There is an irony to our current health situation here in the United States and in developed countries. At a time in our history when more people than ever before are overweight the exercise and fitness industry is a multi-billion dollar giant that continues to grow even in times of economic contraction. We spend more money on exercise programs than ever before- most do little and some are so extreme that any weight loss derived cannot be realistically sustained so waistlines are not going down and staying down. The conventional approach to losing fat around the abdominal area has always been primarily aerobic exercises and most can attest that you don’t exactly get a six pack from running or being on the bike/treadmill/StairMaster/Elliptical Machine for hours and end. What has been proven time and time again by those in the trenches for reducing abdominal fat and creating the elusive toned and sculpted physique is weight training or more precisely high intensity training.
High Intensity Training As A Time Efficient Solution To Reducing Visceral Abdominal Fat & Improving Your Health
With an obesity rate of nearly 34% here in the United States and with most of those individuals suffering from the cluster of metabolic syndromes associated with a high body mass index and high visceral abdominal fat levels such as hypertension, Type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease, society as a whole need simple and long term solutions to being able to help people lower their body fat levels. The small time commitment of high intensity training is certainly a major part of the solution and more and more studies are pointing in that direction. High intensity training for a long time has been associated solely as a means toward increasing strength and muscle mass, but as more and more studies are conducted, researchers are discovering that high intensity training can not only help increase your endurance but also have a significant effect on the reduction of your body fat- specifically that layer dangerous layer right around your midsection. Read our article- The Dangers of Visceral Abdominal Fat.
Effects Of High Intensity Training On Body Composition & Visceral Abdominal Fat
A study published in Medicine & Science In Sports Exercise- the journal of the American College of Sports Medicine found that high intensity training was far more effective than conventional prolonged low intensity training programs in reducing overall body fat and quite importantly- reducing abdominal visceral fat. It has been firmly established that high visceral abdominal fat levels not only present a cosmetic problem, but significantly increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and hypertension.
The study examined the effects of exercise training intensity in middle aged obese women with metabolic syndrome. The women were split into three groups-
- Group One maintained their regular levels of daily activity with no exercise added and served as a control for the experiment.
- Group Two engaged in a conventional low intensity prolonged exercise program five days a week similar to recommended protocols.
- Group Three engaged in brief high intensity training sessions three days a week.
To accurately determine body composition changes, researchers used single slice computed tomography scans to observe abdominal fat and thigh muscle cross sectional areas. Body fat percentages were calculated using air displacement plethysmography.
Conclusions: High Intensity Training Is More Effective At Reducing Visceral Abdominal Fat
The findings from the study: The high intensity training group significantly reduced their total abdominal fat and subcutaneous abdominal fat whereas there were no statistically significant changes in any of these parameters in the control group or the low intensity exercise group.
Conclusions: Data from the study found conclusively that body composition changes are indeed affected by the exercise intensity and that high intensity training is far more effective at reducing visceral abdominal fat and subcutaneous abdominal fat.
So if you are serious about getting your midsection into shape and improving your overall health, you might want to give high intensity training another look!
via Kevin Richardson