Master Class – Cardio for Fat Burning
Lesson Learned: Make Cardio Effective with HIIT
Gym goers spend countless hours performing steady-state cardio on treadmills and ellipticals as a means of burning body fat and losing weight. Unfortunately, most of this time is wasted because this kind of low-intensity exercise is far from the most efficient way of leaning out.
Steady-state cardio may not be intense enough for someone looking to lose significant amounts of fat. And the answer is not to run harder for longer. You not only pound your joints, but also potentially cause the body to start burning muscle for fuel.
The key to torching fat and transforming your body is intensity. Using cardio to burn fat if fine, but it needs to be fast-paced and challenging, as in high-intensity interval training. Aim for a sprint of 30 to 45 seconds followed by a light jog or brisk walk for about one minute. The spike in heart rate, followed by stabilization and more spiking puts the body into a fat-burning/cardiovascular-conditioning mode rather than a muscle-wasting one.
Your cardio fix: For HIIT cardio sessions, follow a 2:1 active-rest-to-work ratio, making sure each work interval is done with all-out effort, regardless of the activity, whether that’s sprinting outdoors, riding hard on a stationary bike or doing continuous burpees. Because of the high intensity, HIIT sessions should not last long – 10 to 20 minutes, depending on your fitness level. Two or three of these workouts a week in addition to regular resistance training and a clean diet will ensure maximum fat burning.