So you’re trying to lose weight eh? That’s awesome!
However, you can’t seem to lose the weight you want. Eating right is obviously a huge factor in weight loss, however so is exercising and resistance training.
Today I will talk about cardio as a form of weight loss.
This is not your typical cardio however. When people want to lose weight, they think all they have to do is hop on the treadmill or elliptical machine and go for as long as they can. This is a very wrong way to approach cardio as a means to lose weight.
Let me explain.
First off, doing that kind of cardio will burn calories, that is a true fact. So during that half hour to 45 minutes you are walking, running, biking or whatever, you are burning calories. You can get a good estimate of how many calories you are burning by using the screen on the machine. So that form of cardio isn’t horrible, but it isn’t what you are going to want to do in order to burn that spare tire around your waist.
If you want some proof that doing endurance style cardio isn’t what you want, just look at the people on those machines day after day. Notice anything? Hint: They are almost always the same people, with the same weight, unless of course they gave up. You are much stronger and will be much smarter than them.
The kind of cardio you should be doing is called Interval Training or sometimes High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT. Knowing how to do HIIT will turn your sad results into a happy person in the mirror in no time.
Interval training is a pretty simple concept. You can use pretty much any intense activity that you enjoy and that you can stick to. It can be swimming, running, biking, really whatever.
You warm up for about 5 minutes, then you sprint, bike, swim, whatever for as hard as you can for a minute, then you slow down a bit to a moderate speed for 2 minutes and repeat.
Here is a sample interval-training workout:
Warm Up: 5 Minutes
Then each round consists of:
Hard Intensity: 1 Minute
Moderate Intensity: 2 Minutes
Repeat for given cycles below
Then end with a 5 minutes cool down.
Weeks 1-4: 3 rounds, 3 times a week. Total time: 19 minutes per session.
Weeks 5-8: 4 rounds, 4 times a week. Total time: 22 minutes per session.
Weeks 9-12: 5 rounds, 4 times a week. Total time: 25 minutes per session.
Weeks 13-16: 6 rounds, 5 times a week. Total time: 28 minutes per session.
Why does interval training work?
It speeds up your heart rate to a higher rate than endurance cardio does, while giving you some time to rest in between. Not only does interval training burn more calories during the activity, but you’ll also elevate your metabolism for a long time after leaving the gym. This means while you are showering, making a healthy snack and reading informational articles like this one, you will be burning more calories.
The simple weight loss equation is this: Eat fewer calories than your body burns in a day. Or Calories in < than Calories burnt. Since you are burning more calories while outside the gym, this helps the equation a ton.
After a few weeks, you should notice quite a big difference.
Note, if you are also doing resistance training, which you should be doing some, then make sure you do this after the resistance training, never before.
Have fun! Weight loss doesn’t have to suck; enjoying the ride will help you to enjoy the end result much more.
Good luck with your weight loss goals.