SPRINT, REST, REPEAT
SPECIAL FOR THE AJT
Crunches, sit-ups, planks, dead bugs, the super crunch 3000 and (insert-new-and-improved-core-exercise-here), do not remove body fat. Target fat loss does not work. However, when you pick up a health and fitness magazine, you’ll likely see a fit woman showing off her washboard abs. The headline might say, “7 Secrets to get a Flat Stomach,” and the article will offer seven different variations of crunches and sit-ups… lies.
When you do cardio at a low-intensity, you burn a high percentage of fat. The key word in that sentence is percentage. Stay with me here, but when you do sprint intervals, you burn a lower percentage of fat. Again, pay attention to the word percentage. Here’s the kicker: Sprint intervals burn more fat. Notice how there was no mention of percentage? That’s because when you do sprint intervals you are working a lot harder than when you are doing low-intensity cardio. So, even though the percentage of fat you are using is lower in sprint intervals, you are still burning more actual fat compared to when you do low-intensity cardio exercises.
Your body puts on fat in a very specific order, based on your specific DNA code. For example: legs, then hips, stomach, face, and neck. When you want to get rid of that body fat, it comes off in reverse order. In this particular case: neck first, then face, followed by stomach, then hips, and finally legs.
Want to really know how to get rid of your belly fat, your thigh fat, and your least favorite fat? Sprints. Sprint intervals, to be more exact. In this case, a sprint doesn’t just mean running fast. You can hop on a bike and “sprint” and rest and sprint over and over again to make it an interval. The same goes for a rowing machine, bike or even an elliptical. Whatever it is that you choose to do, do it fast for a short amount of time, then rest for a short amount of time, and then repeat. The same idea can be implemented with different exercises or circuits. For instance, choose a couple of exercises that you can do quickly and safely. Go through the workout fast, then rest and repeat. This gives you the biggest bang for your buck and gets rid of f-a-t. Listed below are some time and rest intervals that will kick-start your body into fat-burning hyper drive (make sure you warm up first).
- 15-second sprint, 40-second rest x 12 reps
- 30-second sprint, 60-second rest x 10 reps
- 60-second sprint, 120-second rest x 8 reps
If you are just starting out on your fitness quest, stick to low-intensity cardio exercises and build on that for a while; maybe work your way up to sprint intervals every other day. Now, go.
Editor’s note: Suzanne Cypert is the General Manager for the Concourse Athletic Club in Sandy Springs. For more information call (770)698-2009 or visit www.wellbridge.com/concourse-athletic-club/sandy-springs.