Progressive Overload: The key to losing weight
When we talk about intensity what we are referring to is the application of progressive overload. The most effective and controlled method of applying this is through resistance/weight training. Now that we understand the relationship between technique and the components of exercise let me explain how this actually works.
Muscles are made up of cells called muscle fibers. These cells are responsible for the contraction of a muscle which in turn pulls on bones via tendons and causes movement These muscle contractions require energy which comes from Glycogen and ATP stored in your muscle cells. The stimulus for this contraction comes from nerves called motor neurons carrying the impulse from the central nervous system, your brain and spinal cord.
During a weight training set the continuous stimulation of muscle fibers is required to complete each rep. After a particular number of contractions the individual fibers will run out of fuel eventually causing the muscle to fail.This fatigue is caused by your muscle fibers running out of ATP and Glycogen The actual contraction of each muscle fiber is caused by Myofilaments which lie within the muscle fiber. The myofilaments are made of protein which can be broken down during intense contraction and this breakdown is the key to the improvements in your physical condition.
If we achieve enough intensity and it is important to state that too much is not ideal either our bodies will respond to the breakdown of these protein filaments by burning fat reserves at a phenomenal rate to fuel the recovery of the muscle. After a brief intense workout it will take about 5 to 7 days for the particular muscle or muscle groups to recover. During this recovery period your body will burn more calories 24 hours per day.
The good news is that this is only the start of the metabolic benefits. As a result of this breakdown the muscle fibers will over compensate replacing more protein back into the myofibril within the muscle fiber. As we said muscle is active tissue and requires energy to maintain itself so your body will turn on its fat reserves to maintain the new protein deposits. The benefit is you will be left with a faster Basal Metabolic Rate so your body will be burning calories faster even when you are sitting down or sleeping You will become leaner lighter and fitter all at the same time and you’re improved body composition and faster metabolic rate will make it easier for you to stay that way even as you get older.