Burn Belly Fat Quickly in Just Four Minutes a Day!
Who wants to burn belly fat quickly? Everybody does, right? I thought so — I know I do. While getting to the level of fitness that we’re striving to achieve will undoubtedly take time and patience, there are some things we can do to prime our bodies to run as efficiently as possible, maximizing the results of our hard work!
You may remember the HIIT workout we talked about around the 4th of July, and how effective this type of training can be for maintaining calorie burn throughout the day. Coincidentally, this calorie burn and muscle building action is also great way to burn belly fat quickly! How quickly? Well, today we’re going to touch on another style of HIIT that only requires four minutes of your time, and can be a great addition to your daily routine (If you’re not sure what HIIT is, check out this post that lays out the basics for you).
Some Background on Tabata-Style Training
There’s a great deal of research out there highlighting the benefits of High Intensity Interval Training. Not only does this type of training take significantly less time to reap similar benefits, but it keeps the fat burning irons hot, far beyond the time you spent working out. That’s like coming home from work and still making money like you’re on the clock — what could be better than that?
One specific style of HIIT that has become popular over the past few years is Tabata training. Tabata is a system based on research completed by Japanese researcher Izumi Tabata, PhD, MD, in the mid-1990s. He worked with speed skaters, and found that an extremely intense workout completed in four minutes (:20 work, :10 rest intervals) resulted in improved aerobic and anaerobic fitness, without losing any muscle (yay!). In the study, the participants were on an exercise bike (think spin-style), and asked to go all out for the entire 20 seconds, with only the 10 seconds of rest. After this had gone on for four minutes straight, they were completely exhausted, and would likely not have been able to complete another round, due to the intensity of the workout.
As average humans, it’s extremely difficult to replicate these exact conditions as they were measured for success in this study, but nonetheless, the style of workout has taken off – if nothing else, the name has. In browsing around the internet, it’s clear that there is ongoing debate about what truly constitutes a tabata workout. In order to come close the its original meaning, one would need to complete the same exercise for all eight intervals, go absolutely 100% all out for every interval, and essentially be on the verge of puking when it was all said and done.
In an effort to avoid angering the tabata gods, I’m going to say, right now, that what I’m about to propose is not, in fact, a true representation of the original tabata protocol. Really, the only things that are the same are the time intervals, and the intended intensity level for each interval — I’m also going to use the name. I’m 100% OK with this, because, as a form of HIIT, it’s still a very effective way to burn belly fat quickly! So let’s get to the point here…
The Four Minute Workout to Burn Belly Fat Quickly
I love doing tabata-style workouts. They’re quick, they’re effective, and dare I say…fun! They consist of 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest for the allotted four minutes. I select four, usually body weight, exercises that I complete for two rounds. Sometimes I’ll use moves that target the whole body, some might be all squat variations, it’s just a matter of how I’m feeling that day, what’s sore, what I want to work on, etc.
I like to use these to start my day — they’re quick, really get the juices flowing, and kick-start my metabolism for a nice long day of calorie burning, even if I only burned 30-40 in the time I was actually doing the workout. This type of workout is also a great finisher after a strength training session, to make sure you’ve used everything you have left in the tank. I end every single one of my workouts with a tabata-style finisher, and by the time it’s over, I’m more than ready to part ways with the gym, knowing I gave everything I had left.
In an effort to share my tabata joy with all of you, I’ve put together a Two Week Tabata Challenge for you to take on! All of the exercises are laid out with descriptions for each. I will be starting this challenge on Monday, 7/27/2015, and will do each workout first thing in the morning. If you’re planning on coming along for the ride — even if you have a different starting point — I would love to hear how it’s going, so make sure you leave a comment below as you’re working through it.
Little equipment is necessary to complete these workouts. The only thing, if you’re going to get into these style of workouts, that’s REALLY nice to have, is an interval timer. I use a Gymboss Timer, which is a small timer you can clip on your waist band that keeps track of your working and rest periods. I’d be lost without mine, but you can also download timer apps on your phone, or checkout tabatatimer.com — whatever works for you! A jump rope is great to have for tabata-style workouts, but this exercise can also be replaced with line jumps or simply jumping in place at a rate similar to if you were using a jump rope. Other than that, all you need is YOU, a little bit of space to work, and some motivation 🙂
Some Things to Remember to Burn Belly Fat Quickly:
- Your 20 seconds of work need to be INTENSE. This will look different for everybody, but in order for this to be effective, you must go all out.
- This is not intended to be a stand-alone workout program. These quick tabata-style workouts are meant to supplement what you’re already doing in your exercise regimen. However, if you’re not currently exercising, this is a great way to get your foot in the door. Once you exercise for 4 minutes each day — it will be that much easier to go for 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes….etc. 🙂
- These workouts will not cancel out poor eating habits, at least when it comes to belly fat. You will still get stronger and improve your endurance, but if you’re looking to burn belly fat quickly, you definitely need to have your nutrition in check.
- By no means do you need to do these workouts in this specific order, or at a particular time of day. I find them to be most effective for me right away in the morning, or as a finisher to my workouts. You can also alter any exercises you don’t feel comfortable doing, or modify them as needed…but don’t be afraid to challenge yourself!
Tabata-Style Training and Psychology
So what are the psychological advantages of incorporating tabata-style training into you routine? I find the greatest advantages are:
– Time – Because these workouts only take four minutes, they’re a realistic thing to add into your day. By getting up 10 minutes earlier, you can get in a good workout that will kick-start your metabolism, and improve your mood throughout the day. The brief amount of time it takes also removes the excuse of having no time to work out. While this style of training shouldn’t be your only method, it’s great for days when you really are crunched for time.
– Variety – These workouts can be the the same…or different…every time. Keeping your workouts new and fresh makes them more exciting and appealing to do, especially as you get stronger.
– Accessibility – ANYBODY can do this type of workout. When we find that something is more accessible for us, we’re more likely to be willing to give it a try. It doesn’t matter what your fitness level is – the intervals are the same whether you’re walking in place for eight straight intervals, or you decide to whip out some atomic burpees for eight straight. Either way, this type of workout can be adjusted to whatever your level of intensity is in that moment, so get out there and GO FOR IT!
Do you have any experience with tabata-style training – good or bad? I’d love to hear your questions, experiences and results! Good luck on your quest to burn belly fat quickly!
Until Next Time….
Founder: MCP Total Fitness