02 Jun

Can running make you fat?

I was reading an article in the paper yesterday about exercise and the various conflicting theories about how much and which type of exercises you need to do to actually burn body fat. We recently took up running, primarily in the hope of shedding a few pounds before our summer holiday, but also to improve our level of cardiovascular fitness.

6 weeks on, how do things look? Well, both Tina and I have been running 3 times a week for between 20 and 30 minutes per session and the routes we’ve taken have been varied to include running up and down hills, grass, asphalt and gravel. Our general fitness levels have increased considerably a we can both now run for the full session holding a conversation, and neither of us are ready to completely collapse from exhaustion on our return. Recovery time is also far reduced too, with the whole experience leaving us both energised afterwards and ready to face the rest of the days challenges.

Weight loss wise though, it’s a different matter. Neither of us have seen any weight loss at all. In fact I think I’ve put on a pound or two. So the question is what do you have to do to get the burn that body fat? According to the article and the guys at R and O Group┬áit’s to do with the bodies reaction to prolonged exercise or at least exercise that stresses the body out too much. Stress through exercise causes your body to produce the stress hormone, Cortisol. In short, this puts your body into Fat Storage mode! Not something we’d expect from exercising.

Change of approach

A change of direction is therefore required. In their Weapons of Fat Destruction post on their blog Ruben and Ozzie recommend Sprinting over jogging or running for stimulating fast fat burning. Here’s what they recommend…

6 Sprints a day, 6 Days a week. Combined with healthy eating and some resistance exercise which can be done at home using just bodyweight – Push ups, Pull ups, Sit Ups, Squats etc.

Sprinting Program

Work (sprint) Rest No movement
20 seconds 20 secs
20 seconds 15 secs
20 seconds 10 secs
20 seconds 20 secs
20 seconds 15 secs
20 seconds 10 secs

They also reckon that fantastic results can be achieved in just 4 to 6 weeks too… so we’re going to give it a go, see how we get on!

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