7 Must Lessons for Target Fat Reduction like the AARP Belly Buster Workout

Fit man and woman in front of a black back ground with the caption, "7 Lessons you must Learn Before You Start a Target Fat Reduction Workout."

I bet you would agree that exercise science has come a long way in the last decade. There have been many fad workout programs promising to target fat loss in a specific location like the AARP Belly Buster Workout. There is a reason they are fad programs, if you really want to lose weight in a specific location, you probably would be happy to lose fat all over. Belly fat can be the most challenging to lose and we will discuss why.  Here are 7 reasons why people fail to lose belly fat on a diet and exercise program, and how to overcome them.

1. AARP Belly Buster Workout Program Doesn’t Fail People Do

The number one reason fad workout programs like the AARP Belly Buster Workout fails is people fail them. In order to results, you have to put in the work. Now, putting in the work may not be as hard as you think. It won’t be as easy as wearing a vibrating belt and having a machine shake the fat off.
Now you can exercise your muscles with electrical stimulation, but I don’t recommend it. Receiving electrical shock of any kind can be very dangerous and can cause a heart attack. You should not use electrical stimulation without the direct supervision of a doctor. Trust me, I have a Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering so I know how electricity works.

Make the Decision to Succeed

People may fail to do the program for many reasons, but there is only one reason why they complete the programs and find success. That reason is they make a decision to complete the program no matter what the cost. As soon as you start a program you need to make the decision to complete it. After you start with the attitude of I will try this for a couple of days, you have already decided too quickly. You have just delayed the decision to quit by that number of days so you can find a better excuse. Don’t worry a better excuse will surely come to you if you are looking for it.

Tip #1 Decide That You Will Finish Before You Start!

2. Failure to Change Your Diet and AARP Belly Buster Workout

The second reason why people fail to lose weight on an exercise program, like the AARP Belly Buster Workout is they don’t change their eating habits. When you are eating 3,000 calories a day and burning 2,000 you are going to gain weight. If you run 3 miles a day and you do that in only 30 minutes or at a 6 mph pace you would burn 400 Calories more a day (1). If you continue to eat 3,000 calories a day and are now burning 2,400 calories a day, you are still going to gain weight.

No Magic Number

There is no magic number for how much more important diet is than exercise when trying to lose weight. Some people say that it is 70% diet and 30% exercise. Others say it is 90% diet and 10% exercise. The truth is it is a lot easier to lose weight and burn fat through diet alone than it is through exercise alone. Doing both is a lot better than doing just one. Only adding exercise and eating the same way you did to gain weight will only be a plan for failure.

Right Kind of Diet

There are many types of diets and they don’t all work for everyone. Eating should be enjoyable and you should never go on a diet. You should change your diet to eat healthy food you love that you can eat forever. This is changing your diet not dieting. You should also be able to indulge every now and then, but don’t make indulging your diet.

Tip #2 Don’t Diet Change, What You Eat!

3. Doing Exercises like the AARP Belly Buster Workout, but NOT Exercising

The third reason for failure is not exercising even though you may be doing all the motions. You need to get your heart pumping and your metabolism energized. The best way to do that is through interval training. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is the most efficient way to exercise and boost your metabolism. The high in HIIT doesn’t have to be all-out, but the more intense you can be the better. For those of you that are former members of the AARP Belly Buster Workout program, you may need to start at a more low intensity.  This could be as simple as walking as fast as you can comfortably for 20 seconds to 1 minute and then walking at a leisurely pace for 2-3 minutes and then repeating.

Don’t Measure the Distance Measure the Calories

Back to the example of running for 30 minutes at a 6 mph pace. It would be better if instead you run at an 8 mph pace for 1 minute then jog at a 4 mph pace for 2 minutes and repeat that for 30 minutes. Now you wouldn’t get as far as 2 and 2/3 miles instead of 3 miles. But the goal was to burn more calories and that is what you would do. Your max heart rate would be higher. You would burn up all the stored glucose.  Then you would also continue the calorie burn with a boosted metabolism for much longer.
Now you shouldn’t ever start a HIIT workout at a high intensity without warming up your muscles or you could get a serious injury.

Below is what mistakenly goes for a HIIT ab workout video. This will definitely help you burn some calories and strengthen your core, but it is just IT, not HIIT.

Bowflex® Bodyweight Workout | Six-Minute HIIT & Ab Workout

4. You Have Been Misinformed

You may have been fooled into thinking that you need to keep your heart rate at some target fat-burning level. I have found no evidence showing that ties the beating rate of your heart to burning fat. You may have seen something like this. Here is a rudimentary way to determine what your target heart rate is for burning fat:
Low End 0.6 X (220 – Your Age)
High End 0.7 X (220 – Your Age)
So for these kinds of examples if you are 40 you want to be between 108 and 126 beats per minute. This would lead you to believe that running the 3 miles in 30 minutes would be better than doing interval training if you kept your heartbeat in the target zone the whole time. This is simply not true. A study in the UK showed how working out for 10 minutes with only 1 actual minute of exercise burned more calories than jogging for 50 minutes.

Real HIIT Protocol

The program that burned more calories in 10 minutes was pretty simple. Start with a short warm-up, this is not counting in the total time. Then do a 20-second burst of your most intense exercise. This can be done on a stationary bike, an elliptical, a treadmill, or out on a path. After the 20-second burst of all-out exercise rest for 3 minutes by slowing to a moderate pace so that you can catch your breath. Continue this for 3 cycles.

Believe the Research

I found this protocol as it is called in the book The One Minute Workout: Sciences Shows a Way to Get Fit That’s Smarter, Faster, Shorter. If you are serious about getting fit and want to find the most efficient ways to reach your goals this book is for you. The book is very technical and written by a professor of kinesiology, Martin Gibala, but it is broken down into easy-to-understand bytes.  The above video is called HIIT but it is actually just IT or interval training.  This kind of training is not bad and can build muscle and burn calories, but it doesn’t have the maximum effects of true HIIT. To get the maximum benefits out of HIIT you must push to the max or all-out exercise for short bursts.

For more benefits on HIIT check out this article. Afterburn Effect – HIIT Burns Calories For Hours After Your Workout

Tip #3 HIIT is Bursts of All-Out Exercise

Here is an Informative Video That Breaks Down Why Most People Are Not Actually Doing HIIT.

Most People Do HIIT Cardio Wrong – How to Do HIIT

5. Injury Derails Your Goals

With all physical activity, you need to be careful use proper safety, and know your limits. All exercises should start out with a good warm-up. Warming up using active stretching exercises to loosen up your muscles greatly reduces the possibility of injury. You should do static stretching at the end of your exercise to break up some of the lactic acids you put in your muscles. Static stretching will reduce recovery time and this is where you can gain flexibility. Increasing your flexibility will help prevent injuries in the future as well.

Make a Dynamic Stretch Routine-Routine

I have done martial arts for many years and we do the same dynamic (active) stretching routine every time. You may think that this would get boring. But it actually becomes a habit that allows you to center yourself and prepares your body for what is to come. Once the habit is formed your body takes over the routine and your mind is free to concentrate on whatever you desire. Having a good warmup routine can really reduce your anxiety and stress levels before you work out.

Tip #4 Prevent Injury With a Dynamic Stretch Routine Warm Up Before AARP Belly Buster Workout

Here is the Best 5 Minute Dynamic Stretching Routine I found on Youtube, which can be done by all ages.

Dynamic Stretching Warm Up Exercises Before Workout - Warmup Workout Routine Stretches

6. Stress Wins

Stress can also stop you from reaching your workout goals. This normally occurs if you get stressed out and you make some bad decisions like eating some comfort food to deal with the stress. This normally only happens early during the transition of establishing your exercise routine. Once you have an established routine, the exercise itself will be your go-to solution for combating stress. After this shift occurs, even if you indulge a little in stress eating, it shouldn’t be enough to derail your established program. So at the beginning of your change of exercise, make sure it is not causing you stress but eliminating it.

7. Counting Calories is not Everything

The type of calories that you eat may be much more important than the number of calories when it comes to belly fat. There are two types of fat: the subcutaneous that collects under the skin and except for the obese poses little health threat. The other type of fat is visceral, which develops deep inside the abdomen. The visceral fat—belly fat can interfere with organ functions like your liver. This fat can lower the processing of cholesterol and insulin. Plainly, this means when you eat carbohydrates your belly fat works against your body to burn that sugar as energy. Then your body is more prone to store that sugar as fat.

Belly Fat Can Make You Fatter

Having excess belly fat can be very unfortunate and a vicious cycle, causing many to gain more weight. Your belly fat will actually make you fatter. This is even more of a challenge for men and women over 40. Around 40 your hormone levels decrease and the extra free estrogen for women and testosterone for men helps control the accumulation of belly fat. Basically, when you are trying to lose belly fat it is even more important to cut the carbs.

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