Let’s face it. People love to waste time. I bet that if you ask a random sampling of everyday people how much time they actually waste, the stats would be mind blowing. If it’s the business owner who mindlessly plays video games when he should be working on his business (What??? You think that’s me?) or the student who watches another episode of Jersey Shore, we have a natural tendency to either procrastinate or attempt to take the easy way out which ends up costing us even more time.
How many of you jump on your favorite treadmill and spend 45 minutes to an hour or longer thinking you are doing your “cardio” work? How many of you mindlessly watch TV while on your treadmill and not focus on what you are trying to accomplish? I am going to guess that 90% of you do one or the other.
Cardiovascular training (or aerobic training), in scientific terms, is achieved through the utilization of the oxygen pathway. In order for your muscles to contract, your muscles’ cells must produce adenosine triphosphate, or ATP. Your muscle cells only produce a limited amount of ATP. ATP must continuously be resynthesized in order for the muscles to keep working. In order to continue aerobic conditioning, the lactic acid that is produced by muscle contraction will combine with oxygen to resynthesize ATP to sustain aerobic exercise.
Fascinating isn’t it?
Of course there are many benefits of cardiovascular training. You strengthen the heart to be more efficient in pumping oxygen-enriched red blood cells throughout your body (it takes less beats to actually pump blood through the heart and body), your lungs become more efficient by increasing your VO2 max (which is the maximum capacity of an individual’s body to transport and utilize oxygen during incremental exercise) and it improves your metabolism which may lead to weight loss.
Whoa….put on the brakes. Did he just say weight loss? Yes, yes I did.
However, here is the caveat. Slow, boring endless cardio work will not increase your metabolism and help you lose weight. That’s right.
Walk into any gym and you will see people plodding along on the treadmills, ellipticals and god forbid…. recumbent bikes. There they are, watching the big screen TV in front of them, barely moving their legs and arms to make the machine go. Believe me, their heart rate isn’t going anywhere and they will probably not be out of breath. An hour later they think they just got the best cardio workout ever because they mistakenly think that the more time they spend on the cardio machine, the better.
Think these people lose weight? Hardly. Unless you are very overweight. Then any type of movement will help.
What if I told you you could get the most efficient, metabolism-increasing, mind-blowing cardio workout ever in 20-25 minutes? Well there is a type of training that accomplishes all this and it is called Interval Training.
Interval training has been scientifically proven to lead to weight loss over the endless cardio that most people practice. How much can you get done in the 30-35 minutes that you will save each day? What would you do with your time (don’t say watch more TV)?
Interval training is not easy. As a matter of fact, it’s very intense.
However, wouldn’t you want to get the greatest benefit for your cardio buck in the shortest amount of time?
Interval training can be described as short bursts of high-intensity work followed by short “rest” periods at a moderate pace. For instance, you would jump on your favorite treadmill, do a short warm-up, go all out (and I mean all out–this isn’t play time) for a period of time. Then you would decrease your speed for a period of time. You would repeat the this cycle for the next 20-25 minutes. Finally, you would slow down and do a couple of minutes of cooling down and you’re off the machine and heading home to be with your family.
And the beauty of interval training is you don’t even need a fancy piece of cardio equipment! You could do intervals outside by walking fast and then walking slower. Or sprinting and then jogging!
If you want to incinerate calories, increase the functions of your heart and lungs and save time, I suggest you look into interval training. Or obviously shoot me an email. It’s time to get rid of mindless cardio once and for all!
And make sure you leave a comment below! What have you been doing for cardio for your fat loss goals?