I tried something this year in a little n=1 experiment, and I was astounded by the results. Then just the other day I listened to a @cody.boomboompodcast that cited research from @christopher.barakat actually backing up some of my anecdotal findings.⠀ ⠀ The body composition analysis I’m sharing here was taken from DexaFit scans between 4/18/19 and 9/30/19, all while targeting maintenance calories.⠀ ⠀ Body fat down 4.5%⠀ Lean tissue up .5 lbs⠀ Fat tissue down 6.9 lbs⠀ Visceral fat down .25lbs⠀ ⠀ Here’s what happened leading up to, and in between these scans...⠀ ⠀ I shifted, after a solid 18 MONTHS of lifting heavy with NO cardio other than hitting my 10-12k steps a day, to Madeline Moves Tighter Together challenge in May. I continued with her programming throughout the summer and participated in the challenge again in September. ⠀ ⠀ Currently, I am still doing her programming, but lift *as heavy as possible* and have cut way back on the explosive movements to reduce the intensity. While they are tough, they are also so fun, and never really feel draining to me. But jumping around, even with dumbbells in your hand, is still just cardio with weights to your body, and mine needs a rest. ⠀ ⠀ 👉So what exactly occurred to see fat loss and a even some muscle gain during a slight increases of calories over the course of 5 months? ⠀ ⠀ I’m not a scientist, but I think it came down to 3 simple things:⠀ ⠀ 1️⃣ I periodized my training. Going from almost exclusively lifting in a lower 5-12 rep range to a more dynamic, hypertrophy focused program was a major change for my body, and it responded well to the new stimulus ⠀ 2️⃣ I increased overall movement during my workouts, but still kept the weights heavy - weightlifting alone does not burn many calories in the moment, even though it pays dividends when it comes to creating lean tissue on your body - and BONUS: primes you for fat loss⠀ 3️⃣ I added calories, all in the form of carbs, which supported the energy I needed to push through the workouts - especially the HIIT. Carbs give you wings.⠀
Throughout this time, I was not focused on fat loss. It wasn’t even on my radar. I just did the work and enjoyed the process.
After taking a year and a half prior to periodize with a more healing protocol, I was able to recover from from 3+ years of deeply stressful Orangetheory workouts I demanded from my body 6-7 days a week. It was reckless and required a major shift in training in order to earn the right to lose weight again.
As I look ahead to 2020 and consider what I want to do next, I know I need to take the next 90 days or so to settle into less high intensity if I want to again turn up the dial this spring.
Patience, consistency and recovery win in the long game every time 🙌
November 2, 2019