Adapted from MMA superstar Chael Sonnen’s new book The Four-Pack Revolution: How You Can Aim Lower, Cheat on Your Diet, and Still Lose Weight & Keep It Off
Most of us spend more time thinking about losing fat than we do about gaining muscle. Luckily for us, the body is designed to burn fat—it just needs the right environment to do so. There are a few myths when it comes to burning fat and losing weight. The most misunderstood is the “fat-burning zone.”
Your body burns a combination of carbohydrates and fat; it’s almost never just one or the other. At 50 percent of your maximum heart rate, you will be burning fuel at a ratio of 60 percent fat and 40 percent carbohydrates, in the form of glycogen that is stored in the body. When you increase to 75 percent of your maximum heart rate, the ratio drops to 35 percent fat and 65 percent carbs. Therefore, it may seem logical that workouts done at a lower heart rate would make the most sense for those looking to shed a few pounds. But in reality, you burn more total calories by working harder. So even though the ratio of fat-to-carbs is lower at higher intensities, more total fat and calories are expended.
New research is published every year demonstrating the benefits of intense exercise. Magic happens when you get your heart rate up and feel your chest pounding. Short, intense interval training workouts are beneficial because much of the physiological benefits of exercise come when you really push the pace, even if it’s only for a minute or two. If you don’t have access to gym equipment or are short on time, then a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout with body-weight exercises such as squats, burpees, and jumping jacks can still deliver amazing results, all in the comfort of your own home. No gym membership, no weights, no excuses.
Perform these strength and metabolic exercises as a circuit. Be sure to follow the prescribed work and rest times.
Equipment Needed: 2 dumbbells, kettlebells, stability balls
Estimated Duration: 40 mins – 2 rounds | 60 mins – 3 rounds