Speed intervals for cardio will improve your workout efficiency and fat loss. In other words, high intensity interval training (HIIT) is the best way to burn fat in the shortest amount of time–as it relates to cardio. All that’s needed is 20 minutes per session.
Research has proven that the benefits of anaerobic exercise (like sprint or short burst interval cardio) is superior to aerobic exercise for fat loss, fitness and heart health. This type of short burst cardio won’t waste away your muscle mass the way long, slow cardio sessions will.
The progression of your cardio exercise should be low-intensity aerobics to moderate/high-intensity aerobics to high-intensity anaerobic intervals.
Sprinting activates your bulkier, shapely fast twitch muscle fibers. These fast twitch muscle fibers lie dormant when you do slow-paced cardio sessions.
Sprinting will really burn the fat on your butt, hips, thighs, hamstrings and lower legs. Fat will also be burned on your upper body. You don’t have to be fast, just run as fast as you can during the intervals.
Here are 3 examples of how HIIT could work to burn maximum fat:
1. After a proper dynamic warmup, sprint for 10-15 seconds and walk for 1 minute. The sprint has to be at maximum effort. Do this rotation for 20 minutes.
To continually challenge yourself, progress this cardio exercise to surfaces such as inclines and hills. Weighted resistance, such as vest, could also be used. Its just that simple. And that tough.
2. Another good interval cardio exercise is speed jump rope. It is performed in short intervals at up to 200 RPM (revolutions per minute). It also uses the anaerobic energy system (85% to 95% of max heart rate) and develops fast twitch muscle fibers.
This type of speed jump roping gives you more speed, quickness, agility, balance, coordination, power and knee/ankle/foot strength. Jumping rope also improves your timing which will help you workout efficiently.
3. Use shuttle runs to add variety to your cardio workouts, burn fat faster and really lean and tone your body.
Sudden changes in direction adds more intensity to an otherwise intense form of exercise. Shuttles will also improve your dynamic balance, power and coordination.
Try this shuttle run for cardio in your workouts to burn more fat (run on grass or rubber surface):
Speed Shuttle Drill or 5-10-5 Cone Drill – Place three cones in a straight line, 5 yards apart. Start at the middle cone in an athletic stance.
Run as fast as you can to the left cone (5 yds) and touch ground with your hand, run as fast as you can to the right cone (10 yds) and touch ground with your hand and finish running through the middle cone. That’s one repetition. Rest 1 minute between sets. Do 8-10 sets per workout session.
Try more speed interval cardio during your workouts. Do no more than 3 interval cardio workouts per week to avoid injuries and burnout. It will improve your fat loss, weight loss and shape your body faster.
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Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
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