2. Do resistance training.
Any form of resistance training combined with HIIT cardio is the quickest way to get the flat abs you want. Whether you use weights, resistance bands, kettlebells, medicine balls, or your own body weight, you can vastly improve your regimen by adding resistance into the mix.
The main reason is muscle. Resistance training is the only form of exercise that can build and strengthen muscle. And as you all know by now, muscle burns more calories than fat. One pound of extra muscle burns 10 more calories per day just for simply being there.
That might not sound like much, but the effects grow exponentially as you use that extra pound of muscle more. And when you pair it with HIIT, you burn even more calories per day and see better results.
Aside from boosting your lean muscle mass, strength training also makes you more insulin-sensitive, thereby reducing your insulin levels and your body’s ability to store fat.
In a study of older men with diabetes type-2 and obesity, researchers found out that just two weeks of strength training was able to improve insulin sensitivity by 46.3%, even without a diet designed for weight loss. Also, the participants saw a decrease in abdominal fat only after only one month of lifting weights.
There’s a few stereotypes we want to debunk here, though. A lot of people think strength training is simply doing some bicep curls and maybe some overhead presses. But that’s just two of the thousands of moves you can do to strength-train.
To fully take advantage of this exercise, you’ll need to train with compound movements. That is, movements that use of most of the major body parts. Think squats and deadlifts and pushups. They need you to use all the major muscle groups to execute properly.
Resistance training using compound movements can lead to glycogen depletion, which essentially turns your body into fat-burning mode. Glycogen depletion doesn’t happen very fast, but half an hour’s worth of resistance training can push your glycogen levels down to around 25%.
And if you have low glycogen levels, your body thinks you’re not getting enough food and will turn into energy-saving mode by burning from your fat stores instead of your immediate carb sources.