This is a question I get asked very often from women who are trying to lose weight using barre workouts.
It’s somewhat of a loaded question, because it’s very easy to enter into “too much exercise” territory when you start adding extra workouts to the already intense barre workouts you may be doing.
If you are having trouble losing weight even though you are cutting back and exercising intensely several days a week, there may be one of two things going on:
- You are working against yourself by restricting calories and/or exercising too hard, too often, or
- You may have a sluggish thyroid and fatigued adrenals (or other health condition) that is preventing you from losing weight, both of which can also be aggravated by too much intense exercise.
So either way you cut it, you’ve gotta be careful about not doing too much intense exercise.
Don’t get me wrong, intense exercise definitely has its place.
But we have to be careful…especially those of us who have some health issues already. I like what Chris Kresser says about it on his blog:
While short, intense workouts can be great for inducing fat loss, increasing aerobic capacity, and reducing risk for cardiovascular disease, excessively intense exercise can cause a variety of health problems, especially for those dealing with other concurrent stressors such as autoimmune disease, gut dysbiosis, or adrenal fatigue.
Now, here is where you have to know yourself well, and be completely honest with yourself… “excessive” can mean different things to different people.
There’s one thing we all have in common, though: We are all stressed and run down from the demands of life. Because of this, it’s so, so easy to overtrain. You really have to learn to listen to your body.
More is not necessarily better in this case.
Barre exercise is VERY intense, and works extremely well on its own if you let it.
So many times I have heard women say they are adding extra cardio days to their already intense Physique 57 DVD rotation (which is totally insane in my opinion), because Physique 57 will slay you all by itself. No need for extra cardio!
Too much intense exercise also leaves you drained – which translates into reduced strength and ability to really work your muscles to fatigue and then rest them so that you will see the awesome results you want.
Unless your workouts are very low on cardio (such as a few of the Ballet Beautiful DVDs), you can just relax and focus on being consistent with your barre workouts. Nevermind extra cardio.
If you do need to add some cardio or extra fat burning, throw in a brisk 30 minute walk a couple times a week. Walking is great for fat burning, body builders use it all the time to get lean for contests. Its also very therapeutic and great for releasing tension, clearing the mind, and relaxing…something we all need these days!