Ask The Trainer:"What is the best cardio for weight loss?"
May 27, 2019
Christian Agudelo, ACSM - CPT
If your goal is weight loss and you are already on a specific resistance training program that is focused on burning fat, you can increase your daily fat burning by adding additional cardio to your routine. Generally 20-30 minutes of cardio at a fat burning heart rate zone will increase the amount of calories you burn throughout the day. Being in a calorie deficit gives you the best chance to losing fat and weight in a healthy and consistent manner each week. Obviously the more calories you burn each day the quicker you can reach your ultimate weight goal. HIIT training or (high intensity interval training) is another great way to shed off weight and burn fat at an accelerated speed. Short and intense bursts of cardio have been proven to burn calories at a faster rate than typical steady state cardio of over 30 minutes. Generally HIIT training should last no more than 5-15 minutes depending on the exercises and skill level of the individual. Mixing both steady state fat burning cardio and high intensity intervals in your routine will maximize your weight loss and keep your body from plateauing.
Earvin Bahena, NSCA - CSCS
When it comes to cardio, you always want to find a way to switch it up especially if your goal is weight loss. For someone in the beginning stage of their workout journey an intermediate long walk/jog for about 30 min multiple times a week can jump start their weight loss. After a while your body starts to adjust to the cardio and then a change must be made. You can go into a more difficult cardio and every 10 minutes increase your intensity by 10% to slowly increase your heart rate. After a while depending on your cardio level you can add some intervals to your training to increase the difficulty. There is not just one type of cardio that you exclusively do and you will lose weight, you want to constantly adjust your intensity or duration to not allow your body to plateau.
Spencer O'Neil, NASM- CPT
When it comes to the best type of cardio for weight loss it will vary from person to person. We always encourage clients to start with low impact and slowly increase depending on what their body can handle. A great starting point for these would the recumbent bike and elliptical. When picking what exercise is best for you it needs to be something sustainable for at least 20-30 minutes to start. Both of these are great for a sustainable low impact cardio workout because it’s easier to go at your own pace. Once you’re more comfortable with these two, a light jog on the treadmill is a great progression. Another thing to keep in mind when deciding on what cardio is best for you is choosing something you can get some enjoyment out of it. Whether it’s hiking on the weekends or hitting the beach trail, it’s important to find something you can look forward to doing. We find this approach really helps with consistency.