ATLETA Fitness

5 Ways to Get Active and Burn More Fat!

It seems more and more these days that people are looking for their weight loss ‘miracle cure’ – the one that helps you build muscle, tone up, lean up and shed those stubborn kilos. All too often, though, this search can lead us to ‘quick fix’ options, such as fat burning pills, meal replacement supplements or one of a growing host of alternate weight loss therapies.

Stress management techniquesThese ‘quick fixes’ though are just that: quick, short-term weight loss solutions. If we really want to keep those stubborn kilos off we really need to get ourselves into gear and start moving, get more active and put the hours in. But if you’re putting hours into long, slow runs you may well be slowing down the weight loss process. How should we lose the weight then? Let’s look at how changing your running approach, trying out new weights circuits, getting fighting fit and jumping on a rowing machine can help you reach your weight loss goal faster!

Change up your running

Tired of early starts, long runs and weight loss plateaus? Changing up your running could be the solution you need to start burning fat more efficiently.

Optimized-Trail RUnning CHickSoft Sand Running

No one enjoys the sound of soft sand running, but when you think about the great views synonymous with exercise by the sea, it’s hard to be too disheartened by the hard work. Due to the lower restitution of soft sand (ie your feet sink into it) your body is required to spend more energy with each step. In an attempt to stabilise the lower limb and power through the soft surface, your glutes, lower back and core turn on and provide large amounts of muscular activation to keep you moving through the tough terrain. This ensures that you burn more energy per stride than you could hope to have burned during a standard road run.

Trail Running

Don’t live near the beach? Head into the local bush-land for a running experience like no other. Similar to soft sand running, trail running requires greater lower limb muscle activation to stabilise yourself over uneven and often difficult terrain. This terrain also stimulates massive core activation, helping define those six-pack abs we care so much about. Be careful, however, the first time you try trail running as it is a massive change from road or pavement slapping, and will quickly help you develop strong running technique (or ongoing running issues and pains if not approached correctly…)

Hill Running

Hill running results in greater recruitment of the muscles in the posterior chain, including your glutes, and burns more energy in the process. As your body struggles harder against gravity, your lower limbs, core and back turn on to a greater degree to provide the power to keep going. Obviously you can’t run up hills forever, but hill repeats is a great way to burn more energy in a shorter session. Find a gentle (or steep) and long (or short) hill, and time yourself sprinting up and lightly jogging down for an extended period of time. 15-20 minutes is usually ideal, especially if you already have to run to the hills first!

Move fast!

Usain Bolt Sprint StartSprinting and interval training is a fantastic way to help your body burn large amounts of energy for longer periods of time. Due to the high intensity nature and high degree of muscle activation, sprinting ensures a large, full body energy expenditure guaranteed to leave you feeling sore. When considering activity duration against energy expenditure, sprint training burns more energy over shorter periods of time. This is due to what we call the EPOC, or excess post-exercise oxidative consumption. Although a 20 minute sprint session may not burn as much energy as a 60 minute long run, in the long term the 20 minutes of sprint will burn the same, or more, energy due to the increased recovery demands post-session. It takes longer for your body to return to resting levels of energy expenditure, during which time more energy is burned than during the actual sprint session! So, basically, you’re burning more energy and you’re already at your desk getting your day’s work done.
Click here for a more detailed explanation of how this works.

Start Rowing

Have you ever seen an out-of-shape rower? Second only to running, rowing utilises the most muscles and energy of any other traditional ‘cardio’ exercise. The motion of rowing also promotes strength and muscle gains across the whole body. Rowing is best done as intervals, where budding rowers will perform maximal exertions with small rests in between efforts. A good starting point is 1 minute rowing to 30 seconds rest, and repeat 3-5 times. Building from there, work time can be increased and rest altered accordingly. Even harder can be ‘all out efforts’ – the worst of which being either a 2km erg or a 30 minute erg. These both require humongous feats of endurance and energy, and will leave you feeling shattered. It is most important, however, to firstly have your trainer show you how to row with correct technique. Correct technique ensures you get the most of out your workout, while also minimising injury risk.Rowing Machine

Going Round in Circles

Circuit training is a great way to burn masses of energy, have an intense cardio workout and stimulate muscle growth all at the same time. Circuit training involves the performance of multiple strength, resistance or cardio exercises with minimal rest between exercises. You then complete several ‘rounds’ of this circuit for a solid, whole-body workout in under 30 minutes. A simpler way to start is by doing 2 squat jumps, 2 push-ups, 2 gorilla crawls and 2 mountain climbers. Then build this up to 4 for the next lap, and go up by 2 reps each lap. Complete as many reps as you can within a 15 minute circuit block. Guaranteed to be tough, and guaranteed to work all your muscles!

Channel your inner ‘Ali’

Optimized-IMG_0366Boxing and martial arts are can help change your usual training and get you moving in new ways. Boxing is unlike any other workout, involving large muscle groups, long work intervals and high cardio demands. If you’ve not done boxing before, or are looking to change up your routine, then martial arts may be the perfect solution.

So what are you waiting for! Get out and try something new and lose those last stubborn kilos in the process. Need help getting moving, or trying something new? Get in contact with us today and let one of our expert team help you shed the weight and achieve your optimal level of health.

Written by Johann Ruys

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