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Secrets to Faster Fat Burning

By Anna Eriksson
From Team Beachbody - Click here for resources, tools and information to help you to reach your health, fitness and positive lifestyle goals!

Success StoriesI'm Beachbody's Success Story Manager. I open all the envelopes, marvel at your "before" and "after" photos, and read your stories. Make no mistake—I, too, want to do a great Beachbody program, jump into a sassy bathing suit, and look ripped and fab. And though I've done Slim in 6®, Power 90®, Yoga Booty BalletTM, Power Half HourTM, Kathy Smith's Project: YOUTM, and Turbo JamTM—and I'm 40 pounds lighter than when I started working here two years ago—I still have that little bit of jiggly fat around my tummy. What are our Success Stories doing that I'm not doing?

Cranking up the Intensity

Use a heart rate monitorIt wasn't until I strapped on my first heart rate monitor a few days ago and did Long Lean from Project: YOU that I realized I'd been babying myself for quite a while now. I was helping with a section of a pamphlet that Beachbody Fitness Advisor Steve Edwards was writing about training in your heart rate zones. I knew I was in far better cardiovascular condition than when I'd begun, but I was still working out at the same level as when I first started—nowhere near my target heart rate. Meanwhile, my body had become much more efficient, so I wasn't getting nearly the physical payoff from my cardio workouts that I believed. I wasn't burning fat like I thought I was.

Hmmm. All of our guidebooks explain how to push past a plateau by increasing the intensity, but I'd never applied this concept to myself.

Turbo Jam with resistance bandsThen last week, Lara Ross, our VP of Development, asked me to try a couple of our newest Turbo Jam workouts using a particular resistance band. It's a heavier band than I normally use, and at times I wanted to stop, but I was supposed to see if I could do the whole workout. So I concentrated on my form like never before. And what do you know? When I stopped, my arms felt . . . not sore . . . but worked. I could feel the difference in my muscles when I touched them and in their appearance! Hard to believe, but there it is.

By babying myself for so long, first for fear of injury, and then out of habit, I'd really done myself a disservice. Here I'd been doing some serious creative scheduling—changing clothes, exercising, showering, and making up new hairstyles so that I could go with wet hair from Beachbody's gym to dinner with friends—and for what? I was serious about scheduling, but not about the intensity level of my workouts.

Listen to your bodyNo more. I'm still going to listen to my body, and I'm going to modify when needed, but I'm not going to wimp out and grab the little baby-rattle dumbbell when I'm strong enough now to lift an 8-pound weight. And I'm going to really listen to the trainers. When Kathy Smith tells me in a Project: YOU workout to pick up a heavier weight if I feel like I can do several more reps, I'll go for the 10-pound dumbbell. When Chalene Johnson tells me to "Work it, baby!" in a Turbo Jam video, I'm going to squat deeper, kick harder, and punch stronger.

I'm already seeing the very beginnings of a 6-pack—just by Pushing Play and ramping up the intensity. Like Tony says, you gotta "Bring It!"

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