If you’re spending countless hours on a treadmill pounding away in a steady jog just wishing the fat to melt off you could be wasting your time. While I heavily endorse a daily workout you need to make sure it’s the RIGHT workout for YOUR goals. Around this time of year is when I hear a lot about desires to ‘lose weight’ and get asked frequently ‘How do you find the time?’ when I lead such a full life. The answer is simple. I put aside 30 minutes on most days of the week to train and at least three of those sessions are HIIT sessions.
HIIT stands for ‘high intensity interval training’ and you need to make this your new best friend if you and your body want to be in simpatico with fat loss. HIIT involves short bursts, say 10-60 seconds, of high intensity training followed by short periods of rest or lower intensity training. Think 30 seconds skipping followed by 15 seconds of rest. HIIT training has been shown to work – yes, it does burn fat. It’s even better for fat loss if you use full body, functional movements. This is because you’re more likely to be stimulating youth-enhancing hormones to do their stuff during this type of workout than a steady-state training session, such as a 45 minute jog on a treadmill. Yep, that’s right, you CAN get results in a shorter time.
In the past we used to think of long slow cardio sessions as the best way to burn fat. This is because fat burning is prioritised at these intensities. What we forgot in the fitness industry is that higher intensity sessions burn more calories in a shorter period of time. That means more fat burning too! Given ‘lack of time’ tends to be one of the most common excuses I hear for not exercising, 30 minute training sessions are also easier to stick to than long sessions, which also means faster results. You are more likely to ‘train hard’ in shorter sessions than longer ones.
The other mistake I often see people, mostly women, make is avoiding resistance training. Resistance training is a MUST for fat burning because it builds a lean, toned body of muscle rather than fat. Muscle makes you a fat-burning metabolic machine when you’re sleeping. Steady state cardio does not.
My tips for fat loss:
• Use HIIT training 3-4 times per week.
• Keep sessions to 30 minutes or slightly less so that you train hard – avoid long drawn out sessions that are less effective
• Use full body, functional movements such as sprinting and skipping
• Use resistance training in your workout plan 2-3 times per week.