Weight Training vs. Only Cardio

“I need lots of cardio for fat loss because weigh training will make me gain weight and get bulky.” This is a common misconception in the fitness world and this blog post will explain why this is incorrect.

 

The first reason why weight training is best for fat loss is the calorie burn after the workout is completed. You will have a metabolism boost up to 36 hours after your workout. In order to get the same effects from cardio, you would have to do cardio for a very long period of time. The exception is hard sprinting. HIIT sprints will increase our fat burning, but must be done very hard and only a few times a week.

 

The second reason why weight training is superior for fat loss is it increases lean muscle mass. Lean muscle mass increases long term metabolic levels. A larger degree of lean muscle mass turns your body into a calorie burning powerhouse. You must remain consistent with your training though. Increase in lean muscle tissue also increases your BMR. So on your lazy days, you’ll still burn more calories.

 

Another reason why you may want to incorporate more weight training is because it reshapes your body. If you just reduce your calories and perform cardio, you lose some muscle tissue and lose some curvature to your body, which tends to make you look soft. Ever hear the term “skinny fat”? This is what describes that physique. Weight training helps to give your body that “toned” look.

 

Another misconception of weight training in women is lifting heavier weights will give you rippling muscles leaving a lady looking like a man. This is also untrue because women do not have testosterone levels to gain that kind of natural muscle and you would need to eat a great deal of food to do so.

 

A third, very important reason why weight training is important for fat loss is what it promotes. Weight training promotes lean muscle gain, while just cardio promotes the production of cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that encourages muscle LOSS and tends to store additional fat around the midsection. Cortisol is also known as the stress hormone. Large amounts of cardio will place stress on the body. We also tend to adapt to the amount of cardio we do. Soon, it will take hours of cardio to see progress again.

 

Now you may have questions about calorie burns during workouts and why they tend to be higher on more cardio intensive days. While your weight training session may not burn as many calories per minute as straight cardio, the overall benefits of weight training outweight just cardio sessions (increase BMR, afterburn, etc). On a side note, you can increase your calorie burn by increasing the intensity of the weight training sessions, ie. heavier weights, more reps, super setting exercises.

 

One point to make is cardio is not bad. Cardio is beneficial for your cardiovascular health and you shouldn’t completely eliminate it from your fitness plan. What many tend to focus on for fat loss is too much cardio. We tend to get stuck on that calorie burn number (MyZone burn) rather than what that particular programming did for your muscles.

 

Lastly, rest is also important for lean muscle building and repair. Muscles are built at rest. There’s a saying, “Muscles are torn in the gym, fed in the kitchen, and built in your sleep”. If you don’t ever take rest days, your muscles do not have a chance to repair.   A rule of thumb is at least 1 rest day a week.

 

Hope you find this post useful! Diet and exercise is a science and difficult to understand at times.

 

Coach Leah

 

Greek Chicken Meal Prep Bowls

Greek Chicken Meal Prep Bowls
Serves 6
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. Greek Chicken
  2. 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  3. 1/4 cup olive oil
  4. 3 Tbs garlic, minced (Note, adjust to preference)
  5. 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  6. 1 Tbs red wine vinegar
  7. 1 Tbs dried oregano
  8. 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  9. Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  10. Cucumber Salad
  11. 2 English cucumbers, peeled and sliced
  12. 1/3 cup lemon juice
  13. 2 Tbs olive oil
  14. 1 Tbs red wine vinegar
  15. 1/2 Tbs minced garlic
  16. 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  17. Tzatziki Sauce
  18. 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  19. 1 English cucumber, finely diced
  20. 1 Tbs minced garlic
  21. 1/2 Tbs dill weed, or 1 Tbs fresh dill, chopped fine
  22. 1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
  23. 1 tsp lemon zest
  24. 1/2 tsp chopped fresh mint (optional)
  25. Salt and pepper to taste
  26. The Rest
  27. 3 cups cooked brown rice
  28. 1 1/2 pounds cherry tomatoes, halved
  29. 1/2 cup red onion slices
Instructions
  1. In a large plastic zip bag, combine olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, oregano, greek yogurts and salt and pepper. Massage to mix.
  2. Add chicken into the bag.
  3. Massage to make sure chicken is full covered and marinate for at least 20 minutes, up to 12 hours.
  4. Drain the chicken from the marinade, discarding the marinade.
  5. In a skillet, heat some olive oil over medium-high heat.
  6. Add chicken when it is hot, and cook, flipping part way through. Cook approximately 3-4 minutes per side. Cooking time depends on thickness and size of the chicken. Cook until internal temp is 165 degrees.
  7. Remove from pan, and let cool.
  8. Once cool, cut into bite sized pieces. Just make sure you let it cool, or all the juice will run out.
  9. Meanwhile, make cucumber salad by chunking the cucumbers, and tossing in a bowl with the lemon juice, olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, and oregano. Set aside
  10. Make tzatziki sauce by combining the Greek yogurt, cucumber, garlic, dill weed, lemon juice, lemon zest in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper. And add mint (optional)
  11. Refrigerate while assembling your bowls.
  12. Cook brown rice according to package directions. When finished cooking, divide between meal prep containers, 1/2 cup in each container, halve cherry tomatoes, and mix with red onion slices. Divide amongst the bowls.
  13. Top with chicken, cucumber salad, and some tzatziki sauce.
  14. Keep for 3- 5 days in airtight container, serve cold!
Adapted from Eazy Peazy Mealz
Adapted from Eazy Peazy Mealz
Fitness Renegades http://fitnessrenegades.com/

Buffalo Chicken and Broccoli Bowls

Buffalo Chicken and Broccoli Bowl
Serves 4
This recipe is for those who are tired of salads for lunch everyday
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. For Cauliflower Rice
  2. 1 head cauliflower
  3. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  4. salt
  5. pepper
  6. For Buffalo Chicken and Broccoli
  7. 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thigh, cut into bite sized pieces
  8. about 1 pound of broccoli, cut into small to medium florets* (I used two large crowns)
  9. 1 tablespoon oil (for the pan, optional)**
  10. ¼ cup hot sauce (I used Frank's Red Hot)***
  11. 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
  12. salt
  13. pepper
Instructions
  1. To make the Cauliflower Rice
  2. Cut cauliflower into medium to small sized florets, removing the green leaves and any tough stem.
  3. Working in batches, place florets into the food processor and don't fill the bowl more than halfway. Pulse until the cauliflower resembles grains of rice, about 20 pulses. Try not to over process or you will have cauliflower mash!
  4. Heat a skillet or saute pan over medium heat with olive oil. Add cauliflower and season with salt and pepper. Saute until tender 5-8 minutes.
  5. To make the Buffalo Chicken and Broccoli
  6. Heat a skillet or saute pan that has a lid over medium high heat. Add oil if using, and when hot add chicken. Season with just a little salt. allow to cook on one side until browned, then turn and brown the other side. Cook until no longer pink, 4-5 minutes per side.
  7. When chicken is cooked, add broccoli to the pan and cover. Allow to steam until tender 5-10 minutes. You can give the pan a stir a few times if you want to keep the chicken from browning too much. Broccoli is done when easily pierced with a knife and still bright green.
  8. Meanwhile, prepare the buffalo sauce. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter with the hot sauce and whisk to combine.
  9. Pour the sauce over the chicken and broccoli, toss to coat everything in the sauce.
  10. Serve over cauliflower rice quinoa
Notes
  1. * Make sure the broccoli florets are not too large and are of even size. This will allow them to cook faster and also make sure that they are all done at the same time.
  2. **If using a pan that is not non-stick, I would suggest using a little oil when cooking the chicken. Otherwise it may stick to the pan.
  3. ***If you prefer more sauce, just increase the amount of hot sauce you use.This amount makes enough to fully coat everything but doesn't leave much extra sauce.
  4. ****If paleo or whole 30, use coconut oil or ghee instead of butter
Adapted from Fox and Briar
Adapted from Fox and Briar
Fitness Renegades http://fitnessrenegades.com/

1 Min Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

1 Min Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
Serves 1
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INGREDIENTS
Cake
  1. 1 Tablespoon coconut flour (7 g)
  2. 2 teaspoons starch (6 g) (tapioca, arrowroot, potato, or corn)
  3. 1/2 scoop whey protein powder (14 g)
  4. 1 Tablespoon cocoa powder (5 g)
  5. 1 Tablespoon stevia baking blend (or sweetener of choice)
  6. 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  7. 3 Tablespoons unsweetened applesauce (45 g)
  8. 2 Tablespoons almond milk or milk of choice (30 ml)
Peanut Butter Frosting
  1. 3 Tablespoons powdered peanut butter (18 g)
  2. 1.5 Tablespoons almond milk or milk of choice, or as needed (23 ml)
  3. 1 Tablespoon Greek yogurt or dairy-free alternative (15 g)
  4. 2 teaspoons stevia (or sweetener of choice)
DIRECTIONS
  1. Combine all dry cake ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Add applesauce and almond milk. Stir just until combined. Spray a 5-inch microwave safe bowl or ramekin with non-stick spray and scoop in your cake batter. Microwave in 30 second intervals until done - Mine took a total of about 1 minute. Be careful not to overcook. Allow to cool while you prepare the frosting.
  2. Combine powdered peanut butter with just enough almond milk to form a thick paste. Add greek yogurt. Sweeten to taste with stevia. Invert cake onto a plate, and top with frosting. Cut in half and stack the halves on top of each other. Drizzle with peanut butter and top with chocolate chips, if desired. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. Cake: 140 calories 1.5 F / 17 C / 15 P (4.4 g fiber, 3.7 g sugar)
  2. Peanut Butter Frosting: 76 calories 2 F / 9 C / 8 P (1.5 g fiber, 5 g sugar)
Adapted from Sarah Lynn Fitness
Adapted from Sarah Lynn Fitness
Fitness Renegades http://fitnessrenegades.com/

Sweet Potato Protein Muffins

Sweet Potato Protein Muffins
Serves 12
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Ingredients
  1. 1 whole egg
  2. 2 egg whites
  3. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  4. 1 Tbs coconut oil
  5. 2 tsp pumpkin spice
  6. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  7. 1/4 cup Stevia raw
  8. 1/2 tsp salt
  9. 2 cups cooked mashed sweet potato (include skin)
  10. 2 cups oat flour
  11. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  12. 30 g crushed walnuts
  13. 1.5 tsp baking powder
  14. 2 scoops Vanilla Whey Protein
  15. 1/4 cup unsweetened cashew or almond milk
Instructions
  1. In medium size bowl blend the wet ingredients. Set aside. In a separate large bowl combine dry ingredients. Add the wet mixture to the dry, stirring in walnuts and cashew milk. Fill a large 12 muffin pan to the rim and bake at 350 for approx. 20-25 min (depending on your oven). Be sure not to over bake- Better to be slightly under-baked! These should come out really moist! Let muffins cool and enjoy! Store in frig for up to a week.
Notes
  1. Side note: If you have an extra-sweet tooth, try replacing the natural vanilla protein with Max Vanilla Ice Cream flavor or their seasonal Pumpkin Spice protein!!
Macros per muffin
  1. Fat- 4g, Protein- 9g, Carb- 17g, Sugar- 6g, Fiber 2g
  2. Total Calories: 135
Adapted from Max Sports and Fitness Magazine
Fitness Renegades http://fitnessrenegades.com/

Tomato Jam

Tomato Jam
Yields 16
Who needs ketchup?? This is a more flavorful and fresh version of the sugary, salty condiment.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 lb Tomatoes, diced (skin on, with seeds)
  2. 1/4 Onion, diced
  3. 1/2 Lemon, juiced
  4. 1/4 Apple, diced finely
  5. 1 tbs Honey
  6. 1 tbs Apple Cider Vinegar
  7. 1/4 tsp Salt
  8. 1/8 tsp Coriander
  9. 1/8 tsp Cumin
  10. 1/8 tsp Allspice
  11. 1/8 tsp Ground Ginger
Instructions
  1. Put all of the ingredients into a large saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Turn the heat down to a good simmer and stir occasionally, until the mixture has thickened, 20-40 min (more watery tomatoes will take longer – you can always pour out a bit of tomato juice if you need it quicker).
  3. Remove from heat and if you desire, use a hand immersion blender or put into a blender/food processor to get a smoother consistency.
  4. Either use immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Adapted from Thriving on Paleo
Adapted from Thriving on Paleo
Fitness Renegades http://fitnessrenegades.com/

Meet Leslie | Our February Renegade of the Month

LeslieCollard | Renegade since October 2013

Leslie is a long time Renegade member who has been with us since close to the very beginning! She joined the Renegade family back in October 2013 at the old Fitness Renegades building on Borvan Ave.

Leslie is extremely dedicated to her workouts and is always there pushing herself and supporting her other Renegade family members.She has participated in multiple competitions and races through the years. When she competed in the Festivus Games she took 3rd place and just recently took 1st place in the Gauntlet competition, making her Renegade family SO proud!

Recently, Leslie had found herself at a plateau so she purchased the Renegade Lifestyle Blueprint. She is now down 10 lbs!

Leslie currently works for the US Postal Service and walks many miles a day so fueling her body for her active lifestyle is extremely important.

We’re so proud to have Leslie a part of our Renegade Family!

Slow Cooker Mediterranean Chicken

Slow Cooker Mediterranean Chicken
Serves 4
Tender and flavorful slow cooker mediterranean chicken with olives, onions, and roasted red peppers makes a hearty and tasty meal all made in one dish.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
4 min
Total Time
4 hr 5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
4 min
Total Time
4 hr 5 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 medium-large boneless skinless chicken breasts OR 4-6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  2. salt and pepper to taste
  3. 3 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  4. juice of 1 medium lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
  5. 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  6. 1 medium onion, chopped
  7. 1 cup kalamata olives
  8. 1 cup roughly chopped roasted red peppers
  9. 2 tablespoons capers
  10. fresh thyme or basil for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper to taste. Cook in a large skillet over medium-high heat 1-2 minutes on each side til browned. Transfer to greased slow cooker.
  2. Add onions, olives, red peppers, and capers to slow cooker (tuck them around the sides so they aren't covering up the chicken). Whisk together italian seasoning, lemon juice, and garlic and pour over chicken.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours or on high for 2 hours. Garnish with fresh thyme or oregano and serve.
Adapted from Creme de la Crumb
Adapted from Creme de la Crumb
Fitness Renegades http://fitnessrenegades.com/

Gwyn Hermsen

GwynHermsen | Renegade Success

Renegade Gwyn has overcome so many ups and downs throughout her journey. She is a great advocate and inspiration for what it truly takes to make a lifestyle change. Here is her story...

"I was working for Darin and was following the success stories they were sharing from Fitness Renegades and I got motivated. "Maybe they could help me too!", I thought to myself. 

I was working for Darin and was following the success stories they were sharing from Fitness Renegades and I got motivated. "Maybe they could help me too!", I thought to myself. 

I knew I was out of control and needed help to get back into shape and feeling healthy again. I hated the way I felt and the way I looked.

I would stand in my closet and hate the way my clothes fit and how that made me feel, but I would tell myself it was my own fault, squeeze into the outfit and move on.

I was ready to make the sacrifices to make it happen, but I knew it would never happen on my own. Walking the dog was not enough anymore.

I had spent my whole life taking care of everyone else and it showed, I needed to focus on myself before it was too late.

My biggest success is that I have taken control of my health.

I have lost a serious amount of weight (100+lbs) and inches (40+inches). Along with those physical changes, I have found myself again.

I have regained my confidence.

Hear what Gwyn has to say about her transformation!

I am truly stronger, physically and mentally. When you work your body, you are also working your mind and that stress release is amazing. I have proven to myself and my family that it is never too late to make a change and to regain control.

You have to make your health a priority. You have to break old habits and create new ones. You have to understand how to fuel your body and the impact it makes on how you feel. I have redefined what it means to respect myself.

The best part of Fitness Renegades for me is the support system that is in place.

I know each day that I walk in there, I will get a great physical workout. It will challenge me, make me stronger and bring me closer to achieving my goals. Everyone that is there is working on themselves in some form or fashion. The support and the honesty keep me going.

My story may help someone and their stories help me in return.

We share what works and what makes us struggle. There is comfort in that."

We’re so proud of Gwyn! Her dedication and strong-willed personality truly inspire so many! 

4 Things Guide Lead Magnet

Download the 4 Most Important Things Quick Start Guide

In just 15 short minutes or less you'll learn:

  • The 3 numbers you must ABSOLUTELY know before starting any weight loss program. These 3 numbers are vital to helping you lose weight, burn fat (especially that pesky belly fat) and tone your muscles.
  • How to setup expectations for your lifestyle transformation
  • To understand that you may have gained weight over many years and determine in advance what you should expect to see when you start a program. Many people fail because they set their hopes too high and/or on too short of a deadline.
  • The one thing nearly every fitness and weight loss guru tells you to do that is actually the reason most people fail. We'll give you a fool proof way to get on track and stay on track!
  • What the #1 factor is that causes some people to succeed quickly while others constantly struggle to live a healthier lifestyle and end up failing every time the start. It's probably not what you think!
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