Question: Hi Rocco, I am in a total rut when it comes to working out. I work out regularly four times a week, doing intense cardio kickboxing. After doing this routine for over 12 weeks now and eating healthy (eating the smaller meals four to five times a day), I've lost very little body fat, and very little weight. I am currently 5'5, 160 lbs and have 26 percent body fat (which seems way more than my body actually looks). I have always been an athletic girl and I personally still feel good about myself. It just seems I am trying hard and not getting results. What should I be doing different, if anything?
Answer: You may be trying too hard. I know it sounds crazy, but you may be doing too much cardio kickboxing. This is a very common problem and can be quite frustrating for many people who are motivated to exercise, but their bodies just don't respond well to aerobic activity. Too much aerobic activity can actually be detrimental to fat-loss goals. Your body is great at adapting to any stress, and although you may not know it, exercise is stress. The more aerobic exercise you do, the more efficient your body becomes at utilizing fat as an energy source.
This means that after 12 weeks you would have to work twice as hard to burn the same amount of fat calories as you did when you first started your exercise program. That means you would have to take two classes a day to burn the same amount (which I dont recommend). I would recommend, however, that you vary your aerobic activity from a cardio kickboxing class to spinning to interval training on a treadmill (walk for 2 minutes, run for 2 minutes) and anything else you feel comfortable doing.
Please talk to a qualified fitness professional and get a strength training program so you dont lose the muscle you already have. And no, cardio kickboxing does not maintain muscle, resistance training does. So dont get discouraged and keep on keeping on. Consistency is the key to effective fat loss, and you will see fat loss, dont you worry.
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