This post started with the question: Does Weight Training Burn Fat Like Cardio?
Let’s cut to the chase. Resistance aka weight training is the best fat burning workout and it is vastly superior to cardio for burning fat. Some 5000% better.
Basal Metabolic Rate Is Where It’s At
It breaks down this way. Resistance training raises your basal metabolic rate. Your daily burn so to speak. Raising your BMR is incredibly important as you are now consuming more calories and converting more fat to energy when you are not exercising. Huh?
You spend the majority or your day, week, month and year not exercising. Don’t believe me, open a free fit day account. Under the activities button on the fitday app or under reports on fitday.com you can generate a simple pie chart that shows your percentage of exercise time per day.
Even if you exercise a full hour, in 24 hour day you only consumed 4.2% of your time. So while an hour of exercise is a lot of time for a busy person it is not a great deal of time relative to your day.
The Best Fat Burning Workout
The metabolic advantages of the mechanism are three fold. First, you burn calories (fat if you are doing it right) while you exercise, second the repair/building phase of the muscle recovery burns calories and most importantly, your BMR increases as your body must continue to feed this new muscle mass.
Exercise Compared to BMR
I have an old copy of a David Zinczenko book that identifies a metabolic increase for 30-60 minutes after aerobic exercise compared to a 48 hour metabolic increase for people doing resistance training. That is a 4800% to 9600% increase in “burn time” so to speak for people using resistance training.
So the conclusion resistance training is definitely superior fat burning mechanism.
But Your Diet Plays A Major Role
One thing I had fallen prey to was the vain attempt to out work my poor eating habits. And this was after I started Lose It, lol. As Alan Aragon has stated, abs start in the kitchen. And while I disagree with the conventional “recipe” for fat burning I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment.
Glycogen is produced in the liver where it is stored in addition to being stored in muscles. Most people only store 400 grams, elite athletes can store up to 600 grams. By elevating insulin levels the typical high carbohydrate diet trains your body to (1) burn diet carbohydrates instead of body fat (2) not mobilize your stored for energy and (3) convert excess glucose to triglycerides in the liver and send that to fat cells for storage.
Use Your Metabolic Advantage
And while the brain requires glucose, skeletal and heart muscle prefer ketones . Ketones are energy sources produced when (diet driven) low and stable insulin levels allow the balance of glucagon and insulin to shift your metabolism to fat burn mode.
In this instance, your body burns its stored fat and your dietary fat resulting in once again, an increased BMR. This effect is only created through dietary control of insulin production, which anyone with a functioning pancreas can achieve.
You Don’t Need A Gym Membership
Finally, the benefits of resistance training are not only found in the gym. High intensity circuit training using only body weight can stimulate the body to produce human growth hormone, testosterone and insulin-like growth factor (IGF).
I did P90X and I am thankful I did, the psychological benefit of accomplishment paved the way for my current success. That said, I have burned more fat, leaned myself down an additionally 9% body fat after P90X by combining a simple and easy insulin controlling dietary practices with relatively infrequent, high intensity workouts. Never more than 25 minutes.
Why It Matters
First, if you are trying to burn fat and you are busy (which I know you are) the difference between 50 minutes per week and 3 – 5 hours per week of exercise is huge.
Second, if you ignore the metabolic effects of what you eat no amount of exercise you do is going to help.
Finally, modeling good and teaching good behavior to your children is far easier when you understand the mechanics and secrets of your success.
The best fat burning workout combines the metabolic advantage of a fat burning metabolism with resistance training to stimulate muscle growth.
This is going to post on www.lamarj.com tomorrow. I wanted to share with my 43things friends first. If you like this article and found it helpful, please follow me on twitter @lamarjohnson and retweet it for others.
 Eades and Sisson have conflicting statements on this point. Although Sisson’s book is more recent I throw my lot in with the Drs. Eades on this point. Both do agree that muscles can will use ketones. Sisson even asserts that the body’s total glucose requirement is lessen once the body shifts to a fat burning mode because some cells adapt and no longer require glucose.
 Of note, ICF is called insulin in Drs. Eades, Protein Power © 1996 and insulin-like growth factor in Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint © 2009.