Movement Sufficiency NOT Calorie Deficiency

November 18, 2008

Sufficiency NOT Calorie Deficiency

By David Grisaffi

Do you want to reduce your body fat? If so, then you must focus on getting a sufficient amount of exercise rather than only decreasing your food intake. This is critically important! Studies published in Internationally recognized scientific journals as well as my own personal experience from years of exercise and nutrition counseling have led me to understanding an interesting and significant relationship between lack of physical activity and body fat. Not surprisingly, the more sedentary you are, the more body fat you will carry.

I strongly recommend that if you want to lose weight, you should increase your activity as your first strategy. Even being more physically active in general (such as climbing the stairs instead of taking the elevator, mowing your lawn with a push mower instead of a riding mower, moving around instead of sitting still, sitting instead of lying down and even showing some excitement and enthusiasm instead of boredom), will all help to burn calories and reduce body fat more effectively than slashing your food intake with crash diets.

Consider this: A half-hour aerobic workout accounts for far less energy expenditure than our minute-to-minute movement patterns that accumulate over a daytime in the office or at home, including things as simple as washing your dishes by hand instead of using a dishwasher. It all adds up.

It seems that almost everyone has lost sight of the value of being physically active. What happened? I’ll tell you – the diet industry happened!

Millions of Americans are trying to lose weight, spending approximately $30 billion plus a year on diet programs and diet products. Often, they do lose some weight. But if you check with the same people five years later, you will find that nearly all of them have regained whatever weight they lost! I recently read about a national panel that sought data to determine if any commercial diet program could prove long-term success. Not a single program could do so.

Being overweight, and especially being obese, predisposes you to a number of diseases and serious health problems, and it’s now a known fact that when caloric intake is excessive, guess what happens to the excess? It’s stored as body fat.

Elevated blood sugar is one of primary culprits, because most people are sedentary while eating an excess of carbohydrates, of both the simple and complex variety. When this happens, a cascade of hormonal actions occur in order to maintain balance in the body. The more this eating pattern continues, the more fat you accumulate and the more difficult the fat becomes to remove. I cannot emphasize enough the need for human movement – exercise sufficiency – above calorie deficiency!

The lack of movement has many negative effects on your body. For example: a lack of movement causes many negative effects on your joints, ligaments, bones, muscles and your heart such as shrinking of the joint capsules, increased compression loading on your joints, decreased thickness of collagen fibers for failure rate of your ligaments, decreased bone density and bone spurs, decreased muscle mass, decreased mitochondrial content, decreased thickening of collagen fibers for your muscles, decreased maximal heart rate decreased the O2 Max for your heart.

According to Seaman and the Journal of medical physical therapy, "The two main promoters of degeneration are repetitive strain and sedentary lifestyle."

People who diet without exercising often get fatter over time. Although your weight may initially drop while dieting, such weight loss can usually be attributed to elimination of excess fluid. As stated above, when the weight returns, it comes back as fat and more stubborn fat.

As you lose weight via diet only, your body’s calorie burning furnace is reduced. What happens is your physiology interprets the dramatic decrease calories and moves on its innate starvation instincts. To avoid getting fatter over time, increase your metabolism by exercising regularly.

In one of my recent articles, I talked about walking as one of the best exercises for strengthening bones, controlling weight, toning the leg muscles, maintaining good posture and improving positive self-concept. Increasing your daily movement can be as simple as walking more.

Another great way to reduce body fat is by resistance training. There are many types of resistance training that are very effective at building muscle (and muscle burns body fat). These programs can be fun and engaging at the same time.

One program I highly recommend is what I call" the spin routine." The routine incorporates all different movement patterns, aerobic and interval training in addition to fat burning.

Here is an example of a level one spin routine:

Spin Training Routine One

Exercise Rest Intensity Tempo Repetitions Sets
A1 Squat 90’s BW/60%1rm Slow 12-15 1-3
A2 Bench Press/Push Ups   60% 1rm 313 12-15 1-3
A3 Dynamic Lunge   BW 313 12-15 L/R 1-3
A4 Chek Press   60% 1rm 333 8-12 1-3
A5 Lat Pull Down   60% 1rm 313 12-15 1-3

Perform all exercise one after the other with no rest
Ex: A1-A2-A3-A4-A5 rest 90’s repeat for desired sets

Core Routine

4 point transverse abdominis vacuum   BW slow BW 10 H – 10 R 15 1
Floor Crunch 60s BW slow 8-12 1-3

Cardio Workout: 15 minutes hard after the above resistance training session. You have a choice of which activity you would like to do. Choose from: Exercise Bike, Elliptical machine, Treadmill, Stair climber, Versa climber.

Circuit training is performed without any rest between exercises. Only rest after each circuit of exercises in this case 1 and ½ minutes or 90 s.

You can also put together your own routine using the exercises in this section. Just make sure you can do the exercises in proper form and never go to failure (muscular fatigue) like in bodybuilding. Always do core conditioning last. This prevents stabilizer fatigue and possible

All exercise should follow the basic protocol as described below.

The exercise to be performed in the core routine. Each exercise is placed in order of execution.

Rest: This is the period of time you rest between exercises or if given more then one set between sets of the same exercise. Min or sec can display the number.

Intensity: This is the amount of workload or how hard you are going to work. BW indicates bodyweight. You will find out what intensity you should use with regard to the amount of weight by the repetition number. If you see -2 then this means stop two reps before your maximum effort.

Lifting Speed or Tempo: This indicates speed of movement. The first number indicates the first movement of the exercise, the second number indicates isometric part of the exercise and the third number indicates the final part of the exercise. For example: 323 simply means three seconds on the first movement, hold for two seconds and three seconds on the final part of the movement. Also there are times when it will be displayed in 10-second hold (H) and 10-second rest. Plus there will be times when you see slow, medium and fast.

Reps: This is the amount of muscular action you do within a set. When you can complete more then the described amount of reps with no muscle soreness, increase the weight by five percent. A – sign may be in front of some repetition suggestions in the exercise table. The – sign indicates to not go to the maximum amount of reps. A – 2 simply means do not go all the way to 10 if the rep window is 8-10.

Sets: This is the amount of workload for a given exercise sequence. For example: if you see an exercise that says sets 1-3, then begin with one set of the exercise. You can add sets as long as you have no muscle soreness at the next scheduled workout date.

When it comes to good health and weight loss, exercise and diet are inter-related. Exercising without maintaining a balanced diet is no more beneficial than dieting while remaining inactive. However, decreasing calories taken in from food is not the same thing as increase calories burned through exercise. Movement sufficiency, not calorie deficiency has far greater power to get you lean and healthy for life.

About The Author

David Grisaffi majored in physical education and is a certified high performance exercise kinesiologist with the prestigious CHEK institute. David holds a total of 6 certifications, he is a high school wrestling and baseball coach as well as an independent trainer and strength coach, known especially for his work with professional boxers and golfers. David is the author of Firm And Flatten Your Abs an online best seller which teaches you how to lose body fat and develop "six pack abs’ while improving strength, function and athletic power at the same time. You can contact David or learn more about his programs at

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