What's the best ways to lose that belly? Is it slow long duration cardio, or short fast intense bursts?
Answer: the evidence all points to using anaerobic or high intensity cardio activity. The basic reason is that high intensity exercise forces your body to adapt metabolically and it elevates energy use-age for 24 hours. This means your body is burning up more calories & consuming more fuel (carbohydrate & fat) and so it loses the source much faster.
Interval Training has be shown to be the most effective way of fat burning. Intervals force the body to change its processes and increase the bodies metabolic activity by enhancing the production of enzymes used in fat breakdown . The other contributing factor to consider is the amount of oxygen the body consumes during & after exercise. The greater the oxygen consumption after exercise (EPOC) the more the body needs to & is able to repair cells- meaning more energy needed and therefore more fuel used.
Another very important, but less researched factor is the effect exercise has on hormone production. High intensity training improve the efficiency of your hormones productive system (endocrine) enhancing your bodies sensitivity to insulin-basically meaning you can store less carbohydrate as fat. Add to this the fact that very high intensity anaerobic training increases the bodies Growth Hormone production which as many people know nowadays is a powerful fat burning hormone.
The final nail in aerobic exercises coffin is the time taken to "burn" calories. With the ever increasing work day & pressures of home life most of us find the time we have to train has vastly reduced. The good news is that anaerobic interval programs show best results at a duration of 20-25 minutes compared to aerobic fat burning which needs a duration of 50 minutes plus.
The most recent study was conducted in 2010 on 20 women. Over a 4 week period half the women trained at high intensity with heart rates reaching anaerobic barrier. The results were conclusive! These women had on average 40% greater pure body fat reduction that then second group training at lower intensities for a longer duration. This is merely a small study that has been backed up by dozens of other studies thought the last 5 years.
Our advice is to eye asses your goals. If your training for an aerobic event then your exercise prescription must be tailored towards that, however if your goals are to increase life expectancy and reduce belly fat then interval anaerobic training is a must! Try the sample program next time your in the gym or come join our winter body transformation group and get the best from your training.