Viewing exercise as a fun thing to do rather than a chore can be difficult, but when you start to reap the benefits it can be your new best friend!
So what does this mean we have to do? Well I always push principles first, consistency and steady progression is important — a three week training programme is not going to cut it.
The goal is to become a practised individual, exercising 3-4 times a week with suitable rest periods in-between. Track your progression. Are we getting fitter? Has there been a period of work with no changes? These are the questions that will answer if your training programme is right for you.
This is the key to remember when training in the fat burning zone. That post exercise burn which is also known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), is the sum of calories expended after exercise. Everyone is different but it can take 15 minutes to 48 hours to fully recover, but this is largely dependant on intensity and duration of the exercise.
Your body needs to understand the fats purpose, e.g. storage or energy. As a Personal Trainer I am designing workout programs aimed at causing muscle adaptations that improve the client's ability to exercise and to oxidise fatty acids. Interval and endurance exercise programs will ultimately improve cell energy levels (mitochondria) and fat usage (oxidation, Zuhl & Kravitz 2012).
The bottom line is this:
The duration of EPOC is determined by the intensity and duration. Studies (Bahr and Sejersted 1991) show that following the most intense workouts EPOC is proven to last significantly longer than lower intensity bouts of exercise — saving you precious time and boosting your gain from the period (10 hours Vs 30 x 30 minutes).
My message to you is Train hard in short bouts for maximum impact.