Why High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise has been proven to be the most effective way to lose weight

Many of us have wondered what the most effective type of exercises can be done to burn off that undesired excess body fat, especially in primary areas such as our stomach’s, underarms, thighs and the cellulite that comes with it.

Scientific research into the secrets of effective exercise reveal that it is much more effective and you are more likely to get more results from short bursts of high-intensity intermittent exercise (HIIE), rather than slow and longer sessions. Studies show this to be the case for overweight individuals.

Although it is not easy to follow due to the discomfort one may feel. It requires persistence and determination, maybe motivation. Though personally I believe that if you have a structure and routine, even though you don’t have motivation, your body just gets into the habit of doing something, i.e. going to the gym every morning for an hour or forty-five minutes if that is all you can manage.

Lisa’s* story integration of HII exercising techniques

Consider Lisa’s* personal story. Lisa used to weigh over 30 pounds, and did not realise how chubby she was getting until recently when she found an old photograph of herself. The picture showed her sat on a chair, and there were around 3 or 4 folds of fat around her waistline that were made even obvious as she was sat on a chair, wearing a skin tight shirt. Lisa did not lose the weight with sporadic bouts of exercise here and there alone, but she combined it with diet. What you eat and put into your body is just as important as exercise. For effective weight loss, exercise must be combined with diet. What you put into your body makes you who you are, and how you look on the outside. First, let’s look at the science of our abdomen and the muscles that are involved. This is a diagram:

When working out your abs, you really have to take care not to end up causing damage to yourself by making really fast and strenuous movements. For example, rotating your hips and performing standing side-to-side exercises can be more detrimental, and may cause damage.

Research conducted by the University of Massachusetts, in their study of abdominal fat, concluded that stomach crunches and sit-ups alone are not enough to reduce belly fat, and the number of folds between one’s belly (the “spare tyres” as they are sometimes called). Instead, a person’s total body fat needs to be reduced first before a significant difference can be seen and made. This means that during cardio, short bursts of cardio exercises, can help to reduce stomach fat, because inevitably fat from other areas of the body are also being burned.

Surprisingly, running on a flat surface has shown that very little exercises are done by the rectus abdominis and external oblique muscles of the abdomen. Instead the trunk of the body, and the muscles located at the torso, can only be exercised/put to work if some resistance is used. Applying this to working out at the gym – practically, this mean even if you are running on the treadmill, it is more effective to change the gradient of the surface you are running on to a slope, than to run on a flat, even surface.

However, safety comes first with abdominal muscles during your workout. It is much more effective to do the exercises with control and at a slower speed, as the idea is to avoid damage.