Wednesday, January 23, 2013



If weight loss and body sculpting is your main fitness goal, cardiovascular training is essential to accomplish your fitness dreams. During the cold winter months is natural for the body to store belly fat to protect your vital organs. If you're ready to lose that extra padding that's covering your beloved six pack abs then you've come to the right place. 

You can lose belly fat faster by doing what I'm about to teach you. Doing cardio first thing in the morning on an empty stomach will burn your fat stores for energy since your glucose in the blood (blood sugar level) is extremely low from fasting during sleeping hours, so your body will turn to its own stored energy to fuel your muscles during tough workouts.

The best fat burning cardio method is high intensity interval training (HIIT).  A HIIT session is tough, it’s not easy, but the results & benefits are more than worth it! You can literally burn more fat with less time doing HIIT cardio, that means you will have more time to accomplish your "to do list" for the day by incorporation interval training into your fitness program.

There are two methods of HIIT, short intervals lasting from 20 - 30 seconds and long intervals lasting 60 - 90 seconds. Intervals are a high intensity using large muscle groups in the body. Sprints are an excellent way to do interval training to burn fat at optimal levels; you can do HIIT on any cardio machine of choice or incorporate during your outdoors training.


To accomplish your fat loss goals sooner incorporate HIIT into your fitness routine first thing in the morning 4 to 5 days a week. Have a pre-workout drink before hitting the gym to help energize your muscles. Your body will be low on blood sugar and will have to draw from your fat stores for your main energy source to get you through your tough workout. 

What is interval training? Short energy bursts incorporated throughout a cardio routine, typically done every 4 to 5 minutes with moderate intensity between high intensity duration which should last for 30 to 60 seconds, followed by a moderate intensity for 3 to 4 minutes then repeat.

Basically a HIIT workout consists of a few minutes of warm up, followed by 6 to 10 periods of high intensity exercise lasting for 30 to 60 seconds, separated by medium intensity, and ending with a period of a few minutes cool down. The high intensity spurts should be done at near maximum intensity by giving it your all. The medium exercise should be about 50% intensity. The number of repetitions and length of each high point repetitions depends on you, do what you can, within time your endurance and strength will increase.

The goal is to hit a high intensity level at least 5 to 6 times during your workout, and to have the entire HIIT session last at least 20 to 30 minutes followed by a 5 to 10 minute cool down starting with medium intensity ending with light intensity. The entire exercise time period should last about 35 to 45 minutes which includes warm up and cool down. HIIT is an excellent way to maximize your workouts when limited on time. You will see results much sooner by making HIIT a part of your regular workout regimen.


The beautiful thing about doing intervals for 20 to 30 minutes a day is that your metabolism will be in high gear hours after exercise called the afterburn which will continue to burn calories after you finish working out. You will have a rush of feel good hormones (serotonin, human growth hormone, endorphins, testosterone, thyroxine [T4], epinephrine,) during and after exercise.

Doing HIIT burns more fat for energy during your hard workouts by using your intramuscular reserves (deep fat stores) which uses the glycogen stores in the muscles and bloodstream for energy. 

Within 30 minutes after training have a nutritious whey protein shake (25 to 30 g of protein) and a carb (fruit is an excellent choice) for optimal recovery to replenish much needed energy stores in your hard worked muscles. And drink plenty of water with amino acids before, during and after training.


Proper nutrition is vital to reach fitness success. Aim to eat a small balanced meal 5 to 6 times a day which is about every 3 to 4 hours consisting of 3 main meals with snacks in between. And have your last meal by 7 pm. After 7 pm consider your kitchen closed!

Believe in YOUR ability to lose weight! YOU CAN have your dream body if you make yourself a high priority in your life. Set attainable goals and an action plan to reach those goals and then follow through. 

Too many people start a fitness program but then lose motivation when they don't see the results we want soon enough. Don't be one of them... stay laser-focused on attaining your goals and dream body until achieved! YOU CAN DO IT! 

~ Carol Whitaker
Lifestyle Fitness Coach

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