Do you exercise regularly and still can’t get rid of belly fat? Our promising tip: bring the fat burning up to speed with the contrast method.
If you regularly exercise in the gym and are still not satisfied with your figure, you may want to change your training method. There are stubborn problem areas – especially the so-called visceral (also affecting the internal organs) belly fat – which are difficult to deal with. For this, the fat burning must be intensively stimulated in order to be able to register successes. And this is where the so-called contrast method comes in. Through the well-considered combination of training units, impressive weight loss victories are achieved – it is worth trying.
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Contrast method – what does it mean?
Opposites attract – and can help to shed those pounds. To put it simply, the contrast method works with a combination of completely opposite exercise units. It’s about building muscle mass because muscles use up energy. According to the simple equation: the more muscles you have, the more energy – i.e. fat – is burned, with the contrast method two or more exercises are performed in quick succession without breaks. The model are the supersets (or supersets). These sentences should be in the greatest possible contrast to one another. For example, a strength exercise could be alternated with explosive movement training.
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Starting point: supersets
The training method of the supersets has its origin in bodybuilding and strength training. A set consists of a predetermined number of exercise repetitions, for example on the training device or with free weights. If two such sentences are performed one after the other with only a tiny pause, it is called a superset. In supersets, either identical muscle groups (e.g. in the back), different muscle groups (e.g. shoulder and chest) or antagonistic muscle groups (i.e. opposing muscles such as biceps and triceps) are trained together. By the way, if you do three or more sets in a row, you are actually talking about circuit training.
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Special case of the contrast method
The contrast method also combines two (or more) sets for an effective workout. These differ significantly in terms of the respective load parameters: It is about the greatest possible contrast of the exercise sets. Through this combination, the respective muscle group is exposed to stronger and opposing stimuli and addressed in different load spectra – all efforts are aimed at stronger muscle growth and of course fat burning.
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Possible training areas for the contrast method
The training method relies on the one hand on changing the speed of movement, for example by performing a set very slowly and the following exercise explosively. Or there is a coupling of maximum strength training and strength endurance training. It is important that the degree and type of stress in the sentences differ as much as possible.
Why does the method work?
With the contrast method, you work intensively against your love handles – for example on your stomach – because you burn a lot of calories. Since the approach of the method is followed by an intense and explosive movement after a strength exercise, your central nervous system is incited to develop stronger muscle fibers. Sounds like a win-win situation: The muscle mass in your body is effectively increasing, while the percentage of body fat is decreasing.
So you do intensive metabolic training that has an effect even after the training time in the studio. This means that your basal metabolic rate – i.e. the amount of energy your body burns during the day when it is resting – is increased. However, like training with supersets, this method is demanding and therefore not the best choice for beginners for gym newbies. You should have a certain level of fitness and experience with the equipment.
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Advantages and disadvantages of the contrast method
What speaks in favor of the contrast method is that you can train very time-efficiently. You also have a large number of possible combinations. So there is no boredom during training and you can vary your workout in many ways. The training is very effective for building muscle and burning fat – with an “afterburn” effect. This means that even in the rest phase following the physically demanding training, your body still has a higher calorie requirement for a few hours, so it literally “burns up”.
One could argue against the method that it is particularly strenuous and demanding. You have to be prepared for a longer period of regeneration because you may be very exhausted. With exhaustion, the risk of injury to the equipment also increases.
In general, muscle tuning with the contrast method is very effective, but should only be included in your training plan for a short period of time – around four to six weeks a year. Otherwise the desired effect could wear off. The success of the contrast method stands or falls with the right combination of exercises in the sets, which should definitely target the same muscle group. So you might choose squats against the annoying belly fat, say squats with a barbell or two small dumbbells for the slow part and then – this time without dumbbells – jump squats. This is good for the entire lower body and, in addition to the stomach, also shapes the buttocks and thighs.
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