HIT great for improving fitness, but not for losing abdominal fat?

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HIT great for improving fitness, but not for losing abdominal fat?

This topic contains 8 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  ChicitaGatita 9 years, 7 months ago.

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  • A recent study at the University of Sydney says:

    “A growing number of people are substituting HIIT for regular aerobic workouts in their exercise routine, but high-intensity interval training is not a fast track to quick fat loss if you’re overweight,” said Ms Keating.

    “High-intensity burst training does deliver important benefits like increased fitness, but it doesn’t have a ‘fat furnace’ effect if you carry weight around the middle.

    “The message is if you’re hitting the gym to lose weight and trim your waistline, stick with steady aerobic exercise to shift abdominal fat and see better results on the scales.”

    “HIIT can be used as a time-efficient training method to improve fitness, but if you’re overweight you can’t afford to dump aerobic exercise if you want to see fat loss.”

    Lead researcher Shelley Keating said the study, published in the Journal of Obesity, had implications for the management of weight loss.

    “Some trainers emphasize HIIT workouts over continuous exercise to target body fat and trim the waistline, but the evidence is if you’re overweight you’re better off focusing on continuous aerobic exercise to slim your core and positively improve your body fat composition,” Ms Keating said.

    “Forget the claims HIIT workouts can whip overweight people into shape in less time than regular aerobic exercise – it’s more efficient to workout regularly at a continuous intensity to achieve a fat loss goal.”


    What are your thoughts?

    Should we be working out at the same intensity instead of doing HIT to lose abdominal fat?


    “Should we be working out at the same intensity instead of doing HIT to lose abdominal fat?”

    The truth is both should be done, if possible.

    HIIT is for the time compressed. Longer aerobic workouts is for those that have the time.

    Sprints and long distance together is ideal.

    In my world, I prefer the time saving HIIT workouts as a precursor to longer walking, running, and biking.

    It’s not either/or, it’s both.

    Thanks a lot for your reply Rocky

    Yes I now think you’re right that it’s both and not either

    … HIIT is good for raising aerobic fitness to an even higher level, while moderate intensity aerobic is good for (abdominal) fat loss


    Age 47, time-strapped (work + caring for aging parents), menopausal, post-injury (knee and back – sidelined me for eight months), and no surprise gained about ten pounds around the middle. Erm, and elsewhere… I watched Dr. Mosley’s HIIT movie, was intrigued and began immediately. So, twelve weeks in: my cardio fitness has without question improved rather dramatically. Resting BP and pulse have been pretty consistent for years – avg 115/75 and pulse 70ish. Now my digits avg 90/60 with 55 pulse. BUT – still wobbly all over, and obviously no loss of fat from tummy. Love the marathoner’s BP, but I guess I’ll have to find time for the long and slow cardio to lose the wobble? Unless anyone has ideas or suggestions. And BTW for years I have sort of naturally practiced FAST dieting, so nothing to change in that arena…

    Hi and welcome:

    Regardless of claims, I’ve never run into any exercise that can reduce fat in a particular part of the body.

    If you have weak stomach muscles and a fat stomach, and do a lot of sit ups, you will firm up the muscles so they pull in the fat. So you will have a smaller stomach measurement but will not have lost any stomach fat.

    People who measure during weight loss consistently report that they lose fat from different parts of their bodies at different times and in different amounts. Some people tend to lose in different places – so some will consistently lose from the stomach area first, some the thighs, etc. If you happen to be one that loses from the stomach first and go on a diet and start to exercise, you will swear the exercise really helped – but it probably did not.

    Now if you exercise so much that you convert all of your fat to muscle (like get down to 10-15% body fat), then almost by definition you will lose your stomach fat as a result of the exercise. But most don’t exercise that much.

    So, I’m sorry, no simple advice. The (any) exercise is great for you, but if you want to lose stomach fat, a diet is the way to go. And, sorry to say, there are some on this site that have hit their weight loss goals and exercised a whole bunch, and still have a little stomach fat.

    Life is sometimes not fair.

    I suggest if you want to lose weight, you don’t bother with the aerobics but fix your diet.

    Pattience, I agree with you and Simcoeluv.

    When you convert the calories in food into equivalent minutes/hours of exercise one would never live long enough to lose weight if you continue to overeat.

    IF has been shown to reduce body fat and HIIT has been shown to be an effective way to increase aerobic fitness in the time-poor but the effects are not interchangeable.

    When trying to lose weight in any aspect of your body, exercise and nutrition are the most important contributing factors, and when I say exercise I do mean cardio and weight lifting. Many women are scared to lift weights either because they are embarrassed, they don’t know how, or they think they will bulk up. When you have more muscle in your body more calories are being burned because the muscle takes more energy than the fat stored in your body. Also quit paying attention to what the scale says and find someone who knows how to perform skin-folds. These are the actual fat percentages in your body. Sometimes as we age or stop lifting weight we think we are losing fat because the scale is going down, meanwhile it is actually loss of muscle mass. My advice would be 15 minutes of cardio, even walking to the gym instead of driving, and then lifting moderate weights HIIT is a good idea if you are short on time, and could eventually have great benefits, just keep working hard and most importantly eating healthy!

    I just bought & read “Fast Exercise”.

    I agree with Rocky that a combination of HIT & endurance & strength is ultimately the best. I’m really excited about HIT as I have really poor aerobic fitness. I can easily (& enjoyably) walk at a pace of 6km/h for 1-2 hours when I have the time but I don’t often have the time.

    I’m hoping that HIT will allow my fitness to improve to the point where I can start jogging. That way I can burn more calories in a shorter period of time than walking.

    The other thing that I really love about the book is the idea to get up & exercise every 30 minutes even if it’s just for 60 seconds. I’m going to start setting a timer and do jumping jacks for 30-60 seconds every half hour 😉

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