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Q&A: What is the BEST Type of Routine for Fat Burning?

By on December 9, 2012
body-fat

This is highly debatable and one of the most broad questions that receives the most varied (and contradictory) answers depending on who you ask AND who you are. The best exercise routine is one that meets all of the following criteria:

  1. It keeps your body guessing. Switching it up and mixing up your routines is the best way to continuously challenge yourself and ensure that you’re not going to plateau. Walking is great, but have you tried jogging? Jogging is great, but have you tried sprinting? Sprints are great, but have you tried interval training? Aerobics is great, but have you tried adding weights? Weights is great, but… you get the picture.
  2. It is something that you can continue long-term. The biggest question to ask yourself is, “Will I make this a part of my lifestyle?” because in the end, if you can’t see yourself being consistent with whatever routine you incorporate, its effects will not last.
  3. It makes you sweat! The best indication of burning fat is burning calories and the best indication that you’re burning calories is SWEAT! Since calories are basically units of energy that are expended through heat and your body uses sweat to cool itself down, it’s safe to assume that if your workout is one with great sweat potential, it is a keeper!

Any form of movement is great – and the more varied your routines are, the more beneficial they are to your body. There are so many wonderful forms of activity but there is only so much that you can get from them physically without building up to involve more challenging routines. The best way for each individual to determine what is best is to consider where you are starting. Once you start, you build up from there by continuously pushing yourself physically — but only pushing to the point of IMPROVING; never to the point of risking injury!

I’m often asked about Crossfit. While I don’t personally have any qualms with the sport of Crossfit, keep in mind that it is designed for those who have a foundational level of fitness established and is generally not for people who are just beginning to get active. With extremely high intensity workouts that utilize so many varied methods taught by reportedly undercertified trainers who routinely (and very questionably) encourage overtraining, there is a lot of room for error and chance for injury. Crossfit has been widely associated with potentially fatal Rhabdomyolysis as participants — newcomers especially — often train well past their physical limits. Crossfits own adopted mascot is Uncle Rhabdo – a cartoon personification of the “joke” behind Rhabdomyolysis, which I personally don’t find amusing. That being said, those who are die-hard Crossfitters swear by the program so it is truly according to one’s own experience and preference.

In my opinion, a better option for those looking to get active — and one that I’ve found to be more inclusive and sustainable in the long run — would be calisthenics which involves similarly intense workouts, but with more simplified movements and most of the exercises can be done safely on your own without requiring equipment. Calisthenic exercises build strength and flexibility using the body itself as resistance and also integrate cardio through running while focusing a good bit of attention on balance, agility and coordination. My own boot camp incorporates many different training styles — including calisthenics — and movements inspired by things like kickboxing, dance, and plyometrics to name a few. We also offer the boot camp program online!

Weight training is also a great way to build more muscle, which increases metabolism and in turn burns more fat. When beginning with weight training, it is always smart to enlist the help of a personal trainer so that you learn the importance and basics of form and utilization of freeweights and machines available. If you are in the Gwinnett County, GA area, contact me for rates and availability! You can also ask around at your local gym to find out if they offer personal training services. Combining cardiovascular exercises like walking, jogging, and running with strength training (whether it be weight training or something similar to boot camp) and high intensity interval training will, in my opinion, give you the best results long term.

The key with any workout program is going to be consistency, form, commitment, safety, and ensuring that no matter what you’re doing, you are stretching before and after, staying hydrated, and listening to your body’s internal signals. The best fitness training is going to come through something you can continue doing without needing to see an end in sight. When you find a plan that you can work into your life and enjoy doing without a high risk of failure or injury, that’s the one you stick with. There is no one blanket answer. Do your research, consider your own personality and your own goals, and above all make sure it’s something that you are able to find fulfilling.

Of course, no program is going to work magic when you aren’t eating healthy as well. You cannot out-train bad eating habits.

What are YOUR favorite fitness programs or exercise plans that allow you variety while being maintainable for consistency? I would love to hear your thoughts and/or experiences in the comments section below!

About Kat Robertson

2 Comments

  1. Marla Jo Zeller

    March 5, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    I always enjoy your websites as they are informational and inspirational. You make people think they “CAN”! Thanks for leading the way!:)

  2. India Calvert

    April 9, 2013 at 6:55 am

    Cardio exercise machine workouts are great and fun for burning excess body fat and building good cardiovascular health. These exercises not only help to burn body fat fast it will also strengthen your heart and lungs and thus reducing your chances of getting high blood pressure, stroke and heart diseases. Regular cardio exercises can also reduce bad cholesterol and raise the level of good cholesterol.

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