For years, I made the silly mistake of doing hundreds of crunches every week just to get rid of my belly fat. When I didn't see any results, I'd get frustrated and quit.
If only I knew then that the key to my belly-flattening success would be endurance training.
What is Endurance Training?
Endurance training is high-rep, low-weight exercises. You do between 20 and 25 repetitions of each exercise, using about 50 to 70 percent of your max weight. With just a few sets, your muscles will be exhausted, but not in the same way that they are when you do strength and power training (4 to 6 reps with 90% of your max weight).
But how does it help you burn belly fat?
When you lift heavy weights for a few reps, it burns all of the glycogen (sugar) stored in your muscles. When the glycogen runs out, it taps into the sugar in your blood. By the time you finish the set of six reps, you will have shred the muscle fibers--but burned very little blood sugar.
Now, add a lot more repetitions to your exercise. You'll burn up the muscle-stored glycogen quickly, and move on to glucose once you're done. However, you will keep using your muscles beyond your blood's ability to provide sugar to the muscles, so your liver will have to provide the rest of the energy (it has stored up to 500 calories for just such an occasion).
When this happens, your body has to quickly replace the glycogen that the liver has sent to the muscle. If you aren't eating post-workout, there is no other source of energy for your liver than the fatty adipose tissue around your body. That extra-muscular fat will be broken down, and the fat cells will be turned into fuel to replenish the glycogen your body used. Thus, you burn fat very effectively.
Endurance Training Done Right
Endurance training is actually quite simple, as all you need to do is perform high repetition exercises with very little weight. This type of training is actually perfect for women, as they are able to tone up their muscles and get in great shape--but without bulking up and looking like the muscle-bound women you see on the cover of bodybuilding magazines.
The beauty of endurance training is that you do exercises that involve more than just one muscle group, but you involve as many muscles as you can to ensure the best results. The more muscles you use, the more fat you burn. The longer you spend using your muscles, the more fat you burn.
If you add some good old-fashioned abs and core exercises into your endurance training routine, you'll start using the muscles beneath the belly fat. Add some fairly light steady-state aerobic exercise (a target Heart Rate of about 50% Max HR) for up to 30 minutes a day, and you've got the magical key to fat burning. Within no time, your body will be toned all over, and that belly fat will be a thing of the past.
THE 5 BEST CRUNCH EXERCISES
Andy Peloquin had battled with weight loss issues his whole life. To overcome this, he began studying fitness and is now in the process of becoming a certified professional fitness trainer. He exercise seven days a week and is excited to share his down-to-earth knowledge of exercise and fitness.