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Burn Fat On Demand With This Advanced Technique

I have written about high intensity interval training (or HIIT) a couple of times, and you can probably guess I’m a big fan. But this time I’m also going to discuss steady state cardio, and it’s benefits.

A Quick Recap On HIIT

So in case anyone is unfamiliar with HIIT, I’ll give a quick outline again. Basically HIIT is a form of interval training, interval training is when you alternate between phases of effort during a training session. In the case of high intensity interval training, the aim is to alternate between phases of near all out effort followed by a rest or recovery phase. The time spent in each phase will depend on the fitness level of the individual(s). For example 30 seconds near maximum effort, followed by 30 seconds recovery. You would then repeat, alternating between working and recovery phases. The total time spent doing HIIT is usually 8 to 20 minutes depending on level of fitness and goals.

Benefits of HIIT

  • Fat loss – causes the body to release fat from the fat cells
  • Excellent for getting fit fast – going back and forth between phases of high and low intensity, with short recovery, causes the heart and lungs to work hard and become more efficient
  • Increases resting metabolic rate (RMR) – your RMR determines how many calories you burn when not physically active
  • Time efficient – much shorter than a regular cardio session

Now Let’s Look At Steady State Cardio

Steady state cardio, or low intensity cardio, was very popular for a number of years. The theory being that exercising at a steady pace without altering speed or effort will burn fat. This is somewhat true, staying within a set level of low intensity will burn fat, but you need to be doing it for quite a while. At least 30 minutes before you reach the fat burning stage, so to actually burn any fat you would then need to continue exercising for at least another 15 minutes or so. This is probably why a lot of people think of cardio as being boring. I don’t blame them.

Benefits Of Steady State Cardio

  • Fat loss – if session lasts at least 45 minutes
  • Suitable for most, including the older adult – steady state cardio may be more suitable for people with joint problems
  • Allows you to watch tv – watching tv isn’t really a good idea while exercising, it’s a bit like eating your dinner while watching tv, you’re not really paying attention to what you’re doing, but if it’s the only reason a person will exercise it’s definitely better than not doing anything

You can do a HIIT workout just using bodyweight exercises, or you can add in some free weights or bands to increase the intensity

HIIT Sounds Great, So Why Bother With Steady State?

As I mentioned above, HIIT is excellent for causing the body to release fat from the fat cells, but it’s not that efficient at burning the fat once it is in the bloodstream, meaning that some of the fat will be reabsorbed into the fat cells.

Steady state cardio on the other hand is excellent at burning fat for energy, but isn’t that effective at releasing the fat from the fat cells.

So How Can You Use This To Your Advantage?

Okay, so this is where it gets interesting. By combining HIIT with steady state cardio you are getting the best of both.

  • If you do 10 to 15 minutes of HIIT you will release fat from the fat cells
  • Then do 20 – 30 minutes of steady state to burn the fat that is in the blood stream from your HIIT session

Using a combination of HIIT + steady state cardio is the key to burning body fat consistently.

You can use this method a number of ways. One example would be to do sprint intervals – sprinting as fast as possible for a set time or distance, then walking back to the starting position as the recovery phase, and repeating for 10 – 15 minutes. You could then hop on a treadmill or stationary bike and do 30 minutes of low intensity cardio at a set pace.

You could also use body weight conditioning drills -

Spend 30 seconds per exercise for a set number of exercises, rest 30 – 60 seconds, then repeat. Ideally spending 10 minutes overall. Followed by 25 minutes of low intensity exercise, on a treadmill or stationary bike. You can even use low intensity body weight exercises at a steady pace, so not having access to a treadmill or bike isn’t a problem.

I Use This Method To Stay Lean And Fit

The combination of HIIT and steady state cardio has allowed me to burn fat and stay really lean throughout the year, not just for the summer. I’m also a lot fitter since incorporating HIIT into my workouts as it is excellent for getting the heart and lungs working. Of course following a healthy diet by eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, lean meats, low G.I. grains and drinking lots of water is essential. You need both to get the best results.

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