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  Muscle burns calories

The team at FUNtional have heard this time and time again from new clients.

“My body shape just doesn’t change, I’m sick of spending session after session on the treadmill, sitting on the bike or hitting the streets and the body fat is still not coming off?”

This can be so discouraging and unmotivating. As a result people tend to just give up, putting their weight loss programme in the ‘too hard box’, well until next summer at least!

If this sounds like you, then itís time to include some resistance (weight) bearing exercise. And no, not just the one dimensional machines you see at most of todayís health clubs. These so called Ďwonderí machines tend to strengthen the body in only one plane of movement, overuse leads to muscular dysfunction and more often than not they fail to recruit multiple muscle groups and hence less metabolic boost (less calories burnt, now Iíve got your attention!). You need to be utilising free weights and by that I mean dumbbells, cables, barbells, kettlebells, swissballs and the most effective machine of all, your body.

While using cardio machines does help burn calories, the body also becomes progressively more efficient at cardio exercise. The result is more miles to the gallon when the aim is actually to become less fuel-efficient with fewer miles to the gallon. Aerobic exercise has also been shown to be associated with increased levels of glucocorticoids, which are catabolic in nature and so do not favour increasing muscle; the very muscle needed to burn fat!

This is why resistance training performed with acute exercise variables is great for females, donít worry you WONT bulk up! Youíll increase lean body mass and as a result improve your metabolic rate. This means we increase our caloric consumption throughout the day and thatís the perfect way of melting away those unwanted inches.