in fact , one pound of muscle burns 6 calories per day just resting, compared to fat which burns 2 calories per day, so muscle is 3 times more metabolically active than fat! A loss of 20 pounds of muscle due to atrophy, means we’ll store more calories on our thighs and belly.
Also, because muscle is five times more dense than fat, it takes up less space on your body than fat. Happily, that means you can gain muscle yet shrink in size, while looking more toned.
If you’re not burning fat at a rate you want to see, or are not feeling as strong as you once did, incorporating resistance exercises is likely your solution. As we head into the summer months, consider applying this formula to your weekly regimen – grab some plastic weights at a store and perform resistance exercises outdoors or go to your local gym and take advantage of their air conditioning while you work out. Remember, just performing cardio training means your muscles are missing out so incorporate this magic formula for gaining muscle and burning calories all day, everyday.
Step One – Start lifting, pushing or pulling your body, or weights, to MMF or momentary muscular failure, three times a week, giving a 48 hour rest/recovery period in between working out that muscle group. You can use exercise equipment at the gym, free weights, plastic weights, your own body weight (think push ups or dips) or even soup cans to act as resistance.
Step Two – Pick a weight that is difficult and intense to push, pull or lift and that max’s your ability (MMF) somewhere between 8 and 12 repetitions. If using your own body weight do as many repetitions it takes till you can’t do another!
Step Three – Repeat each exercise twice. Eventually you can add a third set, or increase the weight / resistance until 12 repetitions can be easily done on your second or third set, (and then again increase the weight / resistance).
This formula will inflame your muscle cells, signalling the Human Growth Hormone, DHEA, and other hormones to replace the smaller, atrophied muscle cells with larger and stronger cells. This, in turn, reverses the effects of a Catabolic Metabolism, allowing us to maintain an Anabolic, vital, growth-centered body well into your eighties. So get out there and get lifting if you want to burn calories 24 hours a day!