There are so many ways to lose weight today – there are hundreds of diet programs that can help you get rid of fat very fast, diet pills that promise instant results, as well as intense exercise regimens that get you that leaner body you’ve always wanted to have.
For people who want risk-free, inexpensive, and all-natural solutions to losing weight fast, there are certain simple methods to achieve just that.
Here are 3 ways to lose weight fast, done in the most natural way possible:
1. Choose to Eat Fruits More than Anything Else
Making the commitment to lose weight means making the commitment to change your lifestyle. Before you start to take on a fruit diet for the first few days of your weight loss efforts, you must get rid of all of your “bad” food choices.
Get rid of all the junk food and processed goods in your pantry. This includes cookies, chips, chocolates, and basically everything that’s not fresh. You also have to throw away anything white in your diet – such as white bread, white sugar, and pasta – they contain unhealthy carbohydrates that make you bloat – making you look bigger than you actually are.
Once you’ve cleaned your pantry of all that junk, it’s time to hit the supermarket and stock up on some healthy and fresh fruits to eat for the next few days.
When consuming fruits, you are helping to detoxify your liver, which results to an overall healthier body. Lemons, specifically, are excellent liver detoxifiers. The liver is one of the main organs responsible for digestion and fat burning, and when you eat citrus fruits, which they help to improve your liver’s overall functioning, your body gets to burn more fat effectively and your digestive system will work more efficiently – helping you lose weight and keep you healthier.
Other essential fruits needed for weight loss are apples, which are high in fiber and low in calories. Since they are high carbohydrate fruits, apples are best eaten at breakfast since they can give you the fuel you need to go on with your day. Similar fruits include bananas, pineapples, mangoes, grapes, pears, and plums.
Low carbohydrate fruits such as watermelon and peach have high water content, making you feel fuller and reducing your cravings. They also help to cleanse the body of toxins, making you even healthier as you lose weight.
Other amazing fruits that aid in weight loss are avocados and coconuts. Avocados contain Omega 9 fatty acids that increase metabolism, while coconuts are rich in medium chain triglycerides that improve the liver’s rate of metabolism by 30%.
Overall, having an all-fruit diet will help to improve blood circulation, improve the digestive system, boost your immune system, give your skin a healthy glow, promote overall health, reduce water retention, and best of all, aid in effective and natural weight loss.
2. Do Aerobic Exercises 3 time a Week
You don’t have to enroll yourself in a gym or hire a personal trainer to lose weight fast with exercise. You can do aerobic exercises in the comforts of your own home or around your neighborhood.
Aerobic exercises are the most effective way to lose weight through physical activity because they use fat as the primary source of energy. This means that aerobic exercises are the best ways to burn stored fat in all the nasty places in your body that need working on – such as your thighs, abdomen, and butt.
Aerobic exercises consist of long, repetitive movements that challenge the heart and lungs – bringing more energy throughout the cells of the body. So not only are you burning fat, but you’re also helping to make your entire body healthier as well.
Walking is the easiest yet least effective aerobic exercise for weight loss. However, for starters, it’s the perfect introduction to living an active lifestyle. An hour of brisk walking can make you lose about 300-400 calories. Once you’re ready to move to the next level, take up running or jogging where an hour of continued exercise can help you lose about 600 calories. Cycling and swimming will also help you lose the same amount of calories.
To make your muscles firmer and leaner, strength training is the best form of exercise. You can buy weights or dumbbells and slowly move from one weight to the next. You can hold the weights as you walk or jog to bring more dynamics to your workout.
Exercising once a week won’t yield results but being physical for at least an hour 3 times a week for 6 weeks straight will certainly give you visible results. Though drastic weight loss won’t occur until at least after 3 months of diet and exercise, you’ll definitely start to see some weight loss after a month of continued exercise and diet.
However, it is important to note that intense exercise and going on an all-fruit diet together is not recommended. You’d want to consume an appropriate amount of calories to last through your workouts. You can do a fruit diet for 5 days and gradually introduce meat into your diet before you start exercising. You’ll need all the energy you can get, as well as protein and carbs for your workouts so make sure you have enough calories to lose before you even begin to make that 1 hour run.
3. De-Stress for Weight Loss
You might think it’s a contradiction to relax when you want to lose weight but it’s actually essential to achieve effective weight loss. When your body is stressed, you produce cortisol and adrenaline – two hormones that bring fatigue, restlessness, and weight gain. And when your body produces more cortisol, you tend to crave for sugary, salty, and fatty foods – leading to binge eating that makes you gain weight.
Stress-related hormonal changes also make your body keep fat – which just makes you gain more weight.
In order for your fruit diet and aerobic exercises to work, you must have low stress levels so you can properly lose the weight that you want to lose.
You can practice meditation, get a relaxing massage, or simply listen to some good music. Take the time to relax, unwind, and just refresh your mind from all the negativity and let all the stress disappear.
There are many ways to lose weight – but if you want it done the natural and risk-free way, all you need are fruits, an hour of aerobic exercises, and some time to relax your mind.
“How do I increase my metabolism?” is a question that comes from a lot of people looking to lose weight.
They want to know all about metabolism boosters, metabolism secrets and diets that can increase metabolism.
Can you really boost your metabolism? Does your metabolism really decrease as you age?
Is this lower metabolism something you’ll just have to learn to live with, whether it’s age related or not?
The bad news is that you metabolism does decrease as you age. The good news is that it’s something you can counteract.
You see, starting around age 25 to 30, most people lose 5 to 10 pounds of lean muscle every decade. And lean muscle is more metabolically active.
So all you need to do to boost your metabolism or keep it from slowing down is to focus on a workout program that preserves the lean muscle you have or adds a few pounds of lean muscle to give your metabolism a boost.
Let’s take a look at the four components of your metabolism.
* Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR)
Your resting metabolic rate makes up most of your daily calorie expenditure and includes everything your body needs to do to survive, such as thinking, repairing tissue and anything else it needs to do.
* Thermogenesis – simply the calorie burning from the act of eating.
Your body burns calories when you chew, swallow and digest the food you eat.
* Genetic Thermogenesis – the calories you burn based on your genetic makeup.
* Physical Activity – these are the calories you burn from physical activity via exercise such as biking, playing tennis, weight training and cardio.
If you want to boost your metabolism you need to focus on these different aspects of metabolism.
Your resting metabolic rate can be increased by adding lean muscle.
Will 5 to 10 pounds of added muscle dramatically increase your resting metabolic rate?
No, but it will increase it and every little bit helps.
In addition, if you add 5 to 10 pounds of muscle, as opposed to losing that much muscle mass each decade, the difference will be quite dramatic over time.
There’s another huge positive metabolism boosting advantage to weight training or high intensity interval training and that’s the post-workout metabolism increase.
After an intense resistance training session (or high intensity interval training session), your metabolism will stay elevated for up to 39 hours AFTER the workout!
There is a lot of debate on just how big the metabolic boost is when it comes to post-exercise calorie burning but most studies agree that it happens and it’s important.
With an intense resistance training session you also burn calories during the workout.
Another way to boost your metabolism is by increasing your protein intake.
Your body requires more energy (i.e. calories) to process protein than it does carbohydrates.
Your lifestyle will determine how much exercise you need for the metabolism boost you need to start burning fat.
If you sit at a computer all day you’re going to need more exercise than someone who does construction work all day.
That’s just the way it is.
Here’s a sample metabolism boosting exercise program.
Monday – High Intensity Interval Training
Tuesday – Weight Training Session
Wednesday – Active recovery cardio training
Thursday – Weight Training Session
Friday – High Intensity Interval Training
Saturday – Weight Training Session
Sunday – Rest
Active recovery cardio is low intensity longer duration cardio that you see most people do in the gym.
You can also do something simple like taking a long walk outside. This type of session should last 45 – 60 minutes.
Put all these pieces together into a cohesive plan and you’ll attack a slowing metabolism from all different angles.
You’ll not only prevent your metabolism from decreasing as you get older but you’ll increase it, leading to greater fat loss, more muscle and a healthier, sexier, more energetic you.
Let’s cut to the chase. The tool is the simple jump rope! Trust me, keep reading!
A jump rope workout is a fantastic way to burn a lot of calories, improve your overall conditioning, and use as part of a metabolic resistance training program for some serious fat loss.
Two of the great things about a jump rope is you can take it anywhere and you don’t need a lot of room to get in a workout.
You can also use the jump rope as part of your training program, whether you’re using weights or just using bodyweight exercises in your training.
You’ll get a lot more out of a jump rope workout that’s only 10 minutes long than you will doing 45 minutes on the stationary bike the way most people do it. You know what I mean; the people at the gym who pedal, pedal and pedal some more while reading a magazine or watching television, yet they never even break a sweat. What a waste of time!
As you can see, there are a lot of things you can do with the jump rope.
If trying to jump rope for 10 or even 5 minutes straight is daunting for you at this point, a great way to get started is using the Tabata Protocol of performing an exercise for 20 seconds as hard as you can, rest for 10 seconds and then repeat. You do this 8 times for a total of 4 minutes of working out (less, since one third of that time is resting)!
Once you can do that, try adding a second cycle of the Tabata Protocol. Do 8 sets of 20/10 (again, 20 seconds of exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest), rest 1 to 2 minutes and then do it again.
Once you can do this, you can start adding more time to your jump rope workout and also start adding different techniques like jumping on one foot for 10 jumps, then switching feet, alternating feet, doing double jumps, etc.
But get the regular old two foot jump down first!
You can also combine jumping rope with other bodyweight exercises. Here’s an example:
30 seconds – Push ups
10 seconds – Rest
30 seconds – Jump Rope
10 seconds – Rest
30 seconds – Alternate Forward Lunge
10 seconds – Rest
30 seconds – Jump Rope
10 seconds – Rest
30 seconds – Bodyweight Squats
Rest 2 minutes. Perform 3 to 5 sets
Another great way to use the jump rope is to incorporate it into your resistance training sessions, whether you’re using bodyweight exercises or weights, or both.
Instead of resting between all your sets, do some cardio, like the jump rope! You’ll burn a ton more calories.
Traditional long form cardio is getting bashed all over the place nowadays.
It’s not my favorite form of exercise either, nor do I think it’s the best option for fat loss and overall health and fitness.
At least not if that’s all your doing.
But cardio can definitely be effective and have it’s own place as part of a well designed fitness program.
Cardio should be one component of your program, not the only component.
Then the question that gets asked a lot is, “if I’m training for fat loss, when should I do my cardio, before or after my weight training session?”
Great question! You’re on a roll! Oh, wait! That’s just the same question asked again!
So, weights then cardio, or cardio then weights?
Weights then CARDIO!
If you want a complete training routine to maximize your fat burning results, you’ll want to include the following:
1. Strength Training
2. Conditioning or Metabolic Training
3. Metabolic Finisher
4. Strategic Cardio
And this does NOT mean you need all four in the same workout. Just using two of them in a workout can be extremely effective and more than enough.
Very rarely will you use all four components in one workout.
So why resistance training first?
For starters, if you do cardio first, your weight training performance (and results) will suffer.
Here’s a dirty little secret cardio bunnies and makers of “aerobics” dvds don’t want you to know.
Intense, high quality weight training is MORE effective for taking fat off and keeping it off than cardio!
Hit the weights while you’re fresh, then move to your cardio. Yes, of course, you can do a few minutes of a general warm up if you need it.
By hitting the weights first, you’ll also deplete your glycogen stores, leaving your body primed and pumped to dip into its stores of excess body fat to fuel your the cardio portion of your workout.
The flip side of that is that fat is not an efficient fuel for weight training. Glycogen is the preferred source of fuel for short, intense muscle contractions.
By hitting the weights first, you’ve allowed your body to have the preferred muscle fuel available and primed it to burn fat as soon as you start your cardio. NICE!
If you want to be efficient and MAXIMIZE your results, it’s strength training first, then cardio!
If you’re looking for lots of serious fat melting, calorie crushing, ab revealing results from your workout, this is for you.
There are a lot of reasons to hit a workout like this, including travel, or just being plain busy, or you can’t make it to the gym. Or hey, maybe you’re just tired of paying that monthly gym membership!
We’re going to fire up two exercises and 30 minutes of your time. The two exercises are bodyweight squats and push ups.
The idea is to get as many reps as possible in 30 minutes. A cycle may go like this.
Bodyweight squats – 30 reps
Push Ups – 15 reps
Repeat (resting when necessary)
In order to get a little static contraction back work in as well, be sure to hold your arms straight out in front of you for all your squat reps. Or lightly lace your fingers behind your head and do the bodyweight squats in “prisoner” style.
On the squats, go as low as you can on each rep, under control. Pause for a second at the bottom of the repetition.
Now, your strength level may vary a lot so I’m going to give you a list of bodyweight squat and push up variations so you can make this routine tougher or easier on you, as needed.
Strength levels can vary widely for people in bodyweight exercises. While someone may crank out 50 push ups non stop, someone else might only get two. So here are some variations for you.
For bodyweight squats you can do the following:
* Half Squats (don’t go down all the way, stop around top of thighs parallel to ground)
* Full Squats (down as far as you can go)
* Close Squats (feet turned out about 45 degrees with heels an inch apart, or touching if you can handle it). Arms pointed straight out in front of you.
* Wall Push Ups
* Incline Push Ups (standing and leaning forward into a bench or table, so you’re lower than leaning
into a wall)
* Kneeling Push Ups
* Half Push Ups (put something like a ball or stack of books under your chest)
* Full Push Ups
You could do:
Bodyweight squats – 20 reps
Push Ups – 10 reps
Repeat (resting when necessary)
Bodyweight squats – 10 reps
Push Ups – 5 reps
Repeat (resting when necessary)
Give this routine a try for 20 minutes, or 30 if you’re up to it. See how many reps you can get (30 may be too much on the squats. Try 20). You can adjust the push up number as well.
Even 20 minutes might be too brutal to start. You’d be surprised how much you can make 10 minutes of this hurt!
Next time you do it, try beating your rep total.
If you have one simple piece of equipment (a chin up bar) you can make it a tri-set with Bodyweight squats, push ups and pull ups (or inverted rows if you can do that).
You can also flip it. Instead of trying to hit a certain number of rounds in a set time, you can set a rep total and go for time, trying to beat that time in a future workout.
So maybe you go for 200 squats and 100 push ups (whatever variation you choose) with the same rule of double the squat reps to push up reps each time before going back to squats.
Really feeling it? 400 bodyweight squats and 200 push ups! Come on, Rocky!
Brutal, short and effective.
HIIT = High Intensity Interval Training
HIIT training has really exploded in popularity in the last few years.
And with good reason. High intensity interval training works! But if you want HIIT to work for you, you need to know how to make it part of your exercise routine.
You see, long, slow, boring cardio isn’t the best way to lose fat and bring out that sexy, lean muscle you have hidden under there.
Old fashioned cardio can be part of an overall program that helps you burn fat, but the “bang for your buck” isn’t as great as HIIT.
If you don’t know what high intensity interval training workouts are, in the most basic form, you perform short bursts of high intensity exercise (like sprints), with brief periods of rest.
For example, you might sprint the straightaway of a track and slow jog the turns and repeat for 8 or 10 “sets” (intervals).
It’s not an easy way to work out, but your workouts will be shorter and you’ll love the results. If you do HIIT correctly. And this is where a lot of people run into problems with interval training.
Regular cardio doesn’t burn nearly as many calories as most people think it does. Want to know how many calories are burned during a marathon of 26.2 miles? Sure, it varies from person to person based on body weight, lean muscle mass, how fast you run, etc. but on average a marathoner burns about 2,500 to 3,500 calories running one marathon.
There are 3,500 calories in a pound of fat!
Let’s say that’s how many calories you would burn running a marathon. So if you eat the exact number of calories your metabolism burns off in a week all you have to do is add a marathon every week and you’ll drop a pound a week!
That sounds great, doesn’t it? There’s also the small problem that a good percentage of that weight would be muscle, you wouldn’t lose just fat.
Have you seen what a marathon runner looks like? Is that the body you want? I didn’t think so.
And that’s assuming that your calorie intake and calorie burn are equal. Most people start exercising because they’ve gained weight, ie, are eating more calories than they are burning off.
And let’s face it, if you did run a marathon every week, you know you’d be eating a lot more than you are right now!
So if you don’t want to run a marathon or two every week AND you actually want to get results from your exercise program, what’s left? High intensity interval training workouts, of course! (and yes, some changes to your diet, too!)
With interval training, you get a one two punch of calories burned DURING your workout, as well as calories burned AFTER your workout (up to 39 hours!)!
Due to the high intensity nature of HIIT training, you will see an increase in excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC).
What this means is that your metabolism will stay elevated for many hours after you are finished the exercise, allowing you to burn more calories even while doing nothing.
There is little to no EPOC from a low intensity session, meaning your metabolism does not rise, and you burn few, if any calories after the exercise session is over.
Another study had individuals perform either an endurance training (ET) or interval training routine for a period of 15 weeks.
The interval training group experienced 9 times as much fat loss as those performing the endurance training program.
Numerous studies have shown that HIIT increases both one’s aerobic and anaerobic workout capacity while endurance training just improves the former.
It has also been shown that intense interval training actually increases aerobic capacity to a better degree than traditional low intensity aerobics.
So how do you use HIIT training effectively? This is very important, because improper training will lead to over training, burn out, injury, a loss of muscle mass and a slower metabolism! My guess is you aren’t working out and eating right to get those kind of results!
Interval training is intense, and while you will improve your aerobic and endurance capacity, you also highly tax your anerobic system as well.
It’s much more like a weight training workout, as far as how it affects your muscles. This means you shouldn’t do interval training workouts more than 3 or 4 times per week, you shouldn’t do them two days in a row, and these workouts should NOT be long!
Interval training focuses on quality over quantity. Forget 45 minute or 60 minute sessions. Not with HIIT you don’t.
Heck, the most famous study done on interval training, by Dr. Tabata on speed skaters, involved all out work for 20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated 8 times. Yes, that’s a FOUR MINUTE WORKOUT!
And the speed skaters all significantly improved their aerobic and anerobic capacity.
One of the other great things about hiit is that you do not need equipment. Sure, you can do it quite well on a stationary bike or treadmill but you can also go outside and do sprints (hill sprints rock!), perform jump rope workouts (okay, technically that’s a piece of equipment) or do bodyweight exercises, either in a circuit training routine, or just one killer exercise like burpees for a number of intervals.
And if you follow the rule above about limiting your workout sessions so you don’t over train, you also won’t have to worry about burning away your lean muscle mass, wreaking havoc with your metabolism and looking like a marathon runner. Wouldn’t you rather look like a sprinter?
What type of workout do you think sprinters do? That’s right! High intensity interval training workouts!
Add two or three hiit training sessions a week, along with a good quality resistance training program and you’re on your way to fat burning, lean muscle building success!
STUDIES: R. Bahr, et al., “Effect of Intensity on Exercise and Excess Post-Exercise O2 Consumption,” Metabolism 40.8 (1991):836-841.
J. Smith, et al, “The Effects of Intensity of Exercise and Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption and Energy Expenditure in Moderately Traine Men and Women,” European Journal of Applied Physiology 67 (1993): 420-425.
A. Tremblay, et al, “Impact on Exercise Intensity on Body Fatness and Skeletal Muscle Metabolism,” Metabolism 43.7 (1994):814-818
G. Rhodas, et al, “A Short Training Programme for the Rapid Improvement of Both Aerobic and Anaerobic Metabolism,” European Journal of Applied Physiology 82.5-6 (2000):480-486
When trying to lose fat and build some muscle so you can reshape your body, it helps to find simple tricks to eliminate or burn more calories, whether it’s through your workout program, or through your nutrition plan.
Here are five simple nutrition tips that will help put your body in fat burning mode. This will help you get even more out of your workout plan, helping you make even faster progress.
1) Eat more vegetables. Simple sure, but how many people really do it? Try mixing and matching fresh vegetables for variety. Besides the numerous health benefits, most veggies are full of fiber, which will fill you up, as well as burn more calories than eating other foods.
Yes, frozen vegetables are just fine. In fact, frozen fruits and vegetables have shown to be more likely to hold their nutrient value versus fresh because of things like the time they sit after being picked before you have them at home and eat them.
2) Go ahead and snack, just snack on good stuff, like raisins, nuts (especially almonds), veggies and most fruit. Not dried fruit, though. Have you ever looked at the calorie count and ingredients of most mixed nut and fruit “trail mix” products? It’s not pretty!
3) Speaking of nuts, add nuts to your yogurt and salads. Chopped nuts make a great alternative to “breaded” style garnishes like croutons.
4) Specific food combinations can help to burn calories by ramping up your metabolism. Eat carbs that are rich in fiber. They take longer to digest and you will feel “fuller” for longer periods of time.
Along with carbs rich in fiber, take in more protein. Your body burns more calories when you eat protein than it burns digesting either fats or carbohydrates.
Eating more protein to burn fat was confirmed in a study published in the American Journal of Physiology.
One group was fed a high protein diet (just over one gram per pound of bodyweight per day) while the second group consumed a protein diet near equal to that of the RDA.
The group eating the high protein diet burned more fat than the group consuming protein near equal to the RDA.
Want to burn fat or build muscle? Get lots of fiber and protein.
Eating protein also helps to prevent muscle loss while dieting, which can help prevent the slowing of your metabolism.
5) Yogurt can help you lose weight while protecting muscle.
A study of overweight people who ate three servings of yogurt daily for 12 weeks lost 22% more weight, 61% more body fat and 81% more abdominal fat than people who ate a similar number of calories but no dairy products.
Make sure to get yogurt with real fruit and no added sugar. Or, get plain yogurt and add your own berries to it.
Yogurt is also an easy and convenient snack and contains high quality protein as well.
Put these five tips into practice and your new muscle building, fat burning machine (your body) will reward you for it.
There are many myths about fat loss out there. Recognizing what they are can go a long way toward helping you reach your own fat loss goals. Here are 5 myths about losing fat you need to ignore.
1. Diets Don’t Work
Sure they do!
Practically all diets work, at least in the short term. And diets should only be for the short term.
You can take off the excess weight pretty quickly with an effective diet.
But you KEEP the weight off with a LIFESTYLE change!
People go on a diet, lose weight, and go back to what they were doing before, which is how they added all that extra fat in the first place.
Then they blame the diet for not working. It’s not the diet, it’s the lifestyle!
2. Going Extremely Low-Calorie is Bad
Going very low calorie, and even outright fasting, can be an extremely effective way to lose weight quickly, as you get a bigger calorie deficit and force the body to burn fat for energy.
But it has to be done the right way. You can’t go extremely low-calorie for a long stretch at a time, maybe just a few days here and there to kickstart the metabolism.
3. I Just Want To Tone Up
I’ve always hated this one. There is no such thing as getting toned. You can build muscle and you can burn fat. That’s it.
What most people call toning up is burning away fat while preserving lean muscle. You don’t want to lose muscle along with the fat or you’ll just be a smaller version of your fat self, or what we call skinny fat.
4. Light-Weight High-Rep Training Is The Best Way To Burn Fat
It can be effective, if done correctly. But if you don’t work hard, you won’t see results.
The BEST training style for fat-loss is a mix of heavier training, to preserve mass and strength, and lighter, high-rep training that focuses on Lactic Acid accumulation.
When Lactic Acid accumulates in the body, this changes the acidity (the pH) in the bloodstream. Your body reacts to this by secreting Growth Hormone, which is a potent fat-burning and muscle-preserving hormone.
5. You Can Never Eat Your Favorite Foods Again
Just not true. Of course you can. Can you eat whatever you want, whenever you want. No, but that doesn’t mean you can never have ice cream, or pizza, or potato chips again.
Keep these five fat loss myths in mind and you can get better results from your training and nutrition programs.
One of the biggest challenges most people face when trying to burn serious amounts of ugly fat is seeing results quickly enough to stick with the program.
Most of us know we’ll need to make nutrition changes and exercise to see results. We know some work is involved.
But it gets frustrating when you put in the work and don’t see the results you expect.
The best way to keep your motivation levels high so that you stick with your exercise program over the long haul is to see some results fast! Forget the slow and steady approach!
Here are three awesome exercise tips that will burn massive amounts of calories and get you lean and shredded!
1. Move Your Body!
Most people start their fat burning journey with the typical “fat burning exercises.”
In other words, they start with some type of aerobics, such as the stationary bike or the treadmill.
While it’s great that they are doing SOMETHING, these are not the best choices, especially the way most people use them.
Instead of riding the stationary bike like a hamster on a wheel, try incorporating exercises that move your entire body (or multiple exercises that get the job done).
Spiderman Push Ups
2. Try Shorter Workouts And Do More Of Them
Instead of completing a longer 45 minute to hour long workout (or more), try doing multiple workouts throughout the day that are only 4 to 15 minutes in length.
It may be easier to fit short workouts into your schedule.
You’ll also boost your metabolism and burn more calories by working out multiple times per day.
This is true even if your total workout time is the same (ie, three 20 minute workouts versus one 60 minute workout).
3. Improve the Quality of Your Workouts
Try being progressive with your workouts instead of always doing the same thing. If you don’t improve, your results won’t either.
Here are two quick examples for you, one with typical cardio and one with weights.
If you ride the stationary bike for an hour and go 12.1 miles every time, eventually you’ll reach a fat loss plateau and have to do something else. Your body will become very efficient at that workout and your results will diminish.
If you can bench press 100 pounds for 8 reps and never improve on that, you won’t get more results, either.
While you can’t improve every workout indefinitely, you need to strive to be progressive with your workouts and improve over time.
This doesn’t mean you have to go all out every workout and we all have our ups and downs, our good days and bad days. Sometimes it’s good to take time off. And sometimes it’s good to have an easy workout.
In fact, doing so is part of a good training plan. You’ll get re-energized and more motivated for getting back into the really intense workouts.
But you won’t see the results you want if you always work well within your current capabilities.
There must be a balance struck.
Sprint workouts are one of the best fat burning workouts you can do. Yes, really.
A study done by Colorado State University (you can find it at http://www.today.colostate.edu/story.aspx?id=7799) gave subjects a maintenance diet for three days.
On one of the days they did 2.5 minutes of sprints.
Using the latest technology (oxygen analyzers, etc.) it was determined the subjects burned an extra 200 calories on the day they did the sprints.
Now, full disclosure – the workout…
“involved pedaling as fast as possible on a stationary bicycle in the room that was set at a high resistance for five 30-second periods, each separated by four-minute periods of recovery in which they pedaled slowly with very little resistance. During the intense, 30-second bouts, the researchers coached the volunteers over an intercom system, encouraging them to give 100 percent effort.”
So it was actually a 22.5 minute workout, although they were only “working” for 2.5 minutes.
Even so, that’s pretty good stuff!
Have you ever seen a fat sprinter? Me, either.
We see fat marathon runners all the time, though.
They are not overweight by any means, but they are skinny fat in that their body composition isn’t good.
They may be skinny but too much of the weight they do have is fat, not muscle.
Sure, they don’t look fat when you glance at them.
But too much of the (little) weight they carry, is fat, not muscle.
While their overall weight may be okay, the body composition of that weight isn’t always what it should be. They burn too much muscle with all that long distance running.
But not sprinters. If you want to shed fat at a record pace and keep your lean muscle and your metabolism revving, sprint workouts are the way to go for getting lean, ripped abs.
You also have to be careful. Sprinting all out on a flat surface can be a great way to injure yourself, especially if you don’t warm up properly.
One way to limit the risk of injury (and it can be a more intense, more effective workout, too) is to perform your sprints uphill, instead of on a flat surface.
If you don’t have a hill around that’s convenient, a flat place to sprint (on a track, or a field, not the hard cement or concrete of a road or sidewalk) will do just fine.
You’ll also want to limit your sprint efforts to 85 – 90% of your all out effort. It will be enough.
Before a sprint workout, hit a light jog for a few minutes (if you’re sprinting on a field like a soccer or football field, you can jog a couple of laps around the outside) or perform a couple of minutes of jump rope.
Then it’s a few bodyweight exercises like jumping jacks, bodyweight squats, leg swings, etc.
All this doesn’t need to be long or intense but you want to prepare your body for sprinting.
The sprinting workout begins with three or four (progressively harder) sprints of about 30 to 40 yards. These are warm ups. You shouldn’t be bent over hands on your knees exhausted!
Then it’s time for the real thing.
“Interval training stresses energy systems in the body that aren’t accustomed to being used,” says Jeramie Hinojosa, M.S., director of the East Texas Medical Center Olympic Center, in Tyler, Texas.
“Blood supply to cells increases, the cells use oxygen more efficiently, and the enzymes that help create energy also increase. This improves fitness.”
Keep in mind, serious sprint workouts are similar to intense weight training sessions for the legs, so your body needs time to recover. If you start doing multiple sprinting sessions per week, cut back on your leg workouts with weights accordingly.
There are numerous ways to perform not only sprinting sessions, but interval training in general, from work to rest ratio, length of work and rest intervals, number of interval ‘set’s, exercises involved, etc.
Besides the variety, you can also build on your sprint workouts as you improve your overall fitness level. Starting out, you might only be able to perform 2 or 3 sprints of 20 yards before calling it quits.
But your fitness levels will quickly improve and before you know it, you’ll be doing more sprints of longer length (not necessarily for a longer time as your speed will improve as well).
Even so, don’t let these training sessions expand into long, volume oriented workouts. When it comes to hiit training, a little bit goes a long way.
If you aren’t ready for high intensity interval training, here’s a sample progression for you:
- Alternate jogging with walking
- Alternate running with jogging
- Alternate sprints with walking
- Alternate sprints uphill with walking down the hill (and extra rest if needed)
If you don’t have access to a hill, you can still adjust the parameters like I mentioned above. Maybe you start out with 3 to 4 sprints of 20 yards.
First you add intervals until you are doing 10 sprints of 20 yards and then you drop back the number of sprint intervals to 4 or 5 and sprint for 30 yards.
Eventually, you may be doing ten 60 yard sprints for your workouts. Yes, it’s the same type of progression ladder you’d use to increase your weights in your weight training routines.
During your sprint workouts, you don’t need to go all out. Try sprinting around 85 – 90% of a maximum effort.
If you’re serious about burning fat and getting ripped abs and want to quickly see results, consider adding hiit training in the form of sprinting to your program.