Another Look at Metabolic Damage

That topic, of course is the idea of metabolic damage, something I have written about on the site previously. But rather than write something new, I just got permission from Alan Aragon to reproduce an interview I originally did for his (highly recommended) research review. It’s only $10 a year and chock full (that’s right, CHOCK!) of the most current research on diet and training along with interviews with top current coaches and feature articles on all topics big and small. Go subscribe, subscribe now.

A time-efficient reduction of fat mass in 4 days with exercise and caloric restriction – Research Review

However, there is the occasional paper that comes along that imposes a fairly large amount of activity and generates a fairly large amount of fat loss. One that comes to mind (that I cannot find at the moment) had subjects bicycle for 2 hours/day 6 days/week and saw a significant fat loss over the length of the study. Every so often, someone will come along on a forum and ask if doing some absurd amount of activity will generate massive fat loss (one person I recall from a forum decided to do something like 6-8 hours of low intensity cycling, while seated at his desk, and keeping calories stable and just lost fat at a staggering rate).

Training the Obese Beginner: Part 6

Ok, seriously, time to finish this thing up. In Training the Obese Beginner: Part 5, I made a case for the inclusion of both weight training and cardiovascular training for the obese beginner, despite having listed some limitations to both in earlier parts of the series. I also described what I did generally as far as a first workout session with my beginners, including the obese.

Training the Obese Beginner: Part 5

Well, I had really hoped to finish up today since I have something else to talk about next week but, well….Tuesday or this thing will be unreadably long, even for me. Today, I want to start to bring together everything I’ve talked about, addressing why I think the inclusion of both weight training and cardiovascular training of some sort is important for the obese beginner and why both should be done from day 1.

Training the Obese Beginner: Part 4

In Training the Obese Beginner: Part 3 I basically summarized everything to date to conclude that the best approach to target all of the various issues going in this population on was a combination of progressive volume higher rep weight training (to deplete muscle glycogen) along with dietary modifications (both carbohydrate and/or calorie reductions).

Training the Obese Beginner: Part 3

I want you to know that typing that heading made me die a little bit but that’s how it goes; it’s just such a trite, cliched and worn out phrase. As I mentioned, a common finding is that the obese individual often has a lot of fatty acids floating around in the bloodstream (secondary to insulin resistance at the fat cell) but tend to rely more heavily on glucose and carbohydrate (indicated by a resting RER) both at rest and during exercise for various reasons.

Training the Obese Beginner: Part 2

As usual, my goal of finishing in two parts was unrealistic, this will have to finish up on Thursday in Part 3 when I”ll put it all together and talk about practical implications/applicational stuff. For now I want to look at a few more physiological issues including increased muscle mass in the obese, a brief look at metabolic rate (mainly a mythbuster thing) and then finally at some of the realities of exercise.

Training the Obese Beginner: Part 1

In any case, following up on that piece (which really shows you how NOT to train someone), I now want to rerun a 6-part series I wrote a few years back on how I think Training the Obese Beginner should be approached. I’ll be running it over the next few weeks, once again culminating in a brand new video/rant/blog thingie. I’ve done a bit of tidying up and re-writing, just to smooth out the rougher spots.

Too Much Cardio Followup

Isn’t to some extent, exactly what The Biggest Loser folks do? Restrictive diet in the 1k-1.5K calorie range, and then extremely high volume, low-medium intensity cardio for hours and hours? Essentially burn 2K or so cals in 4-5 hours of various stupid cardio activities and be 2K or so under Sedentary maintenance calories with their diet? Trying to make a 3.5k+ deficit every day?

Why Big Caloric Deficits and Lots of Activity Can Hurt Fat Loss

That said, I’ve mentioned in previous articles that one oddity that I’ve seen (and personally experienced) over the years is one where the combination of very large caloric deficits and very large amounts of activity (especially higher-intensity activity) can cause problems for people either stalling or slowing fat loss.

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