Holiday parties are, more often than not, only sort of fun. Corporate blowouts of yore have given...
With a health condition as common as skin cancer, widespread myths and misconceptions must be...
Image: John Rintoul, styling: Arrnott Olssen. When it comes to buying a new pair of men's swim...
Written by Ed Feil The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that the B.1.1.529 lineage of...
How to Lose Your Love Handles
By Mens Health Staff | May 1, 2021
How do you go from skinny-fat to fit? Here’s a seven-point plan from fitness advisor Craig Ballantyne.
1. Love handles will disappear fastest with two powerful techniques.
a. Interval training
A raft of recent studies have shown that interval training produced more belly fat loss than steady-state cardio.
b. Tight nutrition
“Listen,” Ballantyne says, “if you want advanced results, you have to do advanced things, such as cutting all the processed carbohydrates from your diet.”
Replace breakfast cereals and grain carbs with fruits, vegetables and nuts. “Losing your love handles isn’t going to happen if you insist on treating yourself to a Frappacino, Pepsi and a slice of pizza every day,” he says. “It means eating meals of lean protein, fibre-rich vegetables, and snacking on apples and nuts between meals.”
2) A common mistake is too much cardio.
“It’s not going to work as well as interval training,” Ballantyne says.
This is related to another issue, he says: many guys don’t have enough muscle in the first place.
Losing love handles, like bodybuilding, is a game of illusion. Muscle on your chest and back can essentially “hide” excess fat around your waist and hips.
“So most guys are skinny-fat, and then try to lose love handles with cardio only, and basically become even smaller versions of themselves, but still skinny-fat,” says Ballantyne. “It’s better to use intervals and weight training to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time.”
3) Replace classic ab exercises like crunches and twists with interval training.
“Ab exercises like crunches are generally a waste of time,” Ballantyne says.
4) But exercise is really not the main barrier. It’s diet.
It’s just too easy for most guys to cheat, Ballantyne says. “They have to realise that they have to have more discipline if they want results.”
5) So what type of interval program to use?
Here’s one Ballantyne uses to banish skinny-fat. After a thorough warm-up . . .
- 20 seconds of hard exercise such as sprinting or high-intensity burpees, 40 seconds recovery.
- Repeat 6 to 8 times.
- Finish with 5-10 minutes of cool-down exercise. If you have extra time, do 10 minutes of regular cardio pace.
6) Build up pecs, lats, deltoids and traps to create the illusion of smaller love handles.
“Most guys don’t have enough muscle to focus on just losing weight,” Ballantyne says, “so every guy must build some muscle in these areas.”
7) How to build the muscle and lose fat at the same time?
Do two to three total body workouts per week.
- Use 5 exercises per workout (1 lower body, 1 upper push, 1 lower body single leg, 1 upper pulling, 1 total body ab exercise).
- Complete as a circuit and go through the circuit 3 times. Do 8-12 reps per exercise.
Finish with interval training.
When it comes to icons of the screen, Sylvester Stallone is up there with the best. The man who made the movie training montage a prerequisite for any sporting flick, particularly those of the boxing variety, became a household name since bursting onto our screens in...
PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHRIS MOHEN A decade ago, when Michael Clarke became Test captain of Australia, he took control of an institution. Recently, after a milestone birthday, he resolved to take control of his own body, targeting it over 12 weeks for a transformation that...
There are very few poor athletes in the NBA. Athleticism or skill, often both, are a given at the elite level. But what separates the very best – MJ, LeBron, Steph and Giannis – from the rest, isn’t something you can track by measuring a player’s wingspan or vertical...
Few people can be likened to a fine wine that gets better with age, but for George Clooney, such a label seems fitting. This is, of course, a man who seemingly popularised the phrase “silver fox”, someone who men turn to for inspiration on fashion and grooming, and...
Recommended to you
While Christmas is one of the most magical and fun times of the year, it can also be the most...
Across literature, reality television and cinema, infidelity has captured audiences for decades....
Politix When Lady Gaga ascended the stage of the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards draped in various...
Test cricket captain Tim Paine readily admits to being one of the luckiest athletes in Australian...
Christmas is supposed to be the season dedicated to everything merry and bright. But, let's face...