For many years, I could Zumba away the calories
of a cheesecake. Not anymore!
Anyone else grow up in a world of step aerobics
and long cardio workouts with the goal of burning
I guess calories in/calories out was never really the
right answer. However; age, hormones, career,
habits, and two babies have made a big difference
in how my body responds to exercise.
The two hours I used to spend in the gym 6 days
a week, left me energized and motivated. Now, I
just feel tired and hungry. In addition, hours in the
gym everyday is not sustainable when you have a
career, kids, and are interested in a social life.
My goal this year is to keep things sane and simple.
I plan to focus on quality over quantity in all areas
of my life.
My Problem with Over Training
I have learned this year that over training can
actually be counterproductive to weight loss and
fitness goals. Exercise that takes your body to a
state of physical exhaustion on a regular basis, can
do more harm than good. For me, the increased
stress response just added to other stress in my
Frequently living in a state where your body is
stressed leads to depression, weight gain, and
sluggish digestion. Your body increases cortisol
release, which encourages abdominal fat storage
and may even contribute to the development of
I’m not willing to shut down my business or get rid
of my kids, so the stress of exercise seems the
easiest to eliminate.
The Science Behind Exercising Less
Dr. Doug McGuff in his book Body By Science,
advocates for a high intensity low volume training.
The goal of the workout is muscle breakdown, in
order that the most muscle growth can occur
during your recovery days.
The exercise you do, does not directly produce
a physical changes. Rather, it stimulates your
body to produce an adaptation to perform
better in your next workout.
Some call this the Minimum Effective Dose – the
smallest amount of exercise that will produce
your desired outcome. It is believed that any
work you do beyond this is wasteful.
The example often given is boiling water. If
you increase the temperature of boiling water,
is the water more boiled? If we continue to work
out beyond our “boiling point”, we are using up
energy and resources that could be used elsewhere
. . . maybe for something more fun!
So if more isn’t necessary to achieve the results
I want, why do more?
For the next year I am interested in both getting
stronger and finding more margin in my schedule.
It looks like less hours in the gym will help both
of these goals.
One set of exercises per body part, done with
perfect, slow form until I am unable to do anymore.
I plan to work each large muscle group in three
sessions a week. I’m not going to multi taks, but put
100% into every exercise.
To have a body fully capable to perform any activity
I ask of it without injury, and have the energy to
achieve more in my everyday life.
Now this doesn’t mean I am going to just sit around
the rest of the week. I am not equating “exercise”
I am going to maintain a very active lifestyle, just
not long formal exercise sessions. This could include
walking the dog or playing tag with my kids.
So this is the game plan to start out 2017. The
science seems to back it up, so I’m going to give it go.
But, honestly it scares me.
How can this little exercise possibly maintain my
strength and endurance?
Will it completely undo all the hard work I have put
into having a strong, healthy body?
Well, we will see and I will report back to you how it
goes. I hope to not have to return to step aerobics. . .
I was never coordinated enough for that anyway.
Have you been able to find balance between exercise
intensity and recovery?
Is the exercise regimen that used to yield awesome
results not working for you anymore?
Share with us your secrets and experiences in the
comments below or e-mail me at
I would love to hear from you!