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New Belly Fat Weight Loss Exercise Takes Less Time and Works Better, Say Researchers

Tim Boyer's picture

Researchers from the School of Medical Sciences at the University of New South Wales have recently published their development of a new type of exercise called “LifeSprints” that they say causes significant loss of belly fat in a relatively short time in comparison to other types of exercise that take longer to achieve the same amount of belly fat weight loss.

Funded by Diabetes Australia, LifeSprints was developed from research conducted at the University of New South Wales to develop innovative and effective exercises for weight loss. Basically, LifeSprints research has demonstrated that a 20-minute workout consisting of 8 seconds of sprint exercise, followed by 12 seconds of relative recovery resulted in more fat loss than 40 minutes of steady state exercise. The fast-paced LifeSprints style of exercise includes the use of cycling, boxing and equipment like elliptical fitness trainers found in fitness centers.

In the latest issue of the Journal of Obesity, researchers report their findings that obese men utilizing the LifeSprints style of interval sprinting on stationary bicycles lost in one hour what normally takes 7 hours of jogging to achieve in weight loss. According to the researchers, just 20 minutes of doing sprints on an exercise bike, three times a week, is all that is needed to achieve significant weight loss around the abdomen.

“Sprints are a very time efficient form of exercise,” says Associate Professor Steve Boutcher, who led the UNSW Medicine research. “The sprint program, LifeSprints, reduced visceral fat with seven times less exercise time and has a much greater impact on cardiovascular and metabolic health than reductions of subcutaneous fat stores in the legs and arms.”

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The study consisted of a 12 week long period of high intensity intermittent exercise (HIIE) intervention performed 3 times per week, 20 minutes per session on stationary bicycles. The purpose of the study was to measure the effect high intensity interval exercise has on total body, abdominal, trunk, visceral fat mass, and fat free mass on young overweight male participants in comparison to a control group that did not participate in the HIIE intervention.

The results of the published study show that after a 12-week long trial the exercising participants in the study achieved a loss of 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds), 17% of which was visceral fat. In addition, the exercising participants added on 1.2 kilograms (2.6 pounds) of muscle in their legs and trunk by the end of the 12-week trial.

“Other studies using aerobic exercise, such as continuous jogging, have found that the amount of exercise needed to produce a similar decrease in visceral fat was around seven hours per week for 14 weeks,” said Professor Boutcher. “Participation in regular aerobic exercise typically results in little or no gain in muscle mass, whereas moderately hard resistance exercise over months may increase muscle mass. The amount of LifeSprints exercise, however, needed to significantly increase muscle mass appears to be much less.”

For more information on fighting belly fat, follow this link for an informative article about 8 butt and belly fat fighting exercises that you can do at home or on the road suggested by Prevention magazine.

Image Source: Courtesy of MorgueFile

Reference: “The Effect of High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise on Body Composition of Overweight Young Males” Journal of Obesity, Volume 2012 (2012), doi:10.1155/2012/480467; M. Heydari, J. Freund and S. H. Boutcher.