It is a well known fact that the majority of those that exercise do so to burn fat and as such most people seek out the best fat loss workout. The age old debate continues as to which is better, aerobic or anaerobic exercise regime, for fat loss.
First, we need to understand the terms “Aerobic” and “Anaerobic”.
Aerobic means in the presence of oxygen. Any activity performed at a low to moderate intensity for more than 90 seconds tends to be called an aerobic activity. At this level of intensity, oxygen releases energy through metabolism.
The benefits of aerobic activity are
* Increase in Aerobic Cardiovascular Function
* Decrease in Body Fat
The negatives of aerobic activity are
* Decreased Anaerobic Capacity
* Decreased Muscle Mass
* Decreased Strength
* Decreased Power
* Decreased Speed
We have been programmed, by the miriad of Celebrity Personal Trainers on TV and pushing their latest workout dvd, to believe that we burn fat more efficiently while training within our aerobic heart rate zone.
Just take any average Monday evening at your local fitness centre, the gym is packed with people using Treadmills, Exercise Bikes and Elliptical machines. They think they are getting a full workout, and to make matters worse it seems most fitness advisers fail to mention all the negatives of focusing only on aerobic activity alone.
Whilst we are not saying aerobic activities are bad, after all you need a good level of aerobic tolerance for bursts of anaerobic activity, but it is not suitable for long term fitness.
If you are training for a specific sport why would you make a routine to train in just the aerobic zone when most sports, such as Football, Rugby, Boxing, Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), Tennis, Lacrosse, Squash, Basketball, Hockey etc; all have anaerobic activity involved. Your performance will suffer if you do not train at the right intensity and in the correct heart rate zone.
Let's look at Aerobic exercise for fat loss a little closer and where the confusion stems from.
Low Intensity Exercise burns around 50% fat for fuel while High Intensity Exercise burns a lower 40% fat for fuel. At first glance you would think that as Aerobic Exercise burns more fat for fuel than Anaerobic Exercise it is better and more efficient. But, you would be wrong, as working at a higher rate of intensity you actually burn more calories in less time.
For instance you burn 100 calories in 20 minutes of Low Intensity Exercise (50 fat calories), and you burn 160 calories in 10 minutes of High Intensity Exercise (64 fat calories). Hence you would burn more over-all fat with high intensity exercise than with low intensity exercise.
Another advantage of High Intensity Exercise is as you are working at a high rate of intensity this increases your metabolism long after the exercise is completed. Anaerobic exercise is far more demanding on the body, and as such it requires more energy to recover. Hence, more fat is burned in less time and the produces the added advantage of an increased metabolism for hours following the workout.
Anaerobic means in the absence of oxygen. Any activity that is performed at a medium to high intensity for less than 2 minutes is called an anaerobic activity.
The benefits of anaerobic activity are:
* Increased Cardiovascular Function
* Increased Aerobic Capacity
* Increased Muscle Mass
* Improved Strength
* Improved Power
* Improved Speed
* Decrease in Body Fat
The next time you think of a fat loss workout, don’t look exclusively of aerobic activities as anaerobic activities, like resistance training, high intensity interval training and of course Boxing workouts, are far more effective
When people decide to start exercising to lose fat, they normally choose an aerobic activity like jogging, bike riding, rowing etc at a pace where they can maintain the activity for an extended period of time. That's all well and good as in the beginning, they burn fat. The problem starts when the body adapts and becomes more efficient at burning fat for fuel. The result is then you burn less fat then previously when performing the very same activity.
To try and counter this many peole try to increase the duration of the aerobic activity in order to burn more fat. The big problem is the body keeps adjusting until no more fat comes off. This causes frustration , demotivation and worst of all confusion at why you can't seem to shift the final pounds that bother you.
It is important that when seeking a fat loss workout, find one that combines resistance training and build towards medium/high intensity anaerobic cardiovascular interval training (such as Boxing workouts). As this is the only proven combination that burns fat both during your workout and post exercise due to the boost the metabolism gets, literally turning your body into a fat burning machine.
Your fat loss workout should be a combination of both aerobic and anaerobic - Marianne's Boxing workouts are around 60% anaerobic - as it is impossible to work at a strictly anaerobic capacity. You need a workout that uses anaerobic training if you want to see lasting fat loss results.