Repelling the Fat Magnet

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Question: I’m 52 now and feel like I have become a fat magnet. Every time I get on the scale I am heavier and just have a sluggish demeanor. I have begun to walk in the neighborhood which helps but what else can I do to feel energized again?
Answer: As we age we lose muscle mass which is our primary metabolic driver. If we lose muscle mass our resting metabolic rate (RMR) will decrease which will make you feel like a sluggish fat magnet to use your terminology. You have to build, tone or at least retain your muscle mass which is done through weight training. Your walks will have a modest effect and energize you for a short period but they are not intense enough to make a long term difference. You don’t have to become a gym rat to build muscle just be consistent and work with intensity.
Training intensity is most important in affecting your RMR and is simply getting more work done in a short period of time. Weight training just two days a week will make a difference and is a good starting point. Do a full body workout covering each major body part with 2 to 3 exercises and get it done in an hour or less. More work in less time equals intensity which is the key to energizing your (RMR).
There have been several studies done recently which continually show that RMR is elevated after a workout whether it is weight training or cross training. The differences in the studies are how much RMR increases and for how long. We were curious so we used a BodyBugg metabolic system to do a small study on our own. The BodyBugg is the arm band which you can see being worn by contestants on The Biggest Loser that monitors and calculates how many calories are burned by an individual. The required “burn” for Biggest Loser competitors is 6000 calories a day. That’s what they are told to shoot for as a minimum calorie expenditure or burn each day.
Our “subject” was 62 year old Mike Musselwhite who has won the Over 60 Heavyweight National Bodybuilding Championships so he knows how to train and how to train intensely. When he began his workout his estimated burn was 1.9 calories per minute. As he trained and he was only working his biceps and triceps, his burn rose to 6.9 cpm within 10 to 15 minutes. He completed his workout in about 50 minutes and during that time his burn remained at 6.9 cpm. His monitor revealed that 10 to 15 minutes after his session was over his burn dropped to just under 5 cpm and remained between 4 and 5 cpm for the next 4 hours. The next 2 to 3 hours was after that it slipped down between 3 and 4 cpm and remained above his original 1.9 cpm for over 8 hours.
What this again proved is how much RMR is affected by intensity in your workouts and how important maintaining muscle mass is for your metabolic rate. Get started with those 2 weekly weight training workouts and see for yourself how to change your RMR, energize your system and affect your attitude so you don’t feel like a slug.
God bless and keep training,
Daryl

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