Turbulence Training, the program I am currently using:
A lot of people make a big mistake with cardio, and funny enough, this conversation came up over and over again at a wedding on Saturday night.
And this "theme" really makes me roll my eyes and shake my head.
I can't remember how many times I heard someone say, "Oh, I'm going to have to hit the gym extra hard on Monday to burn this off!"
I find it ridiculous...because first, it's not healthy thinking, and second, it is not accurate thinking.
Seriously, let's look at this for a second.
The wedding meal would EASILY result in over 2400 calories.
And how long would it take you to burn that many calories doing your average ?
You'd need to do cardio for just a little less time than it would take you to run a marathon.
So 3 hours for the fittest people, 4-5 hours for the average people, and more than 6-8 hours for beginners.
Does that sound like a "regular cardio session" to you?
So FORGET the "I'm going to burn off this big meal with cardio" mentality.
It's WRONG thinking.
Plus, as I've mentioned time and time again, research shows that regular cardio doesn't really help with fat loss.
1) One study showed was better than cardio at burning belly fat (and cut the workout time in half) - more about interval training research, right click here.
2) A second study found that 300 hours of cardio per year helped men lose only 6 pounds (and women lost only 4 pounds). So that's about 50 hours of cardio per pound of weight lost - at BEST!
(Obesity 15:1496-1512 (2007). Exercise Effect on Weight and Body Fat in Men and Women. Anne McTiernan*, et al.)
3) A third study found SOME folks start eating MORE when they start a cardio program. These folks end up gaining weight on aerobics.
(Reference: International Journal of Obesity 32: 177-184, 2008).
So if long, slow, boring cardio doesn't work, what's left for to burn fat?
Well first, I will acknowledge that high-intensity cardio seems to work better. In one study, subjects who burned 400 calories doing high-intensity cardio ended up losing fat while subjects who did only low-intensity cardio did not lose ANY fat at all!
(Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2008 Oct 8. Effect of Exercise Training Intensity on Abdominal Visceral Fat and Body Composition.)
But the best way, the fastest way, and the most enjoyable way to burn fat is with interval training.
If you haven't read my interval training report on how to lose fat with this scientifically proven exercise secret, please right click here and get your free report:
And soon I'll be revealing over 31 different interval training methods for fat loss. And it won't just be sprinting on a treadmill for 1 minute straight. Trust me, there are a lot of unique ways to burn fat with interval training.
In the meantime, FORGET about slow, boring cardio. It is a generally a big waste of time for fat loss. Sure, it's good for running marathons, but not for busy people who only have 2-3 hours per week to burn fat.
More interval training secrets coming soon!
Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Author, Turbulence Training
PS - If you don't have access to any equipment for intervals, you can get started burning fat faster than with traditional slow cardio by using my " Cardio 3" circuits. You'll discover muscles you didn't even know you had with this program!
Right click here to try it out.
I challenge you to try the 5-round fat loss program in Workout B and tell me that isn't 10x's better than slow cardio.