6 Reasons Fat-Blasting Workouts Work
Posted 5/9/2017 by UHBlog
Summer is here, which means you’re likely to wear more shorts, sleeveless shirts and lighter attire. If baring your arms, legs, back and torso makes you self-conscious, it's time to commit to a fat-blasting workout routine, says performance dietitian Katy Meassick, MA, RD, LD/N, CSSD.
“Fat-blasting workouts use more fat for energy (than traditional cardio workouts),” says Meassick, who works with the Cleveland Browns to refine players’ diets as a means of improving athleticism. “They’re more about muscular endurance than cardio endurance.”
Fat-blasting workouts consist of intense activity “bursts” followed by shorter periods of active recovery, such as alternating 20 seconds of pushups with 10 seconds of marching in place. Several exercises are combined to form a round, and each round is repeated two to three times.
According to Meassick, the six reasons fat-blasting workouts work for most people are:
- They can be done in 20 to 30 minutes.
- When done properly and regularly, results begin appearing within four weeks and are more pronounced at around eight weeks.
“Fat-blasting workouts keep our body guessing, so we get results more quickly,” Meassick says.
- They are cost-effective because they can be done at home using just your body weight. Handheld weights, resistance bands and gym memberships are unnecessary.
- They hold your interest.
“It’s a similar concept to what cross-fit gyms are using,” Meassick says. “If you run on a treadmill daily, you’ll get bored and your body will adapt to that (exercise). Fat blasting keeps us entertained by switching exercises every so often.”
- A boost in post-exercise oxygen consumption means you’ll continue to burn fat and calories after the workout.
- It’s suitable for men and women, whether they’re novices or seasoned athletes.
Before incorporating fat-blasting workouts into your fitness regiment, Meassick recommends following these guidelines:
- Consult your doctor before changing your exercise routine.
- Invest in a heartrate monitor, such as the kind worn on the wrist. Aim for 75 to 80 percent of your maximum heart rate during cardio bursts and 50 to 75 percent during active recovery.
- Regularly add more challenging moves. Otherwise, your body will adapt and you won't see as many benefits.
- Limit fat-blasting workouts to two or three times a week so your body can recover. Perform more traditional cardio workouts on some of the off days.
“You still want to keep your heart and lungs in shape,” she says.
- Include the whole body so you're hitting every major muscle group.
- Expect some soreness, but seek medical attention if you're in pain.
- Drink water before, during and after your workout.
- Eat well. That means limiting or abstaining from alcohol and fried foods and focusing on fiber-rich (not white) carbs, lean proteins, and seasonal fruits and vegetables.
“I tell people you can't outwork a bad diet,” Meassick says. “You may see some initial changes with just exercise, but to get overall, long-lasting results, you need to change your diet.”
Here are two fat-blasting workouts to get you started:
- This 10-minute routine consists of three rounds of four exercises, which are performed for 20 seconds each, with 10 seconds of rest between them. Try marching in place or holding a plank during rest periods rather than standing still:
- Jumping jacks
- Sumo squats (do a body squat, then jump in the air as you come up)
- Ski jumps (twist your body while jumping side to side)
- Scissor lunges (alternate front lunges with a jump between each side)
- This 20-minute routine consists of three rounds of five exercises, which are performed for 45 seconds each, with 15 seconds of rest between them.
- Butt kicks
- Side lunges
- Triceps dips (these can be done off a coffee table or couch)
Katy Meassick, MA, RD, LD/N, CSSD, ATC, is a performance dietitian with University Hospitals and the Cleveland Browns. You can request an appointment with a dietitian or any other University Hospitals health care professional online.