Chris has asked a good follow up question so I though I’d post this one too.
I am confused on fat loss programmes, the gym machines seem to have lots of different programmes on there, but I seem to find the “fat-burning” programme very easy and don’t even break into a sweat?
Here’s one of my favourite and least favourite subjects at the same time! It always makes me laugh when they put these ‘”fat burning” programmes on the machines. Are they suggesting that the rest of the programme don’t burn fat? Do they suggest that the rest of the programmes are for very specific purposes only? The reality is that this is a very gimmicky way of training so don’t listen to their claims, most of these so called programmes are to make the machine seem a little more interesting, and keep some variety in there. You can measure your heart rate during exercise, and I measure all my clients, but if you find that difficult, look to put a 8 or 9 out of 10 effort each time you train and you will be doing very well, now THAT is the intensity you really want to be reaching in your workout, not what some made up routine on a machine that doesn’t work you that hard in the first place.
I addressed some of this in my previous post “do I need to work over 20 minutes to burn fat?”. If you think about this logically, any exercise will burn fat and you don’t need to be working for hugely long periods of time to burn fat, it’s what you do and not how long you work for. The fat-burning programmes you speak of usually encourage you to work at low intensity for lengthy periods, that’s why you never get into a sweat as you say and you are being short-changed of a great workout potentially.
The good news is that you can make any programme a “fat-burning” programme, all you have to do is make the effort worthwhile and exercise with purpose. If you are not really pushing yourself, and simply doing the workout at a slow leisurely pace, you need to up the intensity to truly burn fat as they say. If you’re working on a treadmill, increase the speed, or increase the incline. If you are doing weights or resistance exercise, add the weight progressively to increase intensity, and cut your rest in between sets down, that’s why I encourage you to work in a circuit style as seen in previous posts. See my interval training post, that’s got some solid training ideas in there to truly burn fat and quickly.
You know deep down chris that those “fat-burning” workouts that seem to last for really long periods at low intensity don’t really work, are hugely boring, take most of your evening up, and you need to buckle down and make improvements if you really want the changes for the better you are obviously looking for.
I have posted lots of examples of workouts already, and hopefully you can see that the theme is relatively brief workouts, but done at a higher intensity. You don’t have to work yourself until you’re blue in the face, but you do need to work slightly out of any comfort zone you may be in right now. Look for constant improvements, keep a training journal over the next 12 weeks, and you may be surprised at what you’re doing in week 12, compared to week 1.
Try some outside workout, can’t beat the fresh air and you can get a different scenery each time!
Let me know how you get on!