Cardio is a valuable fat loss tool. Combined with strength training and a calorie deficit diet, it can assist in shedding stubborn fat and get you fitter in the process. Cardio is not only beneficial for fat loss and fitness, but it is also crucial for your health. It is recommended that everyone should do at least three 20-minute sessions of cardio every week.
Cardio is available in an abundance of forms. With regard to your choice of cardio exercise, they are all similarly effective. It really doesn’t matter how much that you run, row, swim, cycle or step your way to fitness. However, the type of cardio training you pick will affect your end results. A lot of exercisers’ default cardio setting is slow and steady. They hop on their chosen cardio machine and then cruise at a slow pace for extended periods of time.
Training like this does preferentially burn fat, but unfortunately, it doesn’t burn a lot. Fat is very energy-dense, and a little goes a very long way. Slow-paced cardio is important to implement in your training schedule, but if losing fat is your end goal, try adding a few faster fat burning sessions into your program! Try adding OxyShred before one of these sessions and see what new limits you can achieve:
Fartlek is Swedish for speed play. A fartlek workout involves randomly mixing periods of fast exercise with periods of moderate and low-paced exercise. This increases the difficulty of your workout, elevates your heart and breathing rate, and increases the number of calories you burn per hour, resulting in faster fat loss. Speeding up and then slowing down, repeatedly and randomly, is a very inefficient use of energy, and that’s good news for fat burning.
You can do a fartlek workout in conjunction with almost any type of cardio – even jump rope. Simply warm up and then mix up your pace randomly for the duration of your workout. Use slow, medium, fast, and really fast paces to keep your body on its toes. If nothing else, fartlek training sessions are never boring!
Tempo training involves exercising at your aerobic threshold. This is the highest sustainable level of aerobic activity. In simple terms, if you were to go any faster, you’d have to slow down and probably stop. However, with grit and determination, you can keep going! Think of tempo training as your best race pace.
At this level of intensity, your heart rate will be around 90% of your maximum, and lactic acid levels will be high. You’ll certainly be able to feel its effects in your muscles, and your breathing will be very laboured.
At this high level of intensity, you’ll be burning calories at a rapid pace, far more than your average easy-paced cardio workout. In addition, tempo training builds serious fitness.
Tempo training sessions tend to be shorter than more sedately-paced cardio workouts. 20- 30 minutes should be plenty. Don’t worry though, the after-burn effect triggered by such an intense workout will more than makeup for the shorter exercise time.
HIIT + INTERVAL TRAINING
HIIT + Interval training has received a lot of positive press over the last few years and with good reason – for fat burning and fitness, it really delivers great results. Interval training involves alternating periods of hard exercise with periods of rest. For example, you might cycle fast for 60 seconds and then slow down and recover for 60 seconds. Repeat 10 times
for a 20-minute workout.
Interval training works well because as well as burning more calories per minute, it also triggers a powerful after-burn effect during which your metabolic rate is elevated for several hours after your workout is finished.
There are lots of different interpretations of interval training, and they all work. You can do longer, mainly aerobic intervals, such as rowing for three minutes and then resting for one minute or go fully anaerobic with 20-second work/10 seconds rest Tabata intervals.
That leaves a lot of middle ground for a host of other types of workout. Interval training is a very efficient use of your time but is also one of the best ways to burn calories, shed fat, and boost your fitness.
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INTEGRATED CIRCUIT TRAINING
Integrated circuit training, ICT for short, combines cardio with bodyweight or strength training exercises and often features in CrossFit workouts. Frequently performed against the clock, ICT workouts are fast, furious, and fun, but they are very demanding too.
1. Run 500 meters on a treadmill
2. Do a rapid mini-circuit of 10 burpees + 20 push-ups + 30 kettlebell swings
3. Rest for 60 seconds
4. Repeat the entire sequence from the top for four sets.
Workouts like this not only burn a lot of calories, they cause a huge after-burn effect, and also strengthen and condition your major muscles too. You are only limited by your imagination and should have no problem creating an almost endless variety of workouts. Be warned; what looks okay on paper could turn into the toughest workout of your life!
You don’t have to quit slow-paced cardio, but it’s not the best option for faster fat loss. Try these alternative methods and accelerate your fat loss! Make sure your nutrition is on point and post-workout replenish with EHPlabs BCAA’s + 1 x scoop of Acetyl L-Carnitine.