Lose Fat Faster By Reducing Cardio and Trying HIIT
How Does HIIT Exercise Burn Fat?
Now that we’re well into New Year resolutions for 2016, many people are trying to determine what’s the best way to lose fat. Many people tend to believe that cardio is the most effective way to lose weight: running, jogging, swimming. But many personal trainers beg to differ. High-intensity interval training (HIIT), also called high-intensity intermittent exercise (HIIE), is a form of exercise that alternates between hard, short periods of anaerobic exercise and rest periods. HIIT workouts are anywhere from five minutes to a half an hour.
First, it’s important to understand how to burn fat. To burn fat, you must have a deficit of calories into your body compared to calories burned. The idea behind increased HIIT exercise is that your body keeps burning fat even after you’ve finished your workout. Because you are pushing yourself at such a high heart rate, your muscles don’t oxygenate fast enough and your metabolism continues to work to replenish this deficit. Also, by elevating your heart rate, you’re strengthening your heart and building up a cardio tolerance.
Besides burning fat, HIIT preserves your muscles by stimulating muscle growth. Muscle cells burn more fat than regular cells and oxidize fats; therefore, the more muscle you have, the more fat you will burn. Cardio helps to speed up fat loss, but many people neglect to add strength training to their routine, which sometimes can have the reverse effect and lead to muscle loss. If you’re not in shape, then long duration cardio will increase your cardiovascular fitness. HIIT will burn more fat and increases your cardiovascular fitness more than long-duration cardio does.
How to Exercise Using HIIT
Because HIIT can be stressful on the body, it’s important to push yourself but not over-do it. A good guide is:
- Start your workout with two to three minutes of warm-up, followed by five minutes of stretching.
- Do 10 to 30 minutes of HIIT.
- Do two to three minutes of cool down, followed by five minutes of stretching.
HIIT can be practiced both in and out of a gym. If you’re exercising on a machine, it’s important to choose a resistance that allows you to control your speed: you want to be able to achieve a sprint. All your favorite cardio—running, jump roping, biking—can be replaced with high knees, fast feet, or an exercise that will get your heart rate up fast.
HIIT Exercises You Can Try
Think: heart rate, heart rate, and more heart rate! The main objective of HIIT, and why it’s so effective at burning fat, is to get your heart pumping! Try the following exercises to replace your typical cardio session.
- Sprints: Outside is better, but if you must use a machine, a treadmill is best. Alternate between one-minute jogging and half a minute sprinting. Do this for fifteen minutes.
- Jumping Jacks: A great way to engage many muscle groups and get your heart rate pumping. Stand straight, with your arms to your sides and feet apart. Then jump with your feet out to your side while your arms go above your head. Do five sets of two minutes – or the time of three of your favorite songs.
- Jump Squats: Incredibly effective way to build muscle. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Move into a regular squat, engaging your core, and jump up explosively. Be sure to land with body back into the squat position. Thirty of these will have your quads burning.
A Fast Fat Burning Alternative
Try high intensity interval training as an effective fat burning tool in your fitness toolbox. You can reduce the amount of cardio in your exercise routine and increase your free time with time-efficient HIIT workouts. They’re easy to add; since you don’t need any equipment, they can be done anywhere; and they require less time to achieve the same calorie burn as steady pace cardio exercise. HIIT pushes your body as hard as you can go, peaking your metabolic rate and helping to strengthen your body. Like all forms of exercise, your HIIT workouts should get harder the longer you do them; constantly push yourself to do better or more than the previous time.