Go ‘Til You Can’t, Rest ‘Til You Can

tekintips_logoPeople often ask me, “How many calories do you think I burn in camp?” I normally estimate a number, but I’m really thinking, “Who cares?” I don’t care how much fat I burn during my workout. My workout is just a small fraction of my entire day. What I do care about is how much fat I burn the rest of the day and the 24-48 hours following the workout. I want to burn fat while I am resting. I want my body to burn fat while I’m making dinner or getting the kids ready for school. I want to burn while I’m training my you all!

If you want your body to burn, you have to exercise efficiently. Playing catch with a friend or a child is NOT exercising. Playing catch is really great, but that is called “being active,” and yes, we should absolutely be active!

Then there are the long, slow cardio sessions like jogging. I would not do that with the objective of burning fat. I think it causes more harm than good. If you enjoy jogging then do it! I Yes, I want you to enjoy life, but don’t do it for the intention of fat loss. These aerobic sessions cause compensatory reactions that increase hunger and cravings which wipes out any benefit from this type of training. That’s why you see so many people who start training for a marathon or a triathlon, thinking that it will help them lose weight, but they actually end up GAINING weight. I’m not saying jogging is going to kill you or make you fat, but it’s probably not going to give you the body you want. Aerobic training is not the most efficient way to achieve the goal, and in most cases, working against you.

Marathon runners actually have the worst metabolisms of anyone in research, and they are often the ones describing themselves as “skinny fat.” Skinny fat is when people look at you and say you look fine, but when you look in the mirror you think, “I look soft.” If you go to the beaches in Florida, nine out of ten people are either skinny fat or blatantly obese. I’m writing from a health perspective, not perspective character judgement. Healthy bodies have tone; Unhealthy bodies don’t.

Very targeted, short, high intensity, hormonal exercise… YES it’s GOOD! It is the metabolic equivalent of putting your hand on a hot stove. It just isn’t comfortable to do, and most people will not be able to do it voluntarily. Years ago, I watched other trainers push their clients. The trainer would hold the client’s hand on that stove for the whole workout. It was miserable for the client. It was hard, and people got frustrated and they did not want to come back to training sessions.


Here’s how I used to train clients (I’m the one in the drivers seat.)
Aren’t you glad you didn’t train with me back in 2004! haha

A few years later, “interval training” came along. Essentially the trainer said, “I’m going to hold your hand on the hot stove for just one minute. Then you can take it off for one minute.” This was a little better. It made people a little more willing to do it.

Now YOU get to decide! “I’m going to touch the hot stove for a split second, but I’m not going to leave my hand there long enough to really get burned.”

When you go ’til you can’t and rest ’til you can, you work as hard as you can until you just can’t. The training will meet you wherever you are in your fitness level. You will be able to get the high intensity effect, and since it is self-limited exercise, whether you are a 23-year-old college soccer player a 75-year-old grandmother, or a 40-year old recreational athlete, you will all get the exact same intensity workout relative to YOU by following the Camp Board at CONDITIONED® by Kelly Tekin.


You are able to rest at different points and all push each other ’til you can’t and then rest ’til you can do it again. This takes the psychological break off of you and it increases compliance. That’s why it’s so fun to train here!

I like to compare the slow jog is like a magnitude 2 earthquake. It might shake the room a little and you may have to sweep up some glass from a couple of broken lights, but not a real big deal. There’s not a lot going on in the body after that run.

Then there’s the magnitude 8 earthquake! There are huge consequences afterwards. There are first responders on the scene right away making sure everyone is alright. Bulldozers are brought in over the next couple of days or even longer to removed debris. In other words, after these “Go ’til you Can’t, Rest ’til you Can” workouts, the body is releasing all kinds of hormones. Things are happening in the body! Your body is working for days after repairing tissue, rebuilding, going into an adaptation phase laying down extra collagen, and increasing mitochondria.

It is hormones, not calories, that drive metabolism. It is true that in order to lose fat, you do need a caloric deficit. But a low-calorie diet does not lead to a balanced and stable metabolism. In fact, it leads to the reverse.

Following the “eat less, exercise more” dogma, which has a long-term success rate of 5%, changes hormonal chemistry in a way that leads to compensatory hunger, unrelenting cravings, and unstable energy. Sometimes it also leads to weight loss, and if you are lucky, you will lose fat as well. But using willpower to fight your natural physiological urges is like playing with a boomerang: The more force you apply, the quicker and harder it flies back at you. When this happens to the metabolism, it means yo-yo weight regain.

Hormones in the body are like the mail man. They are delivering messages for the body to do certain things. After the workout, your body releases Human Growth Hormone (HGH), and testosterone. HGH is the muscle shaping, fat burning, anti-aging hormone. I know that women often think, “Eww I don’t want testosterone.” YES, actually you DO! Testosterone increases your mitochondria. When fat is released during your workout, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it gets burned… but the more mitochondria you have, the more likely that fat is to get oxidized and burned as energy. Also, HGH is better able to shape your muscle when testosterone is present.

Next, you need to measure fat loss. And I don’t mean weight loss. The easiest way to do this (if you don’t have access to someone like me who can do your body composition using a skinfold test or an OMRON) is to measure your weight and your waist. If your weight and waist are dropping, you are losing mostly fat. If your weight goes up and your waist goes down, you are losing almost all fat. If your weight goes down, but the waist goes up or stays the same, you are losing weight, but that weight is not fat. It is water — or worse, muscle.

Don’t exercise and diet; I train and I eat clean. So go hard then rest as long as you need to until you can GO AGAIN! We are all at different levels, and that is great! This is what creates the hormonal soup you need to give you the results you want. Accomplish that, and you have just introduced yourself to hormonal fat loss.