Sunday 5.30.10

Seems like it defeats the purpose a little.

To some degree, every one of us works out to better the way we look. For some that means adding muscle mass, but for the vast majority that means fat loss. While the most important thing we can do to aid fat loss is to gain control of our diet, there are other things that can help as well.

Many people who want to lose weight will try to do it by working out more, up to seven days a week. The thought being, you burn more calories and you lose more fat. The problem with that theory is that many people instinctively overeat on such a regimen in order to recover properly. More exercise, especially the intense training we do at The Compound, will also cause your body to produce an excess amount of cortisol. Chronically elevated cortisol levels contribute to the accumulation of abdominal fat and make it very difficult to get rid of it. The immune system is suppressed and the individual becomes more susceptible to infections, both minor and major. So more training is counter productive to efforts to lose body fat.

A better method to burn more calories without causing stress to the body (thereby increasing cortisol production) and without hindering muscle recovery from regular workouts, is called NEPA: Non-Exercise Physical Activity. This includes walking 30 minutes a day, taking the stairs, walking to the store, riding a bike to work, playing with your kids, etc. Many of us bust our butts in the gym, only to be sedentary for the other 23 hours of each day.

NEPA will not create a "highly fit" person. Instead, avoiding everyday opportunities for physical activity will virtually ensure that you do NOT reach the ranks of the highly fit. Remember, even if you're spending 10 hours a week working out at the gym (which almost nobody does), that still gives you 158 hours of "slack" time. Many people have found that maximizing their NEPA during that time makes the difference between meeting their goals and failing.

For more information on NEPA, read this article. Also read this one called The Seven Habits of Highly Fit People. bc


  1. Great info you guys! Hope everyone takes the time to read this. My goal is incorperate all that into my life! I belive WE are on the way (some are already there) to being "Highly Fit". How exciting is that!?!

  2. It's exciting to me too, although its also deceptively elusive. Sometimes I think I'm "highly fit", then my nutrition goes to crap again, an exercise comes up in a workout that i struggle at, nagging injuries return....but that's what keeps me coming back to see how close to fit i can get.