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Ditch The Cardio And Slash Belly Fat – See How
I really love the fitness industry. Since I was 12 years old, I knew this was what I wanted to do. I’m only 23 now, but I feel like I have more ideas and information running through my head than most 30 and 40 year olds in the industry. Don’t get me wrong, I love learning from everyone, even if it taught me what not to do to certain clients by watching their trainers in action. But every once in a while, I’m lucky enough to read or witness something that completely changes the way I think about how to lose belly fat ASAP. One approach I’m talking about is ditching traditional cardio altogether to lose belly fat. I know a lot of people might scoff at this idea, but take me for a few seconds and keep an open mind about it all.
Now let me start by saying that cardiovascular exercise is a very important part of your fitness regimen. It’s a great form of exercise because it improves heart health, lowers blood pressure, lowers bad cholesterol, increases good cholesterol, and many other health-promoting factors. However, many people think they have to run miles to reap these health benefits. Then you have another class of people who feel like they have to work out endlessly on the treadmill or elliptical to lose unwanted belly fat. This could not be further from the truth.
Let’s step back a bit and see what a layman’s definition of cardiovascular exercise is. According to the dictionary, aerobic exercise is exercise that increases the oxygen demand of the whole body. It’s pretty simple if you ask me. When you work out, your body essentially needs more oxygen to those working muscles so energy metabolism can take place and you can maintain a good pace without stopping.
But let me ask you this?
Why does cardio have to be just slow steady jogging or any kind of steady state cardiovascular exercise? Why not circuit training, interval training, or a combination of the two? Because by that definition, these types of activities fit the model. guess what? The types of activities I just listed above are actually better for fat loss and incredible body sculpting than jogging.
For example, how many people do you see at the gym running on the elliptical or on the treadmill for 30, 45, 60 minutes at a time, and there’s nothing special about their bodies? Usually, they’re a little flabby and limp, with no real muscle tone. Now, I don’t know about you, but most people who want to lose weight would rather maintain “toned” muscle. Well, jogging for 45 minutes a day isn’t going to get you there.
Now don’t get me wrong, steady state cardio has its place in some programs, but it depends on the individual. But most of the time, I’ll implement some type of interval training because it’s more cost-effective. For example, there is a term called Excess Post Oxygen Consumption or EPOC. EPOC is positively correlated with metabolism. So when your EPOC goes up, so does your metabolism. This means you basically burn more calories at a higher rate. Now take a guess and tell me what improves EPOC the most?
If you guessed interval training, you’re right!
Interval training elevates EPOC to levels following traditional steady-state aerobic exercise. What’s also cool is that interval training can significantly improve your EPOC levels for longer periods of time after you stop exercising.
Suppose you are jogging. Once stopped, your metabolism drops almost immediately. This will happen if you continue at a steady pace. Now, with interval training, once you stop training, your metabolism actually stays elevated for quite a while afterward. Depending on the intensity of your training, it may remain above baseline for hours on end. This, which I like to call the afterburn, is the foundation of my dynamic burn fat loss program.
Essentially, you can do interval training without any traditional cardiovascular exercise, getting more done in less time. Now, the other cool thing about interval training is that it affects steady cardio more than steady cardio does interval training. This means that if you sprint on a day off, it will have a huge carryover effect if you decide to do a lap around your local track one day. Now, if you do regular cardio like I’ve been talking about, and then do sprints one day, they’ll carry over to very little. You’ll inhale like you did for the first workout.
Another thing I don’t like about jogging is the bad effect it can have on your knees and joints. Every strike of your leg on a hard surface adds up to 6 times your body weight to the knee joint. I don’t know about you, but I want my knees to stay healthy as I age and don’t want to have them replaced at 50!
Now, if you’re just getting started with interval training, here’s a quick little workout you can do on the treadmill. No running at all, you’ll be done in 20-25 minutes.
For the first 5 minutes, just incline the treadmill 1 to 2 degrees at 3.0 mph.
After 5 minutes, as long as you can bear it, I want you to turn the interval to 12-15 degrees. Also, try not to grab hold of the handrail. This will make the practice more difficult.
Now, turn the treadmill down to 1 to 2 degrees for about 2 minutes, then repeat the process until you reach 20-25 minutes.
This is a great little workout if you’re new to interval training. Obviously, adjust to your fitness level, but start doing more of these workouts. You’ll start seeing fat shed at a faster rate, and you’ll have more time to enjoy life outside the gym.
If you haven’t already, visit my blog now and grab the FREE 6-Month Fat Loss Plan for more routines like this!
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