Tips for Properly Dropping the Few Extra Off-season
By Ken Mierke -
UltraFit.comMany athletes begin serious
preparation for the season a few pounds above ideal weight. Often hard-training
athletes are surprised at how difficult it is to drop just a few pounds.
In this article, I will discuss effective ways to
reduce body fat and how to adjust workout routines to benefit weight loss.
1. Perform intense weight training: This is
the time of year for endurance athletes to emphasize weight training. Our
muscles account for about 95% of our metabolic rate and are the only tissues
that burn fat. Increasing muscle mass slightly increases metabolic rate
Muscle is our most metabolically active tissue. A
pound of muscle burns 35 to 75 calories per day for maintenance. Three pounds
of additional muscle can result in burning an additional 15 pounds of fat per
2. Keep intensity very low during endurance
workouts: Burning carbohydrate is not optimal for reducing body fat.
Carbohydrate deficits do not lead to body fat loss. Since burning fat requires
more oxygen than burning carbohydrate, fat burning decreases as intensity
increases. Almost every athlete overestimates optimal intensity for fat
3. Include low-intensity workouts of 90 minutes
or more: About an hour into a workout, fat burning increases drastically.
For the first 20 minutes of workout, fat burning is minimal. For the next 40
minutes it is moderate. Beyond one hour, fat-burning becomes very high.
Increasing the duration of a workout from 60 to 90
minutes (a 50% increase) may double the amount of fat burned.
Ken Mierke is a two-time World Champion
triathlete (Physically Challenged division) and an exercise physiologist. His
clients have included six National Champions in four sports, 25 Team USA
multisport athletes, a Hawaii Ironman podium finisher, and top-10 world ranked
XTerra triathletes (both pro and amateur). Contact Ken at