Many of our clients and those who do our programs come to us and ask why they aren’t seeing progress. When discussing progress, it is important to ask a few questions about your routine.
Most workout routines have a few specific elements: stretching/warm-up, cardio, resistance training (weight training), and cool down. When discussing a workout, many don’t take time to think about the makeup of their training but go haphazardly into a gym session.
We’ve talked to so many who may not be familiar with the best routine, and we wanted to educate our community on cardio. We want to make sure you know how to follow a routine that will produce the best results in the most efficient way possible.
Concerning a workout routine, you should follow this sequence: stretching, light warmup (no more than 10 minutes), weight training, and then cardio/HIIT, post-workout stretching. You should never be doing your cardio before your weight training. Period.
Running is without question the worst form of activity for burning body fat or obtaining new muscle. During this type of cardio the heart rate goes above the fat burning zone. Instead, it targets the body’s most premium source of usable fuel–muscle. This is why people who choose to run as a primary source of cardio may look ‘healthy’ with their clothes on, but if given a body fat analysis test they usually test well above what is considered healthy. Their bodies are using the muscle because it burns so efficiently when the body experiences the stresses that running causes.
Interval Sprinting is the most beneficial for fat burning and time usage. Because the intervals cause the heart rate to go up and through the fat burning zone, then back down. This continued pattern forces the body to use fat quickly but never takes from your muscle. With interval sprinting, your heart rate doesn’t stay elevated as long. We recommend two minutes of high intensity, followed by two minutes of slow intensity. You can follow this for about 20 to 25 minutes.
If you’re really looking to lose fat consistently with low impact, then incline treadmill walking or stairmaster (good form is key) are amazing for fat loss. With these forms of cardio, the body stays in a fat burning range the entire session. This type may even seem too easy but prevents the body from recruiting from muscle with the movement not being too taxing. This type usually takes the longest per session and the user needs 30+ minutes minimum for effective fat loss.
Cardio done as soon as you wake or within 60 minutes of waking up (fasted state) always will cause fat loss and is very effective in burning a lot of fat in a little time (20-30 minutes) per session at most. Note: This may cause significant cravings and lulls in energy during the day.
Don’t jog ever (if you’re looking to lose fat/gain muscle) unless you are being chased by a rabid dog.
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