The whole point of doing exercise for many people isn’t necessarily to pack on the pounds of muscle, but it’s to lose weight. The key to losing weight is to burn fat, and to increase lean muscle tone. If you’ve been working out for a few weeks, you’ll probably notice that you’re making good strides of progress in shedding the unwanted body fat.
But what if you’re not getting rid of that body fat as effectively as you would like? If you’re not burning fat properly, you may be doing something wrong…
Mistake #1: Too Much Cardio
This may sound silly, but the truth is that cardio alone isn’t going to burn fat. Cardio is excellent at burning fat, but only if there is a reason to burn that fat. When you do cardio, your muscles do less work than they do lifting weights, and thus there is less need for energy to be burned.
Don’t forget that your body is designed to store fat, and it is often reluctant to get rid of that body fat. If you are only doing cardio, your body thinks, “Well, she’s using up all of this body fat, but there’s all this muscle tissue here that is not being used. I can burn that instead of the fat that I’ll need in case of a period of starvation.”
That’s basically what happens when you do only cardio: your body burns muscle tissue for fuel instead of just fat. You’ll end up with a lower lean body mass, as your body will use up both fat and amino acids when you do exercise. You’ll end up losing weight, but a lot of it will be muscle weight.
Mistake #2: Not Intense Enough
Low Intensity Steady State exercise has its place and time, but so does High Intensity Interval Training. When you do low intensity exercise, your body uses up a lot of fat over a long time period. When you do high intensity exercise, your body burns more fat in less time.
Longer workouts aren’t necessarily better workouts – especially if you are doing low intensity exercise. If you can up the intensity of your workout, you’ll find that you won’t only lose weight, you’ll burn a lot more fat in the process.
Here’s a trick to help you: when you lift weights, keep your heart beat above 125 BPM. This will help you to keep your body burning fat even during a weight training session, and you can burn up to 1000 calories per hour thanks to this trick.
Mistake #3: Over-complicated Exercises
How many variations of simple exercises do you do? Too many people spend all of their time focusing on one muscle or muscle group, giving it priority over other muscles that would actually burn more fat in the long run. For example, working out your legs is actually the best way to burn more fat, as the leg muscles use more energy than any other muscle – they’re the biggest muscles in your body.
Don’t do exercises that isolate muscles, and certainly don’t do complicated variations of exercises that you could keep simple. It’s these over-complicated exercises that often fail to yield proper results, and they can increase your chance of injury. It’s best to stick with simple exercises – think barbell curls, military presses, bench presses, and squats – as they’re the ones that hit the muscles most effectively.
It’s time to get back to the basics in your exercise program. Hit the gym with two goals in mind: increase the intensity of your workout, and do exercises that target more muscles at a time. That’s the best way to burn fat in less time!