Extreme Exercise For Weight Loss
Weight loss can only occur in the body if one of two things happen:
- you eat less food
- you burn off the calories.
One way to have rapid weight loss is to simply step up your exercise to such a high intensity that you can’t help but burn 600-1000 calories in a day. In Spin classes, you can burn 600 calories in an hour and lose about a quart of sweat.
The Math Proves That Some Activities are Better to Burn the Calories
Here’s a list of different types of activities you might do to burn more calories in a day:
|Spin class||600 calories/hour|
|Jet skiing||398 calories/hour|
|Walking uphill + 10 lb. load||415 calories/hour|
|In-line skating||426 calories/hour|
|Aerobic dance||440 calories/hour|
|Rock climbing||454 calories/hour|
|Jumping rope||670 calories/hour (100 skips per minute)|
|Swimming||784 calories/hour (butterfly stroke)|
|Running up stairs||852 calories per hour|
You end up burning about a pound a day by stepping up the activity levels. That’s because the increase in metabolic rate extends to the next several hours, not just during the activity.
Doing any of these activities certainly burns the calories but the activities can get boring for an entire hour. And this is where workout programs have been developed to mix it up a bit and prevent boredom. Boredom is of course one of the top reasons for not completing your workouts!
2 Top Extreme Exercise Workouts – CrossFit and P90X
CrossFit and P90X are essentially workout programs where you build intensive strength and agility. They’re touted as some of the best ways to take a couch potato and turn him into a stud.
CrossFit and P90X soon become ways of life for some people, and it’s understandable why when you look at the results. Your muscles get rock hard, and your whole body transforms. Your muscle mass increases in the body so you can expect a much higher metabolic rate – and weight loss.
CrossFit workouts can be found on the internet for free. The workouts were initially “proven” in police forces and the Army, but now even moms and remote farm hands are endorsing and using them. There are CrossFit gyms across the nation and certified instructors; all “pump up” their members for the annual CrossFit Games.
P90X is a 90-day exercise home workout system that uses targeted training phases that allow your body is keep adapting and growing – without the plateaus. You never get used to the routines and thus, make remarkable progress in a short period of time.
The training maximizes fat burning and muscle sculpting through:
- resistance training
- body-weight training
- cardio, yoga
- ab work
- muscle stretching
- jump training
P90X includes its own Nutrition plan that changes during the different phases. Phase 1 is high protein, Phase 2 is low fat, high protein, moderate carbohydrates, and Phase 3 is centered around complex carbohydrates and proteins.
Who These Extreme Programs are Good For
If you have been working out for most of your life and want to step up your exercise routines, extreme programs may seem plausible. If you use the P90X home program, it’s convenient and you can give up your gym membership. The money you save can go towards upgrading your food choices such as going organic, and incorporating grass-fed meats into your diet plan.
These programs are not for those who have rarely participated in sports activity of any sort. They are also not well suited for those who believe they can do anything without having taken any “prerequisites”. The prerequisite for the extreme exercising is a high level of fitness.
How Safe are Extreme Exercise Programs?
The one thing that many on extreme programs have to watch is their electrolytes and water intake. Because of the large amount of sweat induced by extreme exercise, it’s easy to get dehydrated.
Any intense activity can cause rhabdomyolysis (rhabdo for short), the breakdown of muscles to the extent where the kidneys become damaged. This is confirmed with the appearance of dark brown urine, nausea, swollen thighs, extreme fatigue, and excruciating pain in the muscles.
More and more cases of rhabdomyolysis are appearing in those who do high-intensity exercise, although the condition is still rare. Several cases were found in those starting a spin class, weightlifting, CrossFit, P90X, runners, soldiers, firefighters, and college athletes. Those who end up with rhabdo are not necessarily those out of shape. They are those who start to exercise at such a high level that their body can’t keep up with the physical changes in the muscles.
What happens is the overworked muscle fibers start to die, and the dead cells overwhelm the system. It’s the job of the internal organs to filter out these dead cells and the kidneys become overwhelmed with the increase of a protein called myoglobin.
As a result, the kidneys start to die. The situation needs emergency treatment, and in some cases may require a hospital stay of up to two weeks. The muscle swelling may have to be relieved by surgery whereas the kidney damage may need dialysis in some cases.
Cost of Extreme Programs
The cost for this weight loss strategy is dependent on the type of extreme exercise program you choose. For example, a CrossFit gym membership may run up to $150/month. If you’re replacing your normal $50 gym membership with it, you’ll only have a net cost of $100 per month, and if you lose 20 pounds during the month, that brings you a cost of $5/pound. Adding a CrossFit coach may add to the cost another $200, raising the price of losing weight to $15/pound.
If you’re highly motivated and work well on your own, then your cost is $0 extra to lose the weight, as long as nothing bad happens to you medically. One case of rhabdo could end up depleting your financial reserves and cause devastation in many areas of your life though.
Using extreme exercise can work to help you lose weight, but there’s still a risk of ending up in the hospital from stepping into these routines with passion and determination. The worst case scenario is that you end up with a bill for a hospital stay for 2 to 4 weeks, miss work time and come back to a job that has had to replace you, and/or have an ambulance trip to the hospital for dehydration.
Carefully consider whether this option is for you. You could always reduce your exercise level from extreme down one notch, combine the weight loss strategy with calorie counting, intermittent fasting, and/or juice fasting for maximum weight loss. This way you would have the best of all worlds.