New Rule 18 You dont need to do endurance exercise to burn fat

Visually, the idea that endurance exercise makes you lean seems irrefutable. Running burns calories. Runners tend to be thin. Case closed.

The converse of that idea also seems demonstrably true: Weight lifting doesn't burn as many calories as running, and weight lifters are often fat. Therefore, weight lifting can't possibly make you lean.

But then it all got muddled when people like me started writing about the metabolic effects of serious strength training. A tough weight workout cranks up your metabolism and can keep it elevated for up to two days afterward. The more muscle you build, the greater the effect.

On top of that, the muscle mass built from weight lifting boosts metabolism, over and above the effect of the workouts themselves. It's a relatively minor effect, and if you stop working out, you'll see how quickly your metabolism returns to whatever it was before. But it's an established fact that muscle mass is metabolically expensive— it takes extra calories to maintain.

We've also known for some time that endurance exercise doesn't increase metabolism beyond the calories burned during exercise, and those burned for a few hours afterward. (We exercise geeks call this "excess post-exercise oxygen consumption," or EPOC.)

So here's the bottom line on exercise and metabolism:

• Strength training cranks up metabolism for up to two days after a hard workout;

the effect is magnified by any additional muscle mass you build.

• Endurance exercise doesn't increase post-workout metabolism aside from a short period after you finish.

AH this is completely beside the point if your individual genetics don't allow you to gain a lot of muscle from strength training or if you don't want to work hard enough to elevate your metabolism. (You do have to push yourself to get that benefit. The studies showing dramatic metabolic boosts used workouts that are tougher than anything I do on a regular basis.)

And if you're good at endurance exercise, and do a lot of it every day, you don't need a huge metabolic boost to come out ahead. Let's say you have a 150-pound guy who runs an average of an hour a day, six days a week. His average speed is six miles an hour, or ten-minute miles. That's 680 calories a day, 4,080 a week. If you start off with a naturally fast metabolism, burning fat won't be an issue. You may worry more about the opposite situation—if you don't eat enough, you'll waste away.

My point in this New Rule, as it was in the previous rule, isn't to say that endurance exercise doesn't burn calories and help you control your weight. I just want to make the case that strength training can have the same effect, even if the mechanism is different.

Still better is the effect you get when you combine the right foods at the right times with the right workouts. That creates a higher "energy flux," a concept I'll explain in great detail in Part 5. Once you learn to manipulate energy flux, you'll have much more control over your body weight and much greater ability to reduce your body fat.

The Lean, Mean Body Machine

The Lean, Mean Body Machine

So, you wish to burn body fat. Not a day passes when I don’t come across somebody  who  does.  As  a  matter  of fact,  it’s  among  the  most  frequently asked questions I get. And I’m certain<br />you know there are lots of books, videos, programs, foods, pills and authorities that have the answer.

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