So you’ve been in the fitness game for a while now. You’ve been training hard and eating well for years but for some reason those annoying love handles cling onto you with no sign of disappearing. You feel fit, you feel healthy, but still can’t understand why your physique isn’t the desired representation of all that hard work.
All you need is a solution to this problem, a form of exercise that absolutely obliterates fat, leaving you shredded with your abs out in open for all to see. This form of exercise is interval training, and when combined with good nutrition, should finally get you the results you’ve always wanted.
What is interval training?
Interval training is a form of exercise performed at a high level of intensity for a period of time, followed by low intensity interval, then cycled to create a mix of both low and high intensity exercise that confuses the body and shreds fat, including those nasty love handles.
An effective way of measuring this varying intensity is by rating it on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being the lowest, and 10 being the highest. As an example, if you were switching intensity every minute you may go from an intensity of 2, onto 7, up to 9, down to 4 and back up to 10, and so on, constantly changing pace.
This approach is much higher intensity than normal ‘chronic cardio’, which, as described by Mark Sisson, is a good way to run your body into the ground. Interval training is shorter, more intense and better for longevity.
Why is interval training so effective?
Interval training burns more calories than low intensity aerobic exercise. More than that, interval training causes your body to release more Growth Hormone, which can help not only maintain muscle mass, but even cause a little growth. With muscle mass being a major factor in the speed of your metabolism these benefits are hard to ignore. Further that, interval training burns less muscle and more fat.
Your body requires oxygen to burn fat, when the oxygen begins to run short, muscle is then burned for fuel. With interval training, the ‘rest’ or low intensity portion of the exercise allows you to regain your breath, and therefore you are able to breathe more effectively throughout the high intensity portion of the exercise. Better breathing basically means more fat being burned instead of muscle. Once the exercise is over, the high intensity will stimulate your metabolism far more than a low intensity aerobic session, burning more fat afterwards.
Interval training is usually best done 3 times a week, for anywhere between 20 – 60 minutes. A 3-5 minute warm up at a moderate pace is essential, then gradually increase you pace until you’re performing an intensity of 8 or 9 (out of 10, 10 being everything you’ve got). Then the intervals start, try keeping the high intensity intervals longer than the low intensity intervals. A good example is a high intensity pace for 4 minutes, followed by a lower (3 or 4 out of 10) intensity interval for 2 minutes, then repat this cycle for the remainder of your workout before the warm down. Whatever the length of you workout, make sure you cool down at a moderate pace for another 3 -5 minutes before finishing up.
Interval training can be performed on a stationary bike, jogging or running, skipping rope, swimming, rowing machine, you name it. So if you’ve tried the rest, try the best. Interval training has been proven by numerous studies to be the most effective exercise for burning fat, with the added benefit of preserving muscle. Like most methods of exercise, the results will be equivalent to the amount of effort you put into the exercise, with adequate rest between workouts to avoid overtraining. Simply add this workout to your routine and watch the progress, both on the scales and in the mirror, as your love handles disappear and become a thing of the past!
If you’re really looking for tips on shredding up fat, check out our page on losing weight! Thanks for reading!