BLOG FITNESS, CADIO, STRENGTH
February 22, 2013
Your Fat Burning Furnace
What is fat? It is stored energy. How do we get rid of it? We burn it.
To fuel our bodies we eat food. When we consume more fuel than we need our bodies tuck away the extra into fat cells in case famine strikes. But we need not hold these fat stores forever. We can burn these calories away and turn our muscles into fat burning machines! Follow these 3 simple rules to turn your body into a fat slaying machine:
1. When lifting weights perform full-body and multi-joint movements.
So you understand that the first rule assumes that you are already lifting weights. If you are not lifting weights, stop what you are doing, and make time to lift heavy objects. Your muscles are what burn fat, and the more muscle you have, the more fat you can burn. Moving on... you will not burn many calories by performing bicep curls. Put down the dumbbells and start doing some pull-ups. If a pull-up is not in your repertoire then you can perform rows, lat pulls, or modified pull-ups. Ditch the hamstring curls and bust out some deadlifts. Trade in the chest fly for some pushups. The key is that you are using many muscles and joints in a single movement. This will allow you to recruit more muscles, perform more work, and burn more calories.
For some great exercise and stretching demonstrations check out our YouTube page here.
2. When performing cardio you should change between a steady state and intervals.
Your cardio should not only consist of jogging at a single tempo. You should not swim at a certain pace forever. You need to change it up. Varying your cardio routine will help you keep from getting bored, and can also help you burn more fat. First off, steady state cardio is a must. No matter what your cardio of choice is, performing it at a stead state for an extended period of time will help you burn fat. Steady state cardio is where you choose an intensity and you keep it there for the duration of your workout. When you hold your heart rate between 60-80% of your max, your body will mobilize fat to burn for fuel. However, it takes a few minutes to get this fat furnace burning. Have you ever noticed that the first 5-10 minutes of your exercise feels a little painful and difficult? Then, all of a sudden, you feel this wave of calm pass over you (calm is the only word I can think of for this sensation). Many of us call this our second wind. That feeling is from the fat being mobilized from your stores and getting into your muscles and mitochondria to be burned. That being said, interval training is also a must. When training with intervals your body burns through a lot of sugar. After your workout your body needs to replenish these sugar stores in your muscles. This replenishment requires energy as well. Hence, interval training can help you continue to burn energy (fat) even after you are done working out.
3. Eat clean.
Seriously, no junk food. In the land of weight loss proper eating is king. Cut out the heavily processed foods. Eat your fruits and veggies. Eat your lean proteins. Stay away from the candy, sugar, cakes, donuts, mochas, chips, caesar salads (dressing), fries, etc. You get the point. To make your body a fat burning machine you must keep your calories under control. Too much fuel leads to fat storage, not fat burning.
If you haven’t tried our free health tracker it is a great way to count calories and keep you accountable. Learn more here.
Get to burning, team! And stay strong.