If you’re going to do cardio workouts to lose body fat and get lean, it’s time for you to know the right and wrong way to do cardio to achieve the best and quickest results possible. In this article, I’ll go over some of the things you should and shouldn’t do with cardiovascular workouts to maximize their effectiveness.Do: Choose your cardio workout carefully. It’s better to choose the more intensive and challenging workouts such as running, rowing, aerobic classes, etc. Less effective workouts will likely burn less calories.Don’t: Judge the effectiveness of your workout by its length in time. Just because you do a workout for 60 minutes, it doesn’t mean that it burns more calories than another workout which lasts for merely 40 does. You need to make your workout intense, not just long.Do: Perform your cardio workout after you weight training session. You need to be as fresh and focused as possible when you lift weights. In addition, you don’t want to be sweating too much when you start to life weights. It will feel less comfortable.Don’t: Do the same cardio workout over and over. You need to change things up every once in a while. Do a variety of cardiovascular activities to challenge your body in different ways, keep things interesting for you, and to improve your fitness in a number of ways.Do: Wear comfortable shoes. If you want to reduce risk of fitness related injury and to make the workout as convenient as possible, invest in some good shoes. It’s worth it.Don’t: Do cardio only at the gym. There’s something about doing outdoor workouts which makes exercise a lot more fun.Do: Stretch before you do cardio. Especially if you haven’t done this particular workout in a long time, stretching will help to avoid sore muscles and reduce risk of injury.Don’t: Avoid doing strength workouts. The best way to get lean is through a combination of cardio and strength training. Doing just cardio will delay your results.Do: Perform interval training style cardio. Exercising in intervals is a way in which you can burn much more body fat and save a lot of workout time. This is the most time efficient way to workout.As you can see, there are a lot of ways in which you can improve the results you get with cardio. follow these tips and you will change your body.
Aerobics (long, steady state sub-maximal cardio) aren’t much good for many health or fat loss related benefits. I’ve already done a post on why aerobics suck for fat loss. And then I went over the health benefits of interval training versus steady-state aerobics in my interval training for fat loss article.But I have to admit aerobic exercise has its place. It can be a useful tool in eliminating stubborn body fat in the areas guys get it most (the abs) and women (butt, hips and thighs)… But… only if you do it on one of these two occasions (and I’ll explain why too!):Time #1 You Should Do Aerobics: After Interval TrainingFirst let’s look at what intervals and aerobics do in your body…Steady state target heart rate cardio (aerobics). Uses fat for energy, but the problem is it takes a long time to exercise for the body to start using fat as fuel for this type of cardio.High intensity interval training. Burns glycogen and releases fatty acids into the blood stream, but it doesn’t use those fatty acids for energy, which means they get redeposited into the fat cells.Here’s how you get the both of best worlds:1. Do your 12 minutes or less of interval training
2. Wait 5 minutes
3. Do 20 (maximum 30) minutes of steady state cardio (aerobics)When you do it this way, the HIIT followed by 5 minutes rest guarantees a large release of fatty acids into the blood stream, which means you’re guaranteed to be burning fat as fuel when you do your aerobics! Neat huh?Time #2 You Should Do Aerobics: After Weight LiftingIntense weight lifting is very similar to Height Intensity Interval Training in the effects that it has on your body, the fuel it uses, etc. So the only other time you should do aerobic cardio is after your weight lifting.I recommend 20-30 mins of low-medium intensity steady state cardio after weight lifting.Why You Should Know ThisCNS overload: If you’re lifting intensely, focusing on strength, doing low reps with heavy weights 3x per week, you’re working your central nervous system to increase your strength (primarily). Interval training on your “off” days may be overload for some people, steady state aerobics after weights is a good option if that’s you.Stubborn fat: If you’re already around 10-12% body fat (guys) or 15-17% bf (women) and you need to get SUPER ripped, then you should employ the HIIT followed with aerobics in this case. It will help strip away those last stubborn pounds.