Authored by Victor Roffel in Exercise
Published on 11-02-2009
In today’s society, the treadmill has become the choice of exercise for many people. Every time you enter a gym you can be sure that the treadmills are being used. Although not as optimal as running outside and performing rigorous activities, the treadmill can still be used to a great extent to burn the fat off your body.
Most people run on the treadmill for distance or for time. The distance can go as far as 5km and the time, as much as an hour. The idea behind this methodology is that once you run for a certain period of time or distance, you enter what they call a ‘fat-burning’ zone. The fat you burn is then as much as how many calories you have burned in the session.
There is nothing wrong with this way of running. But one cannot mistake that all the calories that the individual has burned is all fat. When running for long periods of time, the body breaks down the next available energy source in the body. The body’s first reaction is to use up glycogen stores. After using up glycogen stores, there is no evidence to show that the body will use fat entirely as its fuel. Instead, the body may break down protein to supply energy to the body. This means that the body loses weight not just fat alone.
For individuals who have every attention to keep the muscle they so painstakingly gained while burning fat, running for long periods of time is bad. Remember, jogging for long periods of time allows the body to lose weight, which includes muscle. Instead of running on the treadmill for seemingly long hours, you can burn fat while keeping muscle by spending half the time you would spend on the former.
Intervals are the action of alternating high intensity and low intensity exercises for as many cycles desired. When performing intervals, both the anaerobic and aerobic system in the body is taxed. The glycogen stores in the body are used up fast when performing the high intensity portion of intervals. This allows the body the option to burn fat very quickly. Because interval sessions typically last only about 20 minutes, the activity is not as catabolic as running for long periods of time. This will ensure muscle maintenance and fat burning at a very high efficiency.
Sprinting will be your choice of high intensity exercise and walking or jogging will be your low intensity exercise. The process is simple. Simply start by warming up by slowly working up the speed of the treadmill. Start jogging at a pace you find acceptably easy. When you have been jogging for around 30 seconds, increase the speed rapidly to a high level. You should be sprinting very close to top speed. When you have sprinted for about 10-15 seconds, lower the speed back to the former pace. Repeat for as many cycles as you deem fit.
The next time you are in a gym and pressed for time, use intervals. Many bodybuilders and athletes have all used intervals to great success. If you will put in the hard work, burning fat is easy with intervals.