Have you been hitting it (or HIIT-ING it, if you will) hard and looking for ways to drop fat? You don't have to look any longer. The folks over at T Nation have shared 5 strategies
that are sure to get you there before you know it!
1. HIIT Followed by Steady-State Cardio
High intensity interval training is a wonderful way to mobilize fat from adipose tissue stores. But just because the fat is mobilized into the blood stream, it doesn't mean that the fat is being burned. In fact, a lot of it might end up exactly where it started. Steady state cardio is not great for mobilizing but it is really good at burning the triglycerides that are in the blood stream from the HIIT intervals. Doing steady state cardio after HIIT ensures the fat gets burned.
If you are doing a half hour of cardio, try 10 mins of HIIT followed by 20 mins of SSC. If an hour, try 20 mins of HIIT and 40 mins of SSC. Need an example? If you are working out outside, try sprints followed immediately by walking or jogging. At the gym, try 20 minutes of intervals on the StepMill followed immediately by 40 minutes of walking on the treadmill at a slight incline. It is up to you, use your imagination.
2. Only Consume Carbs Around the Workout
To get a lean, muscular look it is important to find the right balance between consuming and restricting carbs. Obviously when planning your carb intake you will be looking at the big picture and the total amount you are ingesting in a day but you should also be looking at when you are consuming carbs. Consuming carbs around your workout is the best time.
T-Nation says, "Consuming carbs peri-workout (meaning "around" your workout) is undoubtedly the best strategy. Consuming carbs prior to your workout will, in simple terms, give you energy for your workout. More specifically, it'll ensure that your blood glucose levels are adequate."
Most people do well consuming carbs about an hour before the workout.
3. Consume Inversely Proportional Carbs and Fat
If you are going to eat more carbs in a meal, lower the fat content. If you are going to have more fat at a meal, lower the carbs. Basically, fat and carbs both give energy and it is important not to consume too much energy at one time. T-Nation breaks it down like this: "We know low carb, higher-fat diets work well in terms of fat loss. We also know low fat, higher-carbs can work, too. But nowhere have you heard of a high carb and
high fat diet working, at least for anything other than making you fat!" They also remind you to include protein as it is key in building muscle! Protein is also good for boosting your metabolism and helping you feel full. If you keep your protein consistent and your carbs and fat inversely proportional, you're on your way!
4. Choose Harder Exercises, You Wuss
This may seem obvious but it isn't really. More often than not we are inclined to give ourselves the easy way out. We may choose exercises that work the same muscle groups but they don't get us out of breath or make us work nearly as hard. The key is to try to choose things that make you work harder. So leg presses and squats target a lot of the same places, leg presses are easier. Squats engage more muscles in your back and core as well so they are a 'harder' exercise. Take a look at your routine and see where you can bump things up. Be honest. At the very least, add some burpees. They ain't pretty but they sure get you working!
5. Use Caffeine Prior to Exercise
I will give you the basics: caffeine promotes fat burning and inhibits carb burning. There is a great deal of evidence out there that shows caffeine to break down fat -- but like the point being made in the HIIT and SSC strategy above, now that it is in your blood stream, you need to burn it up. It makes sense to have caffeine before exercise. All that biochemistry stuff aside, the caffeine will give you energy and you'll likely end up doing more work! Bonus, really.
Are you using any of these strategies? How are they working for you?