The C-Factor Zone
Okay.........instead of discussing the typical "meathead" exercises of bicep curls or bench presses (no offense to bodybuilders, because I'm one myself), allow me to discuss the body's main energy systems and how they affect exercise. I won't go into a big scientific discussion because I'll lose some visitors. I'll give some main points.
The Body's Main Energy Systems
We've all heard of Carbohydrates, Fats, and Proteins. But what happens to them during training or everyday living? They get broken down into energy, but how? Through these three energy systems: 1) ATP, 2) Lactic Acid, and 3) Oxygen/O2.
Stands for Adenosine TriPhosphate (don't worry about it, but if you want you can look it up). Know that this is why Carbohydrates are essential. They fuel this energy system as this is your primary energy system, which uses your primary energy source of Carbohydrates. Glycogen from Carbohydrates fuel this system. You're using this system for approximately the first 15-30sec. of high-intensity movement. Think about Olympic sprinters. They primarily stay in this system, and notice they hardly take breaths.
The next energy system your body goes into after the ATP system. This system relies on glucose as well. Your body usually gets into this after 30 sec. of physical movement (however, it varies between individuals depending on their training and genes). Unlike the ATP system, you begin to take breaths of Oxygen. You're in this energy system approximately 2-3 min. before going into the third energy system.......Oxygen system.
The third main energy system your body goes into during movement. You get into this system after 2-3 min. of high-intensity movement, and this system does not exhaust. In fact, you are in this system as you're reading this webpage LOL. But if you're goal is to drop lbs. or lose bodyfat, don't think sitting around is the way to do it. Anyways, think of marathon runners. Notice they are very lean with a small percentage of bodyfat. Bodyfat does require Oxygen to be used as energy, so this energy system relies on fat for energy. One reason why good fats are important in your nutrition vs. "fun fats."This is called Fat Oxidation, but I'll talk about that some other time.
So these are your body's main energy systems. Hopefully this explains why high-intensity cardio during long periods effectively burn fat/drop lbs. Your heart will also love you forever.
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