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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.
Over the last 28 years, I’ve taken part in all types of fitness in pursuit of the exercise-high – swimming, weightlifting, 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 stated by Eric Ravussin in Time Magazine, chair in diabetes and metabolism at Louisiana State University. When it comes to having your best physique, it’s more about hormones, than how much time you sweat in the gym. A recent study confirms it.
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. The exercise didn’t help the weekend warriors because they were “hormonally ignorant,” and their body was unable to use fat as fuel. Instead, sugar was sourced for energy at the cellular level.
Like a hybrid car, the body can use different types of fuel for work. Hormones dictate what type it parlays into physical energy. When hormonally ignorant, the body will utilize glucose (sugar) and amino acids, while storing fat. This usually leaves the hormonally challenged feeling lethargic and heavy. To tap into fat reserves for fuel, they’d have to exercise for 1.5 to 4 hours with hormone ignorance! We know that ain’t gonna happen.
…I know this, because 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 hormone ignorance 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 put hormone ignorance into a choke-hold by forcing your body to give way to hormone intelligence. Once you do this, the body will use a superior fuel – FAT. Instead of attempting to combust amino acids and glucose (sugar), hormone intelligence streamlines unsightly body fat into the cellular furnace for fuel and exercise no longer becomes futile.
Essentially, high-energy fat fuel is what the robust, shredded, Old Spice Man (and now me) uses when he goes to the gym. His hormones are forcing muscles to utilize fat for growth as well as explosive strength and endurance. This process is known as thermogenesis, and it’s a wet dream for the hormonally ignorant because it allows the body to chisel out a perfect physique at any age, in response to exertion….Look at The Old Spice Man, now look at your man. Who looks better naked?
Thermogenesis 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.
The difference between the body using fat and sugar as fuel substrates is the difference between being a Hormone Intelligence Therapy (HIT) Man and the average Joe who wears a bright colored shirt to the beach rather than take it off. And that’s dictated by hormones. Without hormone intelligence pulsing through your system, exercise is useless for weight loss – you’d get the same results smoking a cigar, blowing smoke to the sky watching your thoughts rise.
…Sure, there are more benefits to exercise than just weight loss. But, are they really worth the down payment in sweat equity if they can’t confer a leaner, sexier physique that people look twice at? If you’re currently hormonally ignorant and want exercise to work in your favor via thermogenesis, then you need to follow these HIT tips.
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.
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, and now honed with the latest in medicinal chemistry methods to target “beta-receptors” and make you feel great, thermogenic aids come from guarana, yohimbe, yerba mate and green tea to help you overcome the high insulin and blood sugar swashing around in your bloodstream. This forces muscles to inhale the fat fertilizers, setting off a chemical cascade, which helps your nervous system respond to fitness, rather than ignore it. It’s like breathing life into dying lungs, except a thermogenic aid brings it back to your muscles and mind.
Glutes, quads, lats, hamstrings. These are your large muscle groups and they’re going to have the biggest effect on your hormone intelligence. The catalyst for HIT is low blood sugar and muscles are the major uptake sites for it. Therefore, by forcing larger muscles to take part in contraction and vacuum blood sugar, you’re going to get quicker results. 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 sure you’re getting plenty of amino acids from brewers yeast (non-fortified), eggs and whey isolate (making damn sure your whey has no sugar or artificial sweeteners). Amino acids serve as the raw material your body needs to manufacture life enhancing hormones. Here’s a few examples;
Once ingested, amino acids help your liver release a family of special polypeptides known technically as somatomedins. These hormones mediate cell growth and division to allow muscles to grow in response to the release of human growth hormone 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.
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Shane Ellison is the author of Over-The-Counter Natural Cures, winner of the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award. He has a BS in biology from Fort Lewis College and an MS in organic chemistry from Northern Arizona University.
As an undergraduate, he was a two-time recipient of the prestigious Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Grant for his studies in biochemistry and physiology under Dr. Sherrie Byrd and Dr. Les Sommerville.
His graduate thesis in medicinal chemistry, earned him Graduate Student of the Year from the Northern Arizona chemistry faculty. He has been quoted by USA Today, Shape, Woman’s World, as well as Women’s Health and has served as guest speaker for large corporations like BP and appeared on Fox and NBC as a natural medicine advocate.
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