When it comes to Cardio, you are wasting your time on the treadmill! I see so many people come into the gym and spend an hour or even two hours on the treadmill and then leave! Assuming these people have the ultimate goal of losing weight, this may actually be counterproductive. I think that most people simply do not know what to do in the gym in order to achieve their goals so they just end up on the treadmill and try to get a good sweat, which is perfectly fine, however it may be a roundabout way of getting to your goal. In my opinion the best recipe for fat loss that I have learned in my studies of becoming a weight loss specialist is a mix of resistance training along with High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). I myself have lost over 20 pounds on this regimen without losing any of my lean muscle mass.
So, before we get to HIIT, why introduce a resistance training program? The answer is simple. The more lean muscle mass you have, the more calories you will burn on a daily basis, plain and simple. So the idea is as follows: if you can build your lean muscle mass, and then burn fat with cardio without sacrificing any lean muscle in the process, not only will you lose weight, but you have a better chance of keeping it off. If you gain muscle you are literally raising your BMR (or Basal Metabolic Rate). BMR (or RMR) is simply the amount of calories your body burns while at rest (no daily activity or extra calorie expenditure, just basic metabolic and biological functions). If you gain muscle you burn more calories while at rest. Not to mention you can burn calories up to 48 hours after a resistance training session has been completed during the recovery process. This in turn makes it easier to stay in a calorie deficit and continue burning fat! Couple this with 15-20 minutes of HIIT cardio 3 times a week and you will be shredding fat !
HIIT training is described as short periods of 100% max effort workouts followed by slightly longer periods of rest. The interval nature of these types of workouts leaves your body with increased EPOC (Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption) levels after the 15-20 minutes. Basically this means that you will continue to burn fat hours after the workout has been completed. HIIT training increases HGH levels in the body as well which will help preserve that muscle. Almost forgot the most important thing...TIME! These workouts can burn as many calories in 15 minutes, as you could on a treadmill for an hour!! Stop wasting time, start burning fat!
In my personal opinion the best regimen for fat loss is a combination of resistance training and HIIT cardio. I would say 45 minutes to 1 hour of resistance training, followed by 15-20 minutes of HIIT training at least 3 times a week. If you do this and stay on track with your diet (I will be writing about diet in the next post) you will see results fast! Below I will list some of my favorite HIIT exercises:
Battle Ropes: 30 seconds, Rest 2 minutes 10 sets
Sled Pushes: 50 yards, Rest 2 minutes 10 sets
Bike: Hard Fast cycle for 30 seconds, slow light cycle for 2 minutes 10 sets
Treadmill (I'm a hypocrite, but this one is actually really good!): Run max effort 7-12mph (depends on individual) 30 seconds, jump off onto the sides and rest for 1 minute 10 sets
Circuit style HIIT:
Burpees: 40 seconds, right into mountain climbers: 40 seconds, right into squat jumps 40 seconds. Rest 2 minutes. 6 sets.
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