Why superworkouts may be bad for you

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Why superworkouts may be bad for you

Post by Admin on Sun Feb 19, 2017 5:21 am



WHY SUPERWORKOUTS MAY BE BAD FOR YOU
DECEMBER 21, 2016
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If you read any of the popular fitness magazines or websites, you’ll have heard that high-intensity training is in and slow-paced cardio is out. Shorter, harder, workouts, we’ve been told, are better for fat burning and for developing fitness. But is this true?
There is no denying that high-intensity training methods can work, but it could be that the hype exceeds what these workouts can actually deliver and that overreliance on this single form of exercise is doing some people harm.

1) UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS OF EPOC

One of the reasons that high-intensity workouts are said to be so effective for fat burning is that they trigger something called EPOC. EPOC is short for Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption and describes how that, after intense exercise, your aerobic system must work extra hard to rid your body of accumulated lactate.
The fuel for the aerobic system is fat and so many people believe that high-intensity training causes a secondary fat burning effect after the initial workout.
While EPOC does exist, it’s not as powerful as most people think. We’re talking a few dozen extra calories and not several hundred. EPOC is hard to quantify precisely, but it is estimated that the EPOC after a workout is equal to around 15%. This means that if you burnt 300 calories during your high-intensity workout, you'd burn an additional 45 afterward. That’s not very many at all.
As a result, if you focus solely on short, high-intensity workouts, you might end up burning fewer calories compared to a longer, lower intensity workout.

2) INCREASED HUNGER

High-intensity workouts can cause a significant drop in muscle glycogen and blood glucose levels. This triggers increased hunger and especially cravings for fast-acting carbs. In fact, you may feel tired, weak, and even nauseous after a brutal HIIT workout and those symptoms will drive you to eat more carbs and therefore calories than usual.

3) FATIGUE LEADING TO A LESS ACTIVE LIFESTYLE

People who exercise very hard often feel tired between workouts and that causes them to be increasingly sedentary the rest of the time. It’s not uncommon to find that people who rely on high-intensity exercise work out less frequently, walk less, stand less, and are less active than someone who exercises less intensely.
While a few workouts per week will increase your calorie output and are undoubtedly good for your health, these benefits are soon wiped out if you spend the rest of the time being physically inactive.
In contrast, being physically active every day can lead to greater fat loss and health benefits simply because you end up spending more time on your feet and less time sitting.

4) THE HEALTH HALO

The health halo is a recognised phenomenon that causes people to justify unhealthy habits because of their exercise routine. For example, if you have just completed a brutally hard interval training session, you might feel justified to have takeout on the way home from the gym. In short, you feel like you have earned it.
In truth, even the hardest workout will not offset the slew of calories in a junk food meal. This is particularly the case of something as short as a high-intensity workout.
It’s all too easy to use hard workouts as an excuse for not eating healthily. Post-workout candy bars, “cheat” meals, or simply thinking that you can eat whatever you want because of your super-intense workouts are all examples of the health halo effect.
No matter how hard your workouts are, you cannot out-train a bad diet. The best you can hope for is that your workouts slow your rate of weight gain.

5) WORKOUTS ARE TOO SHORT TO BE BENEFICIAL

The human body is designed to be active most of the time. Our hunter/gatherer ancestors spent large proportions of their days walking. While it’s true that those same ancestors did their own version of high-intensity training when they sprinted after game, they didn’t then spend the rest of that day, and the day after, sitting watching their campfire.
For exercise to be beneficial, it needs to be more than just intense, brief, and infrequent. It also needs to be easy, sustained, and regular. Since the invention of the work aerobics back in the 1950s, it’s been researched and documented that sustained cardiovascular exercise is good for virtually all aspects of health.
High-intensity training will improve your fitness, but you also need lower intensity, prolonged exercise for your health.

6. INCREASED RISK OF ACUTE INJURY

High-intensity workouts involve a lot of fatigue and fatigue can change the way you perform certain exercises. Despite your best intentions, your body will look for shortcuts to make your chosen exercises easier – proper joint alignment goes out the window! Also, many high-intensity exercises involve an increased rate of movement speed and force production which can be very stressful on the joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
These factors mean that, for some people, high-intensity training carries an increased injury risk compared to steady paced cardio. If you can’t exercise because of injury, you will lose any fitness you might have gained.
High-intensity training promises shorter workouts, and better results, but many of claims surrounding interval training, HIIT, and Tabata workouts are not much better than marketing hyperbole. There is nothing inherently wrong with high-intensity training but it’s just one of the things that you should be doing to develop all round health and fitness; it’s not the solution for all your fitness needs.
Any new workout will produce dramatic results, and that’s partly why high-intensity training produces such favourable physical changes. However, if you only ever do this type of workout, your fitness will plateau, and your weight may increase.
Use interval training, HIIT, Tabatas, etc. but don’t forget that they are just one part of the holistic fitness and health model.


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