I can’t, however, keep going without talking about the one thing that hardly any of us “big boned” people like talking about.
Through the 4-Hour Body, I’ve acquired two personal trainers without spending a lot of money on them (although they’d be worth it). I want to share what they’ve taught me with you today.
But Tim said…
Don’t get huffy right off the bat. I’ve mentioned before that exercise isn’t a dirty word. Tim Ferriss never, ever said we shouldn’t exercise. He said two things:
- we could lose fat without exercising and
- don’t confuse exercise with physical recreation
Just because we can lose fat without exercising doesn’t mean we need to avoid it completely. In fact, when I specifically did everything I could by the book for a week, exercise played a major role in my weight loss.
It’s important to remember, though, that playing basketball with your kid, tennis with your girlfriend, or Wii Fit with your wife is not considered “exercise” in the book. Those fit under “physical recreation.”
Getting the food right is one part of the equation. Understanding how exercise specifically affects weight loss is the second part. This isn’t going to be an overly-scientific missive about exercise and what it does. All I really want to do is very simply describe what role exercise now plays in my life and what I do.
Exercise according to 4HB
Folks who may not have read The 4-Hour Body (sidenote: you should) may not be on the same page at the moment, so let me briefly fix that.
Tim Ferriss’ definition of exercise is essentially very specific actions targeted for a purpose, be it fat loss or muscle gain. In this article I’ll spend most of the time talking about the exercises I’ve been doing for fat loss, although some of them also could be used for muscle gain.
Importance of MED
The Minimum Effective Dose is extremely important to understand in order to realize that you really can work out too much.
I like the example Tim uses in the book. If you went to the beach looking for a tan and were in the sun for an hour and a half, you’d burn. Your skin would turn red, eventually peel, and you’d be just where you were before you went.
However, if you instead broke that hour and a half into 6 chunks of 15 minutes each, by the end of the week you’d be mistaken for a hot South American. The key is in the dosing.
By overworking your body, you can actually do damage and negate or reverse any work you’re trying to accomplish.
10-15 minutes is all you need.
So what exercises do I do?
Everyone likes specific examples, so I’ll give you mine. I need to start by saying I’m very new to this, so my workout will probably change as I learn more. It takes time to undo everything you’ve been taught by well-meaning friends and highly-overpaid-by-the-hour trainers.
I started out by following the workout Tim prescribed for Fleur in 4HB. It’s very simple:
After a while, I connected with Justin Hamade and he’s been working with me on some exercise issues. He’s done a fantastic job himself on this 4HB thing, so his advice is backed up by results.
Justin gave me a couple other things to add to my regimen. In addition to the other three exercises I just mentioned, I also do jumping jacks, star jumps, and alternating lunges (I do walking lunges down my hallway until I’ve done 15 on both sides).
Caveat: I am reading the chapter on endurance so my workouts might change, especially since Justin said so. I’ll write about that when I get there.
Now, if you want some really heady articles on exercise for the obese person (like me), check out these links from the Body Recomposition blog:
Training the obese beginner – Part 1
Training the obese beginner – Part 2
Training the obese beginner – Part 3
Training the obese beginner – Part 4
I’ve seen results
It hasn’t been very long that I’ve been doing exercises combined with appropriate eating, but since I have it’s paid off. Joining the Body Recomp challenge on UpgradeReality put a spark in my plug which started me down a pretty solid week. I had lost 2 lbs before my cheat day last week, and I feel stronger already. I’ll post specific numbers here later on in the week, but I know it’s working.
What are your goals?
The types of exercises you do will be determined by the results you’re looking to get. I can’t help you (specifically) with bulking up and getting cut, but keep an eye out here for the fat loss variety. If you want to get that awesome, muscular body you’ve been trying for years to obtain, give Justin a read.
Let’s get on it this time!
Discussion points: What exercises have you found that provide the results you’ve been after? What are your goals?