If you want to develop amazing 6 pack abs, you're probably thinking you'll need to put in lots of time doing long, slow cardio workouts. Talk about boring. And time consuming. Fortunately, there is a better way. It's called HIIT (or HIIT) and it should be a key part of your quest for developing 6 pack abs.
So what is HIIT? HIIT is an acronym for High-Intensity Interval Training. Instead of trudging away at a steady pace for long stretches of time, as in traditional cardio workouts, a HIIT workout involves several cycles of short, high-intensity exercises, followed by short low-intensity recovery periods. Done right, HIIT workouts are killers, but they're not a long time and they're very effective at burning fat and building muscle.
Working out this way causes your heart rate to continuously vary, going back and forth from a low level to near your maximum rate. HIIT workouts are short, but tough. A basic HIIT workout consists of a warm-up period, followed by several cycles of varying-intensity exercise, ending with a cool down period. The whole workout will usually take considerably less than an hour.
Scientific studies show that over time, a cardio program built around HIIT can burn up to 9 times the calories as one built around long slow workouts. Shorter, more intense workouts that give far better results than longer, more boring ones. Surely this is the way to go.
Why is HIIT more effective than traditional cardio? The spikes in heart rate and energy consumption involved in HIIT cause your body to release massive amounts of growth hormone and other chemicals that trigger fat burning and muscle growth. The intense work you do during the session causes your metabolism to run at a higher rate for many hours after your workout. During this time, your body is rebuilding the tissues stressed by your workout, making them a little stronger and better able to handle the workload you are subjecting them to.
HIIT not only works better than traditional cardio, but it fits better into a busy lifestyle. If you're determined to develop great abs, you're going to be dedicating a lot of time to lifting weights and other muscle-building activities. I do not know about you, but I do not have the time or patience to run long distances every day on top of serious sessions in the gym. The shorter, more intestinal workouts of HIIT are an answer to this problem.
High-intensity interval training can really make a difference in your results. But as with other aspects of your effort to develop an awesome 6 pack, gradually increasing the intensity of your workouts is the best way to proceed. HIIT workouts are a particularly strong example of this general rule. I know from my own experience that trying to do too much HIIT too fast can leave you a quivering heap on the ground. Going too hard too fast is also a great way to lose your lunch.
The HIIT approach flies in the face of older approaches to cardio, which deal with concepts like optimum fat burning zones and the like. But this is really a more effective way to build muscle and burn fat on your way to awesome abs and an enviable body. If you have any doubts, compare the typical marathon runner (long, slow distance) to the typical sprinter (short bursts of high-intensity effort). Which one has the kind of body you would want?
So there's your 6 pack secret. Take advantage of HIIT's ability to increase fat loss while preventing muscle loss. With all its benefits, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) should definitely be in your fat-loss arsenal. Just remember that these workouts can be brutal. Increase your HIIT training gradually to greatly accelerate progress on your quest for awesome 6 pack abs.