Determining a Calorie Deficit for Weight Loss

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A pound of fat equals 3,500 calories, which means, to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week, you need to burn off 500 to 1,000 calories more per day than you consume — or between 3,500 and 7,000 calories per week. Losing weight fast isn’t recommended by most major health organizations — it’s usually unsustainable and can lead to nutrient deficiencies, muscle loss and a stalled metabolism.

Use an online calculator to determine your daily calorie needs, given your current age, size, gender and activity level. Add exercise without increasing your calorie intake. If you eat more calories in response to exercise, it won’t result in weight loss. For example, a 155-pound person burns 2,000 calories per day and eats 2,000 calories will maintain her weight. But, if she exercises and burns an extra 500 calories per day — perhaps by jogging at 5 mph for 45 minutes — but continues to consume 2,000 calories, she can lose a pound per week.

Exercise helps burn calories and also maintains lean muscle mass while you’re losing weight. If you reduce calories without exercise, one-quarter of every pound you lose comes from lean muscle mass. Muscle also requires more calories for your body to sustain, so it boosts your metabolism. A more muscular body also looks taut and fit.

Measure the benefits exercise provides to weight loss in more than just calories burned, too. Cardiovascular exercise, which involves raising the heart rate for an extended period of time, such as cycling or running, burns a lot of calories per minute as compared to strength training. But, strength training is better at developing muscle mass when compared to cardio.

You may burn just about 100 calories per half-hour session of strength training but reap numerous, additional benefits. Ten weeks of resistance training can increase your lean muscle mass by 3 pounds, decrease your fat weight by 4 pounds and increase your metabolic rate by 7 percent, reports research published in a 2012 issue of Current Sports Medicine Reports. A balanced approach to exercise that includes both forms is best for your health and weight loss.

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Partner Tire Push

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This has a practical sporting application for anyone needing to absorb force and generate power from their legs and project it through their upper body, especially in a pushing motion like a lineman in football. Put one person on either side of a large tire with a staggered stance. One person will keep their elbows tucked, drive with their legs, and shove the tire towards the other person. The other person will tuck their arms close to the side of their body and absorb the energy with their core and legs muscles, then redirect the tire back to their partner.

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Training For Size

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Proper Training Techniques
You need to understand compound exercises, progression, training shy of failure, and de-loading periods.

Diet
You need to get enough protein, eat enough meals, and consume enough calories to grow.

Training Techniques
Many lifters go into the gym and perform the same workout, with the same weight, over and over again, and wonder why the results never come. Achieving the results you want isn’t difficult. Simply make sure you are using…

Compound Exercises
Make sure that the majority of exercises in your program are compound exercises. Compound lifts include: squats, dead lifts, overhead press, bench press, pull ups, dips, rows, stiff-leg dead lifts, etc. Compound exercises are the key to building strength and muscle. Isolation work, cable work, pec deck flyes, and most machines won’t give you the results you want.

Progression
Keep a log of your workouts. Every time you hit the gym, try to perform more reps than the last time. And when you hit the “rep ceiling” for that particular exercise (anywhere from 6-20 reps), add more weight the next time you lift. To make strength and muscle gains, you must always be pushing for more reps and more weight. Sticking with the same weight “to tone” your body isn’t doing anything. Your body adapts quickly to current workloads, and you will stop gaining muscle.

Training Shy of Failure
Do NOT train to failure. Training to failure is unnecessary, and taxes the body. Try to stop one rep short of positive failure. Basically, keep performing reps until you’re not sure you can perform another rep, and then quit. It is not positive failure that makes you bigger or stronger, it is the increased workload that comes from progression.

De-loading Periods. When your body feels over-trained, run down, very sluggish, and/or you have nagging joint aches and pains from an extended period of training, it is time to de-load. A de-load period can be one or two weeks, and requires you to hit the gym and perform your same routine, but using 30-40% weight, or 30-40% fewer reps. A de-loading period will allow your body to retain its fitness level, while you recover from fatigue.

Diet
You cannot train properly and then eat junk. Your body needs the proper raw materials to grow. To get the most out of your lifting program, make sure you are…

Protein
Make sure you are eating enough protein. It is best to eat 5-6 smaller meals each day, spaced 2.5-3 hours apart. During each meal, try to eat at least 25-30 grams of quality protein. It is also a good idea to mix up your protein choices. Eggs. Chicken. Seafood. Beef. Diary products. Protein powders and bars.

Meals
As stated above, to best grow, you need a regular intake of proper fuel and nutrients. Smaller, healthy meals keep a constant stream of muscle building nutrients flowing through your system. Try to eat smaller meals every 2.5-3 hours.

Calories
To grow, you can’t be under-eating. Estimate your lean body mass (weight without body fat) with a skin-fold caliper, and then multiply that number by 21. This is a good base daily caloric intake to start with. For example, if your lean body mass is 150 pounds, multiply 150 by 21, and you find that you need to eat a minimum of 3,150 calories each day. Of course, every person’s metabolism is different. If you are losing weight, add 200-500 more daily calories and see what happens over the course of the next two months. If you are gaining too much fat, cut back the calories for a couple of months. Always rely on your lean body mass (via a skin-fold caliper) to help you decide your best course of action.

Zig Zag
It is also a good idea to eat slightly more (200-500 calories) on training days. This zig zag effect assists your body in gaining weight while minimizing, or negating fat gains. Keep your average daily caloric intake for the week the same.

Follow these simple rules, and you will see results. Train hard, train smart, train with compound movements, and eat right.

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