Rarely a day goes by where I don’t hear someone telling me about the hours on end they spend on the treadmill/elliptical/stair climber. These are the same people who have the same 10 – 20 lbs to lose that just never seem to come off.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I hate doing cardio. Yet, nothing takes the weight off like a good cardio session so when I first began reading about high intensity training (short workouts at maximum output) I was more than happy to give it a try.
The changes I realized over the past 9-months have exceeded my expectations. I now spend under half the time I used to working out, weigh 16 lbs less and lost 9% of my body fat.
High intensity training works. Period.
There is continuing research supporting the benefits of high intensity training, the most recent coming out of the University of Virginia where they have studied the impact of aerobic exercise on individuals with the metabolic syndrome.
According to the American Heart Association, metabolic syndrome is characterized by a group of metabolic risk factors in one person, including abdominal obesity (excessive fat tissue in and around the abdomen, also known as visceral fat).
People with the metabolic syndrome are at increased risk of coronary heart disease and other diseases related to plaque buildups in artery walls (e.g., stroke and peripheral vascular disease) and type 2 diabetes. The metabolic syndrome has become increasingly common in the United States. It’s estimated that over 50 million Americans have it.
While abdominal visceral fat (AVF) is a predictor of the metabolic syndrome, little is known regarding the effects of aerobic exercise training intensity on reductions in AVF.
Researchers out of the University of Virginia studied 28 abdominally obese individuals to determine if 16 weeks of aerobic exercise training at an intensity above the lactate threshold (high intensity training) is more effective than aerobic training below the lactate threshold (low intensity training) on reduction in abdominal visceral fat (AVF).
The 28 individuals were assigned to one of three groups:
1) No exercise training
2) Low intensity training – 5 supervised exercise sessions (days) per week, working below the lactate threshold.
3) High intensity training – 5 supervised exercise sessions (days) per week, with three days above the lactate threshold and two days at the lactate threshold.
Exercise time was adjusted to maintain identical caloric expenditure for the 28 individuals.
Results revealed significant reductions in abdominal and thigh fat only in the high intensity training group.
Once again, research supports that in order to lose fat the focus needs to be on high intensity training.
My high intensity program of choice is Turbulence Training combined with HIIT on a treadmill or bike, but you can find many options here on Gyminee. Find a program that works for you. If you’ve been struggling with losing those last 10 to 20 lbs, you may be very surprised by the results.
Train hard; stay strong.