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Targeting Belly Fat
Here’s a study that came out late last year:
Irving et al.
Effect of exercise training intensity on abdominal visceral fat and body composition.
Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2008 Nov;40(11):1863-72.
The study consisted of three groups:
- No exercise
- Low intensity aerobic exercise (5 days per week low intensity)
- High intensity (above Lactate threshold) exercise (3 days high intensity, 2 days low)
The exercise groups burned the exact same calories (so exercise time was adjusted down in the higher intensity group.
At the sixteen week point the high intensity group had significantly reduced abdominal fat
The low intensity group saw no changes.
It’s clear that if you want to target belly fat – a higher intensity training program works better. But here’s the take home advice — these researchers adjusted the time down in the high intensity group (so that calories burned were the same) – for example only doing 20 mins instead of 30 mins.