Aerobic training, also referred as cardio workout, is touted to be the only training that is effective in burning fat. But before we try to either validate or discredit this belief, let us first go back to our knowledge of the three energy systems that supplies our body with the energy we need.
Of the three, only aerobic glycolysis is able to oxidize body fat and convert it to energy. This happens when available energy stored in our muscles, along with the glucose and carbohydrates from our food intake, have been metabolized and used up via the other two metabolic pathways for short-term energy supply. Ergo, to sustain continuous aerobic training, our body will burn physical fat.
While I can agree to this belief, we must understand that other factors need to be considered to ensure the goal of fat loss is achieved. A low-calorie, low-carb allows the body to burn fat faster, paired with adequate intake of protein and other nutrients for balanced sustenance. In conjunction with cardio, resistance training may also be employed to increase caloric expenditure and facilitate muscle buildup. A research study showed that high intensity intermittent training burns fat more effectively that aerobic training ever could (Boutcher, 2010). However, this will only be applicable once we have reached a fitness level that will allow us to tolerate rigorous training.
Ultimately, weight loss is not limited to one method. It should be a comprehensive program that incorporates our knowledge of the human body and its physiologic response to each step or activity in a training program.
Boutcher, S. H. (2010). High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise and Fat Loss. Journal of
Obesity. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2991639/
International Sports Sciences Association. Is Cardio Really the Secret to Fat Loss?
Retrieved from https://www.issaonline.com/blog/index.cfm/2016/is-cardio-really-the-secret-to-fat-loss Accessed on 02 August 2019
Kelso, T. Understanding Energy Systems: ATP-PC, Glycotic and Oxidative – Oh My!
Retrieved from https://breakingmuscle.com/fitness/understanding-energy-systems-atp-pc-glycolytic-and-oxidative-oh-my Accessed on 01 August 2019
Weil, R. (2019). Aerobic Exercise. eMedicine Health. Retrieved from