Fit Thursdays: Cutting The Fat - The Best Exercises For Quick(er) Fat Loss, No Gimmicks!
by Elaine Delaney, Personal Trainer
Have you ever pinched that little piece of fat that hangs over your jeans and wonder how much harder do I need to exercise to shed the last few kilos? Or how many articles on “achieve a flat stomach in a day” do I need to read to help lose some body fat? The good news is this article will provide you with the latest research on the recommended exercises for fat loss however, a flat stomach unfortunately won’t happen overnight.
The golden rule for weight loss is the amount of calories you consume must be less than the amount of calories you burn during exercise and everyday activity otherwise weight gain will occur. Keeping this in mind, a balanced diet combined with at least 30 minutes of exercise per day will provide endless health benefits
The importance of exercise selection
Exercise selection can often be a limiting factor of a workout. Repeating the same exercises can become monotonous and demotivating. Ask yourself these questions before you start a workout, why have I selected these exercises and are they working the targeted muscles groups? The most effective exercises for burning body fat are whole body exercise or exercise that requires two or more muscle groups to complete the exercise for example a bicep curl predominately uses the bicep brachaii muscle in comparison to a squat: the hamstrings, glutes (buttocks), quadriceps, lower back and believe it or not your abdominals are all recruited thus more energy is required from the body to complete this exercise.
Types of whole body exercise
Whole body exercise or exercise that recruits two or more muscle groups can be completed at home, in the park, at the gym or the most comfortable and convenient location for you, with or without weights. If you are a beginner to exercise body weight will be sufficient resistance for the first few weeks. Some examples of whole body exercise/exercise which recruit large muscle groups include deadlift, squat, burpees, pull ups, chest press, bent over rows, lunges, box jumps, mountain climbers etc.
Weights VS Cardio
In order to achieve optimum reduction in body fat percentage a balance between weights and cardio workouts are essential. Muscle requires more energy per day in comparison to fat and cardiovascular exercises increase heart rate and blood flow around the body.
What is the best level of intensity for a workout?
The level of intensity selected will have a major impact on your workout and overall results. Slow controlled movements with heavy weights are more suitable for strength gain whilst high intensity with lower weights contribute to a decrease in body fat. High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT has become one of the latest trends in the fitness industry and due to the extensive research conducted it is evident why. HIIT training is based on the concept of working at a high intensity for a period of time followed by a rest period. The duration of work and rest can vary from person to person or athlete to athlete. If you are a beginner to exercise or have been diagnosed with a medical condition it is recommend you seek clearance from your doctor prior to engaging in exercise especially those of a high intensity nature.
As a beginner to exercise, HIIT training can be incorporated into part of your workout whilst those who are more experienced can incorporate HIIT into a full training session. HIIT can be utilised to set goals and to monitor your progression for example the rest period can be reduced or the level of intensity can be increase.
Types of HIIT
Tabata training is the most common form of HIIT training, originally developed in Japan based on the concept of 20 seconds of high intensity training/maximum effort with a 10 second break for 8 rounds. The exercise selection can be the same exercise for 8 rounds, however a combination of exercise can be used for example plank and a jack-knife, jumping squat and lunge, medicine ball slams and push ups. The exercise can occur in any order i.e. 4 sets of squats followed by 4 sets of lunges or the exercise can change after each set.
A study by Japanese scientist Dr. Izumi Tabata, (hence the name) discovered that high intensity training improved VO2 max (or your maximal oxygen consumption) by approximately 14%, while anaerobic capacity improved by 28%. These effects will help you burn those extra pounds of stubborn fat and help build lean muscle. The concept of HIIT training and tabata requires maximum effort from the individual, elevating heart rate thus improving metabolism. It also is associated with an “After Burn Effect” where by your muscles are still burning energy for hours after an interval training session.
So remember always listen to your body and don’t push beyond its limits, increase or decrease rest period and intensity where necessary and remember no matter what intensity of exercise you are engaging in you are still lapping everyone sitting on the couch. So what are you waiting for, grab those runners and HIIT the gym.
Hi all, my name is Elaine Delaney co-founder of Euphoria Fitness Sydney.
I hold qualifications in health promotion, physiology and fitness. Since a young age, sports and fitness have been my passion and now I want to utilise this knowledge and experience to help other achieve their health and fitness goals.
My philosophy is life is small changes in your lifestyle can have a massive impact on your health. The key to achieving optimal health is good nutrition and exercise. In modern day society your fitness regime requires flexibility and commitment.
Euphoria Fitness provides specialised one to one or group personal training, for more information on the service provided simply use the contact details below.
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