I know what you’re thinking: many trainers and clients out there insist that long, extensive cardio routines are the best and most effective way of getting ripped.
Moderate cardio sessions, like jogging on the street or using a treadmill, are actually not the optimal ways to lose body fast and achieve a ripped look.
Why Steady Cardio Fails You…
Are you a hamster on a wheel?
I can’t tell you how many times I have been stopped in the gym and asked for tips on losing body fat. These people are the same ones I see running on the treadmills like hamsters on a wheel, wondering why they can’t lose that additional body fat they’re fighting. Day after day, they do the same routine and find themselves disappointed, not achieving the results they desire.
When you are performing a cardio workout, you are burning a higher percentage of body fat at that moment than compared to lifting. However, in the grand scheme of things, there are significantly greater effect associated with a strenuous training session, such as cardio circuit, sprints or other high-intensity exercises. In the long run, you’re spending more energy (burning calories) on repairing your whole body, which means you are increasing your metabolism. Check that again; high-intensity workouts keep you burning calories long after your workout has ended.
Tear your muscle? Why this works…
Cross fit and high-intensity interval training are all not considered “steady” cardio. You want to incorporate strength exercise to overload the muscle fiber, resulting in minor tears that need to be repaired, then resulting in thicker fibers (muscle hypertrophy); this process will raise your metabolism. This enhances your body’s ability to burn calories because of the constant repair work that your body is doing EVEN AFTER YOU HAVE STOPPED WORKING OUT. You can work smarter not harder, and make your workouts keep working for you after you’ve finished training.
This is what the human body was made for…
The human body is meant for ‘stop and go’ – otherwise know as “interval-exercise”. Almost all sports today require and incorporate intense bursts of interval exercise, with the exception of endurance running, cycling or swimming. For most athletes, without a doubt, there are greater benefits to interval training as opposed to steady cardio. Another reason is that your body has a healthy response to the recovery period in between burst of exertion (stop and go). In addition, interval training keeps workouts interesting, doesn’t get boring and has a lower dropout rate than most long cardio programs. In fact, doing too much cardio can actually make you lose lean muscle mass and decrease your RMR, which can lead to poor muscle definition and excess body fat. So step off those treadmills and stick with the interval method!
Remember you can always pick up interval training whether it is jumping rope, rowing, boxing, stair climbing or sprints. Stop and go is much more effective than steady cardio for the above reasons. The more intense your workouts are, combining resistance training and bursts of sprint oriented cardio, the longer your metabolism will continue to torch.
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