Home Get Started with I Can Do it
Free Nutrition Articles Free Fitness Articles Free Custom Workouts Todd Smith Coaching I Can Do It Success Stories Contact Todd Smith

Posts Tagged ‘Fitness’

Getting Started With I Can Do It

Published January 13th, 2010 By Todd Smith for ICanDoIt.com

Comments (0) | Comment on this Article


The instructions given to you on this site will give you all the tangible information necessary to achieve any physical transformation you could hope to make. The one aspect of this program that you must personally bring each and every day is a burning desire to succeed. A desire to push yourself farther than you ever have. A desire to staying committed to the program and joining the other 75,000 followers of the “I Can Do It” system who have accomplished their dreams.

Before getting started, read and understand the following articles to maximize your results:

Look at yourself in the mirror each and everyday and tell yourself “I Can Do It”. No matter what your current physical condition is, you now have all the tools to make your dreams reality! Dream big and believe in yourself.


Cardiovascular Overview

Published January 13th, 2010 By Todd Smith for ICanDoIt.com

Comments (0) | Comment on this Article


What is the goal of your cardiovascular training program? Just like anything in life, you have to know where you are going, or you will end up going no where. For twenty-five years I have witnessed thousands of people completely wasting their time, spending endless hours doing cardio with no goal in mind. While the masses don’t have any idea of what their long term goals are, 99% don’t have any idea on how to have even one productive cardiovascular workout. If you do know exactly what you are striving for, and it involves running a 10 K, a marathon, participating in a bicycle race, or doing a triathlon, you can find better information elsewhere. If you are trying to lose body fat and stimulate your metabolic rate, you have found the right place!

Heart Rate Specific Training (Max Heart Rate = 220 – Age)
This equation was created in 1971, since then, there has been many individuals trying to complicate the formula, trying to come up with something better. In my opinion, 220 – Age multiplied by a percent of your intensity level is far and away the best measure for successful cardiovascular training. All the references in the training program portion of this site refer to percentages of maximum heart rate using the above formula.

Two Types of Cardiovascular Training: Steady State and Interval
Steady state training involves little or no variation in heart rate once the warm-up is complete. You simply maintain a steady heart rate in your target training zone for the specified amount of time. This type of training is best utilized once or twice a week to accelerate fat burning and optimize aerobic conditioning.

Interval training is an exercise technique that has led to the metamorphosis of thousands of my trainees over the years. Intervals refer to extreme effort (work interval) on a cardiovascular exercise followed by active recovery (meaning continuing the activity but at a much lower intensity, also called rest interval). There are a myriad of ways to create different interval training routines to assist you in achieving your goals (I have included the most effective I have ever utilized in the cardio training program portion of this site). While this training technique is great for stripping away fat, it is also develops your heart muscle and creates a stronger, more efficient pump.

 Heart Rate Monitors
What are your chances of winning a dart match with a blindfold on? Yours odds of hitting a bulls-eye with a blindfold on are about the same as attempting to achieve a structured cardio workout without a heart rate monitor. You absolutely, positively, have to wear a heart rate monitor during every cardio workout. All the prescribed workout programs will be dictated by your heart rate. Dismiss all the information you see on the different cardio machines that tell you how many calories you burned during a specific workout. The only template that matters is following the specified programs that are directed exclusively by your heart rate.

What is the best type of cardiovascular machine for burning body fat?
There is not one type of cardio exercise that is the king of fat burning. Actually, you are best off switching up as much as possible. Once your body becomes accustomed to anything, it stops trying to adapt to the different stresses you place upon it and eventually stops changing. Whether it is spinning, stepping, running, or an elliptical trainer, your body craves unaccustomed stimulus to continue shedding body fat once the process has begun. I have counseled hundreds of runners who were frustrated because they had consistently run 3 – 5 miles a day for years without any significant change to their body weight or body composition. Most were amazed at their results once they began incorporating varying intensity levels or different modes of cardiovascular exercise. Moreover, doing the same form of exercise too much is guaranteed to produce tendonitis and joint damage.

Moderate Intensity versus High Intensity Cardio Training
In almost all fitness centers around the world the “Universal Training Target Heart Rate” poster is hanging on a wall displaying optimal training heart rate zones that pertain to the age of the trainee. The target heart rate poster reminds me a lot of the food pyramid posters that are still being utilized by dietitians and nutritionists. While there is definitely some truth to the antiquated charts, it is obvious by examining the health and fitness of the average American, that engaging in moderate exercise and eating six servings of grains daily will not allow you to achieve peak physical conditioning. The heart rate chart stresses that mildly elevating your heart rate is the best means of burning fat – that is a true statement. When you exercise at a low intensity level, your primary source of fuel is fat. So why do I believe that mixing in some real high intensity cardio, with moderate aerobic exercise is exponentially better at burning body fat than the workouts prescribed on the gym wall? The body has two primary sources of fuel to use during exercise – fat and glycogen. Glycogen is a form of stored sugar in the muscles and liver. During aerobic activity both glycogen and fat are used simultaneously to provide energy. At a low intensity level, a greater percentage of fuel comes from fat, but some of the energy is also supplied by glycogen. As the intensity of the exercise increases, the body gradually begins to burn more glycogen and less fat. At extreme levels of intensity (such as sprinting), glycogen is basically the only fuel your body utilizes. SO WHAT GIVES?  With everything I just explained, it makes sense to only moderately elevate your heart rate to burn more fat. WRONG!  High intensity training utilizes more muscle glycogen than body fat as a percentage. When you analyze the sheer number of fat and calories burned comparing high and low intensity cardio, high intensity cardio is much, much more effective at burning both fat and calories per unit of time than moderate intensity cardio. Here is an example to quantify my point: Two 40 year old men that weigh 185 pounds each are going to workout for 30 minutes. One walks and the other runs. The walker elevates his heart for the entire workout to about 120 – 125 beats per minute and burns 200 calories. Of these percentages, 70 percent came from fat, for a total of 140 calories used.  The runner, utilizing an interval style training program, pushed himself hard for 4 minutes then recovered for 4 minutes, repeating the cycle for 30 minutes. During this workout, the runner achieves a peak heart rate of 160 beats per minute and burns a total of 370 calories, with 60 percent of them derived from fat (222 calories used).  The higher intensity exercise increased the amount of fat burned by more than 50%. Moreover, when employing high intensity cardio your metabolic rate will be elevated for hours after your workout is completed.

What is the best time to train for optimal fat burning? 

  1. In the morning on an empty stomach: After subjecting your body to a 10 to 12 hour fasting period (between dinner and the time you wake up in the morning) is unquestionably the best time to perform your cardio workout. During your fasting period, your body has utilized all its stored glycogen in your muscles and liver to fuel your body’s natural functions. Therefore, when you begin to exercise after the fast, your body immediately begins to break down stored body fat as energy. If you do your cardiovascular training after your day has begun, you end up spending 20 to 25 minutes burning through your stored glycogen before beginning to burn body fat. It is important to drink at least 24 ounces of water during your workout to maintain hydration.
  2. Immediately after your weight training workout: Following an intense weight training session, your body will have utilized most of the stored energy in your muscles and liver to fuel your body during your workout. Therefore, it is a great time to attack your fat stores with a cardiovascular workout.
  3. If your life style and schedule afford you the opportunity, jumping right out of bed and immediately getting your workout in is the best for fat burning, and metabolic enhancement. It is just as important to recognize that when your body is in an extremely glycogen diminished state (first thing in the morning) that it is no time to consistently execute high intensity cardio workouts. This is a time to take your heart rate to between 65% and 70% of your maximum and keep it there for 35 – 40 minutes. Attempting to push the limits of your aerobic training capacity with no carbohydrates in your system will lead to over-training or muscle wasting.
  4. High intensity interval training should be done no more than twice a week. Additionally, gut wrenching cardio should be done on a day off from weights, or immediately following a resistance training session (not legs).

Proper nutrition, resistance training, and cardiovascular conditioning, are the three key components necessary to achieve peak physical conditioning. Let me say that again, proper nutrition, resistance training, and cardiovascular conditioning, are the crucial elements to attaining your fitness goals. The reason I am emphasizing this point during the cardiovascular section of the site, is that 98% of trainers don’t fully grasp this concept. If you visit any fitness center around the world, you will witness the same people in gym, day in, and day out, slaving away, lifting weights, and sweating their asses off without ever seeing any results. So why is that? They fail to recognize the synergy that takes place when you properly apply all three crucial elements of fitness simultaneously. If you skip breakfast, embrace hunger, or fail to feed your body properly throughout the day, you will never see any results. I can’t tell you how many times I have left a gym, and seen one of the members who just finished a workout pulling into a fast food joint. I am totally amazed at what little value they place upon their own personal time. Not only will you not see any results, there is a great chance YOU WILL GET FATTER. All the exercise in the world will not let you overcome poor eating habits.


Weight Training and Women

Published January 13th, 2010 By Todd Smith for ICanDoIt.com

Comments (0) | Comment on this Article


Like I’ve said before, weight training is the ideal way to lose body fat.  Not only is it ideal, it is the best way to keep the weight off permanently.   Women tend to have a problem with this method because they are weary of their muscles becoming “too big” and they fear looking too masculine.  Ladies, this is a complete farce!  The more muscle you have the faster your metabolism rate and the more calories you burn force your body to stay lean.

Women instinctly want to tighten and tone, but light weights and high repetitions when working with weights will not build the necessary amount of muscle to burn calories and boost your metabolic rate.   If you train with a heavier amount of weights (6-15 reps), you will change your body to add lean body mass and shed unwanted body fat faster and more effectively.  Thus, it is muscle that fashions a lean look.

Most women tend to diet by cutting calories and not exercising.  If you do this, you will always cause your body to lose a combination of body fat and muscle.  As explained earlier, this causes a downshift in metabolism.  When your metabolic rate slows down, so does the loss of body fat.  By adding five pounds of muscle, it can increase your metabolic rate as much as 60 to 88 calories a day.  This is accomplished by your body using energy to rebuild muscle tissue in which it uses stored body fat.

Women also tend to lean towards cardiovascular exercise vs. weight training.  Women do this because weight comes off sooner because the body does nothing to hold muscle mass.  Although, you will weigh less on the scale, it doesn’t mean that the weight you lost was the right kind of weight. This will eventually tamper with your body and you will lose your means to create a lean, healthy body. Therefore, the answer to losing weight is simple: Losing fat while adding muscle through weight training aids in increasing your metabolic rate to weight control is easier and permanent.

Posted in: Fitness Tags: , ,

Coaching by Todd Smith

Published November 1st, 2009 By ToddSmith for ICanDoIt.com

Comments (0) | Comment on this Article


My personal goal from the development of my web site is to empower all those who are attempting to improve their bodies with the knowledge necessary to accomplish their dream of having a healthy, strong, and lean body. I have outlined in detail the workout programs, the proper biomechanics on each exercise, the correct cardiovascular presciptions for each individual’s particular goals, and the nutritional outlines for those striving to elevate their metabolic rates, shed body fat, and build muscle. Moreover, I am committed to continually updating my site with every bit of new information I garner from personally working with all the clients I have the pleasure to encounter on a daily basis. Although I have chosen to give away all of my personal philosophies, knowledge, and my 25 years of experience of working with over 75,000 people from all over the globe, I have much more to offer those who choose to become a member of my  Todd Smith’s Elite Training Team.

Historically, it has been proven, that even if someone is armed with all the knowledge necessaryto attain their goals, almost all of us need much more: Motivation, direction, and accountability are three monumental aspects of successfully transforming your body into what you hope it can be. My experience has shown me that those who have daily contact with an expert mentor are exponentially more likely to succeed than those who choose to do it alone. While I have been a body transformation coach for over 25 years, I definitely don’t pretend to be an expert in everything. Therfore, I certainly see the value in having a professional oversee my progress in all subjects that I have not mastered. Since I am personally committed to constantly improving all aspects of my life, I have successfully utilized coaches to assist me in the accomplishment of developing new business opportunities, creating and maintaining loving relationships, and re-igniting my passion for personal growth when I have hit a plateau. One thing I realized long ago, was that time was my most valuable commodity. Therfore, when I reach a road block in life, I take the issue head on, and leave no stone unturned in my quest to overcome my obstacle.

I hope as you read this, you are able to reflect on your own life, and think about how long you have thought about being the best you can be. So why choose me as your mentor? The real challenge comes when attempting to apply all the knowledge, and being disciplined and motivated enough to stay the course. The ultimate challenge is having enough focus to carry the change through to behavior. That is why my training is so vital. My coaching program is the premier long term solution to making enduring changes. For your sake, I sincerely hope you choose to follow my direction. Stand in front of a mirror, look yourself straight in the eye, and say, “I Can Do It”. You will not be sorry, for you will receive the greatest return on your investment of time and money than you ever had at any other time in your life.

By becoming a member of Todd Smith’s Elite Training Team you will receive the following:

  • - Direction: Customized nutrition and exercise programs monitored daily and updated weekly.
  • Accountability: Nutritional journaling will be reported to Todd Smith daily to inspect and make necessary changes to insure success.
  • Motivation: Weekly phone consultations to counsel you on all aspects related to your training and nutrition.
  • Discover, define, and understand the power of the achievement process.
  • Learn and implement the keys of effective planning.
  • Create a clear, realistic vision of what you will accomplish.
  • Tranform your brain by creating powerful personal affirmations.
  • Learn to believe in your dreams and make them reality.

I hope to become your most trusted advisor and your strongest ally in your quest to be the best you can be. Please contact me as soon as possible.

Thank you,

Todd J. Smith


The I Can Do It Diet Overview

Published August 4th, 2009 By ToddSmith for ICanDoIt.com

Comments (0) | Comment on this Article


Understanding the Basics of Calories


Pure Carbohydrates (Complex): derived from non-animal foods (rice pasta, beans, breads, potatoes, fruit, yams)

Manufactured Carbohydrates: anything usually made with flour or sugar (cakes, cookies, candy, and desserts)

Fiber: the body lacks enzymes to break down and does not cost you any calories – but may burn calories trying to break down the fiber in order to digest it.

Glucose: blood sugar that stimulates the pancreas to release insulin

Homeostasis: a balanced state

Insulin: storage hormone that regulates how much glucose shall remain in the blood

Glucagon: a storage tank for sugar

Protein: derived from animal foods (chicken, turkey, lamb, fish, dairy products)

Essential amino acids: tiny building blocks of protein required for health (immune support, hormone production, etc…)

Canabalism: when calories are low and protein intake is low the body begins to tear apart muscle tissue to make amino acids from glucose.

Dietary Fats:

Saturated Fat: solid at room temperature

Unsaturated Fat: liquids at room temperature

BM: bare minimum required to maintain life

Aerobic exercise: cardiovascular training

Anaerobic exercise: weight training

There are three types of calories that come from the food we eat:

1)      Carbohydrates

2)      Proteins

3)      Dietary Fats


Carbohydrates come from food that is “non-animal” and are digested and absorbed by your body as *glucose.  The body prefers a concentration of glucose to be 70-110 mgs/ml of blood in order for it to be stable.

If the body reaches levels of glucose above 110, the body will try to reach a level of *homeostasis and will begin to take the excess sugar out of the blood and store it into the fat tissue. If the level of glucose is below 70, the body releases *insulin to pull the *glucagon out of the fat tissue to put back into the blood.

All carbohydrates we eat will be digested and absorbed into the blood stream as glucose. The body’s blood sugar stimulates the pancreas to release insulin and it will regulate how much should remain in the blood stream.  The total amount of insulin release to the concentration of glucose in the blood is related to your total carbohydrate intake.

Thus, the kinds of carbohydrates you want to ingest are complex carbohydrates not manufactured carbohydrates.  Complex carbohydrates are found in nature and some examples include yams, potatoes, wild rice, beans, corn, peas, and old fashioned oatmeal.  These carbohydrates illicit a lesser insulin response because it takes the body more time to digest. Manufactured carbohydrates (cookies, cakes, potato chips, etc…) are easier to digest; thus, the glucose is immediately released into the blood stream and large amount of insulin is deposited into the blood stream making it harder to control body fat.

Fiber is a separate group of carbohydrates and is known as a non digestible. The body is not equipped with enzymes to break down this substance and it actually burns calories trying to digest it. For instance, vegetables are known as fiber, and give the body zero energy.  The body actually uses its energy in order to break it down and it does not affect insulin levels.  Thus, calories are burned by ingesting fiber and this makes it difficult to over eat. Vegetables high in fiber paired with a complex or simple carbohydrate stunts the insulin from hitting the blood steam.

Examples of Vegetables High in Fiber:

Asparagus, Cauliflower, Dark green leaf lettuce, Broccoli, Mushrooms, Wax beans, Eggplant, Spinach,  Zucchini, Celery, Okra, Cabbage, Squash, Green beans, and Radishs.


Proteins come from animal foods and contain all the *essential amino acids.  These proteins are broken down and absorbed as amino acids the same way carbohydrates are broken down into glucose.

Protein is the most important macro-nutrient in building or maintaining muscle mass. It is the only nutrient that directly rebuilds and helps develop lean muscle tissue. If your body does not receive enough protein from a low calorie diet, the body begins to scavenge for the essential amino acids while the body enters a state of *canabalism.  Thus, if losing weight is the goal, too few calories and insufficient protein intake create the worst recipe because it will lower your metabolic rate.

Dietary Fats

Nothing is more fattening than fats.  Fats do not take up as much space in the stomach nor are they as capacious. Gram for gram, they yield more calories than proteins or carbohydrates because the body absorbs 97%.  Consequently, a diet high in fat creates fat cells to expand bigger than they were previously and elevates insulin which will makes it difficult for the body to ever use these cells.  Thus, they stayed stored and do not retreat.

All animal sources of fat found in meats, eggs, and dairy contain *saturated fat. Saturated fat can be a great source for good health, but can also clog arteries and drive glucose into the muscle. If the proteins you are consuming are not labeled as “fat free” it is important to monitor your intake of these particular proteins.  A high saturated fat diet can promote cancer growth.

What This All Means

After understanding the basis of what a calorie really consists of it is important to understand how many calories an individual needs to maintain life.  The first thing that is important in understanding how much of you is actual muscle and how much of you is actual fat. In order to find out this information you must get your body fat measured.  The most convenient way to do this is through a simple skin fold test.

An example of this would be an individual weighing 180 pounds finding out his body fat is 15%; thus he would carry 85% muscle.

How you figure this out mathematically:

Weight: 180 pounds   15% body fat

150 pounds
x .15
=   19.4 pounds of fat

180 pounds
-19.4 pounds fat
= 168.4 pounds of muscle (lean mass)

Therefore, he would be 180 pounds walking around with 15% fat and have 19.4 pounds of body fat and 168.4 pounds of muscle mass.  His *BM, since he is carrying 168 pounds of lean body mass would be approximately 1680 calories a day.

If an individual drops his caloric intake below his BM the body will begin to burn protein from the individual’s lean body mass and the body goes into the “flight or fight” response. Thus, muscle is shed and the BM drops effecting insulin resistance and the receptors on fat cells for insulin are downgraded encouraging fat storage.

The healthiest way to shed body fat is add lean body mass because it increases how many calories you burn each day while choosing the calorie level best suited for your lifestyle.

How to Diet the Right Way

One thing that we already know is that starving yourself and calorie deprivation will fail when it comes to long term weight loss.  In order to be successful, you must stimulate the body to release fat without going into the “flight or fight” mode.  And this is how it is done…

Smaller meals (6 times a day) so it moderates insulin release with a protein and a complex carbohydrate for each meal and vegetables at least 2 times a day with meals. This is how it will look:

Meal #1:  Breakfast

5 scrambled egg whites, ½ cup Old fashioned Oatmeal, one medium size banana, and 16 oz. of water.

Breakfast will give you 340 calories, 23 grams of protein, 54 grams of carbohydrates, and 3 grams of fat.

Meal #2:  Snack

2 scoops of protein powder mixed with water.

This meal will give you 181 calories, 40 grams of protein, 3 grams of   carbohydrates, and 1 gram of fat.

Meal #3: Lunch (I am assuming this is your post-workout meal)

10 oz. grilled chicken breast, 8 oz. baked potato, 1 medium size pear, steamed broccoli, and 16 oz. water.

Lunch will give you 577 calories, 52.5 grams of protein, 72 grams of carbohydrates, and 7.5 grams of fat.

Meal #4:  Snack

2 scoops of protein powder mixed with water.

This meal will give you 181 calories, 40 grams of protein, 3 grams of carbohydrates, and 1 gram of fat.

Meal #5:  Dinner

6 oz. grilled or broiled salmon filet, 1/4 cup long grain wild rice, steamed dark green vegetable, and 16 oz. water.

Dinner will give you 337 calories, 37 grams of protein, 12 grams of carbohydrates, and 15.5 grams of fat.

Meal #6: Before Bed

½ cup one percent cottage cheese

This meal will give you 80 calories, 13 grams of protein, 5 grams of carbohydrates, and 1.5 grams of fat.

This program gives you 1696 calories, 205 grams of protein, 150 grams of carbohydrates, and 29.5 grams of fat. Your macro-nutrient breakdown is as follows: 48 % protein, 36 % carbohydrates, and 16 % fat.

You MUST Exercise

With the correct knowledge on weight loss, meal plan, and exercise regimen, I have never witness failure.  Combining exercise and the proper eating plan will lead to faster and more permanent fat loss.  The two types of exercise are *aerobic and *anaerobic. Both are crucial when it comes to sustaining a lean body, and must be used the correct way.  If you choose to do aerobic only the metabolism will downgrade; if you choose to do only anaerobic, the metabolism will upgrade.


The Truth about Supplements

Published August 4th, 2009 By ToddSmith for ICanDoIt.com

Comments (0) | Comment on this Article


In my experience, there are a few supplemental nutrients that will help with fat loss.  One thing that you must understand is that without the proper diet and exercise these “supplements” will not work.

The most effective supplements that you can take while reducing your caloric intake with a healthy diet plan and exercise are supplements that will aid in either speeding up fat loss or preserving lean body mass.  If these supplements help the body retain muscle mass it is key to causing the metabolism to staying elevated in order to losing body fat.

It is important to note that you must give your body two weeks (at least) to begin to see noticeable results.

Caffeine: 100-200mgs (1 large cup of coffee) before exercise

This has the ability to increase fatty acid release from fat cells which helps aid in power and endurance when exercising.  If you consume caffeine and hour before doing a high intensity cardiovascular workout it may make the work seem easier allowing you to train longer and harder in order to burn more calories.

Ma Huang: 335-670 mgs daily

Ma Huang is a cousin of ephedrine and aids in the stimulation of body heat. Taken with caffeine, before aerobic exercise, this herb will promote the release of fat from fat cells. When training with weights, will cause the liberation of glucose out of glycogen storage which will give the individual more fuel to train.

***Diabetics, people with thyroid problems, nursing and pregnant women, and those with high blood pressure or gout should not take this supplement.

Fish Oils: 4000 mgs daily(640 mgs of EPA and 480 mgs of DHA)

Fish contain a special kind of fat called Omega-3.  These fatty acids encourage the receptor sites on muscle to increase insulin sensitivity which will allow the body to release less insulin.  Thus, fat storage becomes limited and insulin channels carbohydrates and amino acids into muscle tissue.  Omega-3 also fights inflammation in joints and muscle tissue.


The Mind Muscle Connection

Published August 4th, 2009 By ToddSmith for ICanDoIt.com

Comments (0) | Comment on this Article


All muscles contract from nerve signals.  The stronger the nerve signal, the more powerful the muscular contraction. The brain must tell the muscles how hard to contract through the spinal chord.  This is where the saying, “mind over matter” comes from.  The mind muscle connection is what separates beginners from more advanced weight trainers.   Thus, it is important to make that “connection” when you are training.

This can be accomplished by knowing how to fully work each muscle– you need not know all the technical terms, but how to train each muscle group. While trying to lose weight, it is imperative to learn as much as you can about nutrition, training and human physiology so you do not get hurt and gain as much as you can from your workouts.



Published August 4th, 2009 By ToddSmith for ICanDoIt.com

Comments (0) | Comment on this Article


Water is the main component to blood and it transports nutrients to tissues while removing toxins for metabolism disposal.  If you don’t drink enough water you will slow down your metabolic rate.  If you are consuming caffeine, low carbohydrates, and high protein in your diet YOU MUST drink up!  These healthy diet plans with exercise will dehydrate you so you must drink 8-10 full glasses of water per day in order to keep your metabolism going strong. If you do not consume the recommended glasses of water per day you will dehydrate and force your body to rely on sugar as fuel rather than fatty acids.


The I Can Do It Exercise Guide

Published August 4th, 2009 By ToddSmith for ICanDoIt.com

Comments (0) | Comment on this Article


It is possible to lose weight without exercise.  But, with no exercise at all it will cause fat and muscle to be shed at a 1 to 1 ratio; thus, for each pound of fat lost, a pound of muscle is lost as well.  Though someone’s weight may significantly drop, the percentage of body fat will not change.  This means no lean muscle mass will be gained and it will actually slow down the metabolic rate of your body.

All forms of exercise burns calories. The goal of exercise when dieting is to burn more calories than consumed in order to get rid of body fat.  As explained earlier, the two different types of exercise are aerobic and weight training.  Both serve as fat burners but the body adapts to these exercises in a different manner.

It is important for me to stress the fact that I am a huge advocate of weight training vs. aerobic, but both work hand in hand when trying to lose weight.  One thing to recognize about aerobic training is that when you add it to a strict diet of severe calorie reduction, cardiovascular conditioning will help you lose more body weight, but will do nothing to help you preserve your lean muscle mass.  Therefore, it is the same as not exercising at all because you will lose muscle mass and ruin your metabolic rate.

Yet, when you add weight training exercises to a diet in caloric reduction the body holds onto 80% of muscle mass.  Training with weights saves muscles which keeps the metabolic rate elevated and creates an environment for a greater percentage of body fat to be lost instead of muscle.  In this case, the body will hold onto muscle tissue making this way of dieting and exercising far more superior than the others.

If you weight train and do cardiovascular conditioning you will increase your metabolic rate and burn more calories and fat.  The outcome of fat loss is remarkable in this case.  Thus, the main form or exercise should be weight training with aerobics as a second choice.  For most, a combination of weights and aerobics may be helpful in accelerating fat loss.  After you reach your goal weight, a very lean body can be achieved with no cardiovascular training as long as you keep up your weight training and diet plan.

The Right Kind of Aerobic Training

 There is always confusion to what kind of aerobic exercise is better. I always go by this rule: The higher the heart rate, the higher the intensity – the lower the heart rate, the lower the intensity.  Thus, working at higher intensity will help you burn more calories than working at lower intensity.

The intensity of cardiovascular conditioning is an important factor in determining how lean you can become.  Working at a higher intensity can burn more total calories than lower intensity aerobics.  Although, lower intensity may burn a greater percentage of fat, higher intensity is more effective because it burns more total calories and more fat calories.

The best way to keep a cardiovascular workout high for long periods of time (30-45 minutes) is to do interval training.  Interval training is training that requires the individual to work as hard as possible for three minutes followed by two minutes of an easier cycle.  The goal is to elevate the heart rate in order to get a far better caloric burn.  When you bring heart rate back down by two minute steady work you are setting your heart rate down in order to spike back up again, which will elevate the heart rate and continue the caloric burn.

Example of a 35 Minute Fat Burning Interval:

TIME INTERVAL HEART RATE Heart Beats in 10 seconds for 20/30/40 year old
2 minutes
3 minutes
2 minutes
3 minutes
Let HR fall to 55%
2 minutes
3 minutes
Let HR fall to 55%
2 minutes
3 minutes
HR to 55-60%
2 minutes
3 minutes
HR will stay elevated
2 minutes
3 minutes
Slow things down
2 minutes
3 minutes
Slow things down


Heart Rate Table Index:

AGE 60% 70% 80%
20 120 140 150
25 117 137 146
30 114 133 142
35 111 130 139
40 108 126 135
45 105 123 131
50 102 119 128

In order to reap the rewards of an aerobic exercise, an individual should engage in high intensity cardiovascular training three times a week only after you have established a weight training plan. You should start at lower levels of intensity training and work your way up to 75% of your heart rate with interval training. Do not go over board with cardiovascular training! More than four to five sessions of aerobic training per week will compromise your ability to build and maintain muscle mass.

When to do Cardiovascular Training

The best time to engage in cardiovascular training is in the morning on an empty stomach. Because of the levels of hormones in your body at this time of the day, glucose levels are flat and insulin is absent so fatty acids become line of fuel. Another hormone that will be released at this time is epinephrine which is a part of the “flight or fight” fuel. The higher the intensity of your cardiovascular training, the greater the release of epinephrine and through a multi-step process it will release catecholamines which will attach themselves to fat cells to help break down body fat.

If you can not perform cardiovascular conditioning in the morning, try to avoid carbohydrates completely after an aerobic workout. If you skip the carbohydrates at this time, it will favor the release of glucagon/catacholamines in order to keep your insulin levels low and allowing stored body fat to become the immediate source of fuel.

Posted in: Fitness Tags: , , ,