High Intensity Anaerobic vs. Aerobic Exercise

So the question is, does anaerobic exercise burn more fat than aerobic exercise?

Anaerobic exercise is exercise in which oxygen is used up more quickly than the body is able to replenish it inside the working muscle. As a result, muscle fibers have to derive their contractile energy from stored substrates like Glycogen, ATP, and Creatine Phosphate. Weight training and sprinting are examples of such an activity.  Basically high intensity, short bursts of exertion.

Aerobic exercise, also called cardiovascular exercise, is physical activity which raises the heart rate to around 60 to 85 percent of the heart's maximum heart rate for an extended period of time, usually twenty minutes or longer. Basically medium to medium/high sustained exertion.

A study a few years back had athletes doing six-second bursts of all-out cycling. After 10 to 15 sets of this, it was found that an unheard of amount of free fatty acids were broken down from fat stores within the muscle. It begs the question why, during an anaerobic activity that clearly utilizes glucose as a fuel, why is so much fat being broken down?

The answer appears to be that the exercise component which is six seconds long is using glucose, and however long the recovery component is, that’s when you’re burning fat. If you add all these intermittent periods together you are primarily burning lactate and fatty acids.  If you want to lose weight, lose body fat, and get ripped, it appears that intermittent bursts of high-intensity activity followed by rest periods is a better way to go than aerobic exercise. Traditional thinking is that if you wanted to burn fat you would have to do long, slow, distance activity.  People are now starting to think that in fact it’s the other way around and that during really brief, intense intermittent bouts of strength, speed and power-related exercise, you can burn even more fat.

Read more at builtlean.com.


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