Why Exercise Fails To Make You Look Great

By: Shane Ellison, MS

I started running when I was 10 years old. Thanks to my fifth grade P.E. teacher, I was constantly competing in 2-mile races. From start to finish, it hurt like hell and I always had to reach deep-down for that special force to push toward the finish line. Officially, it was my first form of exercise. Without fail, it left me feeling nauseous and dizzy, but I always felt the endorphin rush. I’ve been hooked ever since.

My Induction Into the Fat Cow Hall of Fame

Over the last 28 years, I’ve taken part in all types of fitness in pursuit of the exercise-high – swimming, weight lifting, wrestling, adventure racing, Crossfit and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. During this time, I’ve been fit enough to be mistaken for the “Man Your Man Could Smell Like” from the Old Spice commercials (just kidding) and fat enough to be an honorary member of The Fat Cow Hall of Fame (not kidding). Regardless of the physical exertion I put forth, my body weight still yo-yo’d out of control. That’s because most exercise won’t help you lose weight to look great.

No matter what the gym evangelists preach, it’s true that, “…for weight loss, exercise is pretty useless,” as highlighted recently by Time magazine. When it comes to having your best physique, it’s more about hormones than it is about how much time you sweat in the gym. A recent study confirms it.

Identical Fat Loss

Two groups of menopausal, obese women underwent a caloric deficiency. One group took part in regular exercise. The other didn’t.

Fat loss was identical among both.

The exercising women did not lose more weight compared to those who took it easy! Earlier studies on exercise and weight loss confirm these findings.

Exercise doesn’t help “weekend warriors” lose weight. That’s because most people’s fat burning hormones are “asleep.” Rather than wake up to exercise, they remain dormant, unable to elicit fat burning and energy.

This is why the hormonally challenged feel lethargic and heavy when exercising. To tap into fat reserves for fuel, they’d have to exercise for 1.5 to 4 hours to wake up hormones with exercise! We know that ain’t gonna happen.

Thinking about Wife in Bed Triggers Asthma Attack

…I know this, cause I’ve been there – 30% body fat. A few reps on the bench press and a walk to the water fountain had me breathing hard…And God forbid my wife wanted to play around in the bedroom. I’d gasp for air like a kid having an asthma attack just thinking about 5 minutes alone with her. Not cool. My fat ass was the embodiment of sleepy hormones and no amount of exercise was going to save me.

To make exercise count, you have to Man-Up, or if a woman, pick yourself up by the ovaries, and prime your body for fat burning before you step into the gym.

Like a hybrid car, the body can use different types of fuel for work. Hormones dictate what type it parlays into physical energy. When hormones are sleeping, the body will utilize glucose (sugar) and amino acids, while storing fat. That’s bad.

By adhering to a few simple habits, you can awaken your fat burning hormones so that you are also converting fat to energy. Once you do this, the body streamlines unsightly body fat into the cellular furnace for fuel and exercise no longer becomes futile.

A Wet Dream for the Hormonally Ignorant

Essentially, high-energy fat is what fuels the robust, shredded, Old Spice Man (and now me) when he goes to the gym. His hormones are forcing muscles to utilize fat for growth as well as explosive strength and endurance.

Fat burning is a wet dream for people with sleepy hormones because it allows the body to chisel out a perfect physique at any age, in response to exercise!

…Look at The Old Spice Man, now look at your man. Is he a sugar burner or a fat burner?

Fat metabolism is so powerful because it mass produces ATP – the chief energy and strength producing molecule within cells. A single fat molecule can produce a whopping 129 molecules of ATP. Compare that to a carbohydrate or glucose molecule, which squeaks out a paltry 38 molecules of ATP! Do the math.

You have to be a fat burner before you go to the gym! Just like a cool car doesn’t make you cool, exercise doesn’t make you a fat burner…You’d get the same results smoking a cigar, blowing smoke to the sky watching your thoughts rise.

…Sure, there are other benefits to exercise than just weight loss. But, are they really worth the down payment in sweat equity if they can’t yield a leaner, sexier physique that people look twice at?

If you want exercise to work in favor of your physique, wake up your hormones by following these dietary rules:

- No sugar or artificial flavors
- Eat only three meals daily, rich in healthy fats
- Get plenty of purified water
- Avoid fruit and fruit juice
- Get plenty of amino acids (very important)

Get your amino acids from brewers yeast (non-fortified), eggs and whey isolate (make damn sure your whey has no sugar or artificial sweeteners).

Amino acids serve as the raw material your body needs to fuel healthy hormone production. Once ingested, they help your liver release a family of special polypeptides known technically as somatomedins. They mediate cell growth and division to allow muscles to grow in response to the release of human growth hormone (hGH) in response to exercise and sleep.

Your body also produces a fat melting compound known as glucagon when it has the right amino acids. This is the “I can’t wait to wear a bathing suit” hormone. When released by the pancreas it works to control blood sugar, while activating fat metabolism during your sweaty routines.

Once you master these rules, ramp it up a bit with the following muscle building tips.

Tip #1: Hit Your Target Heart Rate Every Set

If you hit your target heart rate, your adrenals will come to life and start producing hormones like catecholamines that flip your metabolic switch to favor fat loss…If you have to resort to exercise bands, make sure it’s worth the embarrassment by reaching an intensity that will dig into your fat stores.

To figure out your target heart rate, use the following formula: (220 – (Your Age)) x .60 = 60% of your max heart rate and then also times .80.

Example: Soon to be HIT Man Stan is 45 years old. The formula is (220 – 45) x .60 = 105 beats per minute is 60% of his max heart rate and (220 – 45) x .80 = 140 beats per minute is 80% of his max heart rate. Therefore, to hit his target heart rate the range is 105 to 140 bpm.

Tip #2: Use a Thermogenic Aid Already

You bought the shoes, in your favorite color. You’re sporting the latest in workout tops to lean out your features, and you even have the latest iPod that’ll do everything except burpees for you. Now get a clue and start using a “thermogenic aid” already!

Discovered decades ago, thermogenic aids are compounds in nature that target “beta-receptors.” These are your internal “go-time” switches. When bound, they ramp up energy, strength, endurance and of course, metabolism. Thermogenic aids come from guarana, yohimbe, yerba mate and green tea. The perfect combo makes fat burning red hot, and paralyzes fat storage. That’s why I designed Thermo FX.

Tip #3: Target Large Muscle Groups for hGH and Testosterone

Glutes, quads, lats, hamstrings. Studies show that a perfect balance of fat burning, muscle building and anti-aging hormones such as human growth hormone and testosterone are produced in response when we favor these muscles during exercise…My favorite are burpees and jump squats.

Make The Exercise Effort Worth It

With these tips, the amount of effort you put into your exercise will dictate how much awesomeness you have in your body. But, when it comes to exercise by itself, it’s more about hormones.

About the Author

Shane "The People's Chemist" Ellison holds master's degree in organic chemistry and is the author of Over-The-Counter Natural Cures (SourceBooks). He's been quoted by USA Today, Shape, Woman's World, US News and World Report, as well as Women's Health and appeared on Fox and NBC as a medicine and health expert. Start living young by signing up for his FREE Natural Cures Watchdog below.

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