The fitness industry can be a very confusing place. With a variety of ways to work out, the beginner can often be left wondering which workout method is best for them. New methods and ideas are certainly welcomed, especially if so many people have lifestyle constraints, differences in ability or have just exhausted all other ideas and need a refocus.
This blog is aimed to simplify the thought process so that one can apply a basic understanding when being introduced to alternative training methods within the gym.
Addressing the title in question isn’t as straight forward as it looks, so I will start by summarising the most popular work out methods in the gym.
Short for Cardiovascular training - this can come in many forms but is most commonly linked to aerobic respiration (utilising oxygen throughout the workout); an example is continuous training where one would for example cross train, jog or cycle at a steady pace for a lengthy period of time. Continuous training is great for burning off that excess fat; especially when maintaining your heart rate between 55% and 65% of its maximum for a minimum of 40mins. The fat burning process takes place during the workout which is why a lengthy session is required. NB to measure your maximum heart rate subtract your age from 220.
This can come in many forms, as there are a variety of ways one can manipulate weight, sets, repetitions and rest periods; all these things can have an effect on how our body uses its energy. Resistance training is predominantly an anaerobic workout (without oxygen) and can be used to improve our body tone, increase muscle mass or for an athlete to improve performance. It is no secret that for many of us during our resistance training sessions won’t burn fat as effectively during a workout compared to continuous training. This can change if performing a hi repetition low weight session where the intensity is high and rest minimal. Don’t rule out this training method though; by having increased muscle mass our basal metabolic rate (metabolism) will be higher in the long term, this means that your body burns more energy, even while you are resting or inactive, making it easier to keep that fat away.
High intensity interval training has become common place in gyms around the country and is a very tough workout; combining both aerobic and anaerobic energy systems. It is based around completing an exercise for a short period of time, followed by a rest period, then straight onto another exercise followed by a rest, and so on and so forth. This is very similar to a circuit session, but doesn’t necessarily fit the template of an actual circuit. This workout is great in improving fitness but can be very strenuous on the body, therefore it may not be for everyone. Research suggests the fat burning within these workouts takes place after the workout has ended due to the energy systems that have been used giving the body’s metabolism a booster post workout.
Looking at these 3 most common methods, it is evident that all forms of workout can be effective in burning off the fat in their own ways. Fundamentally you have the power to choose the method that fits into your goals, your schedule and most importantly your enjoyment so that health and fitness can be maintained. The more physical activity you do in a week, the more fat you are most likely to burn, but this needs to be performed alongside a healthy balanced diet that is portion controlled. Results will happen!