Interval Training for Fat Loss – How to Work Out More Efficiently (Guest Post)

Today’s society is one that craves instant gratification. On one hand, you have social media networks where experiences can be immediately shared, soliciting likes and shares. And then on the other hand, you’ve got quick and instant fixes available like plastic surgery, wherein people are willing to go under the knife instead of working out to get rid of their excess fat.

When it comes to fat loss, there is no silver bullet that will eliminate the fat overnight. If you want to shed all the pounds away, you have to invest time and effort in cleaning up your diet and in exercising.

But when you speak about investing time, especially in exercising, it is not simply logging in hours on the treadmill or elliptical trainer, or even in the weight room. When it comes to spending time on training, you should make sure that you are spending it wisely and not just simply going through the motions. This is where interval training for fat loss gives great returns for your investment in time.

There are various interval training protocols that you can use in shedding away those excess pounds. But in a study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, researchers found out that a training protocol which consisted of six seconds of effort and nine seconds of rest was much better than a protocol that consisted of 24 seconds of effort and 36 seconds of rest. It was later found out that the protocol with the shorter activity/rest period burned fat three times faster. Apart from the activity/rest period, there is not much difference in the parameters of the study; the whole workout for both protocols lasted 40 minutes each while the speed by which the participants in the treadmill ran was the same. But why the difference?

To understand this difference, you have to take a look at the protein that is known as myoglobin. Found in the muscle cells, myoglobin stores oxygen. During workouts, this protein depletes and replenishes its oxygen reserves. When it is prevented from replenishing its oxygen supply, the body utilizes its carbohydrate supply as fuel. It is also during this period wherein lactic acid starts to build-up. Lactic acid prevents the body from burning its fat supply. Now, if you want to shed pounds, it is important for your body to burn the fats and not your carbohydrates. To do this, it is best to program your exercise in such a way that myoglobin has adequate time to replenish its oxygen supply. Myoglobin has the capacity to store oxygen that will last up to 15 seconds. And as such, it is logical to use a protocol that has a lower activity-to-rest ratio.

However, even if you use any other interval training protocol, that would be much better compared to simply running or exercising at a steady pace. Why? Because you allow your body to train at greater intensities while allowing it time to rest. In turn, you alter your body’s metabolism such that you continue burning calories even 36 hours after your workout.

About the Author: Chelsea Sawyer is a nurse and a certified health coach who has been helping many people in changing their behaviors to keep them focused on achieving their health and fitness goals. She has great passion for writing; hence her hobbies include writing and sharing helpful techniques on topics like losing weight, achieving a healthy lifestyle through physical activities; and living healthy through proper diet and way of eating. She recommends as a great resource for healthy living and weight loss.

4 thoughts on “Interval Training for Fat Loss – How to Work Out More Efficiently (Guest Post)

  1. What interval do you suggest? I kind of got confused reading this (I confuse easily). Just like most of us I would like to melt my fat instead of using my carbs. So, if “myoglobin has the capacity to store oxygen that will last up to 15 seconds”, should my interval be hard/fast cardio for 15 seconds and then slow/rest for 45 seconds?

  2. Judging by the ratios provided (6 sec work then 9 sec rest, and 24 sec work then 36 sec rest) I assume the suggestion is a two to three ratio AND not to exceed 15 seconds of high intensity. 6 on 9 off makes for nice 15 sec chunks. I presume 10 on 15 off would also work, or 12 and 18.

    Somebody correct me if I’m off on this.

  3. I was wondering the same thing what the best work/rest interval would be. 15 seconds is not log and Im wondering how to keep track of 15sec intervals. Timer on a watch? I don’t want to constantly be watching a watch, maybe something I could find to program that would beep at me or something. Any thoughts anyone?

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