Lets face it… You want that polished look for your abs but it seems to be the hardest thing to develop. You have been doing tons of sit-ups and side bends and aren’t seeing the results. You are determined, I will give you that.
But realistically that is not all you have to do to shed the weight and burn the fat. Sad truth is that stomach fat is the last to drop off. When trying to change the fat to muscle ratio it doesn’t happen at a concentrated point rather than a proportionally. What this means is that you will lose little bits of fat from your legs, butt, back, arms, neck, and stomach proportionally. If that doesn’t make sense think of it this way, when was the last time you saw someone that had a flat stomach but the rest of their body was flabby, not thick as in muscle strength but flabby. When you see weight loss you see your entire image of a person shrinking inwards. If you are already fit and are developing your abs, surprise surprise, its the same way. The only difference is that you are toning the rest of your body while you are doing your abs by burning more fat all over. Once the heavy pockets of fat are burned off your abs, the muscles will then start to become visible.
You have to incorporate a routine that will enable you to reach and keep your heart rate at the fat burning zone (114-133 BPM). This is shown in the blue strip below. The benefits are improves basic endurance as well as burns fat. The recommended time is 30-60 minutes. The reason for this is because it takes about 5 minutes to reach the targeted heart rate and at least 25 minutes to start burning the fat. Now, you obviously will not see results immediately but you will see it gradually. Fitness Drive recommends incorporating this at least 3 times a week to start and then increasing it to 5 days a week. For continuous results to increase endurance and capitalize on burning fat, 7 day a week would be ideal. Pick the times per week that are in line with your fitness and time goals.
It is possible to decrease the time by increasing the intensity of your workout. There are several steps you can take in accomplishing this.
- The basic for is to start running around your neighborhood for 30 minutes with a light jog. Don’t worry if you can’t jog continuously for 30 minutes. Jog as long as you can and if it is getting tough start walking for no longer than 1 minute (60 steps), then start jogging again and keep repeating this until time is up. It will keep your heart rate in the fat burning zone without creating fatigue. You could increase the intensity to decrease time by focusing on hills and speeding up the jog along with decreasing the walking time (you should notice that you will have completed your laps or reached your destination in a shorter time frame, possibly in 20 minutes).
- Use of exercise equipment can be used to perform the above especially when location and weather is a factor. The use of exercise equipment will help maintain consistent conditions unlike running on different terrain. Most equipment has built in programs to follow in order to obtain the desired results. Fitness Drive recommends utilizing these programs but believes that the exercise should still be performed for no less than 20 minutes regardless of intensity.
Examples of exercise equipment that can be used are as follows:
- Treadmill – Conditions similar to running around a track field and can incorporate different terrains. Inclines and speed can be manipulated.
- Elliptical – Incorporates a gliding movement to running to allow low impact to knees unlike a treadmill. Resistance can be applied to the glide in order to increase the intensity. It also allows for reverse movement to re-target efforts without risk.
- Bicycle – Allows the knees to come up higher which keeps concentration on the lower abs. Has low impact on the knees and can increase resistance to simulate hills and tougher terrains.
- Step Climber – More effort required on the legs with more stress on the knees but provides a higher caloric burn in less time. Intensity can be increased to simulate higher steps and make it seem as though you have already been climbing for some time.
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