Want That Beach Body, Get to Know Your Metabolism!

When the weather becomes sunny most people want to start to become active, go to the beach, wear those summer clothes and feel good about their body. The question most trainers get is how one can transform their body, after losing my winter weight, to a toned beach body. Well and easy way is to figure out what will change your metabolism or calories your burn throughout your day. I want to write to you about how strength training can really change your metabolism, and why it’s really the best way to go about getting that beach body!

There are three ways to change your metabolism through strength training;

  1. how you workout
  2. your oxygen consumption after you workout
  3. the increase in lean muscle mass

How You Workout! Whenever you move, your muscles are working and those working muscles require energy releasing heat as a byproduct of using that energy. Strength training in simple terms is movement but usually with an added load, and can alter your metabolism two ways; with the amount of muscle used to move the load and the amount of resistance applied to the body. When performing a squat exercise you are much larger muscles (like the quads & glutes) as well as more stabilizers (hip complex and core) to perform the exercise than say bicep curls where you are really just using the smaller bicep muscle and shoulder stabilizers. The difference in calorie burning can increase two fold per minute by doing a squat rather than a bicep curl (from 5 kcal to 10 kcal per minute of exercise). The other half to workout metabolism is the load; when lifting heavier weights (80% of your 1 rep max) you can burn 12 times as many calories as lighter weights (20% of your 1 rep max) because you need to incorporate more muscles, mostly stabilizers, to help move the larger amount of weight. So to get the biggest bang for your buck, make sure you are performing exercises using larger muscle groups with heavier weights (60-80% 1 rep max) in order to really change your body composition and increase your metabolism.

Your Oxygen Consumption After You Workout! What exactly is post-exercise oxygen consumption…in basic terms it is your body trying to repair all the muscle damage your workout just did to your muscle fibers. Your body has to work hard to restore used energy, eliminate waste by-products, replenish your used oxygen in the blood, lower your body temperature, lower your heart rate and lower elevated hormones after exercise; basically try to bring you back to the same level as before you worked out or “normal.” All of this internal work requires additional energy from the body which can significantly increase your metabolism after weight exercise more than after cardiovascular exercise. Now the increase in calorie burn is not huge like during the exercise, but with working out for 50 min at 50% of your maximum oxygen uptake, 15 times a month for 12 months you can burn an extra 92,400 calories or the equivalent of 26 lbs of fat with just the oxygen consumed after exercise needed to bring your body back to normal. Pretty neat huh!
Another factor to consider is what type of fuel your body is using during workouts. Weight training tends to utilize carbs more during the actual workout, but afterwards fat is utilized more to meet the energy demands of the body in its recovery phase; especially when higher intensity workouts are performed.

The Increase in Lean Muscle Mass! Everyone knows that properly performed high intensity strength training stimulates muscle growth/development. What you may not know is how your muscle changes your metabolism. First, your resting metabolic rate will increase with an increase in muscle mass because muscle burns 3 times as much energy as fat. Second, the more muscle one has the more post-exercise oxygen consumption. So if you can gain muscle, doesn’t have to be a lot, you will burn more calories during your workout, after your workout and throughout your normal activities!

Starting strength training at higher intensities will increase your calorie burn (mostly carbs) during the exercise and an increased utilization of fats after the strength training; elevating your metabolism for 2 – 15 hrs after. If you can increase your fat free muscle mass you will increase the amount of calories burnt during the exercise and at rest. So if you really want to start to work on your beach body, start to think about that metabolism and how to get it revved up and working harder! For more information on changing your workout or ideas on how to increase your metabolism contact any one of our qualified personal fitness trainers or the fitness director Jacob Galloway.



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