Sunday, June 03, 2007

How to Exercise to Lose Belly Fat Faster

Here's something that may surprise you: the best exercises for losing belly fat have nothing to with your belly. Put simply, doing lots of crunches, situps, leg raises, and other "ab" exercises is definitely not the best way to burn abdominal fat and slim down your midsection. Here's something else you might not know: "typical" cardio workouts (e.g. half an hour of treadmill jogging or stationary bike riding) really aren't that great for fat loss either. But walk into almost any gym in the world and you'll see dozens of soft, chubby people with beer bellies jogging, riding stationary bikes, and doing crunches in a frustration-filled attempt to get leaner, sexier, and healthier.

Don't get me wrong, doing any form of exercise is better than doing none at all. As long as you're also eating a good diet you're bound to see some signs of success... eventually. But if your goal is fast, healthy weight loss you need to crank up the intensity and start doing more efficient, effective exercises. When you focus on efficient fat burning exercises you'll not only burn more calories during workouts but you'll also burn fat for several hours after you've left the gym.

So what are the most efficient exercises for losing belly fat? They fall into these 2 categories:
  • High-Intensity Cardiovascular Interval Training
  • Full-Body Strength Training
Both of these types of exercise burn tons of calories, boost your metabolism for hours, and force your body to produce powerful hormones that burn fat while creating new muscle tissue at the same time (which will make it easier to lose weight and keep it off for good). As an added benefit these higher-intensity exercises greatly improve your overall health (especially your "heart health") and make you look and feel great after just a couple of weeks.

The "Perfect" Belly Fat Burning Workout

The absolute best workout for burning abdominal fat will involve both of the above forms of exercise. It will follow a format similar to the one outlined below...

1. Light Warmup - Any light aerobic exercise works... just make sure you've at least broken a light sweat before you finish. This will help to get your muscles ready to work and help to prevent injury.

2. Bodyweight Warmup - A few minutes of light bodyweight calisthenic exercises (e.g. jumping jacks, pushups, bodyweight squats, lunges, burpees, etc.). This will really get your body ready to work hard and burn stomach fat.

3. Full-Body Strength Training - Several sets of "compound" exercises that work all, or at least most, of the muscles in your body. Some of the simplest (yet among the most effective) examples arepushups, pullups , squats, and lunges. For best results perform the exercises in a "circuit training" manner where you do 1 set of each exercise, one after another, before stopping to rest and recover.

4. Cardiovascular Interval Training - 7 to 20 minutes of high-intensity cardio that involves "bursts" of exertion followed by brief recovery periods. A simple example is a 10 second wind sprint, followed by a minute of light jogging, and so on for several minutes. No other form of exercise really taxes the body, burns calories, and blowtorches body fat like interval training!

By the way, the reason you save the cardio until last is because, if you do it before the strength or weight training portion of the workout, you won't have the energy to push yourself like you'll need to.

Take it Slow and Get Educated!

One important thing to keep in mind is that you should never attempt to "dive" headfirst into any new exercise program... especially when your goal is to lose weight as fast as possible. It's easy to get overzealous and burn yourself out -- or get injured -- after just a week or two. Believe it or not, you'll end up making more progress in less time if you start slowly and just try to make small improvements day after day and week after week.

Also, educating yourself about exercise and working out is vitally important. Most people would do well to recruit the help of a personal trainer, at least for a few days, in order to learn how to perform exercises with perfect form/technique. Also, you might want to get yourself a good guide to exercising for fat loss. One of the best I've seen is Turbulence Training by fitness writer Craig Ballantyne. It's the perfect way to learn everything it takes to lose belly fat and get fit fast!


Anonymous said...

Its fairly well documented that you can't target fat loss. You're body used fat in a uniform manner. You can build muscle tone under the fat, but whether you do sit ups or run marathons you'll lose fat in the where you gained in last, in reverse order.

Anonymous said...


I liked your article, I'm all for interval training for burning belly fat but you forgot to mention how it works, I wrote an article on how it works check it out and digg it if you can

Bass Player Keith Hall said...

I have been on the Fletcherism diet for 4 months and have lost 41 pounds. I chew eat bite 32 times and eat Lunch and supper only and have a mid afternoon snack about 3 pm and another one at 8:30 at night. Be sure to chew eat bite at least 32 times. You will eat about 20-30 minutes and feel totally full and are eating a lot less calories by eating less food and you feel totally satisfied. Read Horace Fletcher’s book in Google books called: Fletcherism, How I Became Young at Sixty.

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS said...

Intervals are definitely the way to go to burn belly fat.

yoga for beginners said...

I do really agree with your article. Our body needs care and we must eat properly and don't abuse it. :)