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How You Can Use High Intensity Interval Training Workouts To Lose Fat Fast
When you tell yourself you need to start working out to try and lose a few (or a lot) pounds what is the first thing you think of doing? Your first thought is to go jogging isn’t it. Well, I’ve got some bad news for you…jogging (and other traditional aerobic exercises) is the absolute worst thing you can do if you want to lose weight. Find out why below.
Video Main Points:
- This video is about using interval training to specifically burn fat and shrink your fat cells. While intervals also provide other benefits like fitness and improved general health this is not covered in this video.
- Interval training is essentially bouts of high and low intensity exercise. Using running as an example high intensity interval training could be alternating between sprinting/jogging or running/walking for a certain amount of time.
- Why is this better than traditional cardio like steady state (maintaining the same speed or intensity for the entire workout – this is usually a low to moderate intensity) jogging or aerobics? Well, the big benefit comes from working at a high intensity. Depending on your fitness you can’t maintin your maximum effort for more than 10-40 seconds however, if you work at your maximum intensity for short amount of time (eg 20 seconds) then follow it with a recovery period (eg 40 seconds) and do this 10 times it will equate to full out sprinting for over 3 minutes. Becasue you’re spending so long working at your maximum capacity it is the perfect exercise for burning fat. This is explained more below
- There are different protocols you can use: a common one is tabata which is 20 seconds on and 10 seconds off for 4 minutes or if you want a longer recovery 8 seconds on and 12 seconds off for 20 minutes is proven to give significant fat burning results.
- When you’re starting out your recovery periods will be longer than your sprint periods but as you become fitter your recovery periods should become shorter.
- If your goal is specifically for fat loss note: when you produce a lot of lactic acid it can prevent fat being used as a fuel so… the longer your high intensity interval is the more lactc acid is produced and fat burning may not be as good as it might be if you kept the maximum intensity interval below 15 seconds (this is because after 15 seconds the oxygen stored in your muscles is used up and your body switches to anaerobic energy which releases lactic acid).
- Interval training, because of its intensity, triggers 3 classes of hormones that are very important for helping you burn fat:
- Growth hormone –> goes to fat cells and specifically breaks fat stores down into fatty acids which are used for fuel
- Catecholamines –> epinephrine and norepinephrine are elevated after just 6 mins of HIIT and they also break down fat into fatty acids for fuel
- Cortisol –> short term elevated levels breaks down fat (however, long term raised levels of cortisol have the opposite effect)
- HIIT workouts don’t cause your blood sugar levels to drop after exercise (this does happen after steady cardio). Because your blood sugar remains at a normal level you don’t experience an increase in appetite or a craving for food, especially something sweet, after your workout.
- If you want to target abdominal fat specifically intervals can help with that too. This is because the fat cells in your abdomen have specific receptors called beta-2 adrenergic receptors which are triggered by epinephrine. So when epinephrine levels are elevated after 6 minutes of intervals these receptors are triggereed to burn abdmonal fat specifically.
- Steady state exercise is great for warmup or recovery…just not as a weight loss method
- As little as 10 seconds of sprinting can moderate blood sugar levels, as little as 6 minutes of HIIT can help you burn more fat and as little as 20 minutes can reduce abdominal fat scores by 40+% over an 8 week period
- You only need to workout for 20 minutes 2-3 time per week to get great fat burning and fitness results using interval training.