So you watched what you ate and hit the gym during the weeks before the summer to prepare for the beach season. The first day of summer finally arrives. You put on your favorite boardshorts or swimsuit again but you still don’t like what you see in the mirror. Was there something wrong with your diet or burn fat workouts?
When the scale does not reflect all the hard work that you put in, chances are you might get discouraged and stop working out altogether. Needless to say, that would be a big mistake.
There’s a big possibility that you are just not exercising effectively to get your desired results. If majority of your burn fat workouts are composed of traditional aerobic exercises or cardio, they will not help you sculpt your body. Cardio can help you burn fat but it cannot help you build muscle, achieve belly fat loss, and change the shape of your body.
The Best Exercises for Burn Fat Workouts
Almost 70 percent of people who hit the gym spend most of their time using the treadmill and other cardio machines, and do not bother doing other types of exercise. But as mentioned above, while you can burn some fat by doing aerobic exercises for hours, if you entered the gym shaped like a pear, you will still pretty much look the same even after weeks of working out hard.
Running fast at an extended period of time can help you burn fat — at first. However, when your body gets used to it the speed and intensity of your cardio workout, your results will plateau because you only have three variables to work with: duration, incline, and speed.
Instead of doing your usual cardio routine, try high-intensity interval training (HIIT) or interval cardio. You can do this type of exercise by running outdoors, or by using a treadmill, a recumbent bike, or an elliptical machine. Warm up for about five minutes. Run or pedal as fast as you can for 30 seconds. Recover for a minute and 30 seconds. Do seven more cycles of going all out and recovering to complete eight cycles.
High-intensity interval training is less time consuming than traditional cardio. More importantly, interval cardio allows you to burn calories for up to eight hours after working out. With regular cardio, you stop burning calories after you are done exercising. Interval cardio helps make your heart and lungs bigger and stronger, enhancing their ability to respond to and recover after sudden intense activity; regular cardio actually makes these organs smaller.
Interval cardio also helps boost your production of human growth hormone (HGH), which is essential in promoting fat loss and muscle growth. Synthetic HGH has been shown to help decrease fat and increase lean muscle without effort but it is very expensive and potentially dangerous. Exercise is the ideal way to increase your HGH production.
It’s a common misconception among fitness newbies that strength training will make their bodies big and bulky like a bodybuilder’s. If ever you want to bulk up, you would need to consume more than the recommended daily amount of calories. Those who do engage in strength training try to do four or five sets and lift weights too fast, which could lead to injury. Fat loss and muscle gain are stimulated by the intensity, not the quantity, of your strength training.
What most people don’t know is that strength training is also a form of cardio because it requires oxygen for fuel. If your regular strength training routine isn’t yielding your desired results, try high-intensity interval training using weights. This type of training is ideal for any age or fitness level as it makes lifting weights safer.
You can do slow strength training using five movements: chin-ups (or pull-downs), chest press, compound rows, overhead press, and leg press. After warming up properly, lift the weight gradually as slowly as possible. Slowly lower the weight down and repeat until the muscle is exhausted. Switch to the next exercises for the other muscle groups that you want to target. Performing this slow-type strength training for at least 12 minutes once a week can help boost your HGH production in the same way that interval cardio does.
When You Should Exercise and What You Should Eat Before and After the Workout
Try to exercise early in the morning before your first meal because this will help you burn twice as much body fat since you haven’t eaten anything for several hours. This will also help you avoid skipping or forgetting about your workout, and form a habit of exercising daily.
You don’t need to have breakfast before working out because the fuel that you need for your workout comes from the fat and glycogen stored in your fat cells, liver, and muscles, not a pre-workout meal. But if you find it hard to exercise on an empty stomach, consume a vegetable shake or a high-quality whey protein shake to help curb your hunger. Consuming whey protein about half an hour before you exercise supplies you with the fuel that you need to stimulate muscle growth. On the other hand, eating a carbohydrate-rich meal for breakfast will impair the fat-burning benefits of exercise.
Another important thing to remember is what you eat after working out can either enhance or negate the health benefits you gain from exercise. Eating an energy bar or consuming fruit juices or sports drinks that contain high levels of sugar within two hours after you exercise negatively affects your HGH production and insulin sensitivity. If you want to enhance the results of your burn fat workouts, you should avoid consuming sugar after you exercise.
Your post-exercise meal should be low on carbohydrates and high in protein. Combine a vegetable carb with a quality protein, like a salad of dark green leafy veggies with a serving of beef or chicken, or you could drink another whey protein shake. This meal should help your muscles recover and preserve the fat-burning effect of your workout.
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