Many people who are hitting the gym and eating healthier than ever, sometimes aren’t dropping pounds, which is a sign that something is done wrong.
This situation can be as mysterious as it is frustrating, however, there’s a hope found in doing the following workout, recommended by researchers.
They found that there’s a large group of people called “non-responders.” Their bodies aren’t responding to a typical moderate-intensity exercise programs. A new study by the American Council on Exercise (ACE), concluded that 36 percent of the people who participated, belongs to that group and didn’t result in any changes to their bodily function (didn’t lose weight).
If you belong to this group of people it is crucial to know how to escape the non-responder rut. The best and easiest way is to switch up your workout.
In the study, researchers had the IFT group exercise to particular ventilatory thresholds and the standardized group exercise to a particular percentage of their maximum heart rate. Both groups finished a 13-week program with three weeks of cardio exercise only, exercised three times a week, increasing their cardio training from 25 min to 50 min/day during weeks 9 through 13. Last week they added functional and/or resistance training to their cardio workouts.
The standardized group did a circuit of strength machines, including:
- Bench press
- Seated row
- Shoulder press
- Seated leg press
- Biceps curl
They performed 2 sets of 12 reps each
The IFT group did a circuit with free weights and machines that allowed free motion. Exercises included:
- Stability ball circuit (hip bridges, Russian twists, crunches, and planks)
- Dumbbell squats to 90 degrees
- Kneeling/standing wood chops and hay balers
- Step-ups with dumbbell onto a 15-cm step
- Standing one-arm cable row
- Modified (assisted) pull-ups
At the end, 36 percent of the standardized group had zero increase, so were labeled non-responders, but in the IFT group 100 percent of the people showed an increase in this important fitness marker. In addition, the IFT group showed significantly more changes in body-fat percentage, balance, blood pressure, and muscular strength.
The main reason why the IFT group saw much better results was because of the intensity. According to Lance Dalleck, Ph.D., lead author of the study, the traditional weight machine approach may underestimate intensity for some people, so, they won’t hit the edge needed to drive real results. That is because most of those strength machines in the standardized workout are done while seated, which really isn’t giving your body working as hard as dynamic movements like pull-ups, squats, standing wood chops, step-ups, and lunges, which were in the IFT group.
Following the fitness world announcements you’ll find encouragement of the people to go to the gym and that any kind of exercise is better than no exercise. That can be partially true, as moving your body is always better than been passive.
However, this study shows that sometimes going to the gym will be wasting hours if you are only doing mechanical workouts. So, it is better to perform the intensity training (functional fitness routines, bodyweight Tabata workouts or lifting free weights).