I’m sure we’ve all heard the expression “feel the burn” when you’re in the gym or doing some sort of exercise class. People often use it as an indication that they are working hard.
What is the burn?
The burn is lactic acid building up in the muscles, it does this when the muscles are unable to get enough oxygen due to your body working at its greatest capability.
What is the misconception with the burn?
One misconception is that it’s your fat that’s burning when in reality, that’s not the case. People sometimes take it further and go out of their way to target an area of their body and work their muscles to the point of exhaustion thinking that will burn the fat surrounding the muscle, but in reality you cannot control which part of your body you lose fat from through exercise whatsoever.
This does not mean that “the burn” does not have its place, but not so much for fat loss and more for improving recovery, endurance and power. Conditioning your body to build and remove lactic acid (the burn) in and out of the muscle is a training method within itself that athletes incorporate through different ratios of high intensity work and rest periods.
This inspired the idea of HIIT which contained a little less science and lack of education on how often it is recommended for you to do this type of training and what it should be supported with. And of course, just like a lot of things that tell people what they want to hear, the myth of you burning fat was born when in reality it’s lactic acid.
With all this being said, the subject of zone training to improve different energy systems of your body which HIIT was taken from is backed by science and has its place in any athletes’ training routine. I would highly recommend people look into it more and what you will find is that you can train your body into prolonging the “burn” and recovering quicker from it so you can work at high intensities for longer.
Now, you may not be able to target a specific area in your body to lose fat doing this but you will definitely lose fat in the process by burning a crazy amount of calories and improving your overall fitness.