exercise

Why You Need Strength Training To Lose Weight

male lionI don’t know about you, but I was born lazy. I don’t like to work any more than I need to. That includes exercise. So if you think this article is about working out or exercising hard, you’re in the wrong place ! BUT, if you want to lose weight without working out hard, you need to read this article completely.

I think we need to be more like animals in nature. I like watching those nature programs. The BBC created a documentary called “Planet Earth” that I recently watched in its entirety.  I particularly appreciate those male lions lying out there on the Savannah. That is the way we need to be. This is purely natural for these powerful animals. It’s also natural for us.

In order to lose weight, exercise is necessary only as much, as your body naturally loses its own weight. If you look at ads for weight loss, you see a lot of glissening bodies of muscular male and female models working out.  I can tell you that I look great too, but I only spend 35 minutes in the gym 4 times per week.

Here are the scientific facts of how your body really loses weight on your behalf:

1. Resting Metabolism Rate - this is the number of calories your body burns per day while you are doing absolutely nothing…watching TV, sleeping,  arranging your little animals in Farmville. It is roughly approximated by the Harris-Benedict equation. This formula is the result of scientific studies and estimates your calorie burn rate (calories per day) based on age, gender, weight and height. If you are already eating less than this amount, you are already losing weight and  would most likely not even be reading this article. If not, read on…

2. Basal Metabolism Rate – Depending on your activity level, you can actually find out how many calories you will burn per day. This applies a factor to the calorie amount in Step #1 above based on your activity level. To lose weight, you need to eat less calories than this resulting number. This activity level elevates your metabolism both during activity and for a few hours after your activity. The problem is that for guys that need to lose a lot of weight, getting the cardio ramped up to a level where it really starts to burn significant calories is just not going to happen early on in the program. That is why the big burn comes from strength training.

3.Strength Training – This is the BIG BURN. When you build muscle mass, you are increasing the calorie burn all day long. You heard that right…..When you have increased your lean body mass with strength training,  you’re burning calories all day, not only while you exercise like aerobic activity. This is because when you do strength training, you are tearing down your muscles. When you tear muscles, the body repairs them with calories, nutrients and vitamins that you eat.  When muscles are torn, they repair WAY stronger than before. So your body is using up calories to build your muscles.

Here’s What To Do

From an interesting article on Strength Training and Weight Loss, it’s necessary to do about 30 minutes of strength training 2 to 3 times per week in order for your body to lose its own weight. Strength training for weight loss is the use of external resistance of exercise motion, against your normal muscular contraction to build muscle.

If you look at my strength training program, you’ll see that I utilize two separate workouts so that I don’t do the same workout, 2 days in a row. This is because muscles need some time to repair and I don’t want to work these muscles in two consecutive days.

1. Create a list of strength training exercises that you will do today. You need to work all the major muscle groups – chest, back, shoulder, triceps, biceps, abdomen, calfs, quadriceps, hamstrings. For today, choose only four of these – maybe work on chest, biceps, shoulders and quads.

2. Create a second list of strength training exercises that you will do tomorrow. Remember to include work on the abdomen muscles. Note that you cannot “spot remove” belly fat or love handles (or anywhere else either) by doing any type of strength training. Weight loss can only happen by reducing body fat evenly over the body.

3. Perform #1 and #2 alternatively throughout the week. At least two times per week. It is not necessary to do a total of more than 5 total workouts per week.

So, now you have 2 lists of exercises that you need to do to accomplish your weight loss goals. The best thing is to start right now. Notice, I didn’t say that you have to do these in a gym. For instance for chest, you can just do push-ups on your living room floor. So start now, with 15 push-ups.

Stay tuned. Due to the fact that strength training has such a profound impact on male weight loss, I will be writing in much more detail for your benefit.  Let me know what kinds of questions that you have by writing in the comments area. Thanks for stopping by.


Weekend Warrior Challenge May 2010 – 4 Aces!

4_aces4 Aces – Plus! I wish I had blue face paint. Because if I did, I would have put it on and a kilt to boot. I screamed results this last week. As you remember, I had a  pre-challenge goal of first breaking the 200 pound glass floor. I broke through On Friday, achieving 199 pounds. I had a private male smirk going on, as I strutted in slow motion from the gym scale.

On to the rest of my weight loss goals:

1. Win #1 – Kept the average calorie intake below the 2,000 calorie level. Specifically 1,787 calories was the average from Sunday April 25 through Saturday May 1, 2010.

2. Win #2 – The goal was to walk 25 miles last week. I actually walked 35 miles and loved it.

3. Win #3 – The goal was to do strength training 5 times. Right on the money.

Something I also did last week that I would never have considered…….I fasted for the first time in my life. I actually did not bravehearteat for a whole day on Thursday, because I pigged out on Wednesday. I really screwed the pooch with a 3,838 calorie day on Wednesday via 2 business networking meetings, cocktails, hors d’oeuvre’s, filet o’ fish sandwich meal on the way home and intercourse with 3 chocolate  Zingers after ripping off the plastic wrap, immediately upon entering my home.

So you see, I have got this thing dialed now. I am taking the weekend warrior challenge creating longer range commitments through the week. So the weekend goals will now be incorporated into the week view, early in the week.

I visited my 92 year old dad today and I just enjoyed being with him, holding his hand and rubbing his back. He is not feeling well, but I think I did him well today, because I was feeling great and I could really make my dad laugh and remember the old days.

Thanks to all of us around the world doing the Weekend Warrior Challenge this past weekend.

Here’s a list of everyone who’s signed up for the challenge. These are great people that I have bumped into on the net. Please visit their sites as well:


Why Belly Fat Is Killing Your Sex Life

Couple eating a appleSex is the single most avoided subject between male and female. If you have experienced a decrease in your sexual appetite, you already know why you do not want to talk about it. When you are overweight, the subject is even usually a bit more dicey…….because you are not the only one involved.

She “may also” not be very happy about the weight you need to lose.When she has stopped being “grabby” in the bedroom, you know that you need to get “saddled up” and do something about this problem.  But first, here are the straight facts as to why your belly fat is costing you good lovin’.

The good news is, that is not your fault. There is some medical science behind why you just do not have it in you. The culprit is the belly fat. Not you. Have you ever  noticed that Viagra is one of the top rated drugs on the market?  Well, while Viagra is topping the charts, it is no coincidence that obesity, as a disease, has never been so prevalent in all of human history.  From an article by Truestar Health there are  a number of factors working against your mojo:

  1. Higher estrogen level – belly fat actually increases the conversion of testosterone into estrogen.  That means that you are actually getting more of the female hormone estrogen than the testosterone that you need to drive your prowess in the bedroom. And the more estrogen, the more abdominal fat will accumulate…the snow ball effect ensues.
  2. Lower testosterone level – leads to increases of the pot belly and other body fat, such as love handles. Of course, the lower the testosterone, the lower the love drive.
  3. Stress - causes high cortisol levels which in turn causes loss of muscle mass, decreases bone density and drives libido way down.

What To Do About Your Sex

OK, so at least now you know now, why Mr. D has not been showing up lately. Like I said, it isn’t your fault. But now, though, it’s simply a matter of caring better for yourself. Let me tell you what to do about this.

Start a strength training program. Pec’s, triceps, biceps, shoulders, abdomen, and back. The beauty of strength training is that it is the engine that drives weight loss. Why? When you work major muscle groups in weight training, your body is burning calories for you while you sleep.

Remember that when you lift, you are tearing down muscles. The calories in your body are in turn used to repair these muscles. Thus more calories are being burned continuously on your behalf. This repair work goes on around the clock.  The immediate benefit though is that strength training reduces stress and thus cortisol. This helps build libido straight away.

Once the cortisol level is managed you are on the path to reducing belly fat and correcting your hormones. The whole process starts immediately when you start your strength training. If you do not have the cash or time to go to a gymn, start doing push-ups, sit-ups leg lifts right now. If you want your sex back enough, you will get very creative. So start today.


The Secret About Weight Loss and Exercise

Working Too Hard at Male weight lossIn the last 32 years, I’ve worked hard to lose weight, only to learn early this year that weight loss isn’t really about exercise at all. Seriously, I’ve jogged literally thousand of miles and sweated on gleaming exercise equipment on 5 separate continents. I thought all of this time, that exercise was the disposal system for my calorie extravagances. The answer is, I was wrong. The male belief that we need to “burn off” excess calories to drop the belly fat, is absolutely wrong.

Sure, you’re going to burn some calories and some fat while you exercise. No doubt about it. But weight loss (specifically, fat loss) is going to happen for the most part when you aren’t exercising. Your body’s going to do it on its own without your direct involvement.

Yesterday the New York Times published an article that confirms what I know is the real truth about weight loss. A quote from this article states it all, “In general, exercise by itself is pretty useless for weight loss.” There are a lot of reasons for this. Among them are:

  1. You may end up consuming more calories when your exercise. If you feel (either psychologically, physiologically or otherwise)  you need to eat more or drink energy or protein drinks because of your new exercise regime, you are adding weight
  2. Your body wants to maintain its current situation. Its hormones and processes will adjust themselves to keep things as they are. Specifically your appetite may be adjusted by hormones in your system, to keep your appetite at its current level.
  3. Only moderate exercise is needed by the body.

But strength training is a great way to keep weight off once you do lose weight. Your metabolism rate (number of calories your body burns per day) is effected by your lean body mass. Lean body mass is your body weight minus all the fat. The higher your lean body mass, the more likely you will burn more calories simply by doing nothing. So, you always want to do exercises that build your muscle mass. Muscle mass is like a big flywheel that burns calories on your behalf. But just remember, do not expect an immediate calorie burn from strength training. This simply is not going to happen.

Unless your body has less fuel than it needs, your body will maintain “business as usual.” Plain and simple – You need to put your body in a calorie deficit. You need to consume less calories than your body needs every day. It must be a habit.

All these years, the reason I stayed in pretty good shape was because of the eating habits that I adopted many years ago – balance and moderation. It was not about exercise at all. Luckily I know now that the answer is really about eating less calories than I need per day.


Weekend Warrior Challenge – Results Are In

Weekend Warrior ChallengeThe results are in from the Weekend Warrior Challenge. This challenge is about achieving specific fitness and health goals during the time of the week that are usually the weakest for me – the Weekend. This is usually when the baddest habits show themselves as a sort of reward for the best habits of the week. Odd isn’t it?

Here were my goals and the results:

  • Walk 20 miles during the week – completed the 20th mile by 10:30 am on a sunny Saturday morning. I walk 4 miles either outside (my preferred method) or on the treadmill depending on the weather. Last week I walked 12 miles outside and 8 miles inside. The legs are strong!
  • 5 Strength Workouts during the week - completed all 5. This consists of 2 alternating routines that I have been doing for many years.
  • Eat less than 2,000 Calories Per Day – done.  This was the biggie for me. I usually stay pretty close to the refrigerator on the weekend -  looking for a little calorie-lovin’  on the weekends. But I stuck to the plan. Being hungry a lot sucks and I am getting tired of the look of the  baby carrot bag.

Here are all the other people from around the world that have also done the Challenge for the weekend. I am thinking that we need to do this every weekend. Thanks to all of these people for making this as much as fun as I could have by not enjoying myself.

Belly Fat Male Weight LossGet your free E-Book on how to lose belly fat now – Click the book image to your left – provide your name and e-mail address and you will be reading this book in minutes – FREE.


Take The Weekend Warrior Challenge

Frank_HeadshotIf you think that you eat and drink  too much or exercise too little on the weekend, you aren’t the only one. Worldwide, there are many fat men (and women) hanging their heads at the end of the weekend, after marathon eating bouts. This is especially apt for those of us living in the frozen north where snow still covers the ground. We frequently eat for sport here. Some guys even know in advance, despite their quixotic weight-reduced vision for themselves, that they will be heavier at the end of the weekend.

Here is a chance to kick that lame habit. This coming weekend, I am participating in a world wide event called the “Weekend Warrior Challenge.” The weekend is the time of the week, when habits soften and discipline wains. The goal of the challenge is to band together and encourage each other to maintain strong habits.

As part of this event, each of us are creating 2 or 3 measurable and specific fitness or health goals that we will adhere to this weekend. For example, here are mine:

  1. Maintain calorie intake below 2,000 calories on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
  2. Complete 5 complete gym work outs this week (already at 1 on Monday)
  3. Walk a total of 20 miles this week

Since I keep my daily calories well  below 2,000 calories during the week, I am just extending that practice to the weekend. Since I am an active male, my calorie requirements are between 2,400 and 2,600 calories per day. So you can see the above food intake keeps me at a calorie deficit. So my goals this weekend are to complete a week long goal of exercise, and maintain low food intake that I had already started earlier in the week – actually Sunday.

The details for the event are at Weekend Warrior Challenge . This event is just a bunch of nice people helping each other out and having some fun. Check it out and see if this works for you.  Everyone is welcomed.

Belly Fat Male Weight Loss

Get your free E-Book on how to lose belly fat now in 5 easy steps – Click the book image to your left – provide your name and e-mail address and you will be reading this book in minutes – FREE.


The Truth about Belly Fat Exercise

Belly fat is the male weight loss obstacle

The Problem

One of the biggest questions that guys have about weight loss,  is how to get rid of belly fat.  Belly fat is a nuisance. I know that the only thing you want to do with belly fat is to kill it. You  don’t want to talk about, or complain about it or even exercise it. You just want to point a laser gun at the blob, and zap it into vapor.

Belly fat is what being fat is all about. The love handles are sort of Baja-fat – it is just belly fat that hangs over your hips and bulges out of your shirt. In this article I am going to tell you how to lose belly fat. Let me tell you a few things first.

The health risks associated with belly fat are huge. Because of all of the six pack ab adverts out there on the net and TV, the advertisers  give you the definite belief, that you need to exercise your belly fat away. Well, they are at least a little correct, but mostly wrong. They want you to buy their products. Don’t be fooled into buying their crap.

Don’t Get Fooled

Doing intensive ab work – crunches, tightening muscles, hundreds of push-ups is not going to make your belly fat go away. Most likely, it may actually increase your abdomen size. This is because, without removing belly fat, your ab work WILL build muscle below the established fat layers. This increased muscle will bulge your belly out further.

In order to have six pack abs, you need to remove the layers of subcutaneous fat that lies over whatever muscle is there. While you are doing that, you need to slowly build the underlying muscle. The truth is that you can only get six pack abs by reducing belly fat. In order to reduce belly fat, you will also be reducing your overall body fat. Makes sense, right?

Here’s What To Do

Here are the two things that you need to do:

  • Eat Within Limits – you need to eat less calories than your body needs.  Your body is like an inbox for food. Only, in this case,  when the inbox is overflowing, the body stores the food as fat. There is too much food going into your body, than is getting used. In this case you get fatter because your body is over-fed. You need to find out how much food your body needs and eat less than that. It is that simple.
  • Exercise Daily – the male human being is an animal. All animals are physical beings that are designed to use their bodies regularly. We are not designed to sit and watch TV, play video games or eat for sport.  Create an exercise program that suits you. Many guys hate working out. I know how they feel. I have been in the situation also and it is the reason I am writing you now. But most guys think that exercising needs to hurt. It doesn’t. It does not need to hurt, but you need to get moving.  You need to get both cardio exercise (exercising using your lungs and heart) and strength training. Cardio burns fat now. Strength training builds lean body mass that increases your metabolism rate, which burns calories all day long on your behalf.  Metabolism is like a flywheel on your car – get that thing turning and it keeps burning and burning calories. Just do it.

Steps 1 and 2 must become a habit.  You have a problem with food and exercise. You need new habits. That means, you must know a day before what you will eat (and not eat) and you need to know at what time you will  exercise the next day.  This does not happen naturally. When you plan a specific time to exercise, only then will you do it.

What Will Likely Go Wrong

Now here is what is going to happen. You will start your “habit” for one day and you will feel good about it. The next day, maybe you will do it again, but the thrill of having achieved your food and exercise goal will be gone. Even worse, you will still see yourself as a fat man. This is the critical point. Stay with me here. This is where your breakthrough will occur.

Whether you can see it or not, even one day of exercising and eating within bounds will have an effect. It will reverse weight gain. In a week’s time, you will be able to measure weight loss. Within your new habits, you are not wasting any effort. It is an investment and it is paying off. Give it time and effort.

Be easy but firm with yourself.   If you have finally decided to lose the gut, you will see that the two steps above are  really a simple recipe.  It is like knowing the recipe for a ham and cheese sandwich. The recipe is bread, ham and cheese. There is not much thinking required….you just need to do it.

Belly Fat Male Weight Loss

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Fat Loss Basics – Your Activity Level

It is the weekend now, where I live. Many people use the weekend to relax and take it easy after a busy week. It is nice to get up at 9 or 10 am and have a slow day. You probably get even less activity on the weekend than during the weekdays. You know what I mean….football games, movies, TV, and elbows on the table (know what I mean?). Weight loss is a 7 day per week event and you need to watch what you do on the weekend also. You may not be surprised to hear the fact that in 2002, 25 percent of adult Americans did not participate in any leisure time physical activities in the past month (see source below).

Normally, I get in about 4 trips to the gymn per week. While I am at the gymn, my routine consists of three unique types of activities:

  1. Mild stretching (touch the toes, calf stretch)
  2. 1 hour walk on treadmill at 3.7 mph (with cool down period of 5 minutes, a total of 4 miles walking)
  3. 35 minutes of weights.

I am pretty happy with this routine. I have been doing this routine since my arthroscopic surgey in September 2009. Prior to that, I used to run 4 miles instead of walking. For now, the running is out of the question, because of the damage it has done to me left knee. But I am OK with walking.

I used to be a pretty intense individual and ran 5 miles per day, 5 times a week from 1978 until about 1995. I used to run with colleagues at work at lunch. After I started doing weights again in 1995 regularly, I dropped back to 4 miles in addition to the weight program. Walking on the treadmill is not as exciting or spirited as running with the guys, but I don’t mind.

For weights, I alternate two separate routines so that I am not working the same muscle groups day upon day. Here are my two routines. I work these exercises in a circuit – meaning, I do one of each of these exercises on the list and then go back and do two more sets (a total of 3 sets):

Weight Routine #1 - Triceps, Back, Forearms & Core (3 Sets)

ExerciseRepsWeight
Crunches on Exercise Ball30NA
Lat Pulldown - machine15130 lbs
Tricep Pulldown - machine1570 to 80 lbs
Seated Row - machine1595
Forearm Curls - barbells1590
Torso Rotation - machine15110
Side Crunches - back hyperextension thingy15NA

Weight Routine #2 - Chest, biceps, shoulders, core and traps (3 sets)

ExerciseRepsWeight
Chest Press - machine15130lbs
Bicep Curl - machine1595 to 105 lbs
Shoulder Press - machine1565 lbs
Incline Press - dumbells at 45 degrees1545 lbs
Shoulder Shrugs - dumbbells1595 lbs/arm
Chest Flies - dumbbells1550 lbs/arm
Roman Chair20 raisesNA

Just now, after I began writing this article, I got excited about working out, and so I went to the gymn, did my schtick and just got home.  I like the feeling of having the power and peace in my bones and muscles after I workout. I did routine #1. I realized while I was there, that there are few other details that I always follow with the above routines.

My rules for myself:

  1. Before each exercise, I take 10 DEEP breaths. These are not the kind of breaths that your brain tells you about. These are the deep breaths that your lungs and body need. If while taking one of these breaths, I feel a little faint or winded, I am breathing way too fast. Let your lungs tell you how long your breaths need to be. Turn your brain off.  Be nice to yourself – you only get one body per person.
  2. After doing each exercize, I immediately walk to the next station on the circuit. There, I take the above breaths before the next thing I do.
  3. If I need to stop in the middle of a set of weights for any reason, that means I add one extra repetition to that set of weights, for each hesitation.  No exceptions. You need to have firm, but supporting  rules for yourself.

I am feeling good now. How about you? Are you getting any exercise? As a reminder, I am not talking about making any changes. I have some weight to lose also.  The above routines are what I really do, at least four times per week. Take a look at what you do. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in their publication “Dietary Guidelines for Americans -2005″, recommends that you need at least 30 minutes of exercise daily (that means 7 days),  beyond what is part of your normal daily routines (driving, walking around at work,  housework, brushing your teeth, etc..).

Don’t change anything yet. Why? Because, when you start making daily changes based upon things you hear or read or listen to (including this and my other articles in this series), you make half-hearted changes that don’t last.  New Years resolutions are the perfect example of empty promises.  Listen to the whole story and make small and lasting changes. Next time I will talk to you about making changes.

Source – Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, Surveillance for Certain Health Behaviors Among Selected Local Areas—United States, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2002, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), 53, No SS-05. http://www.cdc.gov/brfss/.

Belly Fat Male Weight Loss

Get your free E-Book on how to lose belly fat now – Click the book image to your left – provide your name and e-mail address and you will be reading this book in minutes – FREE.


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