Today we will talk about one of the most important aspect of fat loss namely: Cardio.
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Cardio exercise is any exercise that raises your heart rate. Face it our bodies were made to move. And we all know that to keep our muscles in shape we need move them. This movement makes them stronger and stronger muscles make for a more efficient and healthy body. Your heart is a muscle. Therefore working it makes it stronger. A stronger cardiovascular system means more capillaries delivering more oxygen to cells in your muscles. This enables your cells to burn more fat during both exercise and inactivity. Further more it encourages a healthier circulation and healthy circulation of blood equals healthier oxygen transfer and healthier nutrient transfer throughout the body leading to a healthier body and immunity.
So the benefits of cardiovascular exercise is twofold: Health and fat loss. And the reason we are discussing this is because for overweight individuals fat loss will lead to greater health.
Oh sh¡t cardio! this is gonna be boring! Running for hours at the treadmill wearing an iPod, geez! But man, hold your whining for a bit; because I’m about to tell you a method that I always instruct my clients to do: high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
For those of you who are not familiar with high-intensity interval training (HIIT); it involves intervals of high-intensity exercise (such as running at 90% of you max heart rate) followed by intervals of low-intensity (walking at a moderate pace) or complete rest. This is in sharp contrast to the typical continuous steady state cardio most people do at a moderate intensity, such as walking on the treadmill for 30 minutes at 60-70% of their max heart rate. HIIT was mainly developed by track coaches to better prepare runners, but has been adapted by the fitness industry due to beneficial results that have been established. In fact, studies comparing high-intensity interval training to continuous steady state exercise have demonstrated that HIIT(high-intensity interval training) is superior for fat loss. A 1994 study from Laval University (Ste-Foy, Quebec, Canada) reported that subjects following a 15-week HIIT(high-intensity interval training) program lost significantly more body fat than those following a 20-week continuous steady-state endurance program, despite the fact that the steady-state program burned about 15,000 calories more than the HIIT program during exercise; A 2001 study from East Tennessee State University demonstrated similar findings with subjects who followed an 8-week HIIT program (subjects dropped 2% in percent body fat) as compared to those who followed a continuous steady-state program (subjects had no drop in percent body fat) on a treadmill. The most recent study, from Australia reported that subjects following a 20-minute HIIT program lost about 6 times more body fat than the group who followed a 40-minute cardio program performed at a constant intensity of about 60% of their maximum heart rate. The major reason that high-intensity interval training works so well to drop body fat is due to the greater calorie burn or EPOC that is maintained after the workout is over. In other words, you burn more calories and more body fat while you are sitting around doing nothing!
That effect is probably due to the after-repair that the body activates and repairs spend more calories and you may be doing yourself a favor here since hours and hours of cardiovascular activity tend to burn muscle as well. Muscle integrity, people is superior in burning fat! Muscles are like voracious construction-workers of the body. They do more work so they also consume more calories. The body allocates a huge amount of calories per day just to maintain your muscle mass. And that is just for maintenance which means that there is no activity there!Your body already burns fat to fuel your muscles even if you are just sitting in your ass like this dude:
The Laval University study that found a decrease in body fat with HIIT/high-intensity interval training discovered that the HIIT/high-intensity interval training subjects’ muscle fibers had significantly higher markers for fat oxidation (fat burning) than those in the continuous steady-state exercise group. A study published in a 2007 issue of the Journal of Applied Physiology reported that young females who performed seven high-intensity interval training workouts over a two-week period experienced a 30% increase in both fat oxidation and levels of muscle enzymes that enhance fat oxidation. And a brand new study published in a 2010 issue of the American Journal of Physiology reported that subjects doing high-intensity interval training (HIIT) for 6 weeks had an increase in the amount of proteins in muscles that transport fat to the mitochondria, the place in muscles where fat is burned for fuel. The more of these proteins that you have, the more fat that can be taken to be burned away as fuel.
Just the usual drill for warm up. Run at a steady phase first for a minute. If you already feel warmed up begin the HIIT! Sprint for at least 60 seconds then walk for a minute or two. Focus on your breathing technique here so to maximize your recovery, as much as possible breathe in with your nose.
Then after a minute of walking, go for a sprint again.
RUN LIKE THE WIND! like this:
Do this over and over for twenty minute, then do some cooldown stretches or proceed with your weight training but I suggest that you do cardio at a separate time of the day or if your just an average citizen just seeking to loose some weight, doing HIIT/high-intensity interval training alone for 8 weeks will give you results already.
Note: For obese individuals it is essential to do optimum warmup and joint stretches to avoid injury,
and 100% effort in HIIT is not advisable if you can hardly support your weight, this will lead to falls and injuries. If you are one of these individuals do 70% effort on sprint phase but lengthen the duration and do this for 30 minutes instead of 20.
You can also apply HIIT- high-intensity interval training on the treadmill or stationary bicycles. But I trully recomend outdoors running but anyway, variety is king! This week do outdoors and do treadmills on the next. You can also try running uphill. Variety in training will help you enjoy the activity and thus: Stick with it.
PS: after training take a high-protein meal.