The 10 Laws Of Muscle Building: Law 3, Train To Lose

If you're in the gym to lose fat, even if your primary goal is building size over time, then this is the cardio you need to be doing!

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When you're training to lose, you're training to burn more calories and fat during exercise and during the 24-hour post-workout period. Doing resistance training is a great way to increase muscle mass and therefore burn more calories throughout the day, but you should also include cardiovascular training.

My favorite way to train cardio is with high-intensity interval training, or HIIT.

Law 3: Train To Lose 10 Laws Of Muscle-Building
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HIIT More Benefits in Less Time

HIIT combines bursts of high-intensity dynamic exercise like running or cycling with periods of active rest. Research suggests that HIIT burns as many calories as lower-intensity cardio in much less time, and allows the burning of calories and fat to remain elevated throughout the day.1,2 Furthermore, this type of training can help muscle fibers take up more fat and carbohydrates after training to be stored in preparation for the next challenge.

To perform HIIT, do 3-10 intervals of high-intensity effort followed by lower-intensity effort. High-intensity effort should last 30-180 seconds and should be followed by active-rest periods done in a 1:1-1:4 ratio. For example, you could sprint for 60 seconds and transition into a jog or walk for 60-180 seconds.

If you are just getting started, do shorter work periods with longer active rest. As you get fitter, increase the length of work and decrease the length of rest. Try to perform HIIT for at least 20 minutes, and consider a frequency of 2-3 times per week depending on your goals.

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  1. Wingfield, H. L., Smith-Ryan, A. E., Melvin, M. N., Roelofs, E. J., Trexler, E. T., Hackney, A. C., ... & Ryan, E. D. (2015). The acute effect of exercise modality and nutrition manipulations on post-exercise resting energy expenditure and respiratory exchange ratio in women: a randomized trial. Sports Medicine-Open, 2.
  2. Skelly, L. E., Andrews, P. C., Gillen, J. B., Martin, B. J., Percival, M. E., & Gibala, M. J. (2014). High-intensity interval exercise induces 24-h energy expenditure similar to traditional endurance exercise despite reduced time commitment. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 39(7), 845-848.