Whether you want to reduce the fat on your abdominals, inner thigh, the back of your arms, or any other part of your body just follow this simple formula:
· Do cardio workout several times a week
· Do weight training and toning exercises for that specific body part a few times a week.
You should begin to see results within a few weeks. Don't stop there though, once you've reduced the fat, keep following the formula to keep the results you've achieved. It is important to follow both steps in the formula. Only doing cardio will reduce overall body fat and give you increased energy, but it will not significantly tone your muscles to give you a nice, tight looking body. Weights alone will tone your muscles and make you stronger, however, without cardio, it is difficult to reduce a significant amount of body fat, so the muscle you build through weight training won't be as visible.
Don't worry about looking like this!
... most people can't achieve an extremely
muscular physique without spending hours in the gym many times a week for many years.
(of course, if your goal is to look like this, there's no quick way to get there, you have to spend lots of time working hard at the gym)
Aerobic vs. Anaerobic activity:
Aerobic activity means activity done with oxygen, anaerobic means without oxygen. Since the body cannot work for very long without oxygen, anaerobic exercises cannot be performed for long periods of time without a break in between. When exercising, the body needs energy in order to perform. The body uses ATP (adenosine triphosphate) to create energy. There are 4 ways the body can change ATP to energy in order to perform the activity:
In anaerobic activity (e.g. sprinting, some weight lifting):
· ATP-CP Phosphagan System: This system is used for the first 10 seconds the body goes without being supplied with adequate oxygen. Here the body uses the ATP stored within the muscle to create energy. Since there is not a lot of ATP within the muscle, this system cannot be used for very long.
· Fast Glycosis: The body can be in this state for about 2 minutes, after which point it will no longer be able to provide the energy needed to do work, without more oxygen. In this state, the body breaks down carbohydrates to create ATP to be used for energy. This chemical reaction causes lactic acid to form in the muscles (which is what causes that burning feeling in your muscles).
In aerobic activity (e.g. jogging, step class, walking):
· Slow Glycosis: The body will stay in this state as long as it does not have enough oxygen to move to the next state. You are probably in this state when you pass the "talking test" . Here, your body breaks down glucose to create ATP to make energy.
· Fatty-Acid Oxidation: You're in this state when you are supplying a large amount of oxygen to your body (e.g. watching tv. walking at a regular pace). This is the state that is able to convert stored body fat into energy. The body always tries to get the most energy per unit of ATP. When the body is getting plenty of oxygen, it can use fatty acid oxidation, which provides the most energy per unit of ATP. However, as the level of oxygen decreases, the body must use other methods of creating energy, that require less oxygen.
Though you burn the greatest percentage of stored body fat in the fatty acid oxidation stage, you can still burn a greater total amount of stored body fat in other stages.
Aerobic: Done with oxygen (e.g. jogging)
Anaerobic: Done without oxygen (e.g. 50-meter dash)
When working out in the aerobic zone, to make sure you are working at the right level for you, try the "talking test". If you can carry on a conversation when working out, this indicates that you may not be pushing yourself as hard as you should be to obtain the benefits of aerobic exercise such as increased cardiovascular strength and increased energy in daily life. To increase the intensity, you should try increasing the range of motion of your arms, without swinging them, or picking up the pace of your workout.
However, if you cannot even say one word, you are pushing yourself too hard, and you should slow it down a bit.
When doing aerobic activity, you should be able to speak about 2-3 words in a row.
The Best Times to Workout:
There have been many studies done trying to show when the most effective time to workout is. Some say the best time is first thing when you wake up, since if you wake up thinking you are going to work out, you probably will. Waiting until later in the day, may cause you to skip the workout all together since other daily activities get in the way.
Others say that working out later in the day is more effective since your level of energy is a higher and you don't have to spend so much time warming up as you would in the morning.
I believe that the best time to workout is the time that best fits your schedule. If your workout times fit well into your life, you have a better chance of continuing your workout routine. So, pick some times in your week to go to the gym and make sure you go at every one of those times. If you told yourself you could make it, then you can. Don't let life's little surprises get in the way. Working out is important and will benefit you from the day you start.
The best time to work out, is the time that fits best in your schedule
Warming Up, Cooling Down and Stretching:
At the beginning of any type of physical activity, it is important to warm up the muscles you will be working for a few minutes. For example, if you were going to go for a jog or brisk walk, you should start off by walking and gradually increase the pace until your muscles feel warm enough to push yourself further. When warming up, do exercises that involve the same types of range of motion that you will be using. If you are going to be lifting weights, do a light set of weights for each of the muscle groups you will be working before you push them to their max. After you are done working out, it is important to bring your heart rate back down, by decreasing the intensity of your workout (e.g. go back to a slower pace walk before sitting down). After a few minutes of cooling down, your muscles are still warm, but your heart rate is low enough to begin stretching. It is important to stretch out all of the muscles you worked before finishing your workout. Not stretching will give you a decreased range of motion over time and lead to problems. For example, failing to stretch out your hamstrings (the back of your thigh), will lead to lower back problems. Make sure you hold each stretch for at least 15 seconds, but the longer the better. You should feel a pull in the muscle you are stretching, but never any pain. When stretching, never bounce; always hold the stretch in a static position. Once you feel comfortable in that position (usually after about 10-20 seconds) try and stretch a little further. This will increase your flexibility over time, leaving you less prone to injury.