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“Why Exercise Won’t Make You Thin”…………I Think You Know Where I’m Going With This.

Posted Aug 11 2009 8:43am

Understandably, this article from Time has been making the rounds amongst various blogs, newsletters, websites, etc in the fitness industry the past few days.  I’ve had several readers send me a link to the article over the course of the week, and needless to say, I felt compelled to give a little insight on the matter.  Which is to say, OMGTHISGUYISANIDIOT.com/[crickets chirping]/ Tony, Tony!!!!  Put down the chainsaw Tony.  Noooooooooooo. biz

One of  my favorite quotes:

“Because exercise depletes not just the body’s muscles but the brain’s self-control “muscle” as well, many of us will feel greater entitlement to eat a bag of chips during that lazy time after we get back from the gym. This explains why exercise could make you heavier - or at least why even my wretched four hours of exercise a week aren’t eliminating all my fat. It’s likely that I am more sedentary during my nonexercise hours than I would be if I didn’t exercise with such Puritan fury. If I exercised less, I might feel like walking more instead of hopping into a cab; I might have enough energy to shop for food, cook and then clean instead of ordering a satisfyingly greasy burrito.”

So let me get this straight.  Because YOU (the author) lack the will power to not eat greasy burritos after you “train”, you’re only rationale (1+1= I’m a complete moron) conclusion is that you’re fat because you exercise too much?  Holy shit call NASA, this guy is onto something.

Surprisingly, there is one valid point the author brings up in the article- namely the mistaken notion that in order to get any exercise, you have to be in the gym.  There’s no question that we are less active during our “non-exercise” hours than we used to be- thank you modern technology!  Modern man is essentially programmed to believe that the only way to get any exercise is to be in a gym.  Case in point-  we all have a friend who drives 20 minutes to the gym just to walk on the treadmill.

However, as Eric alluded to in his blog on Friday, there’s no mention of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption or the difference among different types of exercise (steady-state cardio, interval training, resistance training). There isn’t any discussion of visceral versus subcutaneous fat loss.  What’s more, there’s no mention of exercise QUALITY vs. QUANTITY.  It’s human nature to believe that more is better.  I used to fall under this trap back in the day-thinking that spending two hours per day in the gym was what it took to get girls to want to hang out with me.  It wasn’t until I made a conscious effort to be more efficient with my time (ditched the body part splits, stopped going for five mile jogs, etc) that my pecs finally started to resemble steel plates.

Likewise, we like to do what’s easy.  Given the choice between 60-90 minutes on the Elliptical trainer vs. 30-45 minutes of say…… squats paired with chin-ups, followed by a kettlebell circuit- I’m willing to bet the vast majority of people would pick the former over the latter.

It isn’t that people are exercising too much and it’s making them fat.  Rather, it’s more likely they’re mode of exercise is woefully inefficient, as well as not nearly challenging enough.  Not to mention they’re making piss-poor food choices.  Weird how that works.  Accountability is a bitch.

Suffice it to say, it’s disheartening that mainstream media such as Time continue to publish rubbish like this.  If anything, this article does nothing but set the industry back twenty years and allow people to make lame excuses as to why they’re still fat.   I challenge you to read the article for yourself and see if you can get through the first few paragraphs without wanting to staple your eyelids shut or throwing your face through your computer screen.  Good luck!

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