When it comes to losing weight, most people jump on the treadmill to run themselves skinny. They believe they can induce the “fat burning zone.” However, this strategy will not only put a huge oxidative stress load on your body, but it will take a long time to see results. Interval and strength training, however, can burn just as much, if not more, fat than cardio. Why is it that people focus on cardio as they’re primary fat burner? Let’s break it down.
We have two ways to produce energy in our bodies – aerobic metabolism and anaerobic metabolism. Both systems function all the time, but one typically dominates. For example, while resting, your energy needs are mostly met by aerobic metabolism as opposed to sprinting full speed when your energy is produced primarily by anaerobic metabolism.
To understand this further, when you sleep the rate at which you expend energy is low. When the rate of energy expenditure is low a large percentage of your energy comes from fat and a small percentage comes from carbohydrate. Your body always tries to use fat as a fuel source rather than carbohydrate, mainly because we don’t have large stores of carbohydrates in our bodies but we do have large stores of fat.
However, when your rate of energy expenditure is very high e.g. when you sprint 50m as fast as you can, your body gets a very large percentage of it’s energy from carbohydrate and a very small percentage from fat. This is because fat cannot be broken down to produce energy at a very fast rate. Only carbohydrate can keep up with energy demand when high intensity exercise is performed.
The “fat burning zone” is a relatively modest exercise intensity where most of your energy comes from fat metabolism. Remember that as the intensity of exercise increases the proportion of your energy coming from fat falls. So far so good?
Now here is the problem: high intensity exercise produces metabolic and hormonal changes that induce an elevated post exercise metabolic rate and turns your body into a fat burning furnace. If the best way to get lean involved doing long/easy cardiovascular workouts then why do you see so many fat people walking for hours every week on treadmills or sitting on exercise bikes reading the paper?
While cardio burns calories and fat when you’re performing it, strength training has what is known as high EPOC or “Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption.” This is a fancy term for saying how long your metabolism is elevated after exercise.
Studies show that a well-designed strength program can elevate your EPOC or metabolism for up to 38 hours after the workout. In other words, you continue to burn calories long after strength training. Whereas once you stop cardio, the calorie burning stops as well.
So what does all of this mean? If you want to lose body fat, you must integrate strength training into your program design. Without it, your training is flawed. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t participate in cardio; it just means that the cardio is not an effective strategy alone for changing your body.
Ultimate Body Boot Camp provides the strength training necessary to produce EPOC and metabolic changes in your body. Stick with our training program and you’ll change your body.