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Fat Blasting Workout!

From eDiets - The online diet, fitness, and healthy living resource

“If you Always Do, what you Always Did, you will Always Get, What you Always Got.” -- Anonymous

Most of us know the benefits of cardiovascular exercise: reduced risk of heart disease, improved heart function, improvement in blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, reduced risk of osteoporosis and let us not forget one of our favorites -- burn body fat!

One fundamental problem with cardiovascular exercise for many people is that it simply becomes boring. I’ve read countless articles related to the type of cardio to perform, frequency, target heart rate, etc., but no one seems to address the fact that this stuff can be boring for the everyday person. I’m not sure I can completely change your perspective about this, but I know I can provide you with a 12-week program that may stimulate your interest, your metabolism and your ability to burn body fat.

Most people tend to do the same workout day in and day out. Many end up “throwing in the towel” because they get psychologically burned out. It’s sort of like eating Pizza -- you may love it and it may be your favorite cheat food, but if you had to eat it every day for a year, I guarantee it would make the bottom of your favorite food list.

Fat Blasting Workout The same applies to exercise. You simply cant use the treadmill or elliptical machine every single workout for the same amount of time and with the same intensity levels. It will eventually catch up to you. When it does, youll start to make excuses as to why you cant workout -- and youll actually convince yourself the excuses are legitimate.

The human body will adapt to any exercise routine in approximately 4 -6 weeks. If you do the same routine over and over, the body will adapt and become efficient at the movement. That’s a good way to stall your progress.

In order to alleviate boredom and to keep you in fat-burning mode, I’m outlining several methods for manipulating your cardio workouts. You can perform each for three weeks at a time (or even two weeks at a time). The process will keep you motivated and have you burning loads of fat (assuming you're consistent with your eDiets nutrition program). Always remember one golden rule; exercise does not work in and of itself -- nutrition is a huge component.

The following is my 12-week fat blasting workout that’s designed to produce results. If you’ve been power walking for 20 minutes on the treadmill every day for the last year, things are about to change. You can select any type of cardio you wish as long as you adhere to the parameters of each 3-week segment.

1. Longer duration/ moderate intensity (week 1 – 3) -- This cardio method is based on keeping an elevated heart rate but not working so hard that youre burning out or short of breath. I recommend 40 minutes (beginners can begin with 15 minutes) of walking or light jogging. This can be performed 3-4 days per week depending on your level of experience. I also recommend maintaining a heart rate of approximately 65 percent 75 percent.

2. Interval Training (weeks 4 - 6) -- This workout can be performed 3-4 days per week. Interval training is best described as incorporating higher intensity exercise with lower intensity. This method helps stimulate and speed the metabolism. Intervals can be applied to any form of cardiovascular exercise and although it's been a widely used technique for training competitive athletes since the 50's, the concept grew into mainstream fitness in the 90's.

The beauty of interval training is that you don’t have to work out for long periods. Unless you’re training for a competitive event, anything over 25-30 minutes is unnecessary, and that includes warm up and cool down.

The following is a protocol for interval training using the treadmill as an example:

Begin with a warm up of 5 minutes at level 3.0 intensity (3.0 miles per hour).
a. On the 6th minute increase to 4.0 mph (light jog).
b. On the 7th minute increase to 5.0 mph.
c. On the 8th minute increase to level 6.5 or 7.0 mph.
d. For the next 2 minutes (minutes 9 and 10) return to 3.0 mph.
e. Repeat letters a-d two additional times, but increase the level of intensity one mile per hour on each phase.
f. Cool down for 5 minutes at 3.0 mph.

Total workout time (including warm up and cool down): 25 minutes. Letters a-f above represent one cycle. In this example, you perform 3 cycles of higher intensity training. If you’re at a more advanced fitness level, then you’ll need to adjust the speeds accordingly to make sure the intensity is somewhat demanding at the higher levels.

3. Combination Training (weeks 7-9) -- Combination training can be performed 4-5 days per week. It simply combines the moderate intensity/longer duration method with interval training. Our goal is to stimulate fat loss by changing the parameters of the workout and also to keep ourselves mentally stimulated. Here's an example:

Monday -- moderate intensity/longer duration for 40 minutes.
Tuesday -- Interval training.
Wednesday rest.
Thursday -- moderate intensity/ longer duration for 40 minutes.
Friday -- Interval training.

4. The Split Workout (weeks 10-12) -- The split workout asks you to perform a different cardio exercise every day (4 days per week) for 30 minutes. Again, we are attempting to change the adaptation from the previous 3 weeks to ignite fat loss. Most people enjoy the variety of this workout after they get over the initial fear of change mind set. An example of the Split Workout is as follows:

Monday -- power walking.
Tuesday - Stairmaster.
Wednesday -- rest.
Thursday - jogging.
Friday -- aerobics dance tape.

The beauty of this 12-week program is, based on the fact you've stimulated your metabolism to such a high degree, you continue to burn calories the day after your workout. Most people are obsessed with how many calories are burned during a workout, but one of the keys to losing fat is making sure your body continues to burn lots of calories 24-48 hours after the workout. With the above training parameters, you’re bound to make excellent progress.

Beginners should reduce each workout by one day, decrease time by 5 minutes and perform at a level of intensity that is comfortable (approximately 55 percent to 60 percent of target heart rate). I strongly encourage everyone to invest in a heart rate monitor to accurately gauge your individual target heart rate.

As always, your ultimate success in achieving your goals is based on effective exercise (weight training and cardio), following your nutrition plan and massive amounts of consistency. Please check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.

A competitive bodybuilder and former 2001 Mr. Connecticut, author Raphael Calzadilla, B.A., CPT, ACE and eDiets.com Chief Fitness Pro is a veteran of the health and fitness industry. He specializes in a holistic approach to body transformation, nutrition programs and personal training. He earned his B.A. in Communications from Southern Connecticut State University and is certified as a personal trainer with ACE and APEX. In addition, he successfully completed the RTS1 program based on biomechanics.

The mission of Team Beachbody is to motivate you and to educate you about health, fitness and nutrition and the benefits of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
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