You’ve probably heard that cardio and strength training can help you burn fat. But can bodyweight workouts help you burn that butter, too? According to Heather Milton, an exercise physiologist clinical specialist at NYU Langone’s Sports Performance Center, you may need to do more.
Here’s How We Burn Calories
We can burn calories by breaking down carbs like glycogen stored in our blood sugar or muscles, or our livers will break down the carbs stored in the liver. The other way we burn calories is through light to moderate activities like standing up, walking, and doing other daily activities we do without giving it a second thought. But it turns out that we also burn calories every day, even if we stay in bed all day. Is that crazy or what?
Your Body Uses Different Energy Sources
According to Heather Milton, our bodies are always using a different variety of energy sources like fat and carbs as a fuel source. If your activity is light to moderate, your body will use fat, but if you start doing a high-intensity activity like a vigorous workout, your body will turn to carbs for fuel. Once you’ve depleted your carb reserves, your body will replenish itself by using fat as a fuel.
Why Light Bodyweight Exercises Don’t Work
If you start out doing light bodyweight exercises like air squats, you’ll find they won’t work because your body adapts to this activity easily. So, you won’t burn enough fat to see a significant drop in weight. That doesn’t mean you won’t notice a difference initially, but you won’t get stronger or lose weight after a certain point.
Why Intense Bodyweight Workouts Do?
Intense bodyweight exercises like squat jumps, mountain climbers, burpees, tuck jumps, and clapping push-ups are more challenging on your body because they’re high intensity. This will push your body to burn enough calories to help you lose weight and look your absolute best, according to Milton.
This Is How You Build Muscle And Burn Fat
Milton says that you need progressive overload to build muscle and burn fat. To do this, you’ll start by gradually increasing the stressor that’s being placed on your body during physical activity. Take lunges for example. You’ll do the same moves with a light weight but you’ll need to increase that weight over time in order to build muscle mass.
Bodyweight Alone Won’t Cut It
You will burn fat with bodyweight workouts, but to build muscle, you’ll need to incorporate strength training exercises like this incredible four-week program from PopSugar that’s perfect for beginners. But you can try any strength training workout you want! Weight lifting will not only increase your bone mass, but improve your cardiovascular system, build muscle and lower your body fat.