“Hit your cardio!” When it comes to fat loss, better conditioning and getting results, you keep
hearing that from your trainers, coaches, and media, but what exactly is cardio?
Cardio is referring to cardiovascular exercise- activities that are going to get the heart rate up and
blood pumping because you are moving the muscles continually and taxing your cardiovascular
system. Activities such as power walking, jogging, swimming, elliptical, interval training such as
our Outlaw Bootcamp classes and more involve cardiovascular exercise.
Now let’s explore this further with a little Q & A
Q. So which activity is the best to do for cardio?
A. Today, Scientific research is showing that we
get a greater benefit from interval training rather than doing continuous-paced activity. Interval
training is a style where you push yourself really hard for a brief period and then recover for a
brief period. An example would be doing sprints (on run, bike, elliptical, etc) or sets of burpees,
then ball slams, then pushups, rather than jogging nonstop. With interval training, you end up
burning more calories than you would during the same duration of steady-state, because your
body takes more calories to return to its resting state. Bottom line, you get more bang for your
buck with your time with interval training.
Q. Should I only do interval training and never do steady-state training again?
A. No, it’s good to
give your body a recovery day sometimes. Also, if you just feel really tired or have been ill, a
good moderate-intensity steady state session will be a better choice for your body that day. Then
the next day you can return to hitting the intervals hard. When you work hard your body needs to
rest and recover also-this is important to remember and sometimes hard to do!
Q. How long should a cardio session be?
A.It depends on your goals, time available, and other factors, but 30 minutes of intervals or at least 45 minutes of steady state cardio is a good general
guideline. Talk to any one of our fitness professionals to determine the best cardio program for you.
Q. Which type of cardio is the best to do?
A. One that will allow you to push yourself hard, and you
should feel out of breath as you’re working during hard intervals or as you progress during
steady-state. Select an activity that you enjoy enough to stick with it (or keep a good variety of
modalities) and/or that accommodates your current physical abilities. The more you get your
heart rate up, the more your body will have to work to return it back to its starting state, which
means you will burn more calories to do so!
Q.Should I try keep my heart rate low to stay in the fat burning zone?
A. No! Because the fat
burning zone means only you’re burning a higher percentage of fat calories from fat, but it’s a
much slower burn, so you end up burning less calories overall then you would working out with
a higher heart rate.
Bottom line…cardio hard (however you choose), follow a proper nutrition program for your body
and goals, then celebrate each milestone along your journey.
Our team is ready to help you get prepared for the new year ahead, talk to us about our coaching programs and how we can create a detailed plan of success for you and your goals.