Cardio training has long been thought to be the ideal training method to bring about amazing fat loss. Unfortunately this is not the case in the vast majority of cases.
There is much research that is coming light showing that this may not be true and there are better ways to get even better results. A study by Boucher showed that long steady cardio may not be optimal and by using high intensity intermittent exercise may be more promising.
With training you always want to get the most bang for your buck. Learning the right way to perform cardio training will:
- Help you avoid overuse injuries.
- Reduce your weekly training time.
- Stop boredom and burn out.
- Improve your hormonal profile and energy levels.
- Help you transform your physique faster and more effectively.
Here are the 7 Rules of Effective Cardio Training
1. Perform interval training - a good interval is 30 work to 30 rest.
Each week it is a good idea to change the ratio. Going to 35 work to 25 rest is a great progression.
2. Rather than just doing machines for intervals, use objects like kettle bells and body weight exercises. This way you can improve your cardiovascular fitness, build muscle and improve your movement.
I use the same principle as above, using time here rather than sets and reps. It allows you to focus on working hard without having to count. Simply set a timerand go for it.
3. Perform hill sprints. Although not technically cardio, they will elevate your heart rate and are lower impact on your joints than normal sprints.
Hill sprints have a shorter landing phase than ground based sprints. This landing phase is where most of the impact hits your joints. They aso have a smaller risk of having a hamstring pull.
4. When performing traditional cardio training, try and do all your breathing through your nose. This will stop you from getting a stress response and improve your fitness in a more sustainable way.
This will help improve physiology and also will improve your true aerobic fitness faster.
5. Limit your traditional cardio to no longer than 45 minutes.
Any more than this will start cutting into your recovery abilities and is a low return on your investment of time.
6. Make sure your interval sessions last no longer than 30 minutes. If you are doing it right, this will be taken care of!
Interval training should be very uncomfortable. Get comfortable being uncomfortable for optimal results.
7. A long walk on an empty stomach in the morning will help you burn fat and not cut into your recovery at all.
This is a method done by bodybuilders for decades. It cannot hurt, will not detract from your other training and can be a great way to unwind and relax.
We had a triathlon team come to me for training advice. They had been suffering from a number of overuse injuries and other problems from over training.
We recommended that they start strength training 1-2x per week and change their breathing to nasal only when they were doing long runs and rides. This was to help reset their physiology and we also recommended more interval type training.
After training with us for only a few weeks the entire team set new personal bests in each discipline by doing their cardio training the right way.
Continuing aerobic training for weight loss when it hasn't worked for you is like the definition of the term insanity.
Doing aerobic training by going for a long run and using machines for weight loss is the equivalent to insanity, doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. Change your training up, do some research and most importantly implement these strategies. If they work for you, keep it up!
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Paul Meldrum has been training clients for over 10 years. He specialises in fat loss, muscle gain and rehabilitation. He was the winner of the 05/06 Personal Trainer of the year award. To receive his 3 part video series on the 8 Things you need to know to lose fat visit his website at www.dchealthperformance.com.au
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