Calorie Burn!

The BEST SCIENTIFIC Explanation Why Seasoned Fitness Professional Have Personally Learned that: Weight Loss is 70% Nutrition – 30% Exercise

If you’re struggling to “lose weight” and really want an HONEST answer…give YOURSELF 5-minutes to watch this awesome video.  Suggestion: Don’t even finish reading the remainder of this post…watch the video first, and if it intrigues you, then come back and read this.

For the record, I have nothing to do with or gain from this video, but I was doing some research for [ironically] that new piece of fitness equipment I’m releasing next week and stumbled across this amazing video.

As an engineer and fitness enthusiast, I simply enjoy the CHALLENGE of using science to get in shape instead of just playing on machines or the “happy” social-emotional aspect of exercising. I like traceable facts and strive for traceability with EVERYTHING I do (for fellow martial artists, it’s the same philosophy behind the development of Bruce Lee’s 1-inch punch)…because with facts you get quicker results by REMOVING WASTED EFFORT..aka MUDA.

This video totally breaks down the complicated science of fitness that NO FITNESS COMPANY will tell you about. In short, because of PROGRESSIVE ADAPTATION, you will never be able to do enough “exercise” to burn off the calories you consume (think Law of Diminishing Returns). In other words, the more calories you burn, the more efficient your body will become at not burning calories-its just a LOGICAL, EVOLUTIONARY process that the body has developed to ENSURE ITS SURVIVAL (ie your body doesn’t care about the aesthetics of looking sexy in jeans on IG).

I rarely get into the weight loss topic anymore because of it so complex, so when people ask me how do you lose weight [burn fat], I give the easy to digest answer of 1) watch what you eat and 2) exercise. After getting tired of giving that answer it was easier to write a book I titled TrainChange: Fat Loss back in 2004, that breaks down the boring, complex science of how-to burn fat–but with real-life examples and strategies. But I’m recommending this video because unlike my book (or this damn post), they were able to explain the complications in 5-minutes.

And no, the video doesn’t give you an immediate answer, but rather, it placed the complexities of weight loss into a more realistic context so that you can focus your energy on solving the problem instead of constantly spinning your wheels on the latest bright and shiny fitness products appearing your social media feed.

And no, like all COMPLEX PROBLEMS the video cannot provide you with a simple, cookie cutter solution. Rather, it places the complexities of weight loss [aka the Engineering Problem Domain] into a more realistic context [aka an Engineering Context & Constraints] so that you can focus your energy on solving the ROOT problem instead of continuing to spin your wheels on the latest bright and shiny fitness products appearing in your social media feed. Your ultimate training/fitness objective should be to find a solution that works for YOU and your BODY TYPE (another critical piece of weight loss not accounted for in this video) because we are all different and will require a different [aka Engineering Solution]!  The good news is, understanding this science abstracts the problems at a higher level so that there are basic commonalities to use as a starting point toward your solution.

Hope this helped…

Al Smith, Jr.
“The Fitness Specialist”


Especially when your training to lean down, gain.

Something that’s often overlooked in fitness is the challenge, and constant fight, against progressive adaptation.  When it comes to weight training, everyone loves the concept of PROGRESSIVE RESISTANCE TRAINING because when we add weights to our exercise it increases the training load, forcing muscle adaptation resulting in muscle growth. Yeah!

But when it comes to cardio training, adaption is a pain in the ass because ADAPTION means your cardio and ability to perform aerobic activity goes up…but the CALORIE BURNING BENEFITS OF DOING CARDIO GOES DOWN!  And without going into crazy detail (see my other post on IG called CALORIE BURNING), it’s actually logical because your body is trying to help you conserve calories—to keep you alive.  For example, if a TRAINED ATHLETE and an UNTRAINED PERSON both park their cars as far away as possible from a store entrance so they could “burn a few more calories” during the walk, the training athlete isn’t going to get any real benefit out of it because their body requires MORE STIMULATION to kick in the systems that actually start the real calorie burning process.  They have a higher training threshold.  On the other hand, the untrained person will benefit from the extra steps and probably be sucking gas (increased their Resting Heart Rate) halfway through the walk, thereby taxing their body into burning more calories/fat.  Think overweight professional athletes like FOOTBALL PLAYERS—if cardio activity was a direct correlation to calorie burning, you should never see an overweight professional football player, right?

And unfortunately, the same holds true when trained athletes do cardio, especially on machines.

If you train consistently enough, your body will eventually adapt and if you’re still training at the same level of INTENSITY you were training at “2 weeks ago” (no progression) you will not get the same calorie burning effects—because your body has ADAPTED (specifically, your body has created additional mitochondria to deal with the cardio load).  As a result, in order to keep benefiting from doing cardio, you have to KEEP INCREASING YOUR INTENSITY.  However, you can’t keep just upping your intensity because at some point your body is going to break, aka get an injury.  And if you’re an INSTRUCTOR that teaches cardio classes multiple times a week…multiple times a day even, you’re definitely going to struggle with the pitfalls cardio adaptation.

On top of that, if you’re genetics predispose you to being heavier (meso / endomorphic), you have an even bigger challenge because you’ll find that you have EXCELLENT cardio strength and stamina, but it’s not translating into burning fat (like overweight professional athletes).  And it pisses you off…but your body is doing EXACTLY what it’s supposed to be doing…keeping you alive, by conserving calories.  And personally, as someone that is endomorphic and loves to cardio, let me tell you the struggle is real….and also why I stopped teaching cycle years ago; but I still do cardio 3 times a week..2x a day (yes, I’m addicted…its my vice damn it!).  However, that’s why I needed to create something different.  I wanted a piece of exercise equipment that would tax me hard enough to increase my RESTING HEART RATE to quickly get into my fat burning zone, but I didn’t want to [couldn’t] keep just adding intensity using things like the cycle or elliptical because I was going to keep getting injured from having to push myself too hard.  So, I added rotating arm attachments, similar to the air bike, except now, I’m actually having to carry myself like a bear crawl…and as you can see…it’s a BEAST MODE WORKOUT.

I’ve only been doing it for about 2 weeks now that the Horizontal Training BC3 prototype is pretty much done, so I’m still in the adaptation phase right now, but given training intensity it allows for HIIT, without momentum impact, it should be the game calorie burning, muscle building game changer I’m hoping it will be.  Will keep you posted…

Keep in mind, this is just the tip of the iceberg…for everything that was noted in the post, there is a workout around…which then creates another work around, but if examine all of them we’ll be in a rabbit hole until next year.  So this is just a surface content post, ok?!