You're dedicated to increasing lean body mass and decreasing body fat percentage. You work out at home and / or at the gym several times a week. You are always on the lookout for current fitness information. With all of your hard work and research, you are still not achieving the goals you strive to reach. Why? You've been reading misinformation for years. Yup, that's right.
Are you doing cardiovascular work 3 or 4 times a week? More? Are you using a steady pace? Taking the same aerobics and indoor cycling classes multiple times per week? It's time to revamp your exercise program and mix things up! But how? Here you'll finally find the answers you are looking for.
First of all, except your goals include endurance for say, marathon running or boxing, you can throw that steady state cardio out the door. Yes, you read that correctly, get rid of it! Instead, you'll want to incorporate interval training into your routine.
Let's face it, our bodies want to stay where they are. Our body's main concern is survival and it wants to achieve this with as little effort as possible. In order to alter body composition, ie lower our body fat percentage and build that lean body mass, we need to shake things up and shock our systems on a regular basis. Our bodies adapt to steady state cardio and the same aerobics classes week after week making it difficult to lower that body fat percentage. That's where interval training comes in.
Interval training is not just for the super serious athlete. It is an excellent tool to use in your fat loss goals whether you are a beginner or seasoned athlete. Figuring out how to use intervals is simple once you get the hang of it. You'll work hard during your training, and you'll train for less time! What could be better than that? To get serious results, you'll want to train seriously. Make sure you are breathing heavy, sweating, and even making noise as you complete your strength and metabolic workouts.
Challenging your body in this way increases your metabolism, essential for lowering body fat percentage. If you are an intermediate to advanced athlete, use high intensity interval training (HIIT). Increasing your heart rate for short bursts requires more calories than steady state cardio, equaling more calories burned.
Begin with a warm up of 5 minutes. Next begin your intervals. One of my favorites is moderate biking for 45 seconds alternating with 10 seconds of sprinting standing up with high tension. Start by doing this for 10 minutes. End with a 5 minute cool down. The extra 5 seconds are for tension adjustments. Do 2 of these workouts weekly adding a minute to your interval training each week. You'll want to include a third metabolic workout in your weekly plan.
Try sprinting for one minute followed by walking at a moderate pace. The best place for this is outside. If a treadmill is your only option, then go for it. Alternate between mountain climbers and jumping jacks, doing 30 seconds of each followed by a 30 second rest period. Start with 5 rounds, adding one round each week. Do a metabolic circuit including a series of exercises resting only between circuits.
These workout ideas will kick-start your metabolism. Combine them with strength training and proper nutrition and watch the fat melt off of your body. Here's to lowering your body fat percentage!