Last month I was in Dallas, Texas visiting my cousin and her family for a week. While I was there I took a Tread Fitness class. I immediately deemed it a Healthy Discovery! My cousin started taking classes at Tread Fitness last year and she looks fantastic. She is an almost 40-year old mother of three young children and she is leaner than I have ever seen her.
These 60-minute, high energy group classes are comprised of two sets of 15-minute weight-lifting exercises interspersed with two 15-minute treadmill interval sprints. It boosts your cardiovascular stamina and leans you out very quickly.
It works, and this is why it works:
- Sprints are one of the most effective exercises to develop strong and muscular abs, and they literally teach your body how to be an effective fat burner.*
- The sprint is so powerful for fat loss because it sets into motion biochemical reactions that turn on your fat burning machinery. In exercise research, this effect is called oxygen debt. It represents the body’s attempt to recover oxygen losses from intense exercise. Anyone who has ever run a 100-yard dash or walked up a large flight of steps knows what oxygen debt feels like. It is that period of time just after stopping intense movement where you have to stop and gasp for air. This increased respiration is just the tip of the iceberg. Deep in the body, biochemistry is manipulated and changed to partition fuel to help in recovery. This intense exercise releases a chemical soup, including adrenaline and human growth hormone (HGH), that leads to sustained fat burning for hours and even days after the workout has ended.*
- An article in February of 2005 printed in the Journal of Applied Physiology showed that six weeks of daily sprint training elevated a fat burning enzyme called citrate synthase by more than a third. Another article in the same journal in 1998 (vol. 84) showed that this same enzyme stayed significantly elevated for 6 to 8 weeks after the sprint training had ended.*
- If you are still unconvinced that sprinting is the most effective form of abdominal exercise and fat burning go try it. Go find a track and run as fast as you can for 50 yards. Slowly walk back to the start, and do it again. Do it one more time and call it a day. If you are beginner to this type of exercise and skeptical of this assertion, you won’t be tomorrow when you wake up.*
*Source: Jade and Keoni Teta
My Tread instructor in Dallas coached us through a series of interval sprints. We would sprint for 1-2 minutes at various speeds and grades (inclines) on the treadmill. Then we would stop, slow our breathing back to normal, and do it all over again. After 15-minutes of sprints we moved onto weights and followed the same process. We used small hand weights and lifted for 1-2 minutes. We stopped, caught our breath and repeated the process for 15-minutes.
If you want to lose body fat quickly and not lose muscle mass, I highly recommend this method of exercise along with a Paleo diet, of course. 🙂
Unfortunately, Tread Fitness is only in Dallas, although they may franchise soon.
But don’t despair you can easily re-create this method of efficient fat-burning exercise at home or in your own gym. Re-read my blog post on Burst Training for Fat Loss and use that template. It is the same idea as Tread Fitness and you can sprint, jump rope, bicycle, use the stair-master or the elliptical machine. It doesn’t matter. Just “burst” for 2-minutes. Create an oxygen debt to the point where you can’t continue and you HAVE to stop and catch your breath. Recover for a minute or two and then do it 2-3 more times.
Don’t push past the 2-minute mark!
Your body composition will begin to change quickly but you must rest in equal parts to your bursts. The recovery period is critical to this process! That means taking a day or two off between burst sessions too, only do burst or interval training 2-3 times per week.
CrossFit uses this same philosophy, so if you have a CrossFit gym near you check that out as well.
Finally, for more information and a manual on how to create a Tread Fitness type fat-burning routine at home using sprints and small hand weights pick up Jade and Keoni Teta’s book, The Metabolic Effect: Eat More, Work Out Less, and Actually Lose Weight While You Rest. It is fabulous. It outlines routines for anyone to do at home.
Good Luck. I think you’ll be very happy with how quickly you will lean down and tone up if you use sprints, interval training, or bursts.