Aerobic vs anaerobic – cardio is the best way to torch fat but is long aerobic cardio or short high intensity anaerobic cardio better? The experts will tell you that the science supports high intensity training as the best way to maximize calories burned jogging; but if you have more than 10 lbs to lose, it really isn’t.
Aerobic vs., Anaerobic Exercise
If you want to reduce the size of your stomach or get rid of the layer of fat that is hiding your great body, I recommend you focus on aerobic exercise first and then progress into anaerobic exercise to maintain your new look. The aerobic exercise increases your efficiency over longer periods so that you can create the huge calorie deficit you need to torch fat. Don’t get me wrong, I am a big fan of anaerobic HIIT (high intensity interval training), but there is only so much you can do and only so many calories you can burn at a time. When you train aerobically, on the other hand, if you follow the guidelines below, you can burn calories for a longer period of time and net with the huge calorie deficit you need for significant weight loss.
Build your Aerobic Efficiency First to Burn the Most Calories
When you begin a calorie burning phase of exercise, it helps to take a step back and think deeply about your goal (burn a ton of calories). Think about the specific exercise and compare it to the physiological changes and benefits it will give you.
Take running for example, if you train anaerobically you will get speed, you will get strength, but you will also get very tired. Exhausted, you will finish your workout having burned the most calories possible for the short time period you could last.
On the flip side, if you teach your body to run efficiently in an aerobic state you can exercise tirelessly for a much longer time netting a huge calorie deficit. It takes longer but you achieve your goal and have more energy for the rest of your day.
Benefits of Anaerobic Exercise
Anaerobic exercise increases your steady state which means that you can run a greater distance in the same amount of time. This is one of the reasons people love HIIT; you burn more calories per minute and have a high metabolic rate for hours after the exercise. What limits your ability to burn as many calories as you need for impressive fat loss is that physiology limits the amount of time you can keep the effort up. You get tired and can’t keep it up for long.
The Science – Why Anaerobic Exercise Makes You So Tired
When you are exercising anaerobically, your body cannot supply enough oxygen to your muscles and chemical changes are initiated in your body’s metabolism to provide the additional oxygen your muscles need. This cascade of events that occur so that your body can continue anaerobic running is called “oxygen debt”. The problem is that it comes with an accumulation of lactic acid in your blood which gives you tired muscles that will not continue to work. So, your calorie burning is capped. Anaerobic exercise is the most efficient per minute but you are limited to the number of minutes you get.
Benefits of Aerobic Exercise
Your ability to burn fat is controlled by your ability to take oxygen from the air, move it to your muscles and then use it. This is called maximum steady state. If you stay below this limit, your muscles do not experience the oxygen debt explained above and are able to continue indefinitely. The trick is to recognize when you start to feel tired, understand that you are going anaerobic, and slow down. If you do this, your muscles will not tire and you can continue. As long as you stay below your maximum steady state you burn your fat, do not create the lactic acid that tires your muscles, and can continue for a long amount of time.
Start with Aerobic Training and then Phase into Anaerobic Training
Aerobic vs anaerobic? Both have their benefits when it comes to calories burned jogging. I recommend you start with mostly aerobic and then switch to mostly anaerobic to maintain your lean body.
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