The Best Cardio Workout for Every Phase of Your Fatloss Plan
So there's a big debate going on between fitness experts about the best cardio workout to burn fat. So who should you believe?
The guys telling you that long duration cardio is better or the ones telling you that shorter higher intensity cardio rules, or the endurance athlete types who tell you that you need to just go run or bike for hours and hours a day to get lean.
The truth is there is no best cardio workout. All these approaches are effective and you need them at different stages of your fatloss plan. It's called progression or periodization and I'm going to break it down for you so you know when to do what type of cardio and workouts you can try.
The Best Cardio Workout to Boost Endurance - Long Duration Cardio Workouts
Long duration cardio workouts are typically between 40 and 90 minutes and can be running, walking, cardio machines, spinning or kickboxing class, rowing, or aerobics videos. Takes longer and is more steady state with some higher intensity intervals thrown in.
Some trainers will tell you this is never important but here's when it matters.
- If you haven't worked out for a LONG time due to sheer laziness and you have zero endurance. You get winded just going up a flight of stairs.
- If you just had major surgery, injury, an illness i.e. prostate cancer surgery, c-section, bronchitis, hip bursitis, just to name a few of the things my clients surprise me with from time to time.
- You are royally stressed out and fatigued because of work, family problems, law school, etc.
If you are experiencing any of the above then this is not the time to go all out and get crazy with hardcore intervals. Cut yourself a break and just go for the more moderate cardio (notice I didn't say easy). Try 40-45 minutes and break it down like this: 10 minute warm-up at moderate pace, 20-25 minutes working slightly harder, then 10 minute cool down at moderate pace.
Feel good that you are doing something to improve your endurance. Try it 3-4 times a week for a couple of weeks. Soon enough you'll be ready for intervals and you can start adding those in randomly during the 20-25 minutes when you're working harder to prepare your body for the very high intensity interval training cardio which you will need to do as soon as you become more fit.
Watch the video here to see how effective walking can be for endurance and weight loss.
The Best Cardio Workout to Increase Fatloss - High Intensity Interval Training
The research proves that this type of cardio can burn 9 times more fat than the long duration cardio but you have to do it correctly. Get started with my High Intensity Interval Training Workout Plan that gets results without plateaus.
The best time for this is any time you want to increase fat burning and calorie burning. If you've been on long duration for a while and intervals seem too tough then you can start gradually.
Try 2 high intensity cardio workouts per week along with 2 long duration cardio workouts per week. It will get easier and easier each week so be patient.
Learn more about High Intensity Interval Training.
Best Cardio Workout to Get Seriously Fit - Dynamic Plyometric Cardio
If you're already doing high intensity interval training and you want to blast even more calories and get super fit then plyometric cardio is exactly what your body needs. It's fast paced, dynamic, and demanding.
It can be adapted for people of all levels and can be combined with any of the other types of cardio on this page at any phase of your fatloss plan to increase endurance, boost fat burning, boost calorie burning, beat boredom, and challenge yourself.
Try my Plyometric Interval Training cardio workout.
The Best Cardio Workout to Challenge Your Body - Endurance Cardio
Going for a 60 mile bike ride that takes all morning or a 13 mile hike that takes 5-8 hours can burn 1000 calories or more and is a great way to challenge your body.
You can do it once a month or once a week but you do need to put your body through this type of serious endurance workout every so often for three reasons.
- To see if you're workouts are doing the job of keeping you fit.
- To keep it interesting, fun, and challenging.
- To achieve something more than just looking good in a bikini (yes we all need to stop being so shallow every now and then).
Put your workouts to the test and see if they're doing the job! It's challenging and also more fun than you can imagine. That's me hiking 9 miles to heart of rocks in the Chiricahua Mountains.
Get more workout tips and check out pics of my Endurance Cardio Adventures.