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Weight Loss Workout Plan
Tips for Properly Dropping the Few Extra Off-season Pounds

By Ken Mierke - UltraFit.com

Many athletes begin serious preparation for the season a few pounds above ideal weight. Often hard-training athletes are surprised at how difficult it is to drop just a few pounds.

In this article, I will discuss effective ways to reduce body fat and how to adjust workout routines to benefit weight loss.

1. Perform intense weight training: This is the time of year for endurance athletes to emphasize weight training. Our muscles account for about 95% of our metabolic rate and are the only tissues that burn fat. Increasing muscle mass slightly increases metabolic rate dramatically.

Muscle is our most metabolically active tissue. A pound of muscle burns 35 to 75 calories per day for maintenance. Three pounds of additional muscle can result in burning an additional 15 pounds of fat per year!

2. Keep intensity very low during endurance workouts: Burning carbohydrate is not optimal for reducing body fat. Carbohydrate deficits do not lead to body fat loss. Since burning fat requires more oxygen than burning carbohydrate, fat burning decreases as intensity increases. Almost every athlete overestimates optimal intensity for fat burning.

3. Include low-intensity workouts of 90 minutes or more: About an hour into a workout, fat burning increases drastically. For the first 20 minutes of workout, fat burning is minimal. For the next 40 minutes it is moderate. Beyond one hour, fat-burning becomes very high.

Increasing the duration of a workout from 60 to 90 minutes (a 50% increase) may double the amount of fat burned.

Ken Mierke is a two-time World Champion triathlete (Physically Challenged division) and an exercise physiologist. His clients have included six National Champions in four sports, 25 Team USA multisport athletes, a Hawaii Ironman podium finisher, and top-10 world ranked XTerra triathletes (both pro and amateur). Contact Ken at KMierke@erols.com

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