Working harder and smarter in the gym


When it comes to weight loss, there is no one-size-fits-all approach.

But many health officials agree that working out still remains the cornerstone of losing weight.

“Exercise is extremely important to weight loss,” said Nick Graves, an exercise physiologist at Inova’s weight loss program. “It helps so many other factors like burning calories- but also improves your sleep, helps your triglycerides, glucose, blood pressure. And when you can have all of those under control, you can exercise better and lose weight better, too.”

With growing trends favoring quicker results, it may be tempting to take the easy way out. But for those out there who want to lose the weight and keep it off, trainers advise a different approach.

“It’s definitely better long-term to do it right,” said Brock Pfaff, coach at Ballston Crossfit. “Generally, if you do your quick fix, you do your shred diet that’s normally not very healthy…you lost 15 pounds in a month, but you’re not gonna sustain it, probably. You haven’t had any life changes.”

Doing it right means working all parts of the body, including the arms, the legs and most importantly, the core.

“Make sure you have both cardiovascular training and strength training into your routine,” Graves said. “The cardiovascular strength is gonna help burn a lot of calories and help your heart. The strength training will help build the muscle, but also help you burn more calories throughout the day.”

“If you look at the most recent research about weight loss, the most effective way to do it is high-intensity interval training,” Pfaff said. “So the workouts are shorter so you can keep your intensity level higher, or they include some kind of rest period so you can work really hard for multiple intervals. And that high intensity is what aids in weight loss.”

Members of Ballston Crossfit say a good combination of strength training and cardio is most effective. 

“For me, it’s been incredibly impactful,” said Stacey Barrack. “I was always unhappy with where I was health-wise, weight-wise, always very insecure. And over the last 18 months or so, I’ve built confidence in myself not only internally…but also how I present myself to the world.”

Barrack joined Ballston Crossfit in April of 2017.

“I came in, talked to the coaches and within the first six weeks, I noticed significant changes in not only performance, but also body composition,” Barrack added. “And since April 2017, I have lost about 30 pounds. I also tried all of the other fast magic pills or fast tracks to losing weight, and it’s never really been something that’s worked or been sustainable.”

Health officials say exercise and nutrition go hand-in-hand. If you want to lose the weight and keep it off, you should also practice good eating habits. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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