Burning Fat: Anabolic vs Catabolic Training

Burning fat is more complex than you might think. Because there are multiple kinds of fat, there are multiple ways of burning that fat. Do you focus on anabolic training, which is ideal for maintaining muscle, or on catabolic training, which focuses more specifically on body fat reduction. Here’s a quick breakdown of the anabolic vs catabolic debate and some ideas on how each of them might be well-used to fit your exercise goals.

What Is Anabolic Training?

Anabolic training is targeted toward stimulating the parts of your body that produce anabolic hormones. These hormones stimulate protein synthesis and help increase muscle growth. In the anabolic vs catabolic debate, anabolic training will work better to help burn fat but will not help you decrease your weight. Instead, it bulks an individual up, increasing muscle mass and performance. Anabolic training largely consists of weight lifting and resistance exercises. Barbells and weight benches will be the tools of the trade if you choose to go this path. As you gain more muscle mass, your metabolism will change, resulting in the more efficient burning of certain fats as well.

What is Catabolic Training?

Catabolic training is very similar to cardiovascular training in that it releases chemicals in your body that increase the burning of fat and help improve your overall cardiovascular health. This form of training is known as destructive training because it focuses on destroying parts of your body that are deemed unhealthy, such as excess fat cells. Catabolic training involves less weight lifting and resistance exercises and more heavy sustained activity. Rowing is a good example of catabolic training, although it also has some anabolic elements to it because it can increase muscle mass to an extent. However, it burns far more than it increases, making this training style useful for those trying to lose weight.

Which Is Better?

Taking a look at the anabolic vs catabolic debate, the real answer as to which one is better depends on where your workout preferences lie. If you just want to burn fat and don’t care much about bulking up, catabolic is probably the training technique you should be going for. However, it is worth noting that the muscle you gain from anabolic training has its benefits, too – the more muscle you have, the better your metabolism tends to be. This means that with enough anabolic training, your body will burn fat much more efficiently. In the end, both of these training methods have their advantages, although anabolic is probably more useful to bodybuilders and those who wish to bulk up while burning fat.

You should consult your trainer to get opinions on the various anabolic vs catabolic scenarios and how they might apply to your specific situation. Most often, it’s beneficial to combine some catabolic exercises with anabolic training to make sure that you are well-balanced in this area. However, choosing to put more emphasis on one over the other will give you a more efficient and productive level of workout effectiveness.