THE SCIENCE BEHIND MISSION LEAN
Why Lean Body Fitness?
We would like to present you with this statement: All workouts are not created equal.
How you determine your approach to fitness will come down to one simple question: If you have 30 minutes in the day to work out—which is typical of most people—what type of workout are you going to do?
Your workout should not be random. It shouldn’t be a poorly thought out combination of weights, cardio and whatever else you can fit in. You must target your workout—focusing on getting the “biggest bang for your buck”— to reap the maximum result.
Two Paths to Fitness
There are two primary paths to fitness: Weight Training and Aerobic Training (Cardio based training).
If you’re pursuing a weight training program and looking to build large muscles, you will be pursuing a workout in which you take many breaks bewteen weight sets in order to maximize each of your lifts. That’s the way this type of training is done—and this type of workout does not keep your heart rate elevated throughout. You have a burst where your heart rate will increase when you do your lifts, but then substantial time is lost when your heart rate is at a low level, preparing for the next lift.
When you pursue lean body fitness, on the other hand, what we advocate at Mission Lean, you are following a full-body workout that will keep your heart-rate elevated at a high level consistently throughout your entire workout. With lean body fitness, you will be sweating, your heart will be pumping, and ideally you will reach the anaerobic zone so you can burn the most fat possible. We now explore why this type of workout is superior.
Alter Your Metabolism
There has recently been the emergence of a new scientific field: Metabolomics. Metabolomics allows scientists to get a clear window into a person’s metabolism through blood analysis.
Metabolites are the products of metabolic reactions in the cells — like amino acids, vitamins, and alcohols — and scientists can measure these metabolites in our bodies and in turn determine how well our metabolism is functioning.
Previous studies showed that active people had much different metabolisms than sedentary people — different levels of good cholesterol and other favorable ratios of proteins that are good for heart health. But this didn’t look at how different types of exercise truly affect us.
A brand new study aimed to figure out how different types of exercise affect our metabolism, and the conclusion was both clear and striking: aerobic fitness affects your metabolism significantly more than strength does.
When the scientists compared those pursuing a weight-based training program to those pursuing an aerobic fitness program (based around lean body fitness), they found that those on the aerobic program had significant improvements in their metabolic profiles. Those who followed a weight-based training program had no change in their metabolisms when compared to people who didn’t exercise at all. Put simply, the only way to truly change your metabolism is through lean body, aerobic-based workouts—the type of workouts the Mission Lean offers.
These two men, based on the evidence from recent scientific studies, have the same metabolism. Only lean body fitness can transform your metabolism at the biological level.
Pursue Fountain of Youth Fitness: Telomeres and Lean Body Fitness
It is now understood that aerobic, lean body training has a direct impact on making our cells biologically younger, whereas weight training does not have the same effect.
Again, we need to think about how exercise affects us at a molecular level—and which type of exercise has the most profound effect. The question remains: If you only have 30 minutes in the day to work out, what are you going to do? You want to focus on the workout that will get you the maximum physiological response.
Telomeres cap the tips of our chromosomes and guard DNA from damage as cells divide, and they are important in determining how quickly we age. Because cells divide over time, telomeres shorten and become damaged as our cells get older, to the point that they eventually no longer protect our DNA. This is when the cell dies.
Telomere length, according to scientists, is the best measure of the functional age of a cell. But telomeres are changeable and they can be lengthened or shortened as a result of the way a person lives and how much they exercise.
Previous studies demonstrated that people who ran often had longer telomeres, but the studies didn’t actually prove that the running caused this. The studies only showed that the two things were associated with one another.
A new study examined how different types of exercise affect telomeres. The scientists separated exercise participants into three groups: endurance training, interval training, and resistance training. The result? Endurance training and interval training had a direct effect on telomere length, but resistance training (weight training) did not.
Those who did the weight training workouts had telomeres that were the same as those in the control group, which was comprised of people who didn’t exercise at all.
The conclusion is clear: aerobic-based training is the only workout that extends telomeres and slows cellular aging.
Alter Your Body at the Biological Level
Altering your body at the biological level is the gold standard of fitness. In this way, you will transform your body once and for all and never go through weight swings again. You will build the basis for a healthy, fit, and youthful life.
Like a computer is programmed on the back end, as opposed to just cleaning your screen or getting a new keyboard, you need to reprogram your body from a biological standpoint. Every time you step into a workout, your effort needs to be fully targeted if you want to reap a significant result.
It all comes down to lean body training vs. body building (weight lifting based) training —functional, aerobic training, versus static weight lifting. You want to train for performance instead of aesthetics (even though there is no doubt you will look great in your lean body!). It’s about a mindset shift—thinking about getting the maximum result from each and every workout, which is what we prescribe on the Mission Lean program.
The key question you must ask yourself: Is my heart rate elevated consistently throughout my workout? If it’s not, then you are not pursuing lean body fitness, the type of fitness that can alter your body biologically—improving your metabolism and extending cellular lifespan. If you are able to transform your body at the molecular level, you will change your biology forever.
Burn Fat After Your Workout: The EPOC Response
Right in line with the benefits of an improved metabolism and anti-aging effects that come from lean body fitness, EPOC (Excess post oxygen consumption) only comes about through an aerobic, lean body workout. Your ultimate goal, however, is to achieve what is referred to as an “anaerobic” workout, which we will explore now and which is the gold standard for enacting huge physiological change within your body.
Your body requires calories to consume oxygen—precisely 5 calories of energy to consume 1 liter of oxygen. If you can push yourself in your workout enough—to the point that you reach an oxgyen deficit — your body will continue to intake large amounts of oxygen after the workout to fill in for this deficit. This will in turn allow you to burn additional calories after your workout has ended—because it requires calories to intake oxygen. You will be BURNING CALORIES AT REST, well after your workout has ended. This is the EPOC effect and you should strive for it!
The key to getting the highest EPOC response is to create the largest oxygen deficit possible during your workout. An oxygen deficit can only be created in an anaerobic state (vs. aerobic state).
ATP (adenosine triphospate) is the fuel to move our body and is the primary energy carrier in all living organisms. The body is most efficient at producing ATP (energy) through the aerobic metabolism—in which the body uses oxygen to produce ATP.
At higher intensities of exercise the lungs are unable to deliver enough oxygen to the bloodstream to allow for aerobic metabolism, and at this point, the anaerobic pathways become active, which can provide the necessary ATP much faster so the body can continue to function.
In an anaerobic state, your body produces ATP through the use of carbohydrates that are stored in your body, when there is no oxygen—when the demands of the muscles for energy aren’t being satisfied by oxygen coming from your lungs.
This is where the oxygen deficit comes into play—the oxygen deficit being the difference between the amount of oxygen consumed during exercise and the amount that would have been consumed if your energy needs had been provided for through the aerobic pathways.
When you work out within the anaerobic state, you are creating an oxygen deficit within your body. The longer you can stay within the anaerobic state in your workout, the greater your EPOC effect will be. The greater your EPOC effect, the more calories you will burn in the hours after your workout finishes—in turn gaining the maximum physiological effect from your workout.
Reach the Anaerobic Zone
Training in the anaerobic zone is very different than doing an hour on the elliptical or something similar (what we call, “low intensity cardio”). In order to reach the anaerobic state, you need to maintain a certain intensity in your workout. Whether you’re running on the treadmill, or completing a series of moves from the Mission Lean app, you need to push yourself until your heart rate rises. With this in mind, and given how intense this type of training is, your workout should not last more than 30-45 minutes.
To reach the anaerobic state, you must get to an 80% maximal heart rate.
For a 30 year old, this is 152 Beats Per Minute, for a 40 year old, this is 144 BPM, for a 50 year old, this is 136 BPM, and for a sixty year old this is 128 BPM. (Find out more about heart rates zones and why using a heart rate monitor during your workout will help you keep track of your heart rate.)
People are forced to stop during exercise—at the point they’re so out of breath that they can’t continue—when they reach what is referred to as the “anaerobic threshold.” In the anaerobic state, the body produces lactic acid, which is a by-product of our body converting glucose (stored carbohydrates) into energy in the absence of enough oxygen supply. The anaerobic threshold is reached when the body is unable to clear this lactic acid faster than it’s being produced.
The more you train in the anaerobic zone, the more efficient your body will become at clearing this lactic acic—allowing you to stay in the anaerobic zone longer. Getting used to anaerobic training will enable you to train harder for longer, which will in turn increase your ability to induce a magnified EPOC effect.
The intensity of the exercise you do—basically the level of your heart rate and how long you can keep your heart rate elevated there—is the most important determining factor is inducing the greatest oxygen deficit, and in turn how much fat you can shed from any given workout. Put simply, if you want to get lean, you need to raise your heart rate and keep it there. You need to follow the right workouts to do this, which is exactly what we provide to you on the Mission Lean app.
The Science Behind Mission Lean Nutrition
When you are training at 80% of your maximal heart rate — in the anaerobic zone— 85% of your consumed calories come from carboyhdrates, 14% come from fat, and 1% come from protein
Therefore, when you pursue lean body fitness, YOU SHOULD MAINLY BE EATING CARBOHYDRATES, NOT PROTEIN! So forget the Keto Diet! This philosophy might be counter to much of what you hear out there in mainstream fitness propaganda, whether it’s the Keto Diet or other recommendations to “make sure you eat enough protein.” When you’re training with a lean body fitness approach, you fuel your workouts with carbs, plain and simple. This is why committing to your fitness approach once and for all is so important, because doing so will dictate everything from what type of workout you do every day, to what you eat, to how you feel and live.
Glycogen stores in the muscles fuel anaerobic workouts — that’s the essence of reaching the anaerobic zone. Keto and Atkins deplete all glycogen stores from the muscles. That is what Ketosis is: The body is burning fat because it no longer has carbohydrates to burn. You cannot do anaerobic workouts— lean body workouts — on a Ketogenic diet
At the beginning of this article we covered the different approaches to fitness: lean body fitness versus weight-lifting fitness. Again, we must revisit the question: if you have 30 minutes to work out on a given day, what are you going to do? Are you going to lift heavy weights, go for a run, or do a circuit of body weight exercises and plyometrics? How are you going to train? The lean body way, or the weight-lifting way? Hopefully the many scientific studies we have covered have convinced you, as they have us, that lean body fitness is the gold standard.
Whichever way you go, you must match your eating to the way you train. You need to consume the correct proportion of carbohydrates to fats and proteins to fuel your workout so you can get the most out of it.
Consistent anaerobic training will optimize your muscles’ ability to store glycogen. You will begin to eat less and less because the muscles become more efficient at absorbing and storing the fuel that they anticipate requiring.
Commit Once and For All to Your Fitness Approach
Commit to your fitness approach. Go all in and never look back. That is what our loyal followers have done and they have reaped the rewards. Your fitness approach is your lifestyle and who you are. It will determine how you live, how you eat, what you look like, what you belive in, and ultimately how both your body and mind function. Let’s do this!