In the good old days when the fitness boom first started in the early 80's everyone was completely convinced that the best way to burn body-fat was to do low intensity cardio like running or cycling. But since the 90's when high intensity interval training (HIIT) was discovered things have changed.
HIIT has now conclusively proven that in the long run you will burn more calories doing 15 minutes of HIIT than you would if you were running on a treadmill for 30 minutes. For bodybuilders this was the best news because they would not need to lose any hard earned muscle when doing cardio for fat-loss before a competition.
The principal of HIIT is very simple as when doing any exercise, all that is required is to moderate between doing the exercise at a low-intensity at about 50% of your capacity for about 30 seconds and then do maximum intensity of the same movement for 30 seconds.
The bodybuilder would then continue maxing out every 30 seconds until this has been repeated 5 to 8 times. The bodybuilder would then move onto the next exercise with as little rest between the two movements as possible. The result is that the bodybuilder gets results quickly in a high intense workout.
The result is called 'after-burn' or EPOC which is Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption which can have a calorie burning effect for up to 72 hours after the workout has been completed. It is this simple scientific discovery which has made a huge difference to the way that a bodybuilder losses fat when the season starts.
It does not mean that cardio should not be done by a bodybuilder, it just means that the cardio is more intense and a lot more productive in losing fat. For example a bodybuilder who needed to lose fat fast would either use weights to quickly go from squats to a bench-press to a dead-lift without stopping and then repeat the movement with only 50% of the weight.
Or the same bodybuilder could sit on a stationary bike and cycle as hard as he could with the maximum resistance for 30 seconds and then a slow steady cycle with no resistance for 30 seconds. The choice on which is the most effective way to lose fat fast would depend on the individual.
Without going into detail about what macro-nutrients are required to get the benefits of HIIT we should cover a few of the basics like a multivitamin, BCAA's, some creatine and some whey powder. You need to always make sure that you are adequately hydrated and that you drink 8 glasses of water a day, especially if you are taking creatine.