Long ago, in a time near forgotten, a series of predictable but unusual events have thrown your body’s natural ecosystem out of balance. In a land where the summers are short and intense and the comfort filled winter indulgences seem to last a lifetime, obesity is brewing.
But for now… Summer is returning, and throughout the north and south of the kingdom, forces are massing beyond the gyms protective walls. Forces striving to overcome their body’s failings to conquer and triumph in this unique game of toning.
At the center of this bodily conflict are an enigmatic band of warriors bearing no gym metal (The Homelings). The cruel young ‘Mother of Diets’ carry a chosen few off into madness in an attempt to win back the Tone. ‘The Sparks’ choose harsh and unyielding high intensity efforts to deliver muscle definition, while sweeping through the ‘Iron aisles’ of nearby gyms with brutal force and discipline are the body builders who come together in an attempt to win the deadliest of gym conflicts. The ‘Light Walkers‘ undertake the most arduous of journeys battling the boredom of low intensity cardio, and finally, the ‘Gyms Watch‘ undertake a mix of gym work and cardio amid plots and counterplots to search for victory on the iron throne.
But which of these tribes will reign supreme in this game of toning? Which is going to return your bodies natural ecosystem to its balance and the fastest way to lose fat and drive muscle definition?
Let’s assess the merits of the individual forces battling for weight loss supremacy.
‘The Light Walkers’ – Low Intensity Cardio
The Light Walkers… Those who undertake lasting low intensity cardio efforts, with relentless endurance and blissful optimism. The battle theory holds that moderate intensity cardio will evoke a higher percentage of fat burning throughout this sustained fight – when compared with higher intensity efforts. A worthwhile approach you might assume, until one learns that skewing towards fat as your fuel source during a training session does NOT mean you will burn more fat by days end.
‘The Mother Of Diets’ – Toning Through Fad Dieting
Next. The Mother of Diets. There are literally hundreds or even thousands that make up this tribe. The worst of which – the fad diets – claim staggering success and gather resounding support. While severely restrictive diets can result in preliminary weight loss, in many instances the reduction is attributed to fluid loss. Even those who manage to endure the deepest starvation for long periods to lose some excess fat cannot fight the fad diets for ever. They will eventually surrender to these impossibly stringent eating routines. What’s more… severe restrictions around nutrition can catabolize lean muscle – making it even harder to burn fat and ‘tone up’ as summer approaches upon us.
‘The Sparks’ – High Intensity Interval Training
High intensity workouts, often referred to as HIIT, really fire up a fat burning metabolism. In the battle for weight loss domination there are few better options to shake one’s fat burning metabolism and are among the fastest way to lose fat. High intensity cardio training can elevate the resting metabolic rate for several days after a workout. The Sparks may burn a lower fat percentage during the workout session compared to the Light Walkers, but in the fight for overall fat loss they deliver more effectively because of the substantial ‘afterburn‘ effect.
‘The Homelings’ – Home workouts
The Homelings. These individuals prepare their crusade away from the profile of the gym environment and opt to train without specific apparatus or equipment. Workouts at home can prove effective for this group as they look to tone up using a combination of bodyweight exercises designed to stress the muscular and cardiovascular systems. While more difficult to increase the resistance on offer during these types of workouts, effectively modifying rest and effort periods can enable the Homelings to maintain the required high intensity to optimize fat burning.
‘The Iron Aisles’ – Body Builders
Down in the free weights area of the gym, or the ‘Iron Aisles’, lies a committed bunch of warriors focusing wholly on weight training to drive weight loss and muscle development. Many of these body builders achieve impressive results and demonstrate low body fat, increased muscle size and tone – after spending hours in the gym. Not to mention following regimented nutrition to prepare them for their daily battles. Yes, the intensive resistance training works for most of them. But how does pure weight training work for those simply looking to tone up without bulking up like Ser Gregor Clegane (a.k.a The Mountain) and without spending hours in the gym ?
A resistance training study completed by Purdue University researchers looked specifically at weight training and dietary protein and the impact on weight loss and muscle development. The researchers took 36 older men and women – with an average age of 61 years and had them strength training 3 times a week for 12 weeks. These 50-70 year olds gained an average of 4 pounds of lean muscle mass and lost more than 4 pounds of body fat demonstrating that weight training is extremely effective in assisting with fat loss and toning.
‘The Gyms Watch’ – Weight Training and High Intensity Cardio
Victory, however, in this Game of Tones surely goes to the ‘Gyms Watch’. These committed souls perform a combination of regular weight training coupled with high intensity interval training (HIIT). Both weight training and high intensity cardio act to elevate the resting metabolic rate for several days after a workout providing days of incremental fat burning. In addition the increased volume of lean muscle resulting from a regimented weight training routine means higher metabolic rates and more calories burnt ongoing simply while resting and relaxing.
The mixture of these two approaches to fat burning and muscle toning complement each other superbly and will deliver victory over the other individual weight loss or muscle toning methods in our game of tones…
Don’t agree? Tell us what you think.