A key strategy for getting the ripped, six-pack ab look is to employ cardio training to assist in the reduction of bodyfat in the abdominal area. Traditional cardio is usually done by spending 45-60 minutes on the treadmill, elliptical trainer, or exercise bike. For most people it's boring and time-consuming. Besides that, it's not the most effective OR efficient way to burn fat. You do not have to spend 60 minutes per day on cardio. There's a better way! How about doing cardio training only 25-35 minutes per day? Let's discover how.
If you want to burn fat fast, traditional cardio is not the answer. You must employ High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT. HIIT is a more intense form of cardio training resulting in better conditioning and, more importantly, burning more fat in a shorter period of time.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is nothing new. Athletic trainers and coaches have been using HIIT for decades to get their athletes in better shape for the regular season. You may have heard of "wind-sprints" or "gassers". Typically used in football conditioning programs, wind-sprints or gassers are a regular part of the pre-season training regimen. Coaches require their athletes to run a 100-yard dash as fast as they can, then stop and walk or jog back to the starting position and then do it again, and again, and again … you get the idea.
This form of athletic condition does three things: (1) it quickly improves cardio conditioning, (2) it reduces bodyfat from athletes who are overweight and (3) increases the athlete's endurance. The result is a leaner, faster athlete, who can play longer without getting fatigued.
To prove the effectiveness of HIIT, let me give you the results of a 15-week study done by researchers at the University of New South Wales in Sidney, Australia.
Two different groups were studied. One group did Interval Training for a 20-minute session, three times a week. The other group did conventional cardio (what I call Long, Slow Distance Cardio Training or LSD) for a 30-40 minute session, three times a week. The results of this study were very revealing:
The Interval Training group lost 3 times more fat than the conventional cardio (LSD) group and the interval Training group spent approximately 43% less time exercising than the conventional cardio (LSD) group.
High Intensity Interval Training (or HIIT) is performed by running, sprinting or sprint biking at a Peak Effort for one minute at above 90% of your Heart Rate Reserve , followed by a two minute Rest Period at a slower pace. Each Peak Effort and Rest Period constituents one cycle. In a typical HIIT session, you will perform 6-8 cycles. As with any cardio activity, you must begin with a five- minute warm-up and end with a five-minute cool-down period. This will result in a HIIT training session time of 28 to 34 minutes. That's much shorter than the traditional 45-60 minutes spend doing traditional cardio training.
To maintain your high level of intensity during the Peak Period, you may need to modify your exercise choices. Fast walking, jogging or biking may not be intense enough during your Peak Effort period. You may have to employ more intense cardio activities such as sprinting, hill climbing sprints, or bleacher climbing to exercise within the 90% of your Heart Rate Reserve.
I will warn you. HIIT is not for the fault of heart. If you have not been doing any intension cardio recently, then you should reduce the intensity at first and gradually work up to the intensity levels specified above. As you become more conditioned, strive to progressively increase your cardio intensity to achieve your maximum fat burning capacity during your HIIT sessions.
Give HIIT a try if you want to achieve maximum fat-burning in your cardio training. It will definitely help you achieve your ripped, six-pack ab look faster.