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Ditch The Cardio And Slash Belly Fat – See How
I really love the fitness industry. From the age of 12, I knew this was what I wanted to do. I’m only 23 now, but I feel like I have more ideas and information floating around in my head than most people in their thirties and forties in the industry. Don’t get me wrong, I love learning from everyone, even if it teaches me what not to do with certain clients by watching their trainers in action. But every now and then, I am gifted to read or witness something that totally changes my perception of what to do to get rid of belly fat as fast as possible. One such method I’m talking about is ditching traditional cardio altogether to lose belly fat. I know many would probably scoff at this idea, but hear me out for a second and just keep an open mind about all of this.
Now let me start by saying that cardiovascular exercise is a very important component in a fitness regimen. It is a wonderful form of exercise because it improves heart health, lowers blood pressure, lowers bad cholesterol, increases good cholesterol and many other positive health factors. However, many people get caught up in the idea that they have to run miles and miles to get these health benefits. And then you have the other side of the spectrum of people who feel they have to spend endless hours on the treadmill or elliptical to lose excess belly fat. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Let’s back up a bit and see what the definition of cardiovascular exercise is in layman’s terms. According to the dictionary, aerobic exercise is exercise that increases the need for oxygen throughout the body. Pretty simple stuff if you ask me. When you exercise, your body essentially needs more oxygen for the working muscles so that energy metabolism occurs and you can continue at a good pace without stopping.
But let me ask you this?
Why does aerobic exercise have to be just a slow, steady pace of running or any type of steady-state cardiovascular exercise? Why can’t it be circuit training, interval training or a combination of both? Because according to this definition, these types of activities would fit the mold. And guess what? These types of activities I just mentioned above are actually BETTER for losing fat and getting in amazing shape compared to running.
For example, how many people do you see at the gym moving on the elliptical or running on the treadmill for 30, 45, 60 minutes at a time and yet there is nothing special about their bodies? They are generally a bit flabby and soft with no real muscle tone. Now, I don’t know about you, but most people who want to lose weight prefer to be nice and lean with “toned” muscles. Well, slow, regular jogging for 45 minutes a day won’t get you there.
Now don’t get me wrong, steady state cardio has its place in some programs, but it depends on the individual. But most of the time, I would implement some type of interval training because there is more benefit. For example, there is a term called Excess Posterior Oxygen Consumption or EPOC. EPOC is positively correlated with metabolism. So when your EPOC goes up, so does your metabolism. This means that you are basically burning more calories at a higher rate. Now guess and tell me what increases EPOC the most?
If you guessed interval training, you’re right!
An interval training style raises EPOC well behind traditional steady-state cardio. What’s also good is that interval training can keep EPOC levels significantly elevated for longer periods of time after you’ve stopped exercising.
Let’s say you’re jogging. When you stop, your metabolism will decrease almost immediately. This happens if you continue at a steady pace. Now, with interval training, once you stop your session, your metabolism will stay elevated for quite some time afterwards. Depending on the length of the session, it could stay above baseline levels for hours on end. This, I like to call the post-burn and is the foundation of my Dynamic Burn fat loss program.
Essentially, you can do more in less time by implementing an interval training style without doing any traditional cardio. Now, another interesting thing about interval training is that it has more of a transfer effect to steady cardio than it does to interval training. This means that if you do sprints on your days off, it will have a huge carryover effect if you decide to go for a good run one day at your local track. Now, if you do regular cardio like I’ve been talking about and then do sprints one day, they’re going to be very light weight. You’ll be sucking the wind like it’s your first time exercising.
Another thing I don’t like about running is the nasty effects it has on the knees and joints. Each leg strike on a hard surface can increase the weight of the knee joint by up to 6 times whatever your body weight is. I don’t know about you, but I want my knees to be healthy as I age and I don’t want a replacement in my 50’s!
Now, here’s a quick little workout you can do on the treadmill if you’re just getting started with intervals. No need to run at all and you’ll be done in 20-25 minutes.
For the first 5 minutes, just set the treadmill to a speed of 3.0 mph with a 1-2 degree incline.
After 5 minutes, I want you to increase the range to 12-15 degrees for as long as you can handle it. Also, try not to grab onto the railings. This will make the exercise much more difficult.
Now, lower the treadmill to 1-2 degrees again for about 2 minutes and then repeat this process until you’ve reached 20-25 minutes.
This is a great little workout that you can do if you’re just getting into interval training. Obviously, adjust it to your fitness level, but start doing more of these types of workouts. You’ll start to see fat shed at a faster rate and have more time for life outside of the gym.
If you haven’t already, visit my blog now and grab your free 6 month fat loss program for more routines like this!
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