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High-intensity workouts encourage your muscles to work near their maximum capacity.
If a beer belly, love handles or some extra junk in the trunk have you feeling out of shape, a high-intensity fat-burning workout plan designed for men can help you reclaim your physique. And there's an added bonus too: high-intensity exercise packs a mighty punch, so you can burn more calories in a shorter period of time.
High-Intensity Interval Training
The American Council on Exercise describes high-intensity interval training, HIIT, as a fitness technique that mixes both moderate and high-intensity cardiovascular exercise. With HIIT you can squeeze in a high-intensity, fat-burning exercise in a shorter period of time, burning more calories in the process. HIIT programs vary widely, so you can tailor this method to any style of exercise. For example, a HIIT session on the treadmill might include five minutes of low-intensity warm-up jogging, combined with 20 minutes of cycling between two minutes of moderate-intensity running and 30 seconds of sprinting at or near your maximum speed.
Fat Burning Workouts
To burn fat with a high-intensity workout, you'll need to get your heart and breathing rate up. Cardiovascular aerobic activities that rhythmically move your muscles burn calories. The more intense the workout, the more calories you'll burn. "Men's Health" magazine lists their top fat-burning workouts; this includes swimming, running, sprinting up stairs, cycling and the elliptical machine. To measure whether an activity is high-intensity or not, think about it on a 10-point scale. If 10 represents moving your body at your maximum capacity, then a high-intensity activity would be a seven or above. Alternatively, you can measure an exercise's intensity by a breath test. When you perform a high-intensity activity it should be difficult, but not impossible, to sustain a conversation.
Sample High Intensity Fitness Program
High-intensity, fat-burning exercises are not just good for cardio days. "Men's Body Sculpting" encourages men to apply the same principles to strength training workouts by creating a high-intensity exercise circuit. Choose three to 10 strength-training exercises and cycle through each exercise, performing as many low weight repetitions as you can for each exercise in 30-second intervals. Rest for 15 to 30 seconds between each interval and quickly move on to the next exercise. When you've completed the entire circuit, start at the beginning for two to three more rounds. With circuit training you can burn more calories during a strength training routine and squeeze in a full workout in a shorter time.
Tips and Considerations
Before every exercise session, make sure that you warm up your muscles first with five to 10 minutes of light aerobic activity, like jogging or walking in place. Warming up your muscles decreases your risk of muscular tears and injuries. After you've finished exercises, spend at least five minutes cooling your body down with light aerobic activity and finish off your session with full-body stretches. High-intensity exercises come with a greater risk of muscular and cardiac injury, so always consult your doctor before amping up your exercise routine.