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Cardio… such a nice, curly word for something so foul and detestable, right?! All those hours of trudging away on the treadmill, or rowing machine, just waiting and hoping the scales reveal an ounce or two of fat loss. Why is fat so hard to lay down, yet so stubborn to shift?! It’s there as […]
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All those hours of trudging away on the treadmill, or rowing machine, just waiting and hoping the scales reveal an ounce or two of fat loss. Why is fat so hard to lay down, yet so stubborn to shift?! It’s there as stored energy, right? Use it already!
Well, unless you’ve been underground for a while now, you will know that’s all a thing of the past. The fat burning cardio revolution has arrived. You no longer need to set aside hours per week spent in utter desolation; there is a better system, that not only takes a fraction of the time and is far more mentally stimulating to perform, but it burns more fat and tones muscle to boot. This system is high intensity interval training or HIIT.
HIIT only requires you exercise for 15-20 minutes, but instead of trudging at a steady fat burning state, you must add in intervals of high intensity exercise (I bet you didn’t see that coming!). The exact science behind the fat burning potential is still under investigation, but it has been shown HIIT causes fat utilization as energy for some considerable period following a training session.
One of the theories surrounding the effectiveness of HIIT training is that, due to the intensity involved, the release of anabolic hormones is stimulated. Intense exercise does indeed promote the release and continued effects of, hormones such as human growth hormone and testosterone. Another great way to massively increase your testosterone levels, therefore, your fat loss, is to add Sheer Strength Labs Sheer Alpha Testosterone Booster to your supplement stack. This potent mix of all natural ingredients is scientifically proven to boost testosterone, causing increased muscle mass, vitality, and strength.
A simple HIIT example would be to jog for 30 seconds, followed by sprinting for 15 seconds, regaining your breath by jogging again, and then sprinting, etc.
But, that still doesn’t sound like the most exciting 20 minutes ever, right?
So how about we throw in some lightweight resistance work to blast a few muscles and really get the blood pumping around the entire body, while still getting your heart rate into a suitably high-intensity range to melt fat like a popsicle on the fourth of July?
Let’s get going.
This is a very simple but effective exercise that will get your blood pumping and put some serious stress on your shoulders, chest and arms. The picture to the left shows the Svend press. You must clamp a plate between your palms and, in a controlled manner, push it horizontally straight out in front of you until your arms are straight.
It looks simple, but with the right weight, your shoulders and pecs will be burning in no time. Perform this exercise in a rapid but controlled manner. The plate push press is slightly different. Instead of clamping the plate, you should turn it the other way and hold it by the edges. Begin in much the same position as for the Svend press except you then jump your feet to around shoulder width and drop into a ¾ squat position, while thrusting the plate to arms length. This a far more strenuous exercise and gets your blood pumping with the right tempo. Maybe start with a few Svend presses as a warm up, before moving to the push plate press.
Let’s throw this old favorite in there! Everyone knows how to do jumping jacks. Begin with your feet together and your arms by your side, before jumping, spreading your feet wide, and throwing your arms into the air. Return to the start and repeat. Yes, they’re an oldie, but they’re a goodie, and will get your blood pumping right away. A more strenuous version is to take some light dumbbells and perform explosive shoulder presses with your arms instead.
Battle rope work gets your blood pumping and employs lots of muscle fibers. It’s so simple, yet so effective. Even the hardest fitness freak will be out of puff within a minute or so of ultra fast rope work. Your lungs burn, your arms and shoulders feel on fire, and your back and core receive a good workout stabilizing the whole venture.
There is a huge array of exercises you can perform with battle ropes. From the basic slams to double and alternating waves, alternating wave lunge jumps and beyond. Grab hold of the ropes, use your imagination but make sure you go all out.
Many gyms now carry strongman type equipment like tires and logs. Tire flipping is an absolutely perfect exercise for HIIT training. It employs virtually every muscle in the body in some way, is super tiring (no pun intended), and makes you feel like an utter beast! Pick a tire you can flip fairly comfortably and just go for it, flip that thing like a crazy person. Another brilliant tire exercise is the farmer’s walk. Grab a tire, jump inside of it, grab it from the inside, stand up, and walk … or jog if you’re fit enough.
We’re not done with the tires just yet.
Beating ten shades out of a tire with a big lump of a hammer is not just fun, it’s pretty knackering too. That’s a perfect recipe for interesting HIIT training.
You don’t need a huge hammer, in fact for HIIT it’s probably best to stick with a smaller tool (below 16lbs) and go for speed.
There are two main styles of swings that you can utilize here. Firstly you can stand square on to the tire, with both hands grasping the base of the shaft, and simply smash that thing with huge overhead blows. Alternatively, you can use diagonal swings, standing with a staggered stance (pictured) and pull the hammer over one shoulder, letting your rear hand slight up towards the head, before slamming down, letting the hand slide back. Either way, you will be pumped and puffed out in no time.
Using Sheer NO2 Nitric Oxide Booster turns your hammer training into a huge upper body pump. Nitric oxide causes the blood vessels to dilate, flooding the working muscles with blood threatening to split the skin.
Sticking with swinging, the kettlebell swing is excellent for strengthening the legs, back, and shoulders, while raising the heart rate into HIIT territory. Grab a good sized kettlebell, stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width, squat slightly and swing the weight back between your legs, keeping a good, flat back, then power that thing up to shoulder height, thrusting from the hips and straightening up. Perform the movement with speed and power, but control. Make sure you keep your back flat. There are many other kettlebell exercises suiting HIIT well, including squat and deadlift variations. Mix it up.
Speaking of squats, here’s another oldie that’s perfect for getting the heart rate going. Place your hands on your head, get your back into a good, strong position, push your butt out slightly, and squat. Just as you parallel, explode through your feet and leap past the upright position, into the air.
When you land, take the impact by dropping straight back into the next squat, keeping constant tension on the quads, hams, and glutes.
This exercise builds explosive power in your legs while pushing you into the HIIT fat burning zone.
There are many other items of equipment you could use in the gym to get your high-intensity kick. The Prowler gives an excellent all body workout that will certainly see your heart- rate hit the zone. You could use any strenuous lift, as long as you keep form strict, and perform it with a high enough intensity.
Now, the object of HIIT training is bringing your heart rate down into the recovery zone between high-intensity bursts.
But you don’t want to just stand there, that’s no good, you need to be exercising to keep the blood pumping, clearing lactic acid, and burning calories. Some great ‘rest’ interval exercises are skipping, jogging, crunches, hanging knee raises, and even the plank.
Here is a sample hardcore HIIT workout…
Repeat this three or four times through and you’re ready to warm down.
Have fun with HIIT. It doesn’t have to be boring! Mix it up!
Jonathan Warren is a national level physique competitor and personal trainer with multiple certifications including NASM, NCCPT, and IKFF. His specializations include mobility training and corrective exercise as well as contest preparation.
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