How to Maximize Your Cardio For Fat Loss

Posted on February 25, 2014
The human body is an amazing machine when it comes to adapting, particularly when it comes to cardio exercise.   Simply put: each day of the same repeated cardio workout results in less and less of an effective caloric burn.  For many, maintaining the daily target calorie burn proves to be a daunting task.  But optimal cardio doesn’t have to take miles and miles of running on a treadmill.  In fact, it can be maximized and concentrated into a matter of minutes.

Monitor Your Results

If you want to get a more specific idea of how efficient you are with your cardio, purchase a heart rate monitor.  Not only will this give you a better idea of how many calories you’re burning (which helps you to avoid workout plateaus), it will monitor your heart rate at any given second.

Do the HIITs

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has become a popular choice for beginner and advanced athletes alike.  Rather than running for an hour on a treadmill at a steady pace, you can burn just as many calories (if not more) by alternating between high and low intensity intervals.  In addition, HIITs are known for their “afterburn effect” that keeps your metabolism boosted for several hours after. To know your “high” and “low” target areas, you need to estimate your maximum heart rate by taking the number 220 and subtracting your age.  Then multiply that number by the target range of 70 to 85 percent.  Wearing a heart rate monitor makes it easy to observe your desired zones. 0-70% = easy 70-75% = moderate 75-80% = moderate/hard 80-85% = hard 85%+ = very hard

How To Perform HIITs

A wide variety of HIIT exercises exist, most commonly using a 1:2 ratio, with one minute of hard cardio followed by two minutes of easy/recovery.  It’s recommended that beginners start with about six rounds of intervals.  With this, you can achieve an effective fat loss in about 20 minutes.  Remember, weekly workouts and interval lengths can also vary according to your own fitness goals, and you can do HIIT training on any cardio machine such as stair-climbers, rows, ellipticals, etc. Tabata sessions are also becoming a popular method of high intensity training. The most important thing is to keep your body guessing.  Once it falls into a routine, it quickly becomes used to it and requires less energy.  

Have any cardio tips that have worked for you?  Share them in the comments below.  Think a friend will find this interesting? Pass it along!


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