What you need to know about cardio
You wanna lose fat. And you want to do it FAST!
To burn off that fat, you’ve got to burn some extra calories. There’s no way around it.
So the most common piece of advice you’ll hear is “do more cardio.”
Easier said than done, right? Especially when you consider that there is so much conflicting information out there. Some people say you need to do hours on end of cardio. Yet others say that long bouts of cardio are a waste of time. Instead what you need is HIIT cardio (high intensity interval training.)
So who’s right!? And more importantly, what should YOU do so you can start burning off that fat faster than ever before?
When it comes to what kind of cardio to do, it depends.
The main purpose of cardio in any fat loss program is to expend extra calories once you’ve ALREADY established a caloric deficit from your diet and are on a sound weight-lifting program. So in the end, the goal is to burn enough calories to create enough of a deficit that you’ll lose weight.
Both low-intensity and high-intensity cardio can do that.
The trade-off is time and efficiency. With low-intensity cardio (like walking) you have to do more of it to burn a decent amount of calories. This is why most recommendations for low-intensity cardio are between 45-60 minutes.
On the other hand, high-intensity cardio burns the same amount of calories in half the time (roughly).
So with just 20-30 minutes of intense interval training, you can burn the same number of calories as you do with 45-60 minutes of low-intensity steady state cardio.
So what’s the best advice? Mix it up.
Do 2 high intensity sessions a week.
If you still need more cardio than that, then add in maybe one or two extra bouts of low-intensity cardio. The only suggestion here is that you want to do this gradually. That is, if you’re out of shape, start by only doing low-intensity cardio.
Once you’ve lost a bit of weight and have improved your cardiovascular system, then start adding in one intense cardio session a week. Then build to two.
By mixing things up this way, you’re reducing the chances of overuse injury. And, you ward off over-training (5 high intensity cardio sessions a week plus weight training is overkill!)
So Start small. Then build up. Then mix in both HIIT type workouts with low-intensity workouts and you’ll see your fat loss speed up.
Please leave questions or comments below, i’ll be happy to answer them here. You can also call 719-640-0141 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need further help with your fitness program.
Comitted to you health,
Colorado Springs Personal Trainer and owner of Precision Fitness