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3 Rules for Your Cardio Workout

May 6, 2014

We've all become victim to the following statement: Eat less, move more. Yes, there is some truth to that...if you eat your weight in fast food and if you the only movement you get is from couch to kitchen. Well, that's a little exagerated, but you get what I mean.

I'm not going to touch the "eat less" portion of that statement today---I'm kind of comfortable only being on one soapbox at the moment. "Move more." What does that mean? Here's how we perceive that statement: Move more equates with strap on your tennis shoes and take yourself outside and run a marathon...OR...Put your gym gear on and spend the next hour on the elliptical either watching TV or reading a magazine.

Want to hear some truths about those two options? Here ya go: Those suck. They're boring. They don't burn fat. They burn muscle. They are a waste of time!

WHAT?!

Yes, you read me correctly. And trust me, having been in the fitness industry for quite some time now, I have fallen victim to that form of cardio and have practiced these examples on many occasions. Ask me when the last time I did either...

...YEARS...and I mean YEARS ago!

I'm here to tell you today that long, boring, sustained cardio is NOT the way to accomplish your fat loss goals. That should be music to your ears. If you're like me, you HATE cardio with a passion. And I'm sure if given the option, you'd spend a lot less time doing it. Right? Well, here are the rules you've been waiting for to transform your cardio!

  1. Replace those long bouts of sustained cardio with training that is metabolic. This will boost your fitness, sculpt your body, save your muscles, enhance your endurance, and make you feel AWESOME. Metabolic training happens in the weight room via circuit training using compound, multiple joint exercises with little rest in between sets. I love training this way because being short on time, I can get both my strength and cardio knocked out in less than 30 minutes!
  2. Get off those cardio machines and use what you were born with--your own body! Just simply using a few high intensity body weight exercises at the end of your strength workout is more effective than jogging on that treadmill for miles on end. Adding bodyweight squats and burpees back-to-back at the end of your workout without rest breaks for no more than a few minutes is a great example.
  3. Do short, burst workouts instead of long sessions on cardio equipment. Keep your cardio short and sweet with high intensity intervals, going all out for several seconds and then recovering. Heck, 20 minutes of that and you're good for the day! The best way to do this is to refer to #2 and choose a body weight exercise...say, squat jumps...or use a jump rope for short periods of high intensity movement.

Hopefully I've made you look at cardio in a whole new light. Now, before you go and shake your finger at me...there is a purpose for the long, slow variations. If you're a complete beginner or if you have underlying health conditions, you'll benefit more from a slower, more gradual start in your fitness program. But, once you gain even a moderate amount of fitness you can begin to incorporate these rules into your fat loss program.

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