Lets face it….. These days it seems as though you have to choose between different forms of cardio. Most of the time people will only do one type of cardio training and that’s it!
They will either do high intensity interval training, sustained cardio, circuits or no cardio at all. This is outrageous because each form has different benefits. Why limit yourself to one?
Now let’s take a look at the different groups of cardio practitioners:
Bodybuilders feel as though fast paced cardio burns muscle tissue so they stick with low intensity cardio on an empty stomach to burn fat.
Low intensity cardio effectively utilizes fat as a fuel source, which is great. The problem with this method is that because they intensity is so low you burn relatively few calories even when exercising for long periods of time.
Traditional Cardio Junkies just do sustained cardio at a faster pace for 20, 30, or 45 minutes straight, at hopes to burn off any extra calories they ate that day.
This type of training burns more calories than low intensity cardio but most of the calories burned are from carbohydrates. After a cardio workout in this nature your body wants to replenish all of the depleted carbohydrates.
As a result your body naturally craves carbs and sugar. This is why most people that do this form of cardio never lose weight. They burn 300+ calories or so only to eat it all back.
Interval Training Fanatics swear by high intensity interval training as the only acceptable form of cardio. They look at lower intensity cardio as a complete waist of time.
This type of training is very effective at elevating your metabolic rate, boosting your bodies natural fat burning hormones and releasing your bodies fat cells into your bloodstream.
The only problem is that if this type of training is not followed by additional exercise all of those fat cells that were released into the bloodstream go right back into the fat deposits.
Moreover, the intensive nature of interval training means that it can only be performed 2-3x per week for about 15-20 minutes a session.
Anything longer than this will trigger overtraining and lead to burnout, especially if you’re strength training as well.
The Best Fat Burning Workout
The Ultimate Fat Burning Workout would look something like this:
WARM-UP: 5-10 minutes of skipping, light jogging or an easy pace on a cardio machine
HIGH INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING on a treadmill, recumbent bike, rower, or stair-mill: 12-16 minutes total of short bursts of intense exercise alternated with longer periods of rest
LOW INTENSITY CARDIO: 20-30 minutes of slow and steady cardio such as walking on a treadmill at 4mph with a 3 degree incline.
How does it work?
The high intensity interval training puts your body into a CRAZY fat burning state. Most people call it a day here and let the released fat cells crawl right back into your bodies fat deposits. Not us though. We’re going to exploit the fat burning state that we’re in and follow the interval’s up with low intensity cardio to burn off as much fat as possible.
Interval Workout Options: These are just a few options. Feel free to experiment with your own work to rest ratio’s.
1. 30 seconds work / 90 seconds rest x 8 = 16 minutes
2. 30 seconds work / 60 seconds rest x 10 = 15 minutes
3. 30 seconds work / 30 seconds rest x 12 = 12 minutes
4. 60 seconds work / 120 seconds rest x 5 = 15 minutes
5. 60 seconds work / 90 seconds rest x 6 = 15 minutes
6. 60 seconds work / 60 seconds rest x 7 = 14 minutes
- Avoid eating any food for at-least 2-3 hours before your workout. By going into your workout in a fasted state your body is going to utilize fat as a primary fuel source.
- Avoid eating any food for at-least 1 hour after your workout. The high intensity intervals boost your bodies natural fat burning hormones (HGH). As soon as you eat food your insulin levels shoot up and your hgh tanks.
- If performing intervals on a treadmill with less than 60 seconds rest than put your feet on the sides of the treadmill during the resting portion. It will take too long to change speed.
- For the intervals only use a machine that you can really push yourself on.
- For the low intensity cardio you can use any cardio machine you want.
A Word on Nutrition
Make no mistake, you can perform the most effective cardio workouts, several times per week, but if your nutrition isn’t dialled in properly, you will see little to no results! Unfortunately, most advice on nutrition is designed solely on the basis or marketing.
The reality of the matter is that very few people know the most effective way to eat to support a lean and defined body, year round. To learn how to effortlessly drop fat and stay full and satisfied, go to here.