Two Powerful Fat Loss Tools

by Lucas Wold - Date: 2007-03-15 - Word Count: 444 Share This!

Understanding fat loss begins with an understanding of the body's systems. Here are two important terms for those interested in fat loss:

Steady state refers to an unchanging internal environment, regardless of stimulus.

Homeostasis is the steady state of the body under unstressful conditions.

For an example, look at body temperature. Homeostasis is 98.6 degrees. If you started running, your body temperature might rise to 101 degrees, and then stabilize, maintaining a steady state as long as you maintain the same effort. Hence the term "steady state cardio."

Temperature is a basic example, but there are so many advanced cellular processes going on that it will be years before we can understand them all. What is important to know in our goal of fat loss, however, is that the larger disruption we can cause in the steady state environment, the greater the amount of fat that we'll lose. In fact, we want our body to waste energy. Fat is nothing more than stored energy, and so we lose more by burning more. Here's how:

Two of the best tools in your fat loss arsenal disturb the steady state of exercise AND homeostasis afterwards. In short, rather than just losing fat while you exercise, you'll lose more all day long! These powerful tools are interval training for cardio and mixing it up with weights.

Interval training is a phenomenal training technique whereby you intersperse harder, higher intensity bouts with periods of lower intensity. The simplest method is to warm up, then go as hard as possible for a certain amount of time, say thirty seconds, and then go easier for twice that time. So, run or pedal hard for thirty seconds, go easier for a minute, and then repeat ten times. Cool down and you're done, in about a third of the time as you'd normally spend.

This is very simple, and when you use your imagination, there are limitless variations. In fact, there's no excuse to do the exact same cardiovascular workout twice!

"Mixing it up" is easier to remember term than "non-antagonist supersets." Normally, strength training exercises are paired as opposing motions, so if you curl your arm, in the next exercise you'll extend it. This is great for strength gains, but doesn't cause that steady state disruption that we're looking for in fat loss.

Instead, pair a big movement with another big movement for a different area of the body. Bigger movements use more muscles (and more calories!), and by pairing upper with lower, you burn extra fat as your body has to fuel this more stimulating exercise.

Switch traditional long, slow cardio for interval training, and stop going straight through your strength training workout. Mix it up and start seeing results!

Related Tags: fat loss, strength training, interval training, steady state cardio

Lucas Wold is an elite strength and conditioning specialist located in central Washington state. Working with athletes of all levels, from adolescent beginners to Olympians to professionals, he focuses on spreading the most effective training methods to as many people as possible. He can be reached through his website at

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