Tag Archives: metabolism

Orange Theory-1052

Understanding and Revamping YOUR Metabolism

Metabolism: it is the term that is either the bearer of all of evil for some, or the saving grace for everyone else. We have all seen or heard about the effects of having a really slow metabolism or being blessed with a supercharged metabolism…. but is it true for those of us who are deemed unfortunate, that we cannot do anything to change it and speed up our metabolism?

Don’t worry, it is a fallacy that we are unable to control our metabolism; there is hope for those who have a slow metabolism because you can indeed speed up your metabolism. Before we jump into the deep end trying to explain how to speed up your metabolism, lets look at some important fitness terms for complete understanding:

•    TDEE : Total Daily Energy Expenditure
•    RMR :  Resting Metabolic Rate
•    DIT : Diet Induced Thermogenisis
•    Kcal :  short for kilocalorie, it  is a measurement of the amount of energy in the foods you eat
•    EPOC :  excess post-exercise oxygen consumption
Metabolism is the term that is used to describe the bodily process that involves all chemical reactions of biomolecules within the body to maintain the living state of the cells of an organism. Your metabolic rate, or the amount of energy you expend daily, is determined by three factors. These factors include your resting metabolic rate, thermic effect of activity, and the thermic effect of food consumption.

Your resting metabolic rate (RMR) is the largest component of energy expenditure.  RMR comprises approximately 60-75% of the total daily energy expenditure – talk about a big chunk!  Each of us requires a minimum level of energy to sustain vital functions such as heartbeat and breathing and immune function in a woken state.  Body composition (fat-free mass or muscle mass), age and gender are just a few factors that may impact RMR.

Thermic effect of activity is extremely important when it comes to increasing RMR. Thermic effect of activity refers to all of the activities you perform throughout the day, from going to the gym, to running errands, to simplistic and non-conscious movements such as your fidgeting problem. This type of activity is referred to as NEAT or non-exercise activity thermogenesis. If you tap your foot or shake your leg while you’re working at your desk, you’re burning more calories through NEAT.
Normally, the thermic effect of activity accounts for about 20% of your daily energy expenditure, although it can be as high as 30% for people who have active jobs or spend a lot of time at the gym. Unlike your resting metabolic rate, which you have limited control over, you can control your thermic effect of activity by controlling how much you exercise and move around during the day.

Get off the couch and get going! It is important to note that despite what you may hear or want to admit, physical activity has by far the most profound effect on human energy expenditure or metabolism.  World-class athletes nearly double their TDEE with 3 to 4 hours of intense training.  “Big muscle” exercise, such as running, swimming and high intensity interval training,, appears to yield the best results.  High intensity interval training combines resistance training with cardiovascular exercise. One of the best places in the Valley to get this kind of workout is Orangetheory Fitness. Orangetheory fitness not only combines strength training and interval cardiovascular training every class, but they are also backed by the science of EPOC for maximum metabolism stimulation and increased energy.

In addition, RMR appears to decrease by 2 to 3 percent with age.  However, studies reveal that regular endurance and resistance training offset the decrease in resting metabolism that usually accompanies aging.  Each one-pound gain in fat-free mass increases RMR by seven to 10 kcals per day.

The third factor, in thermic effect of food is the fancy way for saying “the process your body goes through to break down and process food.” Food consumption and the process your body uses for the breakdown of each meal increases your metabolic energy.  This is known as Diet-Induced Thermogenesis (DIT) and accounts for 10% of TDEE.  While the quality and type of food consumed effects the magnitude of DIT, thermic effects of food generally reaches maximum caloric burn within an hour after completing a meal.  Advocates of consuming a high-protein diet for weight reduction base their argument on the relatively large calorigenic effect of ingested protein.  In other words, a meal of pure protein elicits a high thermic effect due to the extra energy required by the liver to synthesize protein and convert amino acids to glucose…meaning you are burning more calories when you eat high protein diets because it takes more energy to digest protein.

What does burning calories really come down too? Daily physical activity that involves both strength training and high intensity cardiovascular interval training yields the best results. The combination of cardio and strength can help individuals increase the total calories burned during, and after, their workout has ended.  Studies suggest that high intensity interval training will boost metabolism above and beyond traditional cardiovascular or strength training alone.  In fact, one may burn up to up to five times the number of calories burned in 60 minutes of high intensity interval training 24 to 36 hours after the workout has ended, which is referred to as excess post oxygen consumption (EPOC). Orangetheory Fitness’s workout is based on the science of EPOC and each Orangetheory member wears a heart rate monitor throughout the one-hour fitness class to ensure that they are reaching their target heart rate zone that results in EPOC.

Here is a quick overview of how to boost your metabolism: be sure to include protein with each meal in order to enhance the number of calories burned while eating (but don’t over do it!).  Always couple protein sources with other macronutrients for maximum nutrition and include some herbs and spices, such as chili pepper and cayenne powder that have been shown to potentially boost metabolic rate. Most importantly, go do something to get those muscles working everyday. You are the only one who can change your RMR and you have the power to do so.

About Orangetheory Fitness:
Orangetheory Fitness (www.orangetheoryfitness.com) is a one-of-a-kind, group personal training workout broken into intervals of cardiovascular and strength training. Backed by the science of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), Orangetheory’s heart-rate monitored training is designed to keep heart rates in a target zone that stimulates metabolism and increases energy. Led by skilled personal trainers, participants use a variety of equipment including treadmills, rowing machines, TRX Suspension Training® and free weights, burning an average of 900 calories per session. The result is the Orange Effect –more energy, visible toning and extra calorie burn for up to 36 hours post-workout.

Photo: Flickr, lululemon althletica

Workout Plan For The Busy, On-The-Go Person

In today’s society there is little time to have dinner at the table, let alone a full, effective work-out plan. Many people work full-time, go to school, have kids, volunteer with an organization or all of the above. It is important to stay fit and keep your metabolism working even when you don’t think you have any time throughout the day.

For the busy, on-the-go person, here is a workout plan that is effective and made for you. After time, you will see a change in your eating habits, energy level and activity intensity.

Having a stop watch or clock around will help with keeping track of time. You will also need a set of weights that you are comfortable doing reps with.

  • Get up 30 minutes earlier than you normally do. Spend five minutes warming up and stretching. This allows your body to get ready to do strenuous movements and exercise. It also helps not to pull a muscle and wakes you up quicker than coffee.
  • For the next five minutes, do jumping jacks. Remember to keep your arms straight as your bring them up to your ears during each jump. This gets your heart pumping and starts your metabolism going. When you get your metabolism working in the morning it helps with breaking down what you eat during the day.
  • For the following two minutes, do lunges with bicep curls. While holding two full bottles of water (or your weights) stand with your left foot forward, lower into a lunge and do a bicep curl, then lower. Straighten your knees to stand and repeat for two minutes, switching legs after each curl.
  • Now, spend four minutes getting your stomach warmed up. Lie on your back with your knees bent. Place your right ankle on your left knee and grasp the back of your left thigh with both hands. Pull your leg gently toward your torso and hold for one minute. Then switch sides. Repeat each side twice for a total of four minutes.
  • For the next five minutes you will do sit-ups. There are two ways to do them. The first way is to lay on your back extending your arms forward toward your toes. Pushing your arms toward your feet lift your body off the ground to touch your toes (some may not be able to reach their toes). The second way is to lay on the floor with your hands behind your head. Using your stomach muscles, not your hands behind your head, lift your upper body either half way (crunch) or all the way up.
  • For the last five minutes of the workout choose one of the following:
    • Seated Tricep Dips — Using a chair or bench, grip the edge and extend your legs in front of you (if to hard you can bend your knees). Keep your feet flat on the floor. Then extend your arms straight and move your buttocks up and off the chair. Bend your elbows directly behind you, lower your hips toward the floor. Keep your buttocks close to the chair, shoulders back and push until elbows are almost straight. Repeat this in reps until you feel a burn. By doing these you are working your back arms and triceps.
    • Back Arm Stretch — although this is called a stretch it is really a back arm work out. With a comfortable size weight, grasp it with both hands, put it over your head, and then slowly lower it as far as you can behind your head. Lift it back above your head then lower it again. Do these as many times as you can with out stopping. You may want to do three sets of 10 to begin. As you get comfortable, do four sets of 15 or 20.
    • Squats — You can do these with or without weights. With your legs shoulder length apart lower your buttocks half way to the floor (or as low as you can go) and raise it back to a standing position. By doing this you’re working your buttocks, hips, thighs and hamstrings.