The best way to exercise will depend on whether you want fat burning, fitness or muscle toning. The way we choose to exercise determines the results and which fuel the working cells use. For example, more aggressive, high intensity exercise will result in the use of carbohydrates as the main source of energy, and will even stress the muscles enough to cause the toning or building up of muscle. Gentler, low intensity exercise means the cells can best use the slow-burning fuel: fat!
Here’s are the best types of exercise to burn fat and tone muscle:
Resistance training is the classic weightlifting, using heavy weights at a decent volume (enough sets and reps) to build muscle.
Endurance — Endurance training (lots of reps, very little weight) is good for toning muscle, and it can lead to effective fat burning. However, if you have A LOT of weight to lose, it’s not your best option.
Power — Power training (VERY heavy weights, very few reps) is good for building muscle mass. In your case, it’s not your best option, as it leads to muscle and weight gain, when what you want is toning and fat loss.
Strength — Strength and stamina training (heavy weight, not too many reps) helps to increase your muscular strength, but it will also be an effective fat-burning and muscle-toning option. This type of weightlifting is ideal for those who have a lot of fat to lose.
High Intensity Interval Training
High Intensity Interval Training (or HIIT) is an excellent way to burn a lot of calories in a very short amount of time.
With HIIT, you mix periods of VERY high intensity (sprinting, cycling at top speed, etc.) with periods of low intensity (walking, jogging, slow cycling). The high intensity periods cause a spike in your energy-burning, as you are pushing your body to near Max HR and maximum intensity. This means that you burn A LOT of calories during the periods of high intensity.
But those periods cannot be sustained for a long time, which is where the low intensity periods come in. You have to give your body a chance to recover before doing another period of high intensity training.
This “high and low” can cause very effective fat burning. You use up the glucose in your bloodstream and liver very quickly, as the high intensity periods push both your cardiovascular system and your muscles to their limit. This forces your body to activate fat cells, which are burned during the low intensity periods. With HIIT, you can do 15 to 20 minutes of workout, and burn more calories than you would during a 45-minute jog.
Best of all, HIIT works your muscles at the same time as it pushes your cardiovascular system. It’s a two-for-one workout that works!
Bodyweight/Functional Strength Training
This type of training focuses on using your own bodyweight, rather than using weights or machines. You develop the strength needed to push, pull, squat, and lift your weight. Basically, it develops the type of strength you need to engage in your activities of daily life.
It’s highly effective for both fat burning and muscle toning, as it works with your own weight. You can develop more mobility, flexibility, strength, and endurance thanks to this type of workout!
Time may also come into the equation, the best way to exercise for effective fat burning is at a low intensity for at least 30 minutes. However, for increased fitness it requires a moderate level of effort but performed for 15 minutes.
As can be seen there are different ways to exercise in order to gain various benefits. The obvious and best way to gain all exercise benefits will be to include various different ways of exercising on alternate days. A routine that challenges the body in all areas of physical fitness is the best way to gain faster progress because the human body always finds a way to adapt to the stress of repeatedworkouts!