Despite spending hours at the gym each week, many women I coach come to me saying they just can’t seem to get any results, that their weight loss has stalled, or it is “impossible” to break through their plateaus. They want to know WHY.
And the answer is simple: their workouts aren’t efficient.
Performing long duration, moderate intensity workouts that, while they may burn some calories during the time she spends exercising, are doing little to improve your metabolic potential. If you want results, you have to be smart with the workouts that you’re choosing.
Yes, time spent on the elliptical is better than time spent on the couch, but it’s still not the BEST thing you could be doing to reach your goals.
When fat loss is the goal, you want to be on the lookout for ways to get the biggest metabolic “bang” for your “buck.” You want to look for workouts that give you MORE for LESS.
The key is exercise efficiency (getting MORE for LESS) and the workouts of choice are short duration, high intensity workouts…
3 Reasons Short Duration, High Intensity Workouts are BEST:
1) EPOC. No, this isn’t an exercise induced form of Chicken-Pox. In the world of Exercise Physiology, EPOC, or excess post exercise oxygen consumption, refers to the higher metabolic rate that is enjoyed by an intelligent exerciser long after their workout is over. Research shows that results from this hormonal “afterburn,” which is generated when exercisers are working at or near 100% of their V02 Max (aka they are breathless), can last up to 24-48 hours beyond the actual workout. In addition, studies show these results can be seen in bouts of effort as short as 1-5 minutes. Rather than being linked to duration, the amount of EPOC you experience is actually directly linked to the intensity of your workout. Shorter duration workouts allow you to increase the intensity so that you are able to take full advantage of EPOC and it’s hormonal afterburn, burning fat long after your workout is over.
2) Time Efficiency. Let’s face it, we are busy! In today’s world, time is precious. If something can be accomplished in less time, who wouldn’t go for it? Numerous studies demonstrate that despite their overall training time being much less, exercisers who perform short duration, high intensity workouts for minimal time periods still achieve more (in terms of body fat, weight loss, and fitness related goals) than endurance trained exercisers. More calories, more fat… and all burned in LESS time! And as an added benefit, it’s much easier to stick to your workouts when they take less time! This means short duration, high intensity workouts do wonders for your adherence (the ultimate fat loss weapon) AND your results!
3) Improved Body Composition. Body composition refers to the ratio of fat vs. muscle on your body, and is a key player in determining metabolic potential. In addition to increasing your metabolism through EPOC, short duration, high intensity workouts also increase your metabolism through the maintenance of lean muscle mass (or improved body composition). The more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn and the more likely it is that those calories will come from fat. Likewise, less muscle means less fat burned during exercise and less fat burned after. Long duration, moderate intensity exercise like jogging, biking, running, the elliptical, etc may burn some fat, but also burn muscle along with it. And when you burn muscle, you’re ultimately slowing your metabolism (no thank you!) and stalling your results (again, YUCK!). Short duration, high intensity workouts strip fat but have hormonal benefits that preserve your muscle… turning your body into a lean, mean, fat burning machine! (Now that deserves a hand clap!)
Want fat loss results without spending hours at the gym? When you begin to use intelligent exercise, you can transform your body and create lasting change in just 30 minutes or less.
Short duration, high intensity workouts are superior forms of exercise for fat burning… so if you want more results in less time, keep your workouts short (30 minutes or less) but intense. You’ll not only increase your metabolic potential, but you’ll preserve lean muscle mass, reap all the fat burning benefits of EPOC, and be on the fast track to lasting body change… all in less time!
For more resources to help you live a healthy, happy and balanced life, check out: http://www.beyondfitphysiques.com.
Submitted by: Kate Horney, BEYOND Fit Physiques