Sunday, July 20, 2008

Lose Your Gut with Interval Training

According to the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention, and as anyone can see just by walking down Main Street, USA, Americans need to lose their gut.

Americans are getting fatter each year (as is everyone around the world, for that matter - apparently Australia, long the poster child for the active lifestyle is now the fattest country in the world). Between 1994 and 2004, the average American waist size increased from 96 cm to 100.4 cm in men, and from 89 cm to 94 cm in women.

The rate of stomach fat obesity also increased, from 29.5% to 42.4% among men and from 47.0% to 61.3% among women. Over 50% of Americans have a signficant amount of stomach fat they need to lose in order to improve their health.

Basically, America has to lose its gut.

Fortunately, our friends in Australia have found interval training to be the solution to stomach fat.

According to Professor Steve Boucher, an Australian expert on Interval Training, "high intensity intermittent exercise may result in greater fat loss in the abdomen". That means that unlike doing hundreds of crunches, interval training can work to burn belly fat over everything else.

(Hopefully the Australians start listening to one of their own as well!)

This is incredible news for all men and women who want to achieve a lean midsection or even 6-pack abs. While most men and women spend all their time on abdominal exercises, the latest research clearly shows we should be doing interval training, not slow cardio or endless crunches.

Intervals are the best way to lose stomach fat.
  • If you are new to interval training, you should start conservatively.
  • Begin by doing 1 minute rounds of interval training at a slightly harder than normal exercise pace.
  • Then spend 1 minute at a slow pace as a recovery interval.
  • Do up to 6 intervals per workout, going between the hard exercise and easy exercise portions for a total of 12 minutes.
  • Always include a 4- minute warmup and 4-minute cooldown to complete your 20 minute interval training session.
  • As your fitness improves, you can increase your interval intensity.
Perform this type of workout 3 times per week after your resistance training workout and you will lose stomach fat, burn off your belly, and sculpt your body to develop a lean mid-section and toned arms.

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Lose Stomach Fat


Anonymous said...

It is amazing how many people spend their time at the gym doing the same things they learned from their high school gym teacher. Low and slow cardio is NOT the way to burn fat effectively and efficiently. It's all about the calories you burn when you're NOT working out - EPOC all the way!!!

Fit Over Fifty said...

After training the "usual" old fashion ways for a couple of years I decided to change things up a bit and try intervals. It re-energized my workout routine and eliminated the boredom, not to mention the sense of accomplishment I got when I was able to extend my "fast" cycles and decrease my "slow" cycles over time.
Last year I incorporated strength and resistance training into the slow cycles instead of just walking and I was able to lose those last few pounds that seemed to elude me in the past. At my age, 51, it is important to include some resistance to fight off muscle loss.