The Three Worst Exercise Mistakes

The following is a guest blog post by Dr. Jade Teta, one of my top go-to guys for exercise.

I am going to tell you three very real stories from my clinical experience.

Story 1:  The Marathoner

She entered one of those marathon running training programs.  The reason?  She wanted to lose weight.  She ran almost every day for 12 weeks slowly adding time to her runs until she was doing 60 to 90 minute runs 6 days per week.

How did it work?  She gained about 6 pounds.

Story 2:  The Crossfitter.

She signed up for a program called Crossfit hoping she would lose weight and tone up.  She did intense workouts 5 days a week.  These included weight lifting exercises, cardio based calisthenics, and other exercise based skills.  She did it for a year before coming to me. Her complaint. She did not lose a single pound despite exercising more than she ever had her entire life.

Story 2:  The Gym Rat

He was in the gym every single day.  He would do a Body Pump class three times per week. He did 30 minutes of cardio 3 times per week.  He played tennis and did yoga on the weekends.  Despite all this work he said he was 5 pounds heavier and 2% greater body fat 5 years after beginning this regime.

The 3 big exercise mistakes.
It took me many years to figure out what so many people in the same situation as those above were doing wrong.  And it was a hard won lesson. A lesson I refused to believe until I saw it play out again and again with individual after individual.

What made it so hard to learn this lesson is that it was not a universal phenomenon. There were certainly many others who did the same types of workout regimes who seemed to get results from them.  Granted, most of these people were guys in their teens, twenties and thirties.

So what were these people doing wrong. Three things actually:
• Exercising too long
• Exercising too hard
• Exercising too frequently

Stress can keep you fat and make you fat
Exercising is a type of stress.  When just the right amount is done it is a positive stress.  Something physiologists call “eustress.”  This type of stress causes favorable adaptations in the body and usually leads to a healthier, more fit, leaner and functional body.

Exercise that is overdone in any of the three ways above is a negative stress. And we now know that this type of stress can keep you fat or make you fat.  And I want to explain exactly why so you can stop making this same mistake.

Stress can keep you fat or make you fat for 3 reasons:

• It makes you hungry
• It makes you crave
• It turns on your fat storing physiology

When you exercise for too long, too hard or too often you go past the tipping point of exercise benefits and several biochemical changes occur that make it difficult for you to lose fat.

Remember, to lose weight you need two things: 1) a calorie deficit and 2) hormonal balance.

If you achieve a calorie deficit but your hormonal system is not balanced you will be far more likely to lose muscle but not fat.  But that is unlikely to happen because hormonal imbalance is almost always associated with cravings for and consumption of highly palatable calorie dense foods.

When stress hormones rise as a result of exercise that is too long, too hard or too frequent hunger hormones like ghrelin and leptin change in a way that make you hungry all the time.

This same stress physiology causes the motivation centers in the brain (areas of the brain that keep you goal focused and on task) to shut down. At the same time, they turn on the reward centers of the brain.  These are the areas of the brain that make you seek out short-term pleasure.  In other words, if there is a Cheesecake factory next to your gym, exercise that is too long, too intense and too frequent makes you more likely to hit the cake bar than the weight room.

The final nail in the coffin comes from a hormone called neuropeptide Y or just NPY.  Under normal short-term stress NPY is suppressed because cortisol is controlled. But under chronic stress your nervous system releases more NPY. My other name for NPY is the NEW PUFFY YOU hormone………because it causes immature fat cells to grow into full-grown puffy fat cells.

This is why stress, any type of stress and even stress of too much exercise, can make you fat or at least keep you that way.

The Fix
So how do you fix this issue?  Well, the exercise junky in you is not going to like this.  I have found that many people wear the amount of exercise they do like a badge of honor. But nothing could be sillier. It is just like those people you hear bragging about not needing but 4 hours of sleep………and then when they walk away you are saying to yourself, “No wonder they look 10 years older than they actually are!”

Why the hell would you want to keep doing all that exercise if you are not getting results from it?

The fix is to cut back on the duration, intensity and frequency of your exercise. In each of the above cases, after much convincing and cajoling, I moved each person to a workout program that was no more than 3 to 4 days per week (plus plenty of walking and relaxation activities) and they ALL started losing weight.  EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM!!

I have rarely seen this fail. It is so successful in fact I barely have to do an intake on these people any more. And yes, it even happens with my own Metabolic Effect workout.  I remember one client looking at me in shock when I told them you are not going to get great results from doing Metabolic Effect workouts 6 days a week.  They almost fell out of their chair.

If you want results from exercise you need to master the art of exercise efficiency, doing the amount to get the result you want and no more.

Enter Metabolic Aftershock
When I put together the Metabolic Aftershock program many people asked me what type of program it was. I told them it is a workout program, but at its core it is really a metabolic restoration program.

What I meant by that is that it is a workout and diet program designed to get the exercising tipping point just right.  You train hard a few times per week.  You walk.  You eat the right things at the right times and you turn negative exercise stress into positive eustress fat burning exercise.

That is how it works…one 9-week cycle of this program has already taken hundreds of people who were stuck in a weight loss plateau, or heading in the wrong direction, and started stripping the fat off of their bodies.

And the program was specifically designed for the high stress, time crunched, convenience minded person.  The workout uses only body weight, takes only 15 minutes and is only done 3 times per week. It can be done by all fitness levels and physical abilities. And it works like you would not believe.

I’d love for you to try it.  And just to give you a little extra incentive, the program comes with a 100% money back guarantee.  If you’re not satisfied just return it within 30 days to get your money back…

To find out more about my program, Metabolic Aftershock, click here




  1. Danie

    In what formats are the videos of dr. Jade Teta available. Will I be able to view them on my iPad?

  2. Michelle Mosher

    Hi Danie, yes you can view the video on your ipad. The video is uploaded to youtube. Enjoy!