Life is busy - so we don't take offence when people say they don't want to spend more time in our studios that is necessary!
When it comes to working out around modern life - effectiveness is the name of the game. The more effective your workout, the more time you can spend focused on other areas.
With that in mind, we've put some information together that will help you understand the best ways to burn fat at the gym - and what's actually going on when you're working out.
The fat burning process in the human body
Fat loss occurs when we eat fewer calories than we require for our daily energy expenditure. On a physiological level, this looks like fat being released by special cells (known as adipose), after which this fat is then converted into energy to be used by the body (normally, glucose).
Storing fat is a necessity for us to survive; being too lean - or, as some fitness veterans might dubiously term, “shredded” - can be just as deleterious for one’s health as excess body mass. We need fat to regulate hormones, mood, and for general existence and function. However, excess fat can increase our risk for heart disease and cancers.
Further, some people think that the fat we eat is the same as the fat we store. This has resulted in many myths of the 80s, such as low-fat diets and demonising foods like nuts and seeds. In truth, fat is also one of the essential macronutrients needed for us to lead a healthy lifestyle - the other one being protein.
Can I burn fat in the gym?
Burning fat is very different to losing fat. We can instigate fat being released from their cells and thus converting it into energy, but this does not mean we will lose fat - or weight. In any case, exercise which you enjoy and can stick to will increase your chances of keeping the fat off.
Hiring a PT will boost your chances of this, as they’ll be able to design an exercise programme which you enjoy but which is also backed by the science.
Can I burn fat with weights?
Weights are an excellent way of burning fat, especially if it’s a form of movement that you enjoy and can stick to. By lifting weights, you can improve your nutrition partitioning (the way your body manages the food you break down - where it’s transported to, etc.) and improve muscle mass and overall body composition.
There is some evidence that muscles release a chemical which is utilised in fat cells to release our stored fat slightly more quickly.
Building muscle does mean that potentially more calories are burnt at rest but the difference here is minimal. Individuals should utilise weights as a way of burning fat through its other psychological and physiological benefits.
What’s the most effective way to burn fat?
The most effective program to help you burn fat is the one you can stick to.
That means a PT would look at your current lifestyle, goals, and psychology to create the bespoke plan most suitable for future success.
It might look like doing two or three lifting sessions, with one cardio session for variety and health factors.
Additionally, guidance and coaching would be given for lifestyle and dietary choices made outside of the gym.
In terms of measuring success, scales are useful to a point - but the number can (unknowingly) be manipulated by many variables, such as hormonal changes and even sleep deprivation. So, it’s best to examine regular processes over a longer period: this might look like using a tape measure, or seeing how your old clothes fit.
If you'd like to hear more about the fat burning process and how we can help to maximise your results in the gym, get in touch with the team here at Fitness Lab!