Break Norms for Greater Success Today

A lot of time goes into discussion about the need to lose fat around this time of year.  Whether it's for Spring Break or Summer, people seem to always want to lose 10 pounds.  It's almost as common as talking about the weather.  It would go something like...

"It's going to be a nice day today," said Jack.  

"I should run outside then.  I need to lose ten pounds," replied Jill.  

Focus on Movement 

It shouldn't be about your pants size (or the way your bikini fits).  You shouldn't go all in placing your self-worth in a number on a scale.  You should aim all of your focus in the quality of your movement.  I'm not saying you can't lose fat if you want, I'm just saying that you should focus on how well you move before you start causing additional stress on your body. 

"Don't add Strength to Dysfunction" - Gray Cook

Gray Cook, founder of the Functional Movement Screen, highlights strength in this quote.  I would like to reword the above quote to "Don't add Stress to Dysfunction."  When you are on the path to losing fat, you will probably find yourself running countless miles, going from 15 jumping jacks, to mountain climbers, to squat jumps as fast as you can on repeat all in terrible form because you are just focusing on sweating all over the place.  You've maybe seen the quote, "sweat is your fat cells crying," right?  Well, this is simply not true.  

Focus on Form

The integrity of your form is of utmost importance.  Webster University Strength and Conditioning Coach Matt Saitz has taught me that the ability to improve muscle tone and/or growth while using light weight with correct form is paramount.  

So... How Do I Burn Fat?

If you are focusing on fat loss, it is important to understand how the body works.  You don't want to burn off your lunch, you want to burn fat after all. 

Lean muscle mass is the body's fat-burning machinery.  The more lean muscle mass you have equals a higher metabolic rate (the rate at which you use energy).  This means that when you add muscle to your frame via weight lifting you have a greater opportunity to burn more fat doing something as simple as sitting on the couch.

One great exercise, and one of my weaknesses, is the shoulder press.  The shoulder press is a solid way to build lean shoulder and triceps muscle.  

Shoulder Press Form Checklist

Stance

  • Place your feet shoulder width apart
  • Slightly bend your knees
  • Maintain a flat back
  • Maintain neutral ribs

Start position

  • Lift the dumbbells to shoulder level
  • Rotate your palms to face each other
  • Point your elbows out to 45 degrees

Finish Position

  • While exhaling forcefully, yet under control, push the dumbbells towards the ceiling
  • Finish with your arms straight and behind your ears (don't tuck your head forward)

Why Can't I Have My Arms Straight And Have Them Behind My Ears?

Sadly, through our evolution, we are collapsing into poor postural positions.  As we begin understanding Text Neck Syndrome, we start to see this position everywhere.  From laying on your couch to being hunched over at your desk, you are creating a globally rounded position.  After hours, days, weeks and months in this position, you will no longer be able to just crack your back and return to normal posture.  You will have to unglue your matted fascia from your thoracic spine by using this mobility exercise.

Focus on your form before you start going H.A.M. at the gym.  Respect your body and the stress weight lifting has on it.  Listen to your body and relieve the tension caused by Text Neck Syndrome then hit the weights with postural integrity.  Gain that lean muscle mass and watch the fat burn off -- FOR GOOD!