You want to have certain criteria in place when choosing the kind of training you want to choose when trying to lose fat. For those that have busy lifestyles, the best criteria is:
- Must be time-efficient
- Must elevate metabolic rate for prolonged periods of time
- Must be fun
- Must be safe
So lets put three of the most popular forms of cardio to the test:
Walking is often the exercise of choice for beginners (regardless of age or gender). Initially, most beginners will get results with walking because it’s an increase in their level of activity.
After some time, just like with any form of exercise, results will diminish. So, the next course of action is to increase the distance of the walking, and frequency of the walking. But here’s the problem: you can’t increase the distance and frequency for ever!
You have a minimal amount of time to devote to exercise per week, so what do you do?
A better option:
Although you will eventually face the same issue with jogging and then running, I do believe these are beneficial tools to improve your endurance, and get your mindset towards more intense forms of exercise.
So, if you’re walking right now, start speeding up the pace with power walking with an eventual transition to jogging. After 3-4 weeks of jogging, move onto running. Then start implementing sprints and interval running into your program!
Here’s a great sprinting program to try when you’re ready: Sprint Conditioning by Mike Whitfield
Another popular form of cardio is aerobics. Aerobics comes in the form of step classes, aerobics classes, Zumba, etc. Aerobics shares a similar problem with walking: it does nothing for your metabolism.
So, initially the program might work for your, but if you’re not engaging in movements that elevate your heart rate, or those that engage your muscles, you won’t get the metabolism-boosting benefits you see with strength training or sprinting.
A recent remedy we’ve seen is combining aerobics with light-weight dumbbells. This is an ok solution, but at some point your body will become strong enough so that the light weight dumbbells become ineffective.
A better option:
Slowly start incorporating a session of full-body strength training. So, if you’re doing 3 days of aerobics, drop one day and make that your full-body strength training day.
A great program that provides the perfect balance between strength and cardio is Turbulence Training. Click here to check it out.
Doing intervals on a bicycle is perfectly fine, but in recent times fitness instructors have started adding in all sorts of crazy movements to make the classes more fun. Here is sample video of what I mean:
Some unnecessary movements I’ve seen in the video:
I’ve read about the dangers of standing up while spinning, but I won’t go into that here, simply because I am not qualified to make that judgement call. But I will tell you that doing ab crunches from the bike, standing up while boxing, swinging your arms, arms behind your back – all that is absolutely unnecessary and detracts your mind from what’s important: getting an intense workout. Here’s a great article from a spin expert that comments on this workout.
I’ve also seen videos of people doing hip hop moves while on the bike. I’ve also seen videos of people doing bicep curls while on the bike and other dumbbell movements.
A better solution
Instead of spin classes, perform straight intervals on a bike or treadmill consisting of 30 seconds on of intense effort, followed by 30-60 seconds of lower-intensity effort.
Do that for 20 minutes, and you’re done.
Lets go over some key points from this article:
- Research your method of exercise before embarking on it
- Make sure workouts are safe
- Perform full body strength training at least twice a week
- Build yourself up to interval training
With GREAT gratitude for you every single day,
PS – Stay safe!