Are you powering a Hummer with a weedwacker?

Photo: Stephen Bowler

Our bodies are a lot like cars.  They come in different shapes and sizes.  Some are built for speed, some for power, others to carry a lot of stuff, or luxury, and more. Each one has an engine, again various sizes.  What’s common between them is that they all require fuel.

If you put in bad fuel, your performance drops. If you don’t put in enough fuel, it stops running. The bigger the engine, the more fuel you use.  While the name of the game with your car is to try to conserve fuel, most people’s goal with their body is to use as much fuel as possible.

I work with many people who have a weight loss goal and we can use a similar analogy.  When you’re exercising you’re burning calories.  That’s our body’s storage form of energy.  Your largest muscles use the most energy.  The more muscles you get involved in the activity, the more energy you use too. 

If your goal is weight loss, get the big muscles moving and get more of them engaged in the activity.  Spending time in the gym doing multiple sets of wrist curls will work the tiny little muscles that flex and extend your wrist. You might end up with forearms that would put Popeye to shame, but it’s not going to do anything for your weight loss goal.  Sort of like trying to run a Hummer with a weedwacker sized engine.

Replace those wrist rollers with a few sets of squats or a bodyweight exercise like the Burpee and you’ll engage every major muscle group.  (As an added bonus, if you’re having trouble getting your kids exercising, the name Burpee alone is often enough to get the kids interested.) 

Get the big muscles going and watch your metabolism light up, melt the fat off, and add lean muscle to your frame to burn a monster truck load of calories.

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