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Metabolism and Exercise

Hi everyone,

I want to post her my thoughts on METABOLISM and the important role it plays in exercise for fat loss.

Your metabolism is simply how much energy (i.e. calories) your body burns each day to function normally. It consists of three parts:

1. Your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR):

This is simply the number of calories you burn in a day if you were to lie in bed and do nothing. It is mainly determined by how much lean tissue you have. Each muscle is metabolically active, meaning your body hsa to burn calories continuously to keep your muscles functioning and ready to contract. This makes up 70% of your entire metabolism, and this is the reason resistance training to develop or maintain your muscle tissue is arguably the most effective form of exericse for fat loss.

2. Thermogenics:

This refers to the energy used by the digestive muscles to break down food. This is why experts recommend frequent smaller meals throughout the day, in order to keep the muscles working and burning more calories.

3. Calories burned via exercise:

It is not so much the calories burned during exercise we should be concerned with, but the calories burned AFTER. Exercise breaks your muscles down, making them weaker. When you eat good food and get rest, this helps them grow back stronger and you become fitter as a result.

Now, the higher the intensity you exercise at, the more calories your body will need to burn to recover.

Hopefully, you can see that RAISING your metabolism is the KEY to fat loss exercise, and is the principle I base all my client's programs on.

There are formulas you can use to roughly calculate your resting metabolic rate (remember thats 70% of the calories you burn each day!). It is based on (among other factors) how much of your mass is comprised of muscle, and how often you exercise, and at what intensity.

My personal approximate RMR is 1,700 calories a day. Remember, this is how many calories I burn BEFORE digestion of food or exercise is put on top. This is why im a lean guy who would find it difficult to put on a lot of fat mass even if I tried.

Can you now see why this is the key to fat loss? It all resides in the INTENSITY you work at, and getting that metabolic effect with your exercise. And to do that we need to stop looking at how many calories you burn during the workout according to the treadmill or bike.

Think of if this way...

I go for an hour on a treadmill at a moderate pace, not really pushing myself that hard, and burn 400 calories. If I am doing this 5 days in a row and have no soreness in the muscles then its very likely that the muscles will recover by the end of the day, and that burned hardly any calories. So I've pretty much just burned the 400 calories, then my metabolism quickly returns to normal.

Now, if I did some resistance exercise (Legs, Bums and Tums or Boxercise maybe) and my muscles were sore, I pushed myself hard and sweat is everywhere, then likely I have increased my metabolism as my body will now need to use up energy (burn more calories) all through the next day to recover my body fully. (By the way, I am not suggesting that muscle soreness is always an indicator of a suitable exercise intensity, just using it here for example purposes)

When you forget how many calories you burn during the session and focus on increasing the number you burn each day from your resting metabolic rate (which will be determined by how much lean muscle in relation to fat mass you have) you will start burning far more calories than ever before, and this is what has rung true for my clients and the clients of other trainers who live by these proven methods.

That wraps that up, I hope this has helped you all understand a very important but often overlooked fundamental aspect of fat loss training.

If you have any comments I'd appreciate your feedback. If there's anything you'd like me to explain more clearly, or if you would like me to explain what kind of exercises are best to get the 'metabolic effect' then please just let me know.

Thanks everyone,

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Last edited:


Silver Member
S: 17st1lb C: 9st9lb G: 9st11lb BMI: 23.9 Loss: 7st6lb(43.51%)
Thank you .. very interesting. I know my RMR is 1371 calories, I sit at a desk all day so to burn lost of calories i need to sweat a LOT!!! lol
I thought this was really interesting. I have heard some of what you have written about but didn't fully understand it previously. A really comprehensive summary

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