In this installment of the Actualize Coaching Corner, Coach Cy asks the question, “Is the all gas and no brakes approach the best way for improving wellness and overall health?”

Do any of these sound like you?

  • I need to lose (insert magical weight loss number here) pounds.
  • Do 2 more rounds!
  • GO HARDER!!!
  • I must burn (x) calories on this workout.
  • If my Myzone heart rate drops into zone 3, I am not going hard enough. I need to be in the red more often.
  • If I don’t feel death looming, I am not pushing hard enough.
  • Man, I am barely even sweating!
  • I can’t lose weight, I need to cut more calories.
  • The sorer I am the more successful the workout!
  • Why do I feel sluggish?

If yes, check out the article below and then watch the short video that expounds further.

How many of you are now looking in the mirror? The myths above are often misconceptions when it comes to getting fit, losing weight, and leading a healthier lifestyle. A mindset of “more is better” could not be further from the truth and is more than likely limiting your progress of reaching your goals. Hopefully I haven’t lost you, so let me explain.

Exercise in and of itself is a physical stressor placed upon the body. When dosed correctly, this stressor (exercise) has health benefits for many tissues and biological systems in the body, but when coupled with high stress, poor sleep, terrible nutritional habits, excessive caffeine consumption, and excessive alcohol consumption, you begin navigating the canoe without a paddle so to speak. The exercise itself is not to blame, it’s the lack of recovery coupled with the aforementioned that is limiting your progress.

What happens if you get on the interstate, set your car to cruise control and go? The car can’t go forever, at some point it will need gas, an oil change, new tires, etc.

Is exercise your only form of stress relief?

How stressful is your job?

Are the kids driving you nuts?

“I only have three days a week at the gym, I might as well kill myself while I’m there.”

That makes sense until it doesn’t. Understanding the energy systems at play, how stress interacts with your body and your goals is vital to reaching the desired outcomes.

For example, if weight loss is your primary objective, “going hard” every time you step foot in the gym is not your best option. The closer your heart rate pushes toward your max, the more you move toward your anaerobic energy system which uses a different system for producing ATP (energy source), primarily utilizing glycogen stored in your liver/muscle vs converting fat into glucose. If you train hard enough, it is possible to lose lean muscle mass which will lower your total daily energy expenditure (the higher the better for weight loss). Simply put, you would be more successful at weight loss by increasing lean muscle mass, being in a calorie deficit (I know, I know), and performing low intensity steady state cardio (go on a 30 minute walk).

Hopefully this is hitting home with some of you. For further information, check out the video and reach out if you have any questions. And remember, part of your Actualize membership includes Actualize Nutrition Coaching, which allows you to meet 1-on-1 with Actualize coaches to process not only your nutrition but also how your training and lifestyle blend together. It’s an honor to be invited into your health and fitness journey!

Coach Cy

Summary of main points covered in video:

  1. Know your goals
  2. Be realistic with training history
  3. The difference between good stress and bad stress
  4. Understand that exercise is a stress
  5. You’re not taking advantage of sleep
  6. You can’t out work poor nutritional habits
  7. Consistency beats the all or none approach every time
  8. A good workout is not dependent on being sweaty, feeling like you got hit by a truck, or being sore
  9. Understanding parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system

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