Let me start today by saying that, when it comes to fitness, there are many ways to skin a cat, to coin a phrase.
There isn't a specific blueprint to get fit and to get results. There are methods that are better for some or for most. There are methods that works for some but not others.
There are indeed many ways to skin a cat.
Today I want to talk about muscle burn.
This is the type of workout that makes your muscle burn without a huge uptick in your heart rate.
"Body Pump" classes fall into this category. Also, many of the at home video programs you see. At the YMCA we had "muscle toning" class. Basically anything that you do that you are primarily stationary and do a moves 5, 10, 15 or more times and this makes your muscles burn.
Is this method of fitness good, bad or otherwise?
I give it a mixed review.
I'll explain why.
First let me say that I DO NOT train this way. You won't catch me doing endless lateral raises, bicep curls or crunches.
This doesn't mean that I don't think YOU should do this type of training. Actually my feeling is quite the opposite. I think it's a great way to train from time to time; just not ALL the time.
My primary mode of exercise is metabolic conditioning. When I work out I like to end up on the floor at the end of the workout. This isn't for everybody nor should it be. It's my speed and I love it.
This method of working out covers all the basis so I don't need to do much else.
The "muscle burn" workout doesn't cover as many bases so you need to incorporate other things to do so and there is nothing wrong with that.
Same goes for Yoga and Pilates and Spinning and many aspects of "bodybuilding". It doesn't make these workouts wrong and you can get in great shape with a combination of these things. But that is the point, you need to mix and match and sadly most people don't.
Getting back to muscle burn.
If you like to do these types of workouts by all means keep doing them but you need to add some flavor. I suggest that you add in some intervals. It doesn't have to be complex but do some sprints on the treadmill in between sets. Or throw in a set of 10 burpees for each set of lateral raises.
The key is that you need to get out of breath! There is a tremendous amount of value in getting out of breath to varying degrees. In other words, get just a little out of breath, REALLY out of breath, and every level of out of breath in between.
This is how you get great results!
I hope you understand the premise of this blog post.
Any workout is a good workout! Any workout is better than sitting on the couch!
What I want for you isn't just getting in a workout. I want your form and function to improve exponentially! To do this you need to keep your workouts varied and fun. Just doing one type of workout won't work long term.
Change it up! Enjoy the process!
Don't just do one thing and get bored. Explore the possibilities and get fit beyond what you ever thought possible.
It is possible... as long as you don't get stuck just trying to make your muscles burn.