High Intensity Exercise
We all have a little fat to lose (some more, some less) and we would like to do so in the fastest way possible. And frankly, we would like to do it in the most effective way as well. I don't know about you but I don't want to take a month to do something if I could have done the same thing in two weeks.
Â In the past, people have turned to aerobics or jogging to burn fat. However, aerobics is not an an effective way to lose fat. But we do still want to develop our cardiovascular conditioning. At the same time we also want to continue to increase our capacity for work. This is not accomplished by running three miles each and every day at a low intensity pace. The best way to do this is to perform exercises that require an all out effort. One of the best ways to accomplish this is through something called interval exercise.
Â Interval exercise is simply periods of high intensity exercise that is alternated with periods of low intensity exercise. This is a fantastic way to to increase your capacity for work but it is even better way to burn fat. The reason for this is that high intensity exercise will cause you to continue to burn fat calories even after exercise is over.
Â When your body is stressed out due to intense forms of exercise it creates an oxygen depletion in your muscles and bloodstream. To make it sound fancy, your body has been thrown out of whack and will seek to return to a state of homeostasis. In order words, it will try to achieve the state of balance that you had previous to your workout. The official term for this process is called Excess Post=Exercise Oxygen Consumption. That is quite a mouthful to say so from now on we will refer to in by its abbreviation: EPOC. The good thing about EPOC is that it requires energy to return your body to that state of homeostasis. Energy means that you are burning calories. So even after exercise is over, your body will continue to burn calories. I don't know about you but I find it kind of cool that I can be burning calories while sitting on the couch. In fact, depending on the intensity of the exercise you may be able to burn calories for up to 36 hours following exercise.
So what would be some good exercises to use to crank up the intensity of your interval training sessions. Wind sprints are a fantastic exercise for this. In football we used to call these gassers. So if the weather permits (we got 20 inches of snow today so wind sprints are out of the question) then get to the park and take a stop watch with you and cycle wind sprints and walking every 30 seconds or so. You will probably need to walk for more like 60 seconds however, unless you are in pretty good shape.
Â You can also perform an exercise protocol called tabata. I have always thought that the Tabata Protocol sounded like the latest Robert Ludlum novel. Tabata exercise is performing an exercise for 20 seconds and then resting for ten seconds. You repeat this for 8 rounds. So each segment of tabata exercise lasts for 4 minutes. If you perform tabata with five different exercises you will probably be shaking all over by the and you will have exercised for 20 minutes. You can string together an exercise routine using push-ups, bodyweight squats, push press, jumping knee tucks and knee to elbow exercises (hang from pull up bar and raise your knees to touch your elbows). By the end of that session you will begin to thing that Dr. Tabata was a sadist. But it will be great for your fat loss.
Â So if you haven't incorporated interval training into your fat loss exercise plan then you will want to give it a try. You will be happy that you did.