Most of my clients haven’t done aerobics in years, but they still burn fat and get lean.
Long, slow to moderate intensity cardio training, which is what you see most people still doing in the gym, is not really the best way to shed fat.
Interval training, which is periods of short hard exercise followed by short periods of recovery, works better for fat loss, according to both Canadian and Australian researchers (plus hundreds of advanced trainers throughout the world).
An interval might last 30 seconds to 60 seconds, and it would be hard work, harder than normal cardio. Each work interval is followed by 30 to 90 seconds of very easy pace. So if you’re running on a treadmill you might run at 7 mph for your work interval and then go all the way down to 3 mph for a walk for your rest.
That’s what we use instead of slow cardio. All it takes is 20 minutes of interval training to get better results than 40 or 60 minutes of slow cardio.
Now the research and experience is showing that the intervals not only as effective, but it’s even more effective in most cases. And also you’re doing fewer repetitions. So, you know, every time you run we’ll count that as repetitions, so if you run for 60 minutes you’re looking at maybe 3,000, 4,000 repetitions in a slow cardio workout where you’re doing probably one-third of that or even one-fifth of that in interval workout.
And that leads to less overuse injuries and that’s one of the big problems with long slow cardio is that a lot of people end up in the physiotherapy office getting some type of therapy for their overuse injuries. Runners are in there all the time getting their injuries looked after.
So, we’re trying to cut back on the volume of work, cutting back on the quantity and focusing on the quality. And like I said, we started off just by doing it to save time and now we’re also finding out that we’re actually getting more results.
Pick from a big variety of interval methods. It doesn’t just have to be running on a treadmill. Clients have started to incorporate a lot of jump rope intervals, which jump rope can be very intense, so I think that’s a great, you know, just think of ways that you can make things fun and things that you may enjoy doing.
You might not enjoy running, so find something that you do enjoy doing like jump roping or maybe getting on a stationary bike, but do it, make it real intense for a shorter period of time, then back up that intensity and do a interval type workout and I think you’re going to have fun doing it.
To me it’s more fun than walking for an hour on a treadmill and you’re going to get more benefit out of it and it’s going to take a less amount of time. Less amount of workout time, better results, and more fun.
You’re looking at probably at least a dozen different ways you can do interval training. Sports are intervals. And again that’s more fun.
You can also do biking or rowing. There’s all types of traditional cardio machine that can be used.