When it comes to training in the gym, you can use both aerobic and anaerobic exercise to ignite your fat burning furnace. A combination of both is the most effective way to really help burn that body fat and to help you get leaner!
✓ Anaerobic exercise is short and high intensity; it is not dependant on breathing in oxygen continuously; instead, anaerobic exercises use energy which is generated in your muscles to complete an exercise, such as weightlifting.
✓ Aerobic exercise is the opposite of this; cardiovascular activities are aerobic and therefore require a consistent supply of oxygen in order to generate energy. However, aerobic exercise can be both high and low intensity and popular examples of these for fat burning at HIIT and LISS.
The intensity of your training sessions directly correlates with how much fat you’ll burn and how much you’ll sweat. For example, decreasing rest between your sets while weightlifting will increase the intensity by forcing your body to lift the weight and perform anaerobic exercise frequently.
Therefore, minimising your rest between sets to under 90 seconds while weightlifting is a fantastic way to increase the intensity and make your body work harder to burn that body fat!
>> Drop sets
An extremely popular method of weight training is to incorporate drop sets; this is when you perform a set on your selected weight for your previously determined amount of repetitions, then reduce the weight and continue the working set to failure with the lighter weight without any rest. It’s a fantastic way to pump oxygenated blood into the working muscles and amp up your fat burn!
For example: If you usually perform 4 sets of bicep curls with 15kg dumbbells, after you’ve finished your last repetition on your 4th set, put your 15kg weights down and pick up some lighter weights (EG 10kg) and continue the exercise until you cannot perform another repetition.
>> Super sets
One other very popular technique in order to burn extra fat and make the body work harder is to incorporate super sets. This is when you perform an exercise and then change to another exercise immediately after; usually antagonist muscles are used for this such as biceps and triceps.
For example: If you were using a barbell to perform standing bicep curls, you may complete your set and then super-set the exercise with dips for your triceps, by using a bench and your bodyweight to conveniently train the antagonist muscle.
This method targets multiple groups of muscles and is most effective when used with antagonist muscles because the secondary muscle trained by the super-set will be fresh and un-phased by the first part of the super set, meaning that the muscle is full of strength and you are able to continue making your body exercise.
When doing super-sets your body will require more oxygen than regular sets, as the extra exercise you are performing requires a greater amount of oxygen than ordinary exercises as your time under tension will be increased due to performing two exercises back-to-back.
High Intensity Interval Training is a training technique which requires a sustained level of high intensity through short bursts of sprinting (or equivalent dependant on the choice of exercise), followed by a short recovery period which is repeated usually over 10 to 20 minutes. Short bursts of sprinting typically last under 90 seconds and rest periods vary from 20 seconds to 2 minutes depending on your level of fitness.
Using HIIT allows you to keep your heart rate high throughout the duration of your training and helps to preserve muscle while burning fat because the short bursts of high intensity sprinting require numerous muscle fibres to be activated.
For example: Begin by sprinting for 30 seconds and then lower your pace to either a steady jog or a walk for 60 seconds or until you feel capable of performing your sprint again. Repeat the process for the duration of the workout.
Low Intensity Steady State cardio is another alternative which requires less intensity, however it is typically performed for a longer duration in order to burn an effective amount of calories. When performing LISS it is popular for people to use a treadmill and walk on an incline while listening to either music, a podcast or watching a video; you should be able to talk without losing your breath while performing LISS.
However, although fat loss is evident, unlike HIIT, LISS is not well known for maintaining muscle mass due to its low intensity nature which requires less muscle fibres to be activated.
For example: Set up your treadmill to start a workout at a low to moderate pace which you can sustain for 45 minutes; choose an appropriate degree of incline and continue to walk or lightly jog for the duration of the workout. TIP: listen to music/a podcast or watch a video to help time pass.
Try out these different types of training to see what works best for you!