When it comes to fitness, how to lose belly fat is the “million dollar” question.
Today we are going to talk about ‘High Intensity Interval Training’ or ‘HIIT’ as it is sometimes referred to. One of many ways to lose belly fat.
What is HIIT?
This type of training is a workout which consists of alternating between bursts of high intensity exercise, usually around 30 secs but can reach up to 2 minutes, followed by around 15 seconds to 30 seconds of low intensity workouts or rest. Whilst this doesn’t sound challenging or difficult wait until you get started. Once you learn the benefits of HIIT you will be adding it to your exercise regime a couple of times per week.
Benefits of HIIT.
You’ll burn more fat – It has been proven that you will carry on burning fat even for hours after you have left the gym. The reason for this is something called EPOC (Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption). After doing an intense workout your body then needs to work extra hard to recover it back to it’s “normal state” i.e body temperature, blood pressure, heart rate and more. This is the reason those extra calories are burned whilst you aren’t working out. It has been proven that HIIT also burns more adipose tissue (You can read more about adipose tissue below this article).
A healthier Heart – Have you ever had that feeling, where your heart feels like it is going to jump out of your chest during exercise? This is what is known as the anaerobic zone. The anaerobic zone is when you are exercising without oxygen and you will reach it once you go between 80% to 100% of your maximum heart rate (MHR). You should see a significant difference in your stamina after approximately 8 weeks of HIIT as one study showed that subjects could cycle for twice as long as they could before the study whilst maintaining the same pace.
No need for any equipment – Whether you work out in the gym or at home there is no need to use any equipment whilst doing HIIT. The exercises you could use for example are. The pencil squat, low squat sprint, burpees, wall climber plus many more (exercises will be described below this article)
Want to feel younger? – Doing HIIT also stimulates production of your HGH (Human Growth Hormone) which in turn slows down the ageing process.
It is extremely challenging but rewarding – HIIT is not something you can do whilst reading a magazine or chatting with your friends. Because HIIT is so short you are working a lot harder and pushing your body to its limits.
Visceral Fat (Belly Fat)
So, what is belly fat?
Visceral fat is technically excess intra-abdominal adipose tissue accumulation. In other words, it’s known as a “deep” fat that’s stored further underneath the skin than “subcutaneous” belly fat. It’s a form of gel-like fat that’s actually wrapped around major organs, including the liver, pancreas and kidneys.
If you have a protruding belly and large waist, that’s a clear sign you’re storing dangerous visceral fat. While it’s most noticeable and pronounced in obese individuals, anyone can have visceral fit, many without even knowing it.
Visceral fat is especially dangerous because, as you’ll find out, these fat cells do more than just sit there and cause your pants to feel tight — they also change the way your body operates.
What is Adipose Tissue?
Having too much or too little adipose tissue can have negative effects on your body. Too much Adipose tissue can cause obesity, mainly from too much visceral fat. As most of you are aware obesity can cause numerous health risks such as type 2 diabetes, due to your body becoming resistant to insulin. This resistance will result in high blood sugars. Obesity can also lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and an increased tendency for your blood to clot. All of the above will put you at risk of a stroke or a heart attack.
The pencil squat –
- Stand with feet together, arms extended overhead.
- Jump feet shoulder-width apart and squat, touching fingertips to floor between feet.
- Jump up to return to start position, bringing feet together and pressing arms overhead.
- Do as many reps as you can for 30 seconds.
Low Squat Sprint –
Targets bum, quads and calves
- Stand with feet wider than shoulder width, elbows bent by sides, palms facing forward.
- Lower into a squat and, raising up on balls of feet, sprint in place.
- Continue for 30 seconds as quickly as possible.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, weight in your heels, and your arms at your sides.
- Push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body into a squat.
- Place your hands on the floor directly in front of, and just inside, your feet. Shift your weight onto them.
- Jump your feet back to softly land on the balls of your feet in a plank position. Your body should form a straight line from your head to heels. Be careful not to let your back sag or you butt stick up in the air, as both can keep you from effectively working your core.
- Jump your feet back so that they land just outside of your hands.
- Reach your arms over head and explosively jump up into the air.
- Land and immediately lower back into a squat for your next rep.
Wall Climber –
Targets arms, abs, bum, legs
- Stand with feet hip-width apart, elbows bent by sides and hands in front of shoulders, palms facing forward.
- Quickly alternate bringing knee toward chest (like a high-knees run) as you extend opposite arm overhead: Extend left arm overhead as right knee comes up, then drive left elbow down as right foot returns to floor.
- Repeat, extending right arm overhead as left knee comes up.
- Continue alternating as fast as you can for 30 seconds.
All of the above are just examples of High Intensity Interval training exercises. There are many more.
*Please note doing the above without a balanced healthy diet will not result in positive results.
**There are other ways to lose belly fat, this is just one area.