Ask ten people what type of exercise they should be doing to burn fat and fire up their metabolism and they’ll all probably tell you the same thing. They’ll tell you that you need to do 30-40 minutes of moderately-paced aerobic exercise on a treadmill, elliptical machine, stair climber, etc. for 3-5 times per week.
They’ll probably also tell you that more is better…4 times per week would be better than 3, and 5 times per week would be even better.
People will tell you this because that’s been and continues to be the mainstream recommendation for fat burning by many fitness professionals. Get in a certain target heart rate and stay at that heart rate for 30 minutes or so, several times per week. I am here to tell you there is a better way.
Sure, you’ll burn some calories while you’re running to nowhere on a treadmill, but you won’t make a complete physique transformation with this type of exercise alone.
In fact, this type of exercise can actually be counterproductive to burning fat. Here are just a couple of reasons:
Long duration, lower intensity aerobics calls upon your stored body fat for energy during the sessions. While this may sound good, this can actually cause your body to create more body fat in reserve after the workout is over to have ready for your next workout.
What’s worse, this type of exercise when done frequently as typically suggested, trains your cardiovascular system to be efficient. Again, while this sounds good, your heart and lungs can actually reduce their capacity for work as they are getting more efficient at doing easy work (your long duration, low intensity aerobic workouts), which reduces their ability to handle stress.
This can lead to a host of other problems including higher change of heart attack. You are only working within your current aerobic capacity because you’re never challenging it to go beyond what it’s capable of. And anything that is easy will not yield results even close to what’s challenging for the body to accomplish.
Instead, you should be challenging the body to increase its capacity, so that it is stronger and able to deal with stress more easily. How is this done?
The fastest and most efficient way to rev up your metabolism, burn fat faster, and develop lifelong health and fitness is to add lean muscle to your body through resistance training – period. You want life changing results in the quickest possible time? Get stronger and build some muscle. When you add lean muscle to your body you’ll be literally turning your body into a fat burning machine!
Let’s say that you were eating the amount of calories that allow you to maintain your current bodyweight, but began to add lean muscle to your body through proper resistance training…you’ll need to use some of those calories you’re eating to feed the new muscle, creating a calorie deficit in your body.
In addition, when you stimulate your body with proper resistance training like I teach my students, the repair and growth process will call upon your stored body fat for energy. This calorie deficit combined with the repair and growth process will allow you to burn fat all day long, every day. You’ll even get these fat burning effects when you’re sitting around doing nothing at all.
Also, properly conducted resistance training actually increases your heart and lung’s capacity for work. By placing intense demands on your body, it is forced into being ready for anything you throw at it. This makes you more resistant to cardiovascular health problems that plague most people…even those that exercise with aerobics frequently.
And the beauty is I’ve discovered that you don’t have to spend much time working out to get the fat loss effects, and strength and muscle gains that will create this environment…you can actually get it done with 2 or 3 weekly workouts that last between 20 and 30 minutes, and even less time at an advanced level.
And it’s easy to make this type of exercise part of your life because of its efficiency…and it will help keep you lean and healthy for the rest of it…muscle is the stuff that fat burning furnaces are made of! That I can promise you.