The Key to Fat Burning
Turning your body into a fat burning machine requires a few important factors: strength training, cardio and diet. When it comes to exercise, the combination of lifting weights and performing high-intensity cardio activity is the most effective way to burn fat and build lean muscle.
Strength training increases metabolic rate and improves glucose control. Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) is increased after a strength-training workout. In other words, metabolism is elevated and stays up well after lifting weights. EPOC plays a major role in weight management, since the body continues to expend energy after exercise. During EPOC the body must restore itself, bring new blood back into the body, balance body temperatures and return to normal heart rate. This process causes the body to burn more energy well after the workout is over.
Another big advantage of working out with weights is improving glucose metabolism. Strength training boosts the number of proteins that take glucose out of the blood and transport it into the skeletal muscle. This gives the muscles more energy and lowers overall blood-glucose levels. The body’s insulin response will be lowered, which limits a rapid blood sugar spike. In turn, the body will not hold onto fat but maintain lean muscle.
Aerobic activity burns a significant amount of calories, which aids in overall fat loss as long as it’s done properly. While long duration aerobic activity at a moderate pace does burn calories, high intensity interval training (HIIT) is the best “cardio” option if the goal is fat loss. HIIT burns fat while maintaining lean muscles since the body has time to recover. After the short training session, metabolism stays elevated for up to 24 hours.
Obviously, the amount and type of food consumed daily plays a major role.
For the purpose of this article we will just be focusing on exercise, even though a healthy diet is crucial to fat burning. Check out http://www.shape.com/lifestyle/bride/foods-burn-fat for fat burning foods to incorporate into your diet.
The best time to perform cardiovascular exercise is first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.
For a quick and efficient training session, perform 8-10 high intensity intervals on any cardio machine or outdoors.
Warm up: 3 minutes at a moderate pace.
Main set: 30 seconds as fast as possible. Immediately followed by 1:00 at a moderate pace. Repeat the series 8-10 times.
Cool down: 1-2 minutes at a moderate pace.
The strength related exercises should be done at a different time than the cardio to give your body a chance to recover.
The exercises below challenge every muscle in the body, burning a significant amount of calories. The time under tension is short, which will burn fat while maintaining lean muscle. Perform six reps of each exercise three times through. Choose a challenging weight to ensure best results.
Squat to Press:
1. Stand with feet hip-width apart. Hold a set of dumbbells at shoulder height. Bend knees, shift hips back and lower down so thighs come close to parallel with the floor.
2. Explosively drive up through the ball of the big toe extending through your hips. At the same time, extend both arms to straight bringing dumbbells overhead. Keep core engaged and chest up.
Back Lunge to Curl:
1. Stand with feet hip width apart, holding dumbbells by your side. Take a big step straight back. Bend both knees while keeping the torso upright.
2. Come back to standing keeping foot off the ground. While balancing on one foot, curl weights toward your shoulders. Come back to starting position and repeat.
Plank With Row:
1. Come into a straight-arm plank with feet slightly wider than hip width, while holding a set of dumbbells directly under shoulders. Keeping hips level, bend elbow directly toward ceiling and lift dumbbell to chest height. Lower down to starting position and repeat on the other side.
2. Always maintain a neutral spine and a strong core. Nothing should move in the body except your arm that is rowing.
Split Lunge with Straight Arms:
1. Come into a lunge position with front knee directly above ankle and toes facing forward. Hold one dumbbell overhead with completely straight arms. Draw shoulder blades down and back to keep the tension out of uppers traps.
2. Bend both knees and lower down until front thigh is parallel with the floor. Press through the ball of the big toe to return to starting position. Keep weight directly above head and core engaged the entire time.
Side Lunge to Chest Press:
1. Hold one dumbbell at chest height. Take a big step out to the side with your right foot. Make sure both feet are facing directly forward. Bend right knee, shift hips back and lower down.
2. Explosively drive foot off the ground back up to standing. Keep right foot off the floor. While balancing, extend dumbbell directly out from chest. Return to starting position and repeat.