Visceral body fat is something we measure with all of our clients at SOS – its a very important health marker in our opinion.
So what is it?
Visceral fat sits deep behind the abdominal wall and surrounds the organs, within the peritoneal cavity.
Visceral fat negatively affects health by increasing inflammation in the organs, in part because it releases substances called adipokines, which are cell-to-cell signaling proteins that increase blood pressure and mess with insulin health.
Visceral fat also decreases the amount of adiponectin in the body, an essential hormone for fat burning that helps speed up metabolism, which means there are more triglycerides getting into the blood stream.
The combination of decreased insulin sensitivity, hypertension, and elevated triglycerides often result in atherosclerosis, higher LDL cholesterol (the bad kind), and is an important factor in the development of diabetes.
So What Are Other Negative Effects of Visceral Fat?
More visceral fat leads to lower testosterone and poor health in men. One study found a link between greater visceral fat and lower total and free testosterone, and lower sex-hormone-binding globulin. Additionally, C-peptide levels, a marker of chronic inflammation, and insulin were elevated, indicating a pre-diabetic state.
Testosterone will almost certainly be lower in men with more visceral fat, which leads to diabetes, less muscle mass, and less bone mineral density.
So What Is the Best Workout For Getting Rid of Fat?
The MOST effective way to get rid of visceral fat is to do high-intensity intervals and strength training very much like the Body Transformation Group sessions we offer at SOS
Sprints Have Been Shown To Be Very Effective
A research review of high-intensity training (HIT) programs noted that “the effect of regular aerobic exercise on body fat is negligible” whereas research into high-intensity exercise “indicates that it may be more effective at reducing subcutaneous and abdominal (visceral) body fat than other types of exercise.”
High-intensity exercise is effective because it increases exercise and post-exercise fat burning and may yield decreased post-exercise appetite. During exercise and after HIT, fat burning increases to remove built up lactate and hydrogen ions. Elevated growth hormone also supports fat burning and is a result of HIT programs.
The Best Workout Protocol: Build Muscle to Prevent Fat Attacks
The very best protocol for visceral fat loss and a lean physique is high-intensity interval sprints and a resistance training program.
This will allow you to burn visceral fat and build muscle. More muscle will elevate metabolism and support a better hormonal and biochemical environment by lowering adipokines—remember that evil chemical that creates more fat and breaks down muscle.
A dual program that combines HIT, or at least strenuous aerobic training in conjunction with resistance training, is clearly essential for health.
You’ll be getting rid of the unhealthy fat and building up an arsenal of muscle to protect against future fat attacks. You’ll also release more growth hormone and you’ll have the benefit of acute elevations in testosterone if the volume and weight lifted from the training program is significant.
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