There is a belief among weight loss experts and enthusiasts that aerobic exercise aka steady state cardio is best for burning fat because it ensures the availability of oxygen while you exercise.
While there may be some truth in that, that belief in general however is actually false.
Aerobic exercise helps you burn fat…that is true. But it is far from being the best or most efficient way to burn fat.
At least it is not the quickest.
Studies have shown that aerobic exercise…for example running at a moderate steady pace(at 60%-80% of your maximum heart rate) on a treadmill for 30 minutes three times a week will cause a loss of around 0.3% of body fat in one month.
Actually that’s not bad. 0.3% loss of body fat can go a long way towards making you slim.
But studies have also shown that you can lose fat a lot faster when you choose to exercise in another way.
When some of your exercise is actually anaerobic.
It is a form of exercise called HIIT or High intensity interval training which was first studied by the Japanese fitness guru Tabata who initially experimented with exercise bikes.
What Tabata found was that athletes who exercised in alternating bursts of intense and slow movements on exercise bikes for 20 and 10 seconds each over a period of 4 minutes three times a week lost more fat and got fit more quickly than those who did steady state cardio training for one hour five days a week .
Many other studies have since proven this to be true
Although similar amounts of HIIT and aerobic exercise cause you to lose a similar amount of weight over the short term, HIIT causes you to lose way more fat over the long term.
HIIT burns fat much more exclusively that aerobic exercise.
The same study also showed that the thrice weekly 20 minute HIIT sessions also caused the participants to gain 2 pounds of muscle in the course of one month.
And that a thrice weekly 30 minute session of aerobic exercise actually caused participants to lose a pound of muscle over the same period.
What this means is that the HIIT group actually lost more weight and fat doing less exercise than the aerobic exercise group.
Now why did that happen you may ask?.
Why does increasing the intensity of your workouts for short periods cause so much fat burn?.
The reason is simple. It is because more intense exercise boosts your metabolism for long periods after you might have done it…for hours or even days in a an after burn where there is increased consumption of oxygen by your muscle cells as they try to make up for being starved of oxygen during the more intense, more anaerobic phase of your exercise.
This phenomenon tends to last for up to 36-48 hours after a 20 minute session of HIIT so that you continue burning calories and fat long after your exercise session has ended.
This period of after burn makes you lose way more fat than a simple session of aerobic exercise.
Aerobic exercise does not cause an increase in your metabolism and does not cause an after burn.
For aerobic exercise fat burning stops as soon as you stop doing it.
Which makes it very inferior to HIIT in terms of how quickly it makes you burn fat and get lean and how much time you spend exercising each week.
You exercise less and burn more fat when you do HIT
Moral of the story?…
And there is nothing hard about it at all.
You simply increase the intensity of whatever exercise you do at intervals and you can begin to see fat disappear from your body.
Lets say you are running on a treadmill.
Instead of lazying away with your cardio and not breaking any sweat or burning any major calories, go all out for 30 seconds then slow down for 20 seconds and rinse and repeat for 10-20 minutes
You will burn way more fat this way while exercising a lot less.
If you use a bike you can do the same.
Pedal like you are possessed for 20 seconds, then slow down or rest for 10 seconds and then repeat the sequence for 4 minutes.
If you are simply jogging around the block do the same.
You will lose fat faster and get fit much more quickly.
So, I hope you know better now.
HIIT is not a myth, it is the best way to exercise.
There’s no need slogging away at your cardio and not achieving much when you can turn your body into a fat burning furnace.
The best fat burner is the one buried just beneath your skin. Learn to stoke it wisely and it will simply melt fat away for you.
Introducing the silliest, funniest, most effective 10 minute workout ever created: the 10 minute Jumping jack HIIT
One of the most effective adaptations of the HIIT workout that I have had the pleasure of ever coming across is the 10 jumping jack HIIT workout.
It is simple, silly, fun, short and effective. It is probably the best beginner HIIT workout there is, probably the most effective 10 minute workout in the world. Doing it consistently for just 10 minutes a day will give you astonishing results.
You will lose up to 10 pounds in 3 weeks and get seriously toned. so don’t turn your nose up at it just because it is simple or cheap.
Some times the best thing in the world come in little ugly packages.
All you do is alternate 10 second periods of fast, intense jumping jack movements ( you move as fast as you can aiming to do 15, 20, 25 jumping jacks in 10 seconds, trying to increase the number each time) followed by an equal 10 second period of rest (where you might simply keep moving from side to side, marching in place, or completely stop moving for 10 seconds).
You do that for 10 minutes at a stretch at least once a day, more if you can.
If you do it religiously you will see amazing results in a very short time.
Follow the simple example below by Adrian Bryant of nowloss.com.
Or this more elaborate total body HIIT workout from fitnessblender
If you want an even more elaborate HIIT workout program start the 8 week fat burning HIIT program below and by the time you are through you will look as thin and toned as a top level 100 meter sprinter.
The 8 Week HIIT fat burning program
The following HIIT workout program runs for 8 weeks at 2 weekly intervals. It starts with an easy beginner HIIT workout regimen and works it’s way up to a very advanced set up.
As you move up in the program the rest period is reduced and the work period increased in order to increase the level of difficulty.
At the first level you start with a work:rest ratio of 1:4 and a workout duration of 15 minutes
Level two shrinks the amount of rest you get and cuts the work: rest ratio to 1:2 for a duration of 17 minutes
Level three cuts the rest period further so that the work: rest ratio is now exactly equal at I:1 for a total workout time of 18 minutes.
Level four cuts the amount of rest you get even further and increases the work period so that the work:rest ratio is now 2:1 and lasting for 20 minutes.
That is the advanced level.
The key to succeeding with this program is starting at the level you find easiest and most comfortable and then working your way up.
You don’t need to start at the lowest level if you find it too easy. And you shouldn’t also be in a hurry to leave a particular level before you have completely mastered it even if you stay there for more than two weeks..
The two week duration alloted to each level is only a guideline. You should stay for as long at a particular level as it takes to become comfortable with it and create results.
And you can use any kind of workout with this HIIt program…jumping rope, jumping jack, sprints, tool based workouts etc…so far as you stick to the required work: rest ratios.