On the outside

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If you read last month’s column on cardiovascular fitness, you’re now familiar with the benefits of exercise as they relate to the heart, lungs and vascular health.  As important and worthy as those reasons are, they’re not the number one incentive for training.  Admittedly, most people begin exercise and nutrition regimens based on concerns about what’s happening on the outside. 

Your body is constantly creating energy through metabolism, which is determined by several factors including activity level.  However, the majority of the calories you metabolize each day come as a result of the amount of lean muscle mass on your body.  Ever notice how “fit” people can eat anything they want?  Chances are, they’ve invested in a great deal of lean muscle mass, requiring higher energy demands.  The extra energy demand creates more calorie burn and makes the lean individual less likely to store calories as fat.

So, what can YOU do to make your body a lean, fat-burning machine?  To begin with, start a resistance training program, which consists of anything from bodyweight exercises like squats and pushups to functional movement with tubes, pulleys and free weights.  Your goal is to challenge your muscle by training around your top strength; thereby breaking down the muscle tissue and allowing it grow back stronger.  Please know this is not about building bulky muscle.  This strategy is simply about creating lean (toned) muscle tissue where there isn’t any or replacing where there is fat.  The results are exponential.  The greater you invest in your body’s muscle, the more efficient your body’s metabolism and the leaner body you will own. 

Jeff Howerton is a trainer and owner of LEAN personal training, where he and his trainers work with clients to lose fat, develop lean muscle and implement strategies for healthier living.  He can be reached at LEAN (615) 279-1900 or via email at [email protected].

LEAN’s 4 WEEK FITNESS 
This program consists of TWO (or THREE) Fast and Fit sessions per week at $30 per session.  Each session includes 15 minutes of cardio and 30 minutes of resistance training with a LEAN personal trainer.  The program lasts one month, but clients who take advantage of this are welcome to continue at the same rate if they wish to do so. In addition to helping develop an exercise routine, a LEAN trainer will offer some basic nutritional guidelines that will help meet personal goals, as well as offer testing on flexibility and strength.

The 4 WEEK FITNESS can begin any day.  In order to learn more or schedule a session, please contact Jeff at (615) 279-1900 or [email protected].