HIIT Cardio For Fat Loss

You know the scene; the fat guys on the treadmill doing their low intensity cardio at 60% intensity, slogging it out for hours and never seeming to lose any appreciable fat. What is the reason for this? Its simple really, low intensity cardio such as that just burns calories. 300? maybe 400 in 30minutes. Not only that, but the body will not care where the energy comes from(muscle, carbohydrate or fat). Considering it takes an expenditure of 3500 calories to burn 1lb of fat, the impact slow cardio on its own is minimal.

This doesn’t mean however that all cardio is useless for fat loss. In fact, the opposite is true. Cardio is good for fat loss… IF, and only IF it is done correctly. What is the “correct” way to do cardio you ask? The answer; HIIT. HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval training, and consists of short bursts of high effort work, followed by a recovery period. An example of this would be:

3 minute slow jog warm up
10 second all out sprint
80second slow walk back to starting point
10 second all out sprint
80second slow walk back to starting point
etc etc

Ideally, this would be done 5-10 times, followed by a 3 minute slow jog, and 5-10minutes stretching to cool down.

If this is not possible (due to no access to a road or field, or for whatever reason) you could easily do this on a machine at the gym. It is harder to completely fatigue yourself in 10seconds on a machine though. So I would suggest something like this:

Elliptical machine:

3 minute warm up
30seconds all out
1minute slow pace recovery
Repeat 5-10 times
3minute cool down

Now for the reasons why you should do this:

By implementing short bursts of intense work your body will greatly increase its metabolic rate; that is, the rate at which you burn calories when you are typing at a desk, hovering, even sleeping. Yes, you may only burn 200-300calories during the session, but over the next 48hours (2days) your metabolism will get a boost of about 200-300calories a day. This makes a grand total of 600-900calories, from just one 20-30minute session.

Not only that, but it will also activate certain enzymes in your body that increase the use of fat (instead of carbohydrate or muscle) for fuel. Once activated, this enzyme will stay active for a few hours at a time. Combine this with the fact that HIIT also increases the availability of fatty acids (stored fats) for fuel, you now have the perfect time to do your Low intensity cardio.

A 20minute HIIT session, followed by a 20 minute Low intensity (60-80% Maximum heart rate) session will do wonders for your fat loss.

The HIIT will increase your metabolism, free up fatty acids, and increase the use of fatty acids for fuel, then the low intensity cardio will burn those fatty acids off and leave you with your precious muscle to show off to the ladies.

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