There are many reasons people train… for aesthetics, for medical reasons, to be sociable or so they don’t feel guilty when they eat that extra biscuit. One of the top reasons that people train is to achieve or maintain a healthy weight. With that in mind, what is the best style of training for fat loss?
Now don’t get me wrong, obviously anything is better than nothing and you’ll always be lapping anyone sat on the sofa! But if your specific goal is to drop a few pounds then surely you want to get the best bang for your buck as far as fat burn is concerned…
There are of course some facts that will aid in fat loss. A healthy, balanced diet will ensure that you’re not putting on any unnecessary weight. Keeping well hydrated will prevent you confusing thirst for hunger and eating when you don’t need it. Cardio vascular training burns calories whilst you are training whereas weight training increases your muscle mass and this will help you burn calories throughout the day. But training techniques themselves can be a minefield and there are so many to choose from it is difficult to know which one will be the most effective. Of course genetics can come into play to a certain extent but when it comes to really annihilating that fat there does seem to be a clear winner…
High Intensity Interval Training or H.I.I.T Training is a form of cardiovascular exercise which involves working at 80-100% of your maximum heart rate for periods of 30 seconds to 3 minutes. Your rest period should be no longer than your training period and can shorten as you become fitter.
So what are the benefits of this style of training?
Well, for one thing, it is fantastic for those people who are limited on time and want to cram every ounce of fat burn into a short session. Not including your warm up, a typical H.I.I.T session would not last any longer than 20 minutes so you can have your workout done and be back home before your Bootcamp UK instructor can say “give me more burpees!!”
H.I.I.T training has also been shown to lead to greater Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) compared to continuous exercise. This means that after you have finished exercising, your body will continue to burn calories at a higher rate than normal. So you are effectively continuing to benefit from the effects of your session even after the session is finished.
H.I.I.T training is also a fantastic way of improving your VO2 max. This is the amount of oxygen you can utilise during exercise and is a measure of how fit you are. Those people with a higher VO2 max tend to have a lower risk of death in comparison to their peers. If a H.I.I.T training session is followed with the correct duration and intensity, it is certainly a time efficient way of improving your fitness levels.
Naturally, even when looking to specifically fat burn, it is always good to mix up your training as the variety can help to maintain motivation and keep your workouts interesting. However, if H.I.I.T isn’t something you have tried yet, or it’s not something you do very often make sure to throw it into the mix and enjoy all the benefits of fat burning, EPOC increasing, VO2 max improving loveliness crammed into a time efficient session!!!