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Burn Fat, Get That Six Pack! Intervals Is The Way To Go!

Jul 13, 2008
Who isn't looking to lose fat, lose a couple of inches off their waistline, go down a couple of sizes and start working towards those "six pack abs"? Rhetorical question, I know. Of course, most of us have heard that for the best results, eating "right", taking the right supplements and combining resistance and cardio training into your routine is key, and of course, that's great advice. But what many don't realize is that the key to effective cardio training ( read: fat burning) is interval training. Forget about the slow and steady approach, it's time to start the fat burning engine!

What is interval training?

There are many different theories as to what constitutes the best type of interval training. The bottom line is interval training could be done a number of ways and at various interval lengths. Interval training is best defined as short, high intensity periods of exercise alternated with low intensity periods. Interval training is an effective technique that will help you burn more calories for several hours after your workout, thus making it a highly effective fat burning technique.

Most people spend their workout time only performing continuous training exercises (exercises where the intensity level is basically constant throughout).

Why interval training?

There are many benefits to interval training. Not only can it help you burn more calories longer, it can help you improve cardiovascular fitness, increase speed, improve overall aerobic power, help you break-through a plateau, expand your workout options and increase your overall workout threshold.

What should I do?

Interval training could be performed with any cardio machine (elliptical, treadmill, stationary bike, etc) or with no equipment at all. If interval training is new to you, I would recommend you start with a 20 minute interval workout and work your way up to 30 minutes by adding 2 additional minutes every week. Skip the predefined "interval" option on your machine and try this simple workout instead by selecting the "manual" option.

-Warmup at a low intensity for approximately 4-5 minutes
-Perform 1 minute at a moderate to high or high intensity
-Perform 1 minute at a low intensity
-Repeat this 6 to 8 times
-Cool down at a low intensity for approximately 4-5 minutes

This is just one simple variation of an interval workout. If you're not currently exercising regularly or not conditioned then you might want to try shorter exercise intervals (20-30 seconds). Some trainers will even tell you that this is the ideal time for the high intensity portion of your intervals. What's most important however is that you're actually performing interval type training and incorporating it into your weekly routine.

Once you get the concept, it's not too difficult to apply it to different exercises or to increase the duration. Try interval training 3 days a week (on the days you aren't doing resistance training) and you'll be shedding those pounds before you know it!
About the Author
George Louris is the author of The BusyGuy's / BusyGal's Workout for Fat Loss, is a Certified Trainer with over 20 years of experience & a former multiple fitness studio owner who has taken his life's passion for helping others achieve their fat loss goals online at The BusyGuy Fit Club, a resource for ultra-busy men and women who have little time for exercise but still strive for a fit and healthy lifestyle.
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