James

Written by James

Effective Exercise for Fat Loss

Effective Exercise for Fat Loss

When many people start a new exercise program with the aim of weight loss, it is important they are specific about regarding the type of results they are looking for. Most of the time instead of weight loss most of us are looking to lose fat. Selecting the correct type of exercise is key to maximising fat loss. There are many factors that determine what is appropriate, this is one reason why we perform our assessment prior to beginning a weight loss program.

 

Calories Vs Metabolism


Too often exercise and nutrition are over generalised to calories eaten minus calories burnt. Both food and exercise have a much greater effect upon our body than just a simple sum. With regards to exercise, some workouts may require a lot of energy to complete but do little in the way of fat loss where as some short workouts are much more effective.

The key to determining what is the most effective for fat loss is to work out how “metabolic” an exercise is. Our metabolic rate is the rate at which we use energy at rest. Exercises that raise our metabolic rate can lead to greater energy use over longer periods of time rather than just one long workout.

 

What Makes an Exercise More Metabolic?

After we exercise our body often has an “Oxygen Debt”. This is a period of time when our bodies are still recovering from exercise and our consumption of oxygen is still elevated. During this period we use energy to try and get our bodies back to a resting state, we therefore have an increased metabolic rate.


Some forms of exercise are better than others at creating this debt. Exercise programs designed to maximise this debt have be shown to result in greater fat loss. The exercise hierarchy is ranked from:most metabolic exercise (large oxygen debt) to least metabolic. However there are other factors to take in to consideration when you chose what type of exercise to perform.

 

What is the Exercise Hierarchy?

The exercise hierarchy is a list of types of exercise in order of most effective for fat loss. The lower down the list we go, the lesser the gains for fat loss:

1. Metabolic Resistance
Training
Promotes lean body mass.
Increases metabolism for up to 38hrs post workout.
2. High Intensity Anaerobic Interval Training
Increases metabolism for up to 38hrs post workout.
3. High Intensity Aerobic Interval Training
Increases lactate threshold / tolerance to high intensity exercise.
4. Steady State, High Intensity Aerobic Exercise
Increases lactate threshold / tolerance to high intensity exercise.

5. Steady state, low intensity aerobic exercise

Builds a base of aerobic fitness.
Does not promote a metabolic effect once the workout has stopped.Suitable for the beginner.

 

1. Metabolic Resistance Training


Metabolic resistance training is a specifically designed weight training program that maximises the creation of an oxygen debt. The exercises involved need to be compound (involve multiple joints) as these require much more effort and therefore energy.

For example:

Exercise Reps Sets
Pull-Up 10-12 4
Split Squat 10-12 4
Heave Press 10-12 4
Dead Lift 10-12 4
Press-Up 10-12 4
Rest :90

Pros

Elevated metabolism for up to 38 hours.

Improved hormonal balance, release the right hormones for fat loss and muscle preservation.

Improved VO2 Max. (as measure of aerobic fitness).

Cons

Requires a good base level for fitness and ability, this is not suitable for those new to resistance training.

 

2. High Intensity Anaerobic Interval Training

High Intensity Anaerobic Interval Training is a method that that uses a regular cardiovascular exercise such as running, rowing or skipping and incorporates bouts of very high intensity with periods of lower intensity work.

For example:

Exercise Reps
Rowing 10 of 20s fast as possible10s slow

The workouts are short in comparison to traditional cardiovascular training but are very effective at increasing metabolism.

Pros

Elevated metabolism for up to 38 hours.

Improved hormonal balance, release the right hormones for fat loss and muscle preservation.

Improved VO2 Max. (as measure of aerobic fitness).

Cons

Requires a good base level for fitness and ability.

 

3. High Intensity Aerobic Interval Training

 


High Intensity Aerobic Training is often referred to as H.I.I.T. or High Intensity Interval Training. The plan is similar to the anaerobic version in that specific work to rest ratios are prescribed. However the work is longer and therefore the rest is greater, this results in a lower intensity and lower metabolic increase.

For example:

Exercise Reps
Fast Jog / Walk 10 of 30s fast jog60s slow walk

 

Pros

Elevated metabolism.

Improved tolerance toward higher intensity exercise.

Suitable for most people with good exercise selection.

 

4. Steady State High Intensity Aerobic Exercise


Probably one of the most common methods of fat loss used, but unfortunately one of the least effective. Performing cardiovascular training at a high intensity for long periods of time maybe beneficial for improving your aerobic fitness but it does little in raising your metabolism. In fact long bouts of high intensity aerobic exercise cause your body to enter a catabolic state where the hormones released by training start to break down both fat and
muscle. The result is weight loss instead of fat loss and a long term reduction in metabolism. This might be useful for those who are overweight and unable to perform any form of higher level training.

 

Pros

Improved tolerance toward higher intensity exercise.

Cons

Metabolism only raised for a short period of time.

Long duration exercise at this level can reduce both fat mass and muscle mass which leads to a lower metabolism overall.

 

5. Steady State Low Intensity Aerobic Exercise


Low Intensity Aerobic Exercise, such as a long distance walk, has minimal impact on raising metabolism but it does have its uses. Due to the low intensity it can be used in addition to a other methods in a metabolic training program. For instance you might perform a metabolic workout in the morning and then perform some steady state aerobic work in the evening such as taking the dog for a walk. This is a protocol we use during our “Fat Loss War” program to great effect. We can exercise more frequently but without putting too much stress on the body.

 

Pros

Can be used in addition to a metabolic program without adding too much stress to the body.

Serves as a starting point for those who are unfit or very overweight.

Cons

Minimal impact on raising metabolism.

 

Key Points

 

The exercise hierarchy allows us to:

Piece together an appropriate workout routine that will maximise our fat loss whilst ensuring that it is within our capabilities.

Progress to more effective routines when we have the ability.

Achieve results quickly due to a scientific and methodical approach. No more gimmick fat loss exercises!