There are a lot of misconceptions about aerobic training being the only way one can burn fat. It has been proven that anaerobic training is highly effective in the fat burning process.
Your body will burn a mix of carbohydrates, glucose, and fat. What it burns is dependent on how you exercise and what you eat. Fat and glucose are the body’s main pipeline for energy source. Your body always burns a mix of fat and glucose except while at very high intensity. Also, the ratio of the fat and glucose that is burned will vary with intensity and the time of exercise.
The fat burning zone that has become a household term, is really a myth. The body burns fat at a greater percentage when exercise is at a slow pace, or about 90 minutes into exercise. Although you burn more fat going slow, you burn a percentage of fat at much faster intensities. The key is how much energy is expended in total. The ultimate fat burning measure then becomes how much energy is expended.
Intense exercise, which results in anaerobic training, can increase one’s metabolic rate for hours after working out. Aerobic exercise burns fat during exercise, but has little effect after completion of the workout. Interval training has become very popular recently because it is well known that this will have a much greater impact on fat burning that regular cardiovascular activities do. EPOC (excessive post exercise oxygen consumption) occurs in the body after intense exercise drains muscles of their energy source. Your body has no other alternative but to draw from your fat reserves to replenish itself and this can take up to 48 hours to happen. Also, your body’s ability over time to convert energy directly into the muscle increases. The muscles ability to store energy will increase so that the demand for fat release will go up and the body will divert new energy into the muscles instead of your fat stores.
Weight lifting has a profound impact on fat burning. One pound of muscle can burn thirty to fifty pounds a day, versus one pound of fat, which burns three calories a day. Weight lifting is predominately anaerobic. Anaerobic exercise can increase metabolism for hours after exercising is complete. Weight training uses carbohydrates as its primary fuel source, where cardiovascular exercise utilizes fat. However, lifting weights, increases your lean body mass and aerobic training does not. People on low calorie diets and strictly aerobic training, can make them lose muscle and actually make them fat. Losing lean body mass will slow down your metabolism and makes it easier to gain fat. Increasing lean body mass will increase your metabolism and the faster your metabolism, you will burn more fat all day long, even while sleeping. This is because it takes more calories to sustain muscle than it does fat. This explains why bodybuilders have high muscle to fat ratios and can sustain a lean body without doing aerobic exercise.
In order to burn body fat, you have to not only make sure your fitness is on spot, but you also need to make sure your nutrition is clean. This will ensure success because no matter how much you workout, if your nutrition is shoddy, you will not get the results you desire. The three key ingredients in burning fat effectively are aerobic, nutrition, and weight lifting. All three are essential to be successful.
Aerobic training aides in increasing endurance and cardiovascular health. If you were to just focus on the weight training, your body would not be as healthy because all proponents need to be in the equation.
By providing your body with adequate and sound nutrition, you are setting yourself up for an efficient fat burning machine. When the body has the right fuel that it needs, it can increase metabolism and thereby, increase fat burning. When you eat every 2-3 hours, your metabolism is increasing as it triggers the thermogenic effect of the nutrition you are feeding your body with.
Too much steady state cardio will increase cortisol levels, which is catabolic and therefore destroys muscle tissue. This is why a bodybuilder will not be doing aerobic workouts as it is counterproductive. Muscles are the most metabolically active tissue and by increasing the amount of muscle tissue, you will burn more calories. If you are to do cardio, change the exercises frequently to maximize fat loss.