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Burn, Baby, Burn: 10 Minutes to Lean Legs

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    It’s leg day again. Time to get prepared for the hour-long workout with crazy-heavy weight and long rest periods, right?  Well, maybe if you are a power lifter.  The new science of fat loss encourages shorter, more intense workouts with less rest, generating more muscle burn, breathlessness and eventual inches lost.

    To decrease overall body fat, it is important to not only burn calories, but to increase muscle building, fat burning hormones like growth hormone and testosterone through correct exercise.  Growth hormone is powerful at shedding fat at the midsection specifically, while its muscle-building contribution increases metabolism.  A study published in the June 2009 Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism showed that high-intensity protocols (training above lactate threshold, 3 times per week) increased growth hormone secretion 30% more than that of low intensity protocols (training below lactate threshold, 5 times per week).  Thus, the greater the lactate generated, the greater the growth hormone release: confirmation that generating a muscle “burn” (i.e. lactic acid accumulation) serves an important physiological role impacting the body’s ability to burn fat.

    Unfortunately, traditional weight-training protocols that involve long rest periods lead to greater lactic acid dissipation between sets, minimizing its fat burning effect.  The new school way of training advocates shorter, quicker workouts to maximize key hormonal responses while burning calories after the workout is over, via afterburn-generating intensity.  And you don’t have to spend all day in the gym to get great results.

    Below are some effective 10-minute lower body workouts that will not only torch fat, but also create lean curves on conditioned legs.  These workouts, written for the average fit female who exercises regularly, require rests periods are kept to less than 30 seconds.  Because of this quick pace, the amount of weight used may be sacrificed.  But remember, the point is not to power lift as much weight as possible. Instead, these workouts simultaneously maximize fat loss and muscle growth using a moderately heavy weight with which you must take frequent, short rests.  Generate burning and breathlessness at the same by moving as quickly as possible and harnessing the power of lactic acid.

    Perform the following workouts “circuit-style,” moving from one exercise to the next in a cycle.  Take short, frequent rests throughout as needed, as opposed to a few long rests. For best results, incorporate 1-2 of these circuits each time you train legs and train legs intensely 2x/week. Good luck! ox Jill

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