Bring a Bucket and a Mop
Here's what to do:
- Find a stationary bicycle or similar piece of cardio equipment.
- Pedal hard (sprint) for 8 seconds.
- Back off and pedal lightly (recover) for 12 seconds.
- Repeat for 20 minutes.
- Do this 3 days per week for 12 weeks.
According to a study published in the Journal of Obesity, these wicked-ass pedaling (WAP) sessions result in:
- 4 pounds of fat loss in the abdominal area
- A 17% reduction of visceral (sub-abdominal) belly fat
- Significant muscle mass gains in the legs
The study was conducted on overweight men in their 20s who were instructed NOT to change their diets, but the researchers noted that similar effects could be experienced by women too, along with men in other age groups.
Of course, if you don't have as much excess fat to lose, you may not get the exact same results. Still, it seems like a simple way to lean up, especially if you make some dietary adjustments too.
How to Use This Info
In related studies, participants did steady-state cardio (jogging or light cycling) for an hour per day and experienced about the same results, minus the new fat-free mass in their legs.
But remember, the chubby guys in this study trained only an hour per week (three 20-minute WAP workouts) instead of seven hours per week.
If your main goal is fat loss, this style of high-intensity intermittent exercise (HIIE) will save you a ton of time... if you can hang in there for 20 minutes. Eight seconds of sprints paired with twelve seconds of "rest" is pretty brutal.
Wanna try it? You could follow the same workouts given to the study participants, but don't sweat the details too much. Pick any cardio machine, go hard for a while, back off and catch your breath, go hard again. You know, like when you're doing sex.
Related: The 1-Minute Body Fat Test
- The Effect of High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise on Body Composition of Overweight Young Males, Journal of Obesity, Volume 2012, Article ID 480467