The top reason for not working out is … a lack of time.
We’ve all used it before.
Up at 5:30 a.m. to drive an hour to work. Home by 6 p.m., then it’s all about dinner and the kids and everything else going on that we can file under “life happens” and then … what do we know? It’s time to unwind (maybe) and then off to bed only to do it all over again the next day.
Who can blame you for not cranking out that hour-plus long workout?
Not when it takes at least 45 minutes for cardio and then another 30 minutes on top of that for some weight lifting.
If that’s the way you have to exercise to lose fat, then practically no normal person is going to be able to pull that off.
But here’s the thing: when you look at the science, you can see that this standard way of thinking about working out is just not efficient.
We can do better.
We can get better results in less time.
We just have to up the intensity. In doing so, we can cut our workout time in HALF … and sometimes … even more.
I’ve completed workouts that have me gasping for air in less than 15 minutes. 15 minutes!
A totally effective workout proven to earn maximum results can be done in 45 minutes or less. And that is without having to worry about spending 30 minutes plus on the deadmill or elliptical or stair master or (insert random cardio machine here).
Got your attention? Good. Read on for more …
Q: What is the role of interval training vs. steady state aerobics in a fat loss program?
In fat loss protocols, interval training is always going to beat out steady state aerobics and cardio. First and foremost: it’s just more efficient. We get more done in less time with an interval training session compared to the longer version.
Considering “lack of time” is usually the number one reason why most people skip working out altogether, it sounds like interval training wins hands down.
In addition to the time factor, intervals actually provide more of a fat-burning stimulus to the body, or what us fitness science nerds like to call, metabolic stress (one of the few times that any kind of “stress” is a good thing).
Metabolic stress essentially means we are going to burn more fat even after the exercise is over. This “afterburn” effect is the gold standard of training and is what we are looking for when trying to achieve that awesome look for beach season. It results from the muscles of our body working hard to recover and replenish the energy that was used during the training … which in turn leads to more calories burned.
Research from Australia proved this point and showed that interval training is far superior to slow cardio for fat loss.
In a 15-week study, one group of women did intervals (20 minutes of alternating sprints/recovery), a second group performed 40 minutes of slow cardio. A third group was the control group.
The researchers, Trapp & Boutcher, found that that interval group lost 2.5 kg (5.5 lbs) of fat over the course of the study compared to just 0.4 kg (0.8 lbs) of fat from the slow cardio group.
Need I say more?
It’s easy to get caught up on that little calorie counter on your cardio machine. I’m here to tell you that number is not nearly as important as developing the afterburn effect that we need post-exercise … and it only comes from strength and interval training.
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In the end, you will burn MORE calories with intervals.
But what about the “Fat Burning Zone?” Good question.
We’ve got to look big picture here … remember that while you are burning calories during this 30-40 minute period of slow, steady-state cardio … we must take into account the remaining 23.5 hours of the day.
By subscribing to interval training, we are ensuring the rest of the day is taken care of and our bodies are primed to continue burning fat at a substantial rate.
Bottom line is this: get the nutrition in order, develop a full-body strength routine and incorporate interval training into your fitness plan … the results will speak for themselves.
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