Burn Fat Training!!
We all want to burn more fat for weight loss, body shaping, health and wellbeing or for sporting purposes. Trim that butt, waste that cellulite, smooth those love handles, bust that belly; it’s all part of the trim and slim exercise and diet activity many of us indulge in.
The Basics of Fat Burning
Energy in, energy out. The body normally burns a mix of carbohydrate, as glucose, and fat for fuel.
How much of either depends on your physical activity and if, or what you have eaten recently. When you use more energy than you take in from food and drink, the body burns stored fat and carbohydrates, and then even protein, to fuel your everyday activities even if you are not exercising
That’s what happens when people starve of course; the body starts to eat itself. Depending on your family history — your genetics — and the way you eat and exercise to create this energy deficit, your body may decide to get conservative and drop your metabolic rate to try to hold onto body weight. Some of us seem to have inherited this tendency more than others, the origins of which may be in the early periods of human evolution where ‘feast or famine’ was more or less the norm.
Fat and glucose are the body’s two main energy sources. Fat you know well, glucose comes mainly from carbohydrate foods like rice and bread and potatoes and protein is supplied mainly by meat and beans and dairy products. The amino acid building blocks of protein foods can be converted to glucose in emergencies. Your body always burns a mix of fat and glucose except at very high intensities, and the ratio of the fat and glucose in ‘the burn’ varies with intensity and time of exercise.
When you exercise, your body’s first source of energy is carbohydrates (blood sugar). All carbohydrates (except fiber), whether they are in the form of potatoes (complex carbohydrates) or a candy (simple carbohydrates), turn into glucose (blood sugar) once they enter the bloodstream. The body doesn’t discriminate - - sugar is sugar.
Insulin, (which controls where blood sugar is stored) is a hormone whose task is to convert glucose to glycogen (the stored form of sugar), which is stored in the liver and muscles. At a later time, the glycogen can be converted back to glucose, and used as energy.
800 calories of glycogen is the maximum amount the body stores for later use. That’s the max! Most of us aren’t carbo-loaded, so we have far fewer stored. As the body begins to run low on this first source of energy it turns to its second.
Your body’s second source of energy is stored fat. Fat is the stored calories we are trying to burn. For the first twenty minutes of exercise you burn about 80 percent carbohydrates and about 20 percent fat. Remember, when the body needs energy it turns to its most readily available source (carbs). When you stop exercising at this point you have barely burned any stored fat. From 20 minutes until 40 minutes of aerobic exercise your body is burning off that first source of energy (carbs) and starts drawing from your second source (fat) and your percentages change to 50 percent carbohydrates and 50 percent fat.
Types of workout
This circuit-style routine moves you quickly through a series of six high-intensity intervals followed by moves that combine upper and lower body action. The workout gets your heart rate up—so don’t be surprised if you break a sweat and feel more exhilarated than usual when you’re finished!
For maximum fat-burning, in addition to performing the routine below, add extra cardio on other days of the week (run, power walk, cycle, skate, swim, or do cardio gym machines.) If you are new to an exercise or activity, listen to your body’s signals and lower the intensity or duration of your workout accordingly. By coupling powerful strength moves with cardio bursts and regular physical activity, you can shed fat in as few as six weeks.
- Choose a weight that is heavy enough to challenge your target muscles, but not so heavy that your joints feel strained. Since you will be moving quickly through the moves, choose a slightly lighter weight than usual. Start with dumbbells that are at least 3-5 pounds and gradually work up to using six to 15 pounds, depending on the exercise.
- Do not use weights during the cardio bursts. If needed, modify the high-impact movements, such as the jacks, and make them lower impact by performing the same movement without jumping. Move for one minute (or less if you are just starting) and try not to pause between exercises. Of course, if you feel tired or out of breath, slow down.
- Start by performing one complete circuit: Do each cardio burst, followed by a strength move, then move on to the next set. Do each cardio burst for one minute, and perform 15 repetitions of each exercise,. Move quickly when performing each strength move, but do not swing the weights. If you can swing them, your weight is too light. Once you’ve cycled through all six exercises, repeat the circuit for a total of two to four cycles.
- Do this workout two to three times a week with a rest day in between.
- Modify this workout to match your fitness level. Follow the recommended moves, or adapt them as needed by clicking on a similar exercise that is easier or more challenging.
It´s uses two sources of energy (carbohydrates and fat) and burns the maximum amount of calories in the shortest amount of time. You are exercising aerobically when your heart and lungs are able to supply enough oxygen to the working muscles to continue constant contractions and a constant oxygen uptake for 20 minutes or longer.
The simple formula for finding your aerobic zone is to take your age, subtract that from the maximum heart rate of a human being (220), then take 70 to 85 percent of that total. We will use a 40-year-old as an example.
How to find your aerobic zone
Age = 40
220 – 40 = 180
180 x .70 = 126
180 x .85 = 153
*This person’s aerobic zone is 126 – 153 beats per minute*
In this aerobic zone you can expect to burn around 200 calories per 20 minutes. There are two things that should become quite clear now. One, the longer you stay in your aerobic zone the more calories you will burn. Two, the longer you stay in this zone the more efficient you become at burning away that “hard to get to” stored fat.
Aerobic zone calories burned
Time - Calories
20 - 200
40 - 400
60 – 600
The question may come to you, “How do I know when I am in my aerobic zone?” There are two ways. One, check your pulse. Count your pulse for ten seconds multiply it by six and that will give you your heartbeats per minute.
(22 beats in 10 seconds) x 6 = 132
A less technical way to find your aerobic zone is to monitor your breathing. If you are exercising and you can hold a normal conversation you are not aerobic. If you can hold a conversation but occasionally you have to take a deep breath, you are aerobic. If you cannot hold a conversation at all because your breathing is too heavy, you have passed out of your aerobic zone and have entered your anaerobic zone.
What is your anaerobic zone? In our example of a 40-year-old woman it is when her heart rate gets above 153 beats per minute. At this point she is no longer burning fat and carbs at efficient percentages. The body begins to burn carbs exclusively. No fat is being burned. The by-product of burning carbohydrates is called lactic acid. The amount of lactic acid being produced by the working muscle is too much for your heart and lungs wash out with freshly oxygenated blood. At this point you begin to feel an acute burning in the muscles you are exercising. This will make you stop.
All aerobic exercise will have some effect on building muscle, but as long as you don’t overdo it, you shouldn’t worry about losing muscle. It’s a fact that muscle proteins are broken down and used for energy during aerobic exercise. But you are constantly breaking down and re-building muscle tissue anyway. This process is called “protein turnover” and it’s a daily fact of life. Your goal is to tip the scales slightly in favor of increasing the anabolic side and reducing the catabolic side just enough so you stay anabolic and you gain or at least maintain muscle.
It`a increasingly recommended as a fat-busting tool because some experts say extra muscle burns more energy than body fat at rest, so if you develop more muscle and have a higher muscle to fat ratio than before, you must burn extra energy and more stored fat as a result. This is true and has been shown in metabolic studies. However, the differences are not that dramatic; perhaps less than a few tens of calories per day for each pound of muscle increased, for most people.
Does that mean you shouldn’t worry about weight training? Certainly not, because weight training has many other benefits for health and performance, not the least of which is extra muscle. It’s just that this advantage has been somewhat overstated and we need to get this fat burning thing right in order to develop the best weight loss and performance programs.
Lifting weights can easily move us into the high intensity exercise zone above the 75 percent effort required to get some afterburn, but it’s only for short bursts. This is not consistent, steady-state effort and does not generally burn as much energy as a good run on the treadmill, cycle or row machine at moderate pace.
Ironically, weight training has a much higher magnitude of EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) than aerobic training. Studies have shown increases in metabolic rate of as much as 4-7% over a 24-hour period from resistance training. Yes - that means body building does burn fat - albeit through an indirect mechanism. For someone with an expenditure of 2500 calories per day, that could add up to 100 - 175 extra calories burned after your weight training workout is over. The lesson is simple: Anyone interested in losing body fat who is not lifting weights should first take up a regimen of bodybuilding, then - and only then - start thinking about the morning cardio!
But let’s be honest, we all need aerobic or cardio training as well. It has its own set of important functional benefits including general fitness, elastic arteries, increased heart and lung function and lower blood pressure to name a few benefits.
Training in the morning!!
When you wake up in the morning after an overnight 8-12 hour fast, your body’s stores of glycogen are somewhat depleted. Doing cardio in this state causes your body to mobilize more fat because of the unavailability of glycogen.
- Eating causes a release of insulin. Insulin interferes with the mobilization of body fat. Less insulin is present in the morning; therefore, more body fat is burned when cardio is done in the morning.
- There is less carbohydrate (glucose) “floating around” in the bloodstream when you wake up after an overnight fast. With less glucose available, you will burn more fat.
- If you eat immediately before a workout, you have to burn off what you just ate first before tapping into stored body fat (and insulin is elevated after a meal.)
- When you do cardio in the morning, your metabolism stays elevated for a period of time after the workout is over. If you do cardio in the evening, you burn calories during the session so you definitely benefit from it, but you fail to take advantage of the “afterburn” effect because your metabolic rate drops dramatically as soon as you go to sleep.
Losing muscle probably has more to do with inadequate nutrition than with excessive aerobics. Provide yourself with the proper nutritional support for the rest of the day, including adequate meal frequency, protein, carbohydrates and total calories, and it’s not as likely that there will be a net loss of muscle tissue over each 24-hour period.