Give Fat the Boot

Give Fat the Boot

Raphael Calzadilla Special For eFitness

Ready to workout? Ready to go for that daily treadmill walk you’ve been doing all year? Ready to climb on that Stairmaster for 30 minutes just like you’ve been doing for the last 6 months? Still unsatisfied with your fat loss in spite of these activities?

I probably should have called this article, "Change Is Good," but who would read it? Everyone hates change! You really want that body fat to drop though. I know you do!

You’re disgruntled with your boring, tedious cardio routine and doubly disgruntled with your body fat not budging. If you’re like me, you absolutely hate reducing calories! You want to eat and have energy, but you want that body fat to travel into another galaxy.

One reason most of the population is overweight is that everyone thinks losing fat equates to constant denial. It’s simply not the case! I’m not suggesting you can eat anything you want all day long, but there are various methods to lose body fat with a bit of clever strategy related to metabolism manipulation. In this article, I am presenting one of those methods.

We have been taught that performing cardiovascular exercise for 20 to 30 minutes at a heart rate of 55-65 percent is a great way to lose fat. Yes, it can be! But, what do you do when you know it’s not working anymore? What do you do when the scale and body fat just won’t budge?

Most people will add more cardio and hope the additional calorie expenditure burns the fat. Not a bad train of thought. However, considering the body is designed to adapt, what does one do when this increased cardio stops working? Add more? To what end? Does this mean you’ll need to eventually perform two to three hours of cardio per day? Oh joy! Just what you want to do with the rest of your life!

If you've been eating somewhat healthily and performing cardio three to four days per week, and not making progress, how would your body need to be stimulated in order to lose fat without reducing calories and increasing exercise time?

One method I've found successful is interval training. It's best described as incorporating higher intensity exercise with lower intensity exercise. This method helps stimulate and speed the metabolism. Intervals can be applied to any form of cardiovascular exercise and although it has been a widely used technique for training competitive athletes since the ‘50s, the concept grew into mainstream fitness in the ‘90s.

The beauty of interval training is that you don’t have to work out for long periods. Unless you are training for a competitive event, anything over 30 minutes is unnecessary, and that includes warm up and cool down. Let me show you how it’s done!

The following is a beginner's protocol for interval training using the Stairmaster as an example:

Begin with a warm-up of 5 minutes at level 3 intensity

1. On the 6th minute, increase to level 4
2. On the 7th minute, increase to level 5
3. On the 8th minute, increase to level 6
4. For the next 2 minutes (Minutes 9 and 10), return to level 3
5. Repeat levels 1,2 and 3
6. Repeat level 4
7. Repeat levels 1, 2 and 3
8. Cool down for 5 minutes at level 3

Total workout time: 23 minutes! Levels 1 to 3 above represent one cycle. In this example, you perform 3 cycles of higher intensity training.

This workout can be done on the treadmill, exercise bike or any other form of cardio mode. For the experienced cardio group, don’t think you can jump right into this type of training. Moderation and natural progression is vital! In the morning, you wouldn’t get in your car, start it up and immediately accelerate to 80 miles an hour.

Warm ups and natural progression are key in preventing injury. As you progress and feel more comfortable, you can add another level or two of intensity in your third week. During the fourth or fifth week, add an additional cycle. Your workout never needs to exceed a total of 30 minutes, and three times per week is all you need.

The beauty of this type of training is that since you've stimulated your metabolism to such a high degree, you continue to burn calories the day after your workout!

Another way to play with your programme is to perform interval training for 3 weeks, followed by longer duration, moderate cardio for 3 weeks. There are multitudes of ways to stimulate your metabolism in order to accelerate body fat loss, without setting up a tent by your cardio equipment.

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