The more time spent during aerobic and anaerobic activity, the more trained the muscles will become in fat metabolism. Trained muscles can burn fat more efficiently and require less glucose, even during strenuous exercise. After physical activity has ceased, “fat burning” may continue at an accelerated rate for some time. Some reports suggest that fat metabolism remains elevated for at least six hours after completion, depending on the intensity of the exercise.
When muscles are worked they produce what is known as the thermogenic effect. The thermogenic effect is the heating capacity of muscle tissue. When the temperature of the muscle increases significantly fat metabolism is enhanced. The greater the thermogenic effect the more fat is burned.
To maximize the thermogenic effect it is important to train the muscle with enough intensity to sustain long term fat burning. The best ways to boost fat burning is interval training and resistance exercises. The body has to work harder when influenced by an opposing resistance. The muscles will heat up as a result of the overload. Depending on the level and duration of resistance will determine how long the thermogenic effect will last.
Fat must be metabolized through muscle tissue. Cold, dormant muscle tissue will collect fat, making it hard to ever get burned up. Hot, used muscle will serve as a pump to burn off unwanted fat. It is important to engage all muscle groups to achieve the most in fat metabolism. Working only an individual body part will not produce fast results.
Daryl Conant, M.Ed