Many people, in order to lose weight or burn fat, they try to burn as many calories as they can. For many years, it was believed that if you eat less calories than you expend, it can help you lose weight. Cardio exercise, such as running or fast walking, is often seen as the best way to burn fat, but it has been proven that weight training can also help. In order to understand how weight loss and calories are related, you first need to know the difference between aerobic and anaerobic exercise.

Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercise, such as steady jogging or cycling, is low-intensity exercise and can be done for a longer period of time. Your body gets enough oxygen to make sure you can continue doing what you do.

Weight training or anaerobic exercise

On the other hand anaerobic exercise, like weightlifting, is high intensity exercise. During high intensity exercises, your body does not get enough oxygen to feed your muscles fast enough, and then your cells begin to break down sugars instead. Since this level of tension cannot be maintained for a very long time, anaerobic exercise tends to have less duration than aerobic exercise.

Which workout is best for calorie burning?

Which Is The Best Exercise For Weight Loss? Both aerobic exercise and weight training have benefits and should be included in your fitness program. If your primary goal is to burn fat, anaerobic exercise is the best option.

 The difference between aerobic and anaerobic exercise is found in oxygen levels.

In aerobic exercise, your muscles have enough oxygen to produce the energy required to perform the exercise. Anaerobic exercise means that the oxygen demand is greater than the oxygen supply and you cannot cope with the energy that your body requires. This leads to lactic acid production and eventually to cessation of the exercise.

Aerobic exercise (cardio) is performed at a constant, low to moderate rate. This type of exercise, which uses slow muscle fibers, is ideal for cardiovascular improvement and muscle strength improvement.

It is most commonly said that cardio is the most appropriate method for fat loss.

But think twice… While during the aerobic exercise a higher percentage of fat is needed for energy, unlike muscle glycogen, the total amount of energy burned at this level is lower than that burned in weight training for the same period of time. This means that for most people, many hours of aerobic exercise are required in order to achieve significant fat loss.

Anaerobic exercise is performed with high intensity training (HIIT), alternating short periods of intense anaerobic exercise with less intense recovery periods. This is beneficial for many reasons.

Which are these reasons?

  1. Time saving

First of all, the anaerobic workout session is of short duration.

If, during the day, you have limited time for training, a weight training session is the ideal choice.

  1. Burn more calories

Secondly, you will burn more calories. At the end of the day, the harder your training is, the more calories you will burn. The high intensity training will burn much more calories than fast walking or a running in a slow pace.

  1. Your metabolism is improved

Thirdly, with a proper meal plan, you will achieve muscle hypertrophy and increase your metabolism. Anaerobic exercise uses fast-shrink muscle fibers for exercises such as sprinting or intense weight training, which increases muscle size and strength. This means you will increase your muscle mass, which will speed up your metabolism because the muscle burns more calories than fat does.

  1. The afterburn effect

Fourthly, you will experience the afterburn effect which is the excessive post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). EPOC is the amount of oxygen which the body requires in order to return its normal state.

This effect exists after high-intensity workout (HIIT), because you consume more oxygen, creating a larger deficit, which needs to be restored after training. This means that you will continue burning calories even after the end of the training.

Is it the ideal exercise for all? Are there any disadvantages?

Although HIIT is beneficial for fat burning, it is not for everyone. If you are a beginner, this workout can be very intense for your body, especially for your heart. Therefore you should be in a basic physical condition in order to train safely and effectively.

Workouts that include sprinting and weight lifting increase the chances of injury as these explosive moves are fast and require a lot of strength.

Truth to be told, HIIT is a very demanding type of exercise.

What we suggest:

Despite the fact that anaerobic exercise, like HIIT, can be more effective for fat loss, both aerobic and anaerobic exercise should be included in a fitness program. A proper fitness program is designed according to each one’s goals, always with caution and without overestimating our potential. The supervision of an experienced personal trainer is essential.  Last but not least, we should take into consideration a doctor’s advice.

Do not worry how much you weight. Some fit persons’ body mass is much higher than normal! This does not make them overweight.

This type of exercise leads us to muscle hypertrophy, which means more fat burning and bigger muscles. If your goal is to increase your muscle mass and you prefer anaerobic training, in order to track your progress, measure fat loss and not weight loss!