I’m guessing it’s the same for you? You feel like you’re never at your ideal weight and you could lose an inch or two around your waist and hips? Maybe I’m wrong in my assumption but I work with a lot of women and that’s the general opinion.
So, how can you lose that stubborn body fat? Go to the gym five times a week and run for an hour on the treadmill? Go to Spinning classes three times a week? Maybe swim twice a week? Or how about attending the local Zumba classes?
If you do any of those and you’re STILL not losing body fat, something isn’t quite right is it? There’s something you’re NOT doing. Don’t get me wrong, these activities are ok and will keep you fit but…
OK, I’ll let you into a little secret – the SECRET way to shed your body fat…
Intensity and post-workout effects are the keys to fat burning. Forget about long, gruelling cardio routines that last for an hour or more. To burn fat, all you need is a minimum of 12 minutes and no more than 20 minutes per workout performing short intense exertion periods.
The trick is to trigger an ‘after burn’. This happens when your body burns fat after you stop exercising. It’s all about what you use for energy during exercise. With intense interval training, your body starts to burn glycogen (stored carbohydrates) in your muscle tissue. This lasts for 15-20 minutes. When you stop exercising during this process, your body will automatically burn fat to replace the carbs you just burned. This ‘after burn’ melts away your stored body fat.
You’ll continue to burn fat up to a full day after you finish each session. WOW! This is largely due to the boost your metabolism gets from your training. Because your body needs extra calories to repair muscles, replenish energy stores and restore your body to homeostasis, you continue to burn calories (and fat) long after your workout is over.
After a few months, your body stops storing fat because it simply doesn’t need it. This is the opposite of conventional advice, which tells you to burn fat during exercise. But this only makes matters worse. This tells your body to make and store more fat so you’ll have something to burn during the next workout. This is why so many people get frustrated when they don’t see results after months of spending hours in the gym.
Turning up the intensity after each interval and keeping your workouts short will take the fat off.
In an experiment on a stationary bike, 2 people each did a workout. Person 1 did 20 minutes on the exercise bike at continuous pace with no rest (about a constant 60% of their maximum heart rate.)
Person 2 did 20 minutes on the exercise bike in numerous short bursts of 15-30 seconds while resting (recovering) in between (their heart rate fluctuating between 60% and 80% of their maximum heart rate.)
What was the result?
Person 1 used a total of 150 calories, 60% of those calories from fats and 40% from glycogen (carbs) – so 90 calories from fats and 60 calories from glycogen.
Person 2 used a total of 250 calories as the demand was much greater. This time only 40% of those calories from fats and 60% from glycogen (carbs) – so 100 calories from fats and 150 calories from glycogen.
What does this mean?
In the same amount of time, i.e. 20 minutes, Person 2 used 100 more calories plus more calories from fats even though the percentage using fats decreased. Person 2 also depleted their muscle glycogen, meaning they needed to replenish their glycogen stores and repair muscles after their workout. What do we use as energy to do this? Fats! So Person 2 will get the ‘after burn’ effect up to 24-48 hours after their workout.
Interesting eh? Sorry if it got a bit scientific but the main point of this is that:
1. Forget about long, distance repetitive cardio if you want to lose body fat.
2. Instead, concentrate your training on intense, short intervals and also incorporate strength training to build up your muscle tissue (more muscle tissue burns more body fat).
Ps/ The women in my group fitness sessions are losing body fat and building up their strength by using my methods. If you’re interested in finding out how to join them, have a look at my timetable here: WOMEN’S FITNESS