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10/12/08 11:25 AM
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Kostakio
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Cross-Training For Dummies

Busting the Great Myths of Fat Burning


Adapted From: Cross-Training For Dummies

Your body burns either fat or carbs depending on the intensity of your activity. But when it comes to losing weight, calories are calories. You burn fat even when you're in couch-potato mode. Yet, a lot of misunderstanding prevails.

Get ready to break down some of the myths people have about burning fat:

  • Myth: The body completely shuts off one fuel source when it turns on the other.
    The Truth: What has often been misunderstood by both exercisers and exercise instructors alike is that the body relies on both fat and carbs for energy all the time, albeit in different ratios. In fact, as you sit here reading, you may be burning about 50-60 percent fat and 50-40 percent carbohydrates. You're not using much of either, however, because the amount of calories you need probably amounts to about one or two calories a minute. If you were to get up and start jogging in place, your body would need to supply you with some quick energy to do so, so the metabolism ratio might shift to drawing upon more carbohydrates, say 70 percent, and less fat, say 30 percent. If you were to continue jogging, then, in order to preserve the carbs (which can run out since you have limited stores in the body), your body would gradually shift its metabolism ratio again to say, 60 percent fat and 40 percent carbohydrates. From an energy efficiency point of view, it pays to be fit. The endurance athlete would be able to make the shift sooner, and his fat-burning percentage might be 65-75 percent.
    However, in practical terms this is purely technotalk, and these ratios don't make a big difference when it comes to losing weight and decreasing your body fat. For the most part, athletes are often leaner not because they might rely on slightly more fat for fuel, but because they practice their sport two to three, or more, hours a day — this burns a lot of calories. If you had the time, energy, and fitness level to work out three hours a day, being overweight would probably not be an issue. To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than your body consumes and uses everyday. Exercise is one main way to burn a lot of calories. But when it comes to weight loss, what matters is how many calories you burn, not so much whether they are fat or carbohydrate calories.
10/12/08 11:26 AM
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Kostakio
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  • Myth: Exercise done at a low intensity, such as walking, is better at fat burning than other high-intensity activities, like running or cardio activities where you push yourself very hard.
    The Truth: In a strict scientific sense, these claims are true because working at a lower intensity requires less quick energy and a higher percentage of fat is burned. But you'll also burn fewer calories than you would if, for the same amount of time, you work out at a harder intensity (running versus walking). If you're trying to lose weight, even though a higher percentage of fat is being used, a lower total amount of fat is lost.
    Whether increased fat burning will result in actual weight loss is dependent upon several variables, including the total calories burned (which include both fat and carbohydrate calories) and the total fat calories burned. If you do work at a low intensity, you need to increase the time spent exercising to burn more calories. What matters most is the total number of calories burned. If you burned 250 calories every day from a short, fast jog, you'd see a bigger difference in weight and fat loss than if you walked everyday for the same amount of time. The number of fat calories you burn isn't that important, because even if you burn a lot of carb calories, these need to be replaced both by the carbs you eat in your diet and also within your body. Your fat stores will be broken down and transformed into carbohydrates when you need fuel. Even if you're burning lots of carb calories and less fat calories through exercise, your fat still inevitably gets used.
    It boils — not burns — down to this: During the same amount of time you don't use more calories at lower exercise intensities. If you're trying to lose weight and you have only 30 minutes to work out, you would burn fewer calories walking at a moderate pace compared to walking at a fast pace. Working out at higher intensities may cause you to burn a lower percentage of fat, but since you burn more total calories, you still use more fat calories.
    Low- to moderate-intensity exercise can burn a significant number of calories over a period of time. If you aren't fit enough to push yourself to work at a high intensity, or you have a physical weakness that prevents you from doing so, you can still burn a lot of calories by doing low-intensity workouts for a longer period of time.
  • Myth: Running, cycling, or other cardio activities are more fat burning once you've been doing them for more than 15 or 20 minutes.
    The Truth: Technically, once you've been exercising for 15 or 20 minutes, your body has made the shift to using a higher percentage of fat for fuel. But again, if you're trying to lose weight, it's about the total number of calories burned, not necessarily the fuel source.
    For example, say that at rest you burn up to 60 percent fat. When you enter the initial phases of intense exercise, the ratio changes. You may now burn only 30 percent fat because your body is using quick-energy carbohydrates. Once the exercise is sustained, the body switches back to using a higher percentage of fat to fuel the movement (up to 75 percent fat). In this aerobic phase of exercise, a higher percentage of fat is being used for energy. But if you aren't working out for a very long period, you may still burn more total calories and, therefore, more fat calories working out harder. Put another way, if burning as many calories as you can is the best way to lose weight, even a dummy can figure out which activity of the following is going to give the best results (answer: jogging and sprinting), even though their fat-burning quota is on the low end of the ratio.

Activity

Calories Burned

Fat Percentage

Calories from Fat

Watching TV for 20 minutes

40 calories

60 percent

24 calories

Walking for 20 minutes

100 calories

65 percent

65 calories

Jogging & sprinting for 20 minutes

250 calories

40 percent

100 calories

10/12/08 11:28 AM
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Kostakio
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Intensity of cardio exercises to burn body fat effectively


Have you ever wondered which cardio exercises are best for burning off unwanted body fat fast and effectively? Is walking (low intensity) or sprinting (high intensity) better for burning body fat more effectively? How about a combination of both types of exercises (high intensity interval training)?

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 Well, both low and high intensity exercises will help you burn body fat as both type of exercises will burn calories. The question is which is more effective and burn more body fat.

When scientists first reported that during intensive exercises, your body burn glycogen, which is a form of carbohydrate stored in your liver and muscles for energy and that during low intensive exercises, your body burn body fat, everyone suddenly change their workout routines to perform low intensity exercises to burn body fat.

Does it work? If low intensity exercises do work, then why are there still so many obese people around although they are working out with low intensity exercises frequently? Why are low intensity exercises not working as effectively? Were the scientists wrong?


No, they are not wrong. The scientists were correct when they said that our bodies
burn more fat during low intensity exercises like taking a stroll or a leisurely swim. But during a high intensity exercise like running, our bodies burn a lot more calories. Even if some of the calories burnt are from glycogen, we will still burn many fat calories as well.

More good news when you are performing high intesity exercises is that when your store of glycogen is low, the carbs from your meal you eat later gets converted into glycogen to fill up the low glycogen stores and so much so that the carbohydrate calories will not be converted into body fat when left unused for energy expenditure.


Furthermore, high intensity cardio exercises crank up your metabolism even after your cardio workout is done. This will mean that your body will continue to burn fat calories hours after you have left the gym or stopped exercising. This effect is almost non existent in low intensity cardio aerobic workout. Accumulatively, your body burn many more calories during and after high intensity cardio exercises than low intensive exercises. That will mean that you will be
losing weight much faster!

Now as a personal trainer, I do agree with many written journals that high intensity interval training (HIIT), is best for blasting away body fat. I don't need to read any scientific journals or what. Just watching my clients
losing their body fat rapidly with high intensity interval training is already enough to convince me that this is the best fat burning exercise.

You can inject high intensity interval training exercises into your cardio or aerobic workout. You can walk briskly for 3 minutes to warm up and then breaking into a jog for another 3 minutes. Then walking briskly again until you have caught your breath and then sprint for a minute before walking again for another minute.



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From this point onwards, alternate between a one minute sprint with a slow one minute jog to catch your breath. Carry on this one minute alternates for the next 20 minutes and you are done. When I said to sprint, I meant to go all out in your run, so that you are puffing and huffing and breaking into sweat for that minute. This is to keep your heart rate up and keeping your heart rate up is crucial for effective fat burning.

Do this for 5-6 days a week to
blast away your body fat. You will soon see your body transformation as you lose pound after pound of fat surely and gradually. When combined with a healthy eating habit, you will see an average of at least 1-2 pounds of weight loss per week.


This high intensity interval exercises may be tough for beginners but it will be a breeze when your stamina and your endurance catches up. "Mirror mirror on the wall, who has the sexiest body of them all?"

10/12/08 11:30 AM
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mr nemo
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Long read but interesting.
10/12/08 11:31 AM
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jzepp
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 Pretty Interesting
Thanks!!!
10/12/08 11:32 AM
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Hong Kong Phooey
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 OG Perhaps ?
10/12/08 11:33 AM
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Kostakio
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 Mixed Martial Artists want to learn how to burn fat too!!11111

:)
10/12/08 12:03 PM
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robert bentley
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"high intensity will burn more calories but did you ask where those come from?

Muscle."

Yes - because we all know how tiny and "wasted away" those athletes look like from intense sports like power-lifting, sprinting etc etc.
10/12/08 12:08 PM
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PTSandman
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Or you can do what most people do and just take chlen ;)
10/12/08 12:51 PM
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Chris Larkin
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for later
10/12/08 1:06 PM
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colostomy bag
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 4 later
10/12/08 1:56 PM
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johnnynoname
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just remember these (in terms of fat burning exercise modes that work)
HIIT
Tabata
Burpees/Chirpees,et al variations
Hill running intervals
10/12/08 1:57 PM
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johnnynoname
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....oh, and btw, the "cardio first thing in the morning on a empty stomach" is the real deal .

combine that with one of the modes of cardio i described previously and you have a sick synergy for fat burning
10/12/08 2:01 PM
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jarva
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ttt
10/12/08 2:03 PM
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kao
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ttt
10/12/08 2:15 PM
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SMACDADDY
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later
10/12/08 2:39 PM
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Chimono
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later on, smacdaddy-o.
10/12/08 2:42 PM
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JoseyWales
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4 later
10/12/08 3:07 PM
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Heddy
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ttt

10/12/08 3:09 PM
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Bry Bry
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just goes to show ya that all of these people that go for walks in an attempt to lose weight are pretty much clueless...i have seen lotsa folks that are easily 50 pds overweight go for a half hour walk thinking that is going to make a difference..sure, its better than nothing but i dont think most people understand what it takes to get in good shape...
10/12/08 3:18 PM
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johnnynoname
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Bry Bry - just goes to show ya that all of these people that go for walks in an attempt to lose weight are pretty much clueless...i have seen lotsa folks that are easily 50 pds overweight go for a half hour walk thinking that is going to make a difference..sure, its better than nothing but i dont think most people understand what it takes to get in good shape...



I totally agree

for some dumb reason, conventional wisdom has set up that long,low intensity aerobics is the way to go when looking to burn fat when the COMPLETE opposite is true

short duration, high intensity cardio is where it is at.

You can get absolutely shredded doing Tabata sprints (a full tabata workout is only 4 minutes) 4x's a week.
10/12/08 4:38 PM
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Jeepster
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10/12/08 4:45 PM
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Kostakio
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 I'm all about doing the following for multiple sets* of either 30 sec. or 60 sec. (same time rest):

burpees
jump squats
jump lunges
jump push-ups
turbo** shadow boxing
turbo bag hitting
turbo squats
turbo Turkish get-ups
turbo sit-outs
turbo ab workouts

*I alternate exercises and always keep switching up workouts in general so that I keep my body guessing
**turbo = fast and explosive


10/12/08 4:46 PM
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Columi
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10/12/08 5:10 PM
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Mitch Harris
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Grappler's Guide to Sports Nutrition is another great resource.

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