With fat loss being the key to more defined and bigger looking muscles, it is imperative to come up with a plan to attack fat loss from several different angles. After all, there are many ways to skin a cat. And the more tricks you have up your sleeve the more difficult it will be for you to plateau, ensuring a continuous reduction in body fat.
It is only natural to think that the more intense you exercise, the greater fat loss you will experience. This is true on some levels, but not all. Low intensity steady state cardio definitely has its own advantages over high intensity interval training.
When your body is exercising at a low intensity i.e. brisk walking, it feels no need to use up glycogen stores (your main source of energy), as the exercise just isn't intense enough. Instead, it taps straight into your body's secondary energy source - fat stores. So although you will burn more calories doing high intensity exercise, it is the type of calories burned that are most important.
Another advantage to low intensity steady state exercise is that it is easy to do and thus you can do it every day if not several times each day and not enter a state of overtraining. Adrenaline levels will not rise, compared to high intensity interval training; keeping the stress hormone as low as possible. With adrenaline being a catabolic hormone, it has the potential to burn muscle and store fat if levels are consistently high.
Despite not burning as many calories compared to a higher paced cardio, brisk walking can burn approximately 500 calories in just 60 minutes, depending on your weight and how briskly you walk.
The effectiveness of intermittent fasting often causes debate. The science and studies that support it suggest that going without food for long periods of time can lower insulin levels. In turn this causes a huge spike in human growth hormone (HGH) levels; by as much as 2000%. The Intermountain Medical Centre concluded that a fast done for as long as 20 hours provokes this increase in men and a 1300% rise for women.
With human growth hormone being a potent fat burner, it makes perfect sense to maximize this hormone as much as possible. There are many positive reviews on IF on the web, however some remain skeptical. In my personal experience I have noticed some good fat loss, accompanied by quite a bit of water retention.
Water retention can make you a little bloated, which is why some who have tried IF remain pessimistic about the concept. It can also cause the illusion that you are gaining fat as water retention causes fluids to collect in between the muscles and the skin; thus hiding muscle tone and definition. After you resume eating normally though, this water retention diminishes, and you will look even more defined than before.
The P.E Department at Loughborough University in England found that sprinting can result in a human growth hormone release of 530%. Specifically, the duration of sprints that released the most HGH were 30 seconds. Thus longer sprints will have a greater fat burning effect than shorter sprints. Many bodybuilders, when cutting to extremely low body fat %'s, incorporate HIIT on an empty stomach in the morning. With our previous knowledge, that fasting (low blood sugar/insulin levels) increases fat burning, it only makes sense to perform HIIT on an empty stomach for best results.
As high intensity interval training is quite taxing on your cardiovascular and nervous system, it is easy to overtrain if HIIT workouts are done too frequently. HIIT workouts shouldn't last longer than 20 minutes when first introducing them, and not performed more than 3 times per week.
Erny is the owner of fitness website Worlds Fittest. Erny writes articles concerning how to gain muscle, whilst simultaneously improving your health. Erny also has a reviews section where he voices his opinion on certain supplements and his experiences. Check out a testosterone booster named TestoFuel which has been reviewed by Erny in a 90 day progress report.
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