If you have been a follower of my site for quite sometime now, you already have an idea that I am not a cardio fan. Cardio machines have their share of advantages and disadvantages. However, I learned that people can get very different result than what they expect if they do not use machines properly.
For instance, I have witnessed saddlebags on many who have used machines the wrong way: nobody want to see that on their body.
If you still weigh the same months after you start doing cardio routines, you must be thinking that you are doing your routines inappropriately. You are right!
If this is the case, this is the perfect time to give your cardio routines a different mix before you ask a fitness expert for help to shed those fats. I have listed below things that can help you on your cardio routines:
1. Combine high and low intensity cardio.
There is no need for long sessions of low-intensity cardio if your goal is only to shed those fats away. You will hear a lot of fitness gurus telling you that you can burn those fats easily when you do low-intensity cardio. Yes, you will burn those fats when you do the 40 up to 90 minutes cardio session though it will not have a big effect on your metabolism.
However, doing slow steady cardio sessions will have fat-storing hormonal effects on you. Additionally, your body will get used to it after 6 months storing some extra body fats preparing your body for the next round of cardio sessions.
2. Introduce (true) interval training.
If doing exercise has become a daily routine to you, then you know the term “interval training” – varying high intensity workouts with lower intensity sessions. This is great since it gives you more endurance to do harder routines in a short period. Additionally, it keeps your energy twice higher when you perform high intensity cardio.
Moreover, your metabolism will develop if the resistance on the routine is high enough. The only issue you would most probably experience is your lack of determination to push yourself more. You can spend a minimum of 20 minutes for effective interval training.
You need to make sure that by the time you reach the high intensity, you have to push yourself so hard that you almost feel like you are going to collapse while you are getting near the time you set for your routine. Ways to recover are either to standstill or just stay relaxed and take it slow. If you still feel the same before and after the workout, then your routine is not yet enough.
Lastly, there should be variations on your routines. You can try two different routines in a minute or a 45 seconds hard routine with 30 seconds dedicated for recovery. Routine variations will play an important role if your want to see your desired results.
3. Try some sprints.
Did you ever wonder how is the body built of a sprinter differs from a marathon runner? Sure, there is a big difference. When we think of sprinter, we think of them spending more time running but they are also into bikes or doing cross training for both.
Though interval training may improve either or both speed and resistance, sprint is based solely on speed. They are done for a specific distance on given period that is followed by a complete rest.
4. And a few hills.
Hills are a great way to develop those lean muscles on your gluts and legs and to increase your metabolism as well. While some cardio will not have a long-lasting effect on your metabolism, using hills for your cardio routine will. This is definitely the best approach to cardio training. You can change the inclination setting of your treadmill to at least 8 or go to a handy hill in a local park near your place.
You can get started with a simple brisk walk and as your body get along with the routine, you can combine it with other training like a light running. If you like pushing yourself more, you can integrate training or sprint based training while on hill for up to 20 minutes instead of just doing a simple light running. This is a kind of workout that your body will find hard to recover the first few times you do it.
5. Combine cardio to other training routines.
Have you ever thought of combining your cardio routines with other training that you are doing? If you are a busy person or feeling stressed, doing cardio routines alone can activate a stress hormone reaction to your body that builds more storage. If you are not stressed and you did a cardio more than you are required to do it, it will also have the same hormonal effect on you.
So, when can you consider cardio training as excess? This is doing cardio anything more than 2-3 minutes in a week and longer than the average 20-minutes per routine. You can forget about this rule if you are training for endurance event, as some experts will say that weight training is better in this kind of event than cardio. Real training is a kind of training that our bodies were designed to do. It can include bending, squatting, twisting, lunging, pushing and pulling some kind of heavy objects.
6. Focus on your workout to see results.
Some people’s minds drift away while doing their workout on a cardio machine while their bodies just go through the motion. If you are serious on spending some time on the gym, then you have to focus more.
At times, you might feel like it is just right to follow the speed of the cardio machine, that is fine. However, if you do this all the time, you are not serious enough on your training. In this case, you have to make a choice – push yourself to train to see those results or just stay at home and relax.
7. Mix it up in the great outdoors.
Doing cardio routines may include using some sort of equipment. Sometimes, however, the best workouts that you can do are the ones that includes spontaneous activity or some casual or organized sport.
If the routines that you are doing in the gym are no longer a challenge to you, it is high time for you to hit the outdoors. You can join a Frisbee game, try rock climbing or tag along with your friends that play a certain sport. You can also try new ideas that you can start doing with your friends!
8. Turn your weight session into cardio.
This is my most preferred cardio training. Since I learned how much more weight training that truly works is effective for keeping my clients and myself lean, I have looked for more ways to improve it. This is the reason why I love circuit training. This saves you a lot of time, helps to tone your body, and you will see those sweats coming out of your body as it never did before.
Lastly, it takes care of cardio training without having to use cardio machines. It is very simple – you can choose 3-8 weight training exercises (bigger movements is more effective compared to isolated ones) and do it again, one set of each. Take time to recover for 90 seconds and then repeat it 3-5 times. A break is optional, that is if, you want to keep pushing yourself more on this routine. You will see that this routine really works.
9. Use your upper body.
Your legs also need breaks. On the other hand, if you have been accustomed to heavy training, then it is high time of doing something more than performing the traditional cardio training. You can do some upper body cardio. I would recommend rowing machine. You will know how effective this machine the moment you used it.
Spending just 5 minutes on the rowing machine will really get your heart pumping faster. I like using the rower for some sprint training or for interval training – 100 meters flat out and then followed by at most 200 to give your body some time to get used to this routine. However, if you really want to see some lasting results, a shorter and harder combination will be a better option.
10. Just stop.
What if you were told to cut out cardio training altogether? This may not be for the long term but only for a couple of weeks. You might start to think of doing a very different routine than what you are doing before. This is fine. Everybody deserves a break. In most cases, people notice that by the time they cut out their cardio routines, their performance improved on some other areas.
You may hear others that when they are doing weight training, they are not giving their 100% on it so that they can save some of their energy for cardio. I have been a cardio queen for years but this did not stop me from improving my training by trying out some other routines and ‘no’ is not an option here. I would advise at least 2-4 weeks of cutting out your cardio routine each year for maximum results.
The choice is yours. In the meantime, try to get started by doing all the things I have mentioned here and I mean right away. I can guarantee you that you would be able to see the result in just a week or two and the visual results will soon follow.