Like every year, the impending arrival of spring marks the beginning of the race to the physical of our dreams. Whether you are an absolute novice, bodybuilders who took a bit ‘too seriously bulking phase , the girls who dream to show off at the beach the physique of Michelle Lewin or amateurs with some kg too much, it’s time to get commitment and minimize the stored fat.
A strict diet, protracted and built on our physical and hormonal characteristics is the only way to obtain reliable and long-lasting results. But, from the training point of view, what are the best strategies to adopt? Long sessions of cardio, endless repetitions, short recoveries. All around us we see a bit ‘of everything. But let’s do some ‘clarity.
The workout, if structured properly, is considered a fundamental and indispensable component of a successful weight-loss program. It is evident, in fact, that the management of body weight is, among other things, based on the relationship between energy expenditure and energy intake and physical activity that alters this balance in favor of a reduction in body weight. Beware though, this is not always positive. Our goal is a reduction of the free fat mass and not body weight in general.
The oxidative metabolism at the expense of fat comes into play after about 20 minutes of physical activity before the energy consumption is the responsibility of muscle glycogen stores, we finish these stocks will have the basis for an optimal fat consumption.
One of the most common mistakes is to undergo long aerobic training sessions in the belief that this work will burn the excess fat. The only aerobic activity only gives us the illusion of having burned a lot of calories, but actually the physical fatigue that we feel is not proportional to the consumption of fat. During 1 hour run in the so-called lipolytic wing (70% FCM), a 80kg athlete has a caloric expenditure of about 700kcal but correspond to only thirty grams of actually eliminated from our body fat. At this point it goes without saying that, if we have to lose 4 or 5 kg of fat, or we submit ourselves to endless racing sessions when we lose 30 grams of fat per hour, or we find a solution that allows us to synthesize more lipids in a of less labor time.
How to lose fat?
The protocol most effective and fast way to lose body fat while preserving the most of precious lean mass is what provides for the combination of a lactate anaerobic training (training with high intensity weights) and aerobic training. Several studies, in fact, show that this type of training, just due to the high intensity, generates a demand for more energy and above all a longer energy demand for the recovery, giving an acceleration to our metabolism and to the much cited EPOC, or the extra post-exercise oxygen consumption. In effect then, by training with high intensity weights, because given the period of calorie restriction due to the diet you cannot generate large amounts of muscle, on the contrary we will obtain several benefits for our weight loss, preserving and minimally part depending on the degree of training, increasing the lean body mass. What it makes it essential to weight training is that, in 24/48 hours, the total energy expenditure caused by training the anaerobic lactic acid is even higher than the same training, which means that we continue to burn fat in the two days later.
This does not happen only with the cardiovascular workout because of aerobic EPOC is unlikely to be significant in such a way as to affect the overall caloric balance.
The only means to achieve the best possible condition is the intensity. You have to work hard!
How to organize your training?
The session with the weights will have to be structured according to our characteristics, but generally will be composed primarily of multi-joint exercises, such as:
- Presses with barbell or dumbbells of different angles;
- Rowers with barbell or dumbbells;
- Pull ups;
- Squats, deadlifts, dips.
Are all exercises that greatly undertake the CNS (central nervous system) and generating greater production of testosterone than single joint exercises? This increased hormone secretion will inhibit the enzyme LPL (lipoprotein lipase) responsible for the accumulation of fat, and on the contrary, will promote the secretion of GH (growth hormone) and the subsequent use of fat storage. All this, however, if and only if the intensity is adequate, so we have to work in a range of:
- 6-12 repetitions with loads between 85% and 70% 1RM and recovery of no more than 90 / 120sec.
In the case of intermediate or advanced athletes, in order to increase the stress on the muscles by shortening the duration of the session, they may be inserted also techniques that are added to the work on single set, such as stripping, increase of the TUT (time under tension) , rest breaks etc.
If anaerobic training has been quite intense and productive, we have used our glycogen stores and we will have the conditions to use fat for energy and begin our aerobic workout. It is crucial to deplete glycogen stores because extensive studies have shown that implementation of aerobic activity in a situation of full glycogen stores, reduces the entry of long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria, resulting in a decrease of oxidation of fat.
Thanks anaerobic training we will not need a long cardiovascular session, as in the case of a purely aerobic workout, which as we have seen reduce our weight in general also making us lose valuable muscle.
Even for aerobic work the keyword is intensity! In this case to do a small physiological explanation, caloric expenditure (for example in the case of the race) is related to the distance traveled and not the speed at which we travel, travel a fixed distance of 6km to 10 km / h or 12 km / h, will require the exact same caloric expenditure. This means that the intensity of our work will derive from the travel more kilometers possible in a given time and not from only one speed.
A very good technique of intensity that we can use, is that interval training HIIT, workout that provides high-intensity stress moments alternated with moments of low intensity recovery.
An infinite number of scientific publications have highlighted the advantages combined anaerobic + aerobic exercise, but one study in particular gives us one more reason to choose this path.
You may also like to read another article on CarolineJoyBlog: 5 Exercises to work your glutes and legs without leaving home
The aim was to put in contrast the effects of 12 weeks of aerobic training only against 12 weeks of aerobic and anaerobic mixed work and, above all, to check whether there were differences between men and women. The results showed not only the mixed effect of training but also a major gender difference.
In fact, although there is no scientific evidence that demonstrates the possibility of a sectoral slimming, this type of training has caused a fat reduction even in areas typically of greatest accumulation. In men, the addition of resistance exercise to aerobic exercise has led to an increase of the musculature and an important percentage loss of fat mass in the trunk. In women, however, this type of training has brought a greater reduction in fat mass of the legs compared to only aerobic workout.
Those specific areas are poorly vascular zed and rich in alpha-2 adrenergic receptors (anti-lipolytic) and for this reason are those typically richer in fat. The weight training has favored the increase of blood flow even in those districts. During muscle contraction, in fact, they are released vasodilator molecules such as nitric oxide, and probably for this very reason, the patients in the study have also seen decrease the fat in the most difficult areas.
The training times are closely related to the degree of preparation, the biotype and must be studied on the person, but generally, 50min training with weights and 30-40 minutes of aerobic training are our ideal base to build a toned physique and dry in the shortest possible time.