Best workout to burn fat
Greg Presto is a sports and fitness reporter and video guy in Washington, D.C., who thinks fitness should be fun and an adventure, whether you're on a trail, in the gym, or on the living room floor. He's done work for "Men's Health, " "Women's Health, " "Shape, " "Prevention, " "Reebok, " "USA Today" and others.Interval training burns more calories than steady-state cardio. Photo Credit IPGGutenbergUKLtd/iStock/Getty Images
When it comes to fat loss, slow and steady loses the race. "According to American research published in the journal 'Obesity, ' men and women who did 300 hours of cardio over the course of a year lost an average of only 5 pounds, " Craig Ballantyne, owner of TurbulenceTraining.com, said. "That's 60 hours of cardio to lose one pound!"
More intense training - in shorter bursts - burns calories more quickly and burns more fat overall. And unlike long, slow cardio sessions, intense training keeps you melting fat even after your workout is over, says Martin Rooney, director of the Parisi Speed School and author of "Ultimate Warrior Workouts."
It's not all about adding exercise, though. For fat loss, the two best exercises to eliminate, says Ballantyne, are "the fork to mouth and the 12-ounce curl."
"You can't out-train a bad diet, " said David Jack, director of Teamworks Fitness, in Acton, Massachusetts. "If you're training and then eating an extra 400 calories of garbage, that's what your workout burns. It's senseless."
You've been warned. Step away from the tortilla chips and the treadmill, and try these five high-intensity training strategies to torch fat fast.
Men and women who did 300 hours of cardio over the course of a year lost an average of only five pounds.
- Craig Ballantyne, owner of TurbulenceTraining.com
Interval training - bouts of high-intensity exercise alternated with short rest periods - not only burns more calories than traditional cardio training, but also boosts your body's ability to fry fat through hormone production.
"[With intervals], you have a greater increase in growth hormone - a fat-burning hormone - and adrenaline, another fat-burning hormone that also helps suppress appetite, " said Ballantyne.
Not only are interval workouts shorter than traditional cardio training, but they also make you fitter in fewer sessions, he adds.
"There are two ways to increase cardiovascular fitness - by increasing the delivery of oxygen to the heart and lungs or by increasing the utilization of oxygen at the muscle level, " Ballantyne explained.
Steady-state works by increasing the oxygen delivery to your heart and lungs. Intervals, however, work on your muscles, helping them use oxygen more efficiently so your heart doesn't have to pump as much to make them perform.