In this episode we talk about the true drivers of fat loss success and when exercise should be added to the equation (and when it shouldn’t be). We talk about why cardio isn’t the most effective workout strategy and discuss the benefits of high intensity interval training as well as how it can be incorporated regardless of your fitness level.

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The Caveats:

  1. You can get amazing fat loss results without working out. The single most important factors for fat loss and health are what you put in your mouth and what you put in your mind. If you haven’t mastered those areas yet, please don’t add pressure to yourself by adding fitness before you’re ready.  90% or more of your results are going to come from what you put in your body. Master your nutrition and mindset habits FIRST.
  2. Just because some types of activity are  more efficient for fat loss that doesn’t mean you have to give up other activities if you love them. If you love running: run. If you love Zumba: Zumba your butt off. The best exercise is the one you’ll do and enjoy doing. We aren’t striving for perfection here, folks.
  3. HIIT can be employed by everyone regardless of your fitness level. High intensity is a relative term. Avoid the urge to compare your intensity to someone else’s. Any intensity level other than your own is completely irrelevant. Don’t fall into the comparison trap. It doesn’t serve you.

Why Chronic Cardio is Ineffective:

  • It has a relatively low calorie burn
  • It triggers a stress response in your body which can lead to inflammation and a decreased immune response
  • It often up-regulates hunger and cravings
  • It can slow your metabolic rate and decrease your ability to burn fat.
  • It takes more time than is necessary!

What is HIIT?

  • High intensity interval training
  • Short duration
  • High intensity

Benefits of HIIT

  • The after burn generated by EPOC (excess post exercise oxygen consumption)
  • Production of human growth hormone to support metabolism
  • Improved insulin sensitivity
  • Improved mitochondrial efficiency
  • Short duration
  • Improved blood sugar utilization
  • Doesn’t trigger the chronic stress response
  • Can easily be done with low or medium impact (biking, rowing, swimming, etc)
  • Can easily be done with or without equipment or gym facilities

HIIT for Beginners

  • Tabata style for a 4 minute workout
  • 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest and repeat for a total of 4 minutes
  • Consider: body weight squats, modified pushups, stairs, jump rope

HIIT for Intermediates

  • Longer total workout time (10 minutes – 20 minutes)
  • Longer work intervals (20 seconds – 1 minute)
  • Shorter rest times (10 seconds – 30 seconds)
  • More complex movements (jump squats, regular pushups, burpees)
  • Multiple movements (alternative walking lunges and jump squats)

HIIT for Advanced

  • Add weights
  • Undefined work/rest times (max output and then rest until you’re ready to work again)
  • Running sprints (20 seconds on, 40 seconds off for 8-10 rounds)
  • Chain workouts
    • 10 burpees/1 pushup
    • 9 burpees/2 pushups
    • 8 burpees/3 pushups
    • 7 burpees/4 pushups
    • 6 burpees/5 pushups
    • 5 burpees/6 pushups
    • 4 burpees/7 pushups
    • 3 burpees/8 pushups
    • 2 burpees/9 pushups
    • 1 burpee/10 pushups

Resources:

Metabolic Effect
Shawn Stevenson HIIT for Fat Loss

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