By John L. Boos, L.M.T., N.S.C.A., C.P.T.
The truth of the matter is that only 20% to 25% of total calories burned are burned during daily activity. This includes exercise. Most of the calories are burned during inactivity (about 70%). The remaining 5% to 10% are used up by thermogenic metabolism (brown fat).
f you exercised one hour each day, it would only amount to 4% of the day. The remaining 96% of the day would be unexercised time. It now becomes very important and apparent that you must get as much bang for the buck out of the 96% of the day you are not exercising.
I’m not saying that your exercise isn’t important. It is very important. Not only should you burn a lot of fat during the exercise session, but it should be effective for the remaining 23 hours after the session. So what exercise is able to do this? The question is not which exercise will do this, but rather, which type of exercise will do this.
My objective is not to upset those various exercise bikes, treadmills and steppers or aerobic classes. My objective is to be honest and educated in my approach. The truth is that the very best type of exercise for fat loss is that which builds, tones and strengthens the muscle best. The type of exercise that builds, tones and strengthens is anaerobic exercise. Anaerobic exercise is muscle building and aerobic exercise is muscle using.
Aerobic exercise can reduce the muscles’ potential for maximum tone and strength. To obtain maximum fat utilization, muscle tissue must be increased. This is scientific fact. Exercise which taxes the skeletal muscle to its fatigue level in less than 90 seconds produces the greatest result. This defines anaerobic exercise.
Aerobic exercise is activity with very little resistance put on the skeletal muscle. The resistance is so minuscule that the given activity is able to be performed for many minutes and even sometimes an hour or more.
The misconception is that the amount of time one exercises is directly related to the amount of fat lost over the period of 24 hours. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, resistance exercise (anaerobic exercise) will stimulate the resting metabolism for a far greater post exercise time (up to 24 hrs.).
Aerobic activity has a post metabolism stimulation of about one-third to one-half that amount at best. You also hear that aerobics burns a higher fat percentage of calories used during the exercise time. This is true, but the total amount of calories burned in the same time period is far less with aerobic exercise than that of anaerobic exercise.
The trick language here is percent of. Without getting overly mathematical, let me phrase it this way: 60% of 100 is less than 40% of 200.
Enough of this. The truth is, the harder the work-load on the skeletal muscle, the greater the fat burn, not only during the session, but for many hours after the session.