The Difference Between Aerobic And Anaerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercise has long been recommended to people who want to burn their fat away. There’s nothing else like it to burn as many calories when training.

Aerobic exercise just literally means exercise ‘with oxygen’. When people think fat loss and aerobic exercise, they think of long cardio workouts. Typically this consists of a rhythmical activity performed over and over again at low intensity, that involves the large muscle groups (usually the legs) and that you can carry out for at least 20 minutes. The activity needs to be low enough in intensity for your body to be able to supply blood consistently to keep the working muscles moving along.

Example of aerobic exercise.

So do you need to do weights, especially if you are doing these long aerobic sessions? For maximum fat loss, it’s a definite yes. You see weight training will help you to lose the fat after the workout by strengthening and maintaining your lean body mass (which boosts your metabolism). Aerobic exercise, on the other hand, will burn the fat during the workout.

That’s all because of the difference between them. Just as aerobic means ‘with oxygen’, anaerobic exercise means ‘without oxygen’. So anaerobic exercise is training that you perform in short bursts (because you can’t keep it up — you need oxygen sooner or later for that part of your body to keep functioning), with high intensity. Weight training is a form of anaerobic activity.

Example of anaerobic exercise.

Now, how does this relate to fat loss? You see, fat can only be burned in your body with the presence of oxygen. So you’re not going to be burning that many calories with weight training while you work out, but you will burn a lot of calories during your aerobic exercise. So why weight train? Because you end up burning more calories after the workout with anaerobic exercise. You see, weight training is the way to increase your overall metabolism rate — and so enjoy more fat loss — even when you’re sleeping!

So in the end, what’s the best exercise for weight loss? The answer is it’s both. For those (especially women) who are concerned about “bulking up” when performing anaerobic exercise, have no fear. There are plenty of ways you can train without building body mass.

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