It may seem that since your glory days in college and high school, that your metabolism has been slow or unforgiving, at best.
- What changed?
- Is this just part of getting older?
- Is there any way to get back into shape without eating gross vegetables and working out 5-10 hours per week?
If you have been having fat creep in around your stomach, hips, butt, and thighs, there are some simple ways that you can reprogram your metabolism to get you lean again.
Here’s what you need to know…
- Your body needs movement to work and function at its best. It’s time to get off your ass and start moving more. The good news is, you don’t need to spend a lot of time working out. You just need to right types of movements and workouts.
- Interval training or sprint training is an awesome way to lose fat and stimulate type II (fast twitch) muscle fiber development. Those are the fibers you need to develop to build muscle tissue that eats fat, around the clock.
- Metabolic conditioning workouts take ¼-⅓ of the time of traditional, set-by-set weight training workouts or bodyweight workouts, and deliver 2-3x the results.
- To lose weight you need to eat a calorie deficit, but there comes a point at which you will hit a plateau and stop making progress. We can use the metabolic overload effect to break that plateau and help you lose more body fat.
Why Your Metabolism Needs Movement
We all know that we aren’t doing our bodies any favors by sitting at a desk for hours on end.
Many studies have even shown that sitting for hours every day makes you significantly more prone to becoming overweight or obese, and shows strong linkages to developing colon cancer and being at higher risk for heart disease. That can be easily prevented with getting up from your desk for 5-10 minutes, every 1-2 hours.
It doesn’t have to be a huge time commitment or a long walk on your lunch break, just stand up every once in a while to stretch and take a quick stroll around the office.
Now that we’ve gotten the preventative stuff out of the way, what about movement is going to help restore your metabolism so that you can lose weight?
Before we get into that, recognize this. If you continue to eat like crap, your attempts to lose weight are going to be futile at best. On a heavy exercise day, the MOST calories you are going to burn in an hour is 600-700, which can be thrown away in a breakfast bagel sandwich or that nightly bowl of ice cream that you enjoy.
Bottom line: You can’t outrun a bad diet.
We’ll get more into that later…
So why is movement so important? Real talk, your fat tissue isn’t doing you any favors when it comes to losing weight. It’s been frustrating to you, it doesn’t look good, and it just sucking up calories to make things worse.
Muscle EATS stubborn fat tissue, prevents fat gain, and burns more calories at rest than fat does, particularly your fast twitch muscle fibers.
Fast Twitch Fibers and Fat Metabolism
Have you ever heard of fast twitch muscle fibers? They are about to become your new best friends…
There are three types of muscle fibers…
- Type I Slow Twitch (Aerobic)
- Type II A Fast Twitch (Anaerobic)
- Type II B Fast Twitch (Glycolytic)
Now some of us are born with more fast twitch and some of us are born with more slow twitch muscle fibers. In essence, Type II muscle fibers (both A and B) are the ones that look the best and get people drooling and gawking.
The good news is that if you are more of a slow twitch build (like me) you can condition your body to cultivate more fast twitch fibers and basically reform type I fibers to look and function like type II’s.
Just to give you a comparison, here’s what a type II body looks like next to a type I.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (Classic Type II build)
Chris Pratt (Lost weight with weight training and type II fiber training)
Sara Sigmundsdottir and Katrin Davidsdottir (Crossfit Games Competitors and type II examples)
Jessica Ennis-Hill (Olympic sprinter)
Which type looks better, ripped, sexier, and more impressive?
Guys- You probably want to look that jacked. I know I do.
Girls- Don’t worry about looking big or overly-muscular like Sara. She works out for a living and eats like a robot. So imagine yourself with ⅓-½ the composition and definition that she has? That’s totally doable!
Those type II bodies aren’t just the ones that catch eyes on the beach or by the pool, but are also
- More resilient to fat gain, via type II fibers enhanced nutrient partitioning capabilities.
- Require less total exercise time to develop and maintain.
- Burning more calories at rest than type I dominance.
- Are relatively more functional for things like moving furniture, hauling groceries, and other activities of daily living.
If you are worried about getting too yoked or big with any of the recommendations in this article, DON’T BE!
The examples that we used above of extremes of people who eat and workout for a living. Average Joes and Janes like you and I don’t have the luxury of spending every hour of our days focused on feeding and physical activity. Plus, you have to eat enormous amounts of calories to maintain those kind of gains. If you are reading this article, chances are you are working in the other direction so that you can lose fat and weight.
So how do you develop more type II fibers and start reprogramming your body for fat metabolism?
1) Improving Fat Metabolism with HIIT
High intensity interval training (known as HIIT) is an acronym that has been thrown all over the internet, and for a good reason. Here’s why…
Type II’s aren’t developed by logging hours on a treadmill or a bike. They are forged in brief bursts of intense exercise. Maximal or near-maximal efforts of explosive movements are what condition those type II A and B muscle fibers to grow and develop.
Now many of you have probably heard that keeping your cardio to longer sessions of low to moderate intensities keeps your body in the “fat-burning zone.” That statement has some validity. Your body’s energy systems are intricate, and your aerobic energy system which is used during this kind of cardio is by far the most complex.
Yes, the primary fuel you use in your aerobic system is fat, but that doesn’t make it the best for fat metabolism in the long run.
- Low to moderate intensity cardio exercise for long durations primarily uses your type I muscle fibers, not type II. So it stimulates little to no type II growth.
- Long, low-intensity cardio workouts only burn calories during your workout.
- Too much steady-state cardio eats your muscle tissue and slows your resting metabolism.
- Steady state cardio tampers with your hormones and decreases growth hormone production.
- Cardio increases cortisol production (your stress hormone) which causes you to retain fat. This is just your body’s survival response to that kind of stress.
HIIT takes way less time and because of its explosive nature, develops your type II fibers. Those type II fibers are higher maintenance than type I fibers. Meaning, they are going to suck up as many calories as they can to get bigger, stronger, and more defined. That’s where you get the twofold fat metabolism benefits of HIIT workouts.
Here’s how you can start doing HIIT.
Do this workout 2 times per week, with your exercise of choice. (think running, rowing, cycling, boxing on a bag, jump rope, rope slams, tire flips, ladder drills, or another cardiovascular exercise you like).
Warm up with your exercise at a low to moderate intensity for 5 minutes.
Do 10-20 minutes of…
:20-:30 seconds of all-out exercise/:40-:90 seconds of recovery or rest.
2) Reprogramming Your Fat Metabolism with Metabolic Conditioning
Metabolic conditioning is similar to HIIT in the sense that you get all of the benefits of type II fiber development of cardiovascular training, PLUS the added muscular development that you get from performing body weight and/or weight training exercises.
Metabolic conditioning and circuit training are one in the same. The way that I like to put them together is to cluster a variety of body weight or weight training exercises, which require the use of different compound muscle groups (back, chest, shoulders, legs, etc.). Then perform them in a sequence that makes sense, so you can rest one region while you’re working another.
Take this bodyweight circuit as an example. It is a favorite of mine that I’ve used over the years.
5 Rounds of
Or if I’m doing weight training I may do something like…
5 Rounds of
Rest as little as possible between each exercise and each round of this circuit.
Either one of these workouts should take you less than 30 minutes, and you can do one of these workouts 3 times per week.
RELATED: Get my FREE program, The Ultimate fat Loss Checklist
Does it really take that little amount of work to lose weight?
Total Weekly Workout Time of HIIT (30-50 minutes) + Metabolic Conditioning (60-90 minutes) = 90 minutes to 2 hours and 20 minutes
You’re probably thinking: “Is that really all it takes? That can’t be right!”
If you are just sitting right now and aren’t active, of course you are going to prime your fat metabolism, build muscle, and get better results!
Just doing cardio to lose weight right now? Change up your program for the next 8-12 weeks and take progress photos. Waking up those type II muscle fibers is going to make a HUGE difference in accelerating your fat metabolism by giving your body a chance the opportunity to develop those type II fibers.
3) Fat Metabolism and the Metabolic Overload Effect
This is by far the most important piece of the process when it comes to revitalizing your fat metabolism and changing your body composition.
Why do we hit plateaus and stop losing?
Your body naturally slows its metabolism as you lose weight. You just don’t need as many calories to maintain normal body functions at a lower weight as you did at your former, higher weight. It knows your are eating less calories, so it starts to lose your metabolism to conserve energy for work and survival.
Sounds like a bummer…
The good news is that building muscle with your HIIT and metabolic conditioning program will help you keep your fat metabolism rate higher than if you were just doing cardio or remaining inactive. Periodically increasing your caloric load (eating more!) is the other key way that you can shatter that plateau and keep losing fat.
Here’s what it boils down to: When you hit a plateau and stop losing or blip up in weight, keep working out and start eating MORE real food.
The great news is that this method of reawakening your metabolism takes no extra time if you are already cooking for yourself, and will actually save time if you just decide to eat at Chipotle or a burrito bar. Burrito bar menus are AWESOME if you don’t like cooking and want to pierce through body fat.
My Chipotle or Burrito Bar Order: Burrito bowl with no rice, double beans (black and pinto), double meat (usually barbacoa and/or carnitas), no cheese, tons of salsa, lettuce, tomato, and a side of guacamole.
Eating delicious, huge, real food meals like this will get you stuffed and help you accelerate your metabolism with something I like to call The Metabolic Overload Effect. This is the same reason that having scheduled cheat days allow you to dramatically accelerate your metabolism for days after your cheat is over. (*More on this in my weight loss course)
Or if you enjoy cooking and eating at home more, replicate that meal at home. Since this huge meal is composed of high protein, high healthy fats, and all slow burning calories, you’ll be impressed with how much you can eat while watching the weight and fat fall off of your body.
I just wanted to let you all know that I have been working on something fun. Men’s Health runs a contest every year called the Ultimate Guy Search, and the winner of the contest get’s to be on the cover of Men’s Health magazine during June of the following year.
Guess who is a finalist? ?
You guessed it! I am truly thankful and forever grateful for all of the clients, friends, family members, and acquaintances who have been voting for me over the last 8 weeks. I really thought there was no way that I would make it this far, considering that I am competing with some of the most ripped and esteemed guys in this field.
I would love your vote! If you have a few seconds, all you have to do it…
- Click the link HERE, to get to my page on Men’s Health.
- Click the “VOTE” button below my name and above my profile picture.
Thank you so much! Let’s see if I can make it to the cover.
Putting it All Together
Whether you are just contemplating starting to lose weight or you are hitting a plateau right now, you’ve got a nice little toolkit in this article that you can start using to accelerate your fat metabolism right now.
If you want some more info on how you can use all 3 of these components to lose fat rapidly, build lean muscle, and restore your metabolism to its youth, here you go!
Join over 14,000 students on my best-selling course, Weight Loss Mastery for 50% OFF!
*You’ll get 81 lectures and over 4 hours of content on how you can revitalize your metabolism and get into the best shape of your life.