Is Your Cardio Keeping You Fat?

So you’ve decided to start making changes in your body. Maybe for internal health benefits, maybe because you’re sick of your chunky butt, or perhaps both. Regardless the reason, the biggest question many of you struggle with is: “Where the heck do I start?” If you’re like the majority of people new to fitness, you are probably beginning with leisurely jogs around your neighborhood or a long, monotonous and moderate run on a gym treadmill or elliptical machine. Unfortunately, if your intention is to melt fat off of your body, you may actually be achieving the exact opposite results. YES. You read correctly- “Slow cardio is keeping you FAT!” Let’s pick this apart a little more carefully. First, when exercising at a stagnant and one-note pace, you’re burning minimal calories for the long period of time you’re putting into your training. For example: let’s say you jog at the same, easy pace for 45 minutes. This could equal an unimpressive 250-300 calories burned which is a small fraction of a pound of fat. Continue with this same workout for a whole week, and you might ditch one stinkin’ pound or less. LAME. Going even further, many people overcompensate for the calories they burn during a slow run and think they’ve actually scorched off more, causing them to overeat post workout because “they’ve earned it”. The results here? WEIGHT GAIN. Another huge disadvantage with slow-go cardio is that no increased metabolic benefit exists. In other words, when you’re finished with this type of workout, your body does not continue to torch calories and blast through fat, but immediately returns to its normal metabolic state at which it was prior to when your workout started. BUMMER. Wouldn’t you rather train in a way that keeps your metabolism firing for hours and even days after your workout? Finally, slow-moving cardio is just plain boring. I can’t think of one person I’ve ever come across that has proudly boasted, “Get me to the gym, quick! I can’t wait to hop on the treadmill and jog at an unchanging pace for an hour!” Not to mention, this type of training takes SO MUCH TIME out of your week. You’re BUSY-- work, family, friends, functions, etc. and the last thing you need is a prolonged workout that doesn’t even bring you results.

Fear not, my fitness-hungry readers. With every problem, comes a solution and this dilemma is no different. The answer to your lame, lagging workouts is HIIT (high intensity interval training). The exact type of training that is impressed on this website and is basically short workouts with high bursts of cardio/resistance training at an intense pace. Here’s my workout challenge for you to try this week. It is perfect for beginners all the way through to the advanced gurus. DO THIS--


*Sprint at your fastest pace for 20 seconds and rest for 30 seconds. Repeat this sequence at least 8x. If you’re more advanced, decrease the rest period or add more rounds to your training. This is PERFECT for those who love outdoor running and don’t want to give it up. Simply add in short bursts of sprints with your jog and sit back and smile while your metabolism cranks and the pounds disintegrate off your body.  

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