The trend in the fitness industry has been to focus on caloric expenditure during exercise. As proof, you see trendy little boot camps springing up all over the place. However, if the focus of your exercise is to optimize safety, to promote continued performance, and to lose weight in the long term, an emphasis simply on calorie burn is short sighted. Strength and conditioning (stamina) programs should focus on attaining the highest level of performance for the longest period of time. This requires training of both the muscular and the metabolic systems.
A common mistake that most people make is, emphasizing the work rather than focusing on the form. Yes, form does matter. The better the form, the more efficient you will be. The more efficient you are, the longer you can perform the task. Results from studies show that in order to perform a task with less effort, you have to keep practicing it correctly. Proficiency is important because it reduces the risk of injury. This means you will likely continue with the training for a longer period of time. The downside of proficiency is, it reduces the amount of calories burned. This mens you will have to increase the intensity or the duration. This may seem like a drawback, but in reality it isn’t if you are looking at weight management over the long term.
The ability to keep the weight you lose off depends upon maintaining a healthy exercise program. This is important in weight loss, strength training, and sports performance. Since muscle efficiency is built upon the interplay between the brain and the muscle, visual cues can help you get there faster. Incorporating visual cues is not new, but it does require some pre-planning. For example, you can use floor dots, cones, or some other objects to ensure that you are placing your feet properly. Regardless of your goal, you should take the time to focus on your form and technique. The proper form is critical for injury reduction and overall conditioning. You may want to burn calories fast, but as the tortoise always said, “slow and steady wins the race”.