It is common to hear people say that slow and steady aerobic exercise is best for fat loss. This certainly makes sense because when you work out at lower intensities your body will draw a higher percentage of energy from fat. This means that slow and steady aerobic activity results in a higher percentage of the energy coming from fat rather than sugar.
So far so good…
In recent years more and more research has been published which favors a type of activity called Interval Training (IT) or High Intensity Interval Training (HITT). This type of activity involves alternating low intensity aerobic activity with bouts of sprint-type activity. For example, you may start off a HITT session with a 5-10 minute walking warm up. Then you would break into a sprint for 30 seconds followed by 60-120 seconds of low intensity walking which would then be followed by yet another 30 second sprint. This process is repeated for a workout session from 15-30 minutes.
So what is the big deal with high intensity interval training?
Imagine that two people are driving Toyota Priuses from Maryland to New York. One person drives like a sane person, 55 mph the entire way. The other guy drives the car like a mad man, driving 55 mph for a ways and every few minutes or so stomping the gas to the floor and driving at 100 mph for 30-60 seconds…
Which guy will burn more gas?
The mad man of course! This appears to occur when someone performs interval training. By stomping on the gas every minute or two you are becoming quite INEFFICIENT at burning fuel. When we are talking about fat loss, we want your body to be inefficient! This will cause more energy to be wasted! In other words, you want your body to work more like a Hummer than a Prius. Do you follow?
There are many ways to perform interval training. We will discuss this topic in detail in many blog posts to come! For now, when you are doing aerobic activity workout like a mad man or mad woman! Walk and sprint, walk and sprint, walk and sprint…you get the point.