For many years, starting in the 1970s, running and aerobics have been the primary exercise for fat loss. However, during this period of time most of America has gotten fatter despite a plethora of gyms with more treadmills, bikes, steppers and elliptical machines than you can count. If you have banked your fat loss goals on a good aerobics program, I hate to tell you but you are probably doomed to failure. If nothing else, you are taking the scenic route to your destination. There are much more effective ways to burn fat than steady state aerobics. Let's look at a few reasons why this is the case or to better put it let's look at some of the shortcomings of aerobics.
Aerobics Is Not Effective at Burning Calories
Aerobics will definitely burn calories, there is no doubt about that but the question is how well does it burn calories in relation to other types of exercises. Ultimately, aerobics burns calories because your muscles are working hard and as a result of this hard work they require extra oxygen to help them to continue to work. But aerobics is not the only exercise that requires this. Weight training, sprinting, even sleeping do the same thing. So aerobics is not unique in the way that it burns calories and it is far from the most effective way to burn calories (which we will see in just a moment). If there are better ways to burn fat calories then you should spend your time performing those exercises instead.
Aerobics Does Not Possess a Magical Fat Burning Zone
If you have ever been on a treadmill or other aerobic style machine then you have probably seen a chart that tells you to keep your heart rate in a particular range because inside of this range is the ideal fat burning zone. I hate to burst your bubble but that magical zone doesn't exist. The fat burning zone is based on the concept that you body will burn more fat at a lower intensity of exercise than it will at a higher intensity of exercise. This is simply a misunderstanding.
Your body will burn a greater percentage of fat during low intensity exercises. And since jogging is lower intensity than sprinting, it is true that on a percentage basis that you will burn a higher percentage of fat by jogging. But please understand that burning a higher percentage of fat is not the ultimate end goal. Burning many fat calories is our goal.
Think about it logically. If you burn a higher percentage of fat by performing lower intensity activities then it would follow that you will burn a higher percentage of fat calories while sitting on a couch then you will if you are jogging. This is a true statement. Your body can burn as much as 50% of your calories from fat at lower intensities and at higher intensities may only burn 35% of your calories from fat. But I am guessing no one has ever advocated becoming a couch potato as a way to burn off fat from their body. That is because common sense tells you that if you sit on your backside all day then your backside will most likely grow due to the accumulation of fat. You see you are not merely interested in what type of exercise will burn a higher percentage of fat calories but which exercises will perform a greater majority of fat calories. If you are attempting to do this you will not be led in the direction of aerobics or jogging.
By the way, you can simply prove this by comparing the body fat percentage of long distance runners to that of sprinters. Although the long distance runner will weight much less the sprinter will have a lower percentage of body fat due to the muscle that he or she is carrying.
Aerobics Does Not Make Your Body Efficient At Burning Fat
Aerobics had been said to help make your body more efficient at burning fat. This has been one of the misconceptions that have been perpetuated over the years. The truth may be found in the exact opposite statement. Aerobics actually hinders your ability to burn fat. The only part of your body that will burn fat is muscle. The more muscle that you have the more fat that you will burn. However, for the most part aerobics does nothing to help you gain muscle. It doesn't require muscle and in fact it may even use muscle for energy thereby causing the amount of muscle that you carry to lessen. So aerobics actually makes you less efficient at burning fat.
Aerobic Training Does Not Raise Your Metabolism
It has been falsely postulated that aerobics will raise your metabolism. This is not true. Your metabolism is primarily affected by the amount of muscle that you carry and as we have just seen aerobics does not do anything for your ability to add muscle. In fact, it does just the opposite. After all, when was the last time you saw a muscular marathon runner? If you want to increase your metabolism then you need to spend most of your exercise time building muscle. Focus your attention on weight training. Lifting weights will be the best thing that you can do to speed up your metabolism.