There is an enormous volume of chat on the web about what exactly are the best belly fat burning exercises for shifting unwanted flab from your mid section. Self proclaimed experts will point to cardio as the key, telling you to take a brisk walk, a swim, to hit the cross trainer. Others will instruct you to focus on light resistance training to really tone up those muscles, just don’t overdo it – you wouldn’t want to get ‘bulky’. Then there is the crew that try to get you to focus on a certain amount of steps in a given day.
It really can get confusing. Who do you listen to? They all claim to be subject matter experts.
Today I want to take the opportunity to blow a couple of common myths on belly fat burning exercises out of the water to try to help you uncover the real truth about fat burning.
Ok, lets get started with myth number one.
Longer workouts are better for losing belly fat
When it is gym night does it feel like you need to clear your entire schedule just to get your workout done? Does you custom designed workout include so many exercises you don’t even remember what half of them are? Are you of the opinion that there is no point attending the gym unless you have at least an hour or more available to make the most of it? Then you are sorely mistaken.
It is a commonly held belief that the longer you workout the better. But in fact you actually do not need to spend hours upon hours exercising to lose weight. In fact you can get optimal results in a relatively short space of time if you are following the right approach. Even 20-30 minutes is sufficient to achieve mind boggling results.
Have you heard the saying work smarter not harder? When it comes to shifting unwanted belly fat… smarter is harder. Intensity is the key to losing excess weight… not duration.
I know what you are saying… it is easy to say this without proof. Here is proof then.
Let’s look at a study completed by researchers at the University of Copenhagen. They analysed sixty overweight men for a period of 3 months. Half of them completed one hour of exercise every day. The other half ran, cycled or cross trained for only 30 minutes a day. The difference? The shorter exercise period was completed at much higher intensity.
The results? The group that trained for a shorter period at higher intensity lost more weight than those that exercised significantly longer.
Cardio is the key to burning belly fat
Myth number two. Cardio will do the trick!
You could be forgiven for still thinking cardio is the key to fat loss. A significant portion of weight loss advice still revolves around cardio training. Media continues to refer to the importance of the fat burning zone, and discussion on how low intensity cardio burns more calories during a workout can easily confuse.
The reality is, that weight training designed to increase lean muscle mass and boost your fat burning metabolism can not only produce greater fat loss, but it is also much more sustainable due to ongoing increases in your resting metabolic rate.
While it is true that you might burn more calories during a cardio workout when compared to weight training; the reality is that an intensive weight training program will raise your calorie burning rate for significantly longer after the exercise pursuit is completed. Your body keeps burning fat for much longer.
The key with weight training however is to make sure you are training with sufficient intensity to stress your muscles to result in lean muscle gain. Light weights that hardly break a sweat will not do the trick anywhere near as effectively.