It really saddens me watching people doing long duration cardio, be it on the step climber, treadmill, elliptical trainer or the bike!
Have you noticed that these are the people that need the fat loss more with their flabby bums, muffin tops and big tummies than those hitting the weights? Have you also noticed that there’s no change in their body shape even after months/yrs of going to the gym (I would say training but that’s not training)?
The ONLY benefit you’re getting is the calorie expenditure during your workout. It does absolutely nothing to speed up your metabolism or increase your heart health! In fact it does more harm than good!
- Excessive steady state cardio causes unnecessary prolonged strain/stress on the Heart
- Increases free radical production in the body
- Causes muscle wasting
- Reduces immune function
- Causes a pro-inflammatory response that can cause chronic disease
- Can degenerate joints
- Steady state cardio only trains the heart at one heart rate range, not at the entire heart rate range necessary to make the heart more capable of handling everyday stresses.
The solution is HIGH INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING (HIIT)!
This is simply short bursts of exertion followed by a short rest periods. This is by far superior to any long duration cardio session as it simulates the same metabolic response as weight training. HIIT can be in the form of body weight exercises eg: Burpees, skipping, jumping squats, wall climber, push-ups or using the standard cardio equipment like the elliptical trainer, treadmill etc.
Your intervals can vary 1min exertion 1min rest, 1min exertion 2min rest, 30sec exertion 1min rest ONLY for 20 min (excluding warm up and cool down).
When you train your body doing HIIT you will achieve:
- Improved cardiovascular health
- Increased anti-oxidant protection
- Muscle mass retention
- Improved immune function
- Less wear and tear on the joints
- Increases your metabolism post exercise for up to 12-48 hrs
- Increases the heart’s capability of handling everyday stresses