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We’ve relied on traditional cardiovascular training forever as our main source of fat reduction. I’m here to say cardiovascular training is overrated. How many times have you seen people who just do cardio, or just take aerobics class, lose weight initially, then hit a wall? You probably know someone that goes to the gym four or five times a week but looks exactly the same. In my opinion there are two main reasons this takes place.

  1. Failure To Enter “The Fat Burning Zone”– You know about this because it’s the first thing you see when you get on a piece of cardio equipment. Basically it says get your heart rate up to a certain level and you’ll burn all the fat you want. There is some truth to this. You can burn a higher percentage of fat in the fat burning zone. The problem is your heart rate is so low your barely burn any calories. So if you sit on a recumbent bike for 40 min. of cardio and burn 150 calories the majority of that can be fat.  So congratulations you burned 150 calories in 40 minutes. What you have to realize is you’ll probably put those calories right back on walking to your car, driving home, and watching American Idol.  While fat zone cardiovascular training does burn a higher percentage of fat, the total calories burned  minimally affects the caloric deficit.
  2. Reaching Plateaus– The term plateau is constantly used in relation to cardiovascular and weight training. Why exactly do plateaus take place? The body is always making adaptations. When you start a cardio program, this is a shock to your body.

You lose weight rapidly,your energy increases you feel great. After a few weeks your body recognizes this work level, adapts to the work level, and all of a sudden your cardiovascular training is less difficult. A few weeks later, you’re barely sweating. Your body has made the adaptation to make the work less stressful. Your body doesn’t like stress and (excessive) cardiovascular training can be considered a stressor by the body.

Below I will give you two ways to burn calories and fat and keep it burning.

  1. Calories In Calories Out– The more calories you burn the more the fat you burn. High intensity training is the key. Decrease your cardiovascular training time and increase the intensity. I recommend giving interval training a try. For starters, sprint on a treadmill for 15-30 seconds, then walk or jog for 15-30 seconds. As you develop endurance continue to increase the work time and decrease the work time. This should last 30 minutes at the most.
  2. Hit The Weights– When you build muscle you burn fat. Spend more time in the weight room. Many people do not like weights. What I recommend is combining  the interval training with the weights, create a circuit. You can finish a high intensity circuit in 20 minutes and burn twice as many calories as traditional cardio training. Once you perfect this system you can be out of the gym in as little as 10 minutes!

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