Busting Through with Cardio

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Good Things Come To Those Who Sweat ~ Anonymous

Have you ever spent hours upon hours doing cardio in the gym?  What if I were to tell you if you did less cardio in a certain order, you could do half the amount and achieve twice the results?  Today, I will talk about how to train your body for maximum results from cardio.

Cardio is one of the biggest topics with my clients.  They ask me,  “Kim, what should I do for cardio, when should I do it, and how fast or slow should I go?  I feel like I‘m running on a hamster wheel going nowhere fast on my program.”  Well, they are right!  They usually are.  Most of the cardio people do keeps them stuck and will not help them achieve the result they are looking for.  Why?  Keep reading.

The best time to do cardio is in the morning, as soon as you wake up.  Cardio should be the first thing you do in the morning either before eating or directly after your weight workout.  Why?  Because your body is in a fasting state.  When you wake from sleep, understand your body’s been fasting for eight hours!  That is why they call it “break-fast” (breakfast)!  Because fasting is your body’s state when you awake.  When one performs cardio first thing in the morning before they eat anything (including coffee!), they will burn more fat, because they are in fat burning mode from fasting all night during their sleep.  When you do cardio at this time, you are burning straight fat.

When someone has eaten a meal,  it takes 20 minutes of cardio before one even starts to burn fat.  Why?  Because it takes 20 minutes of burning sugar to finally get to the fat storage and start burning that fat.  Therefore, when somebody is performing cardio at the gym it takes at least twice as long to see maximum results.  Now, if you don’t have the kind of time burn your sugar first, some cardio is better than no cardio.  I don’t want to get you discouraged.  However, if you want to see maximum results in half the time, you now know what to do.  Additionally, if someone does their cardio after their weighted workout, they have already burned all the sugar from lifting weights.  That would be a perfect time to perform cardio.

The best time to perform cardio is first thing in the morning when you wake up and/or right after your workout.

Now, we will discuss the type of cardio to do, which for me is Interval Cardio Training.  But first, I have a question for you.  Have you ever seen someone (let’s say a guy) in a spin class?  After the spin class, he takes a shower, puts on his new clothes and walks out of the bathroom still sweating?  This is called EPOC (Exercise Post Oxygen Consumption).  It is a fancy way of saying this guy will burn extra fat for 24 to 48 hours after his workout.

Yes, steady state cardio is better than no cardio.  However, if you were to do just steady state cardio, you would stop burning fat directly after your session.  To catapult your success, interval cardio training is a wonderful method.  It will help you burn fat for a longer period of time.

Here is an example of Interval Cardio Training:

  • Warm-up for 2 1/2 to five minutes
  • Perform 1 to 2 minutes of intense cardio
  • Slow down and perform moderate cardio for 3 to 4 minutes
  • Perform these five rounds for a total of 25 minutes
  • Cool down for two minutes.

The duration of this cardio should take a total of 30 minutes.  When one performs at this intensity, it allows you to maximize your cardio for short bursts, but then also rest. 

So there you have it.  A beautiful cardio routine that will help get your rocket ship to the moon.  In our next lesson, we will discuss what to do if you are already doing everything right in your exercise program and yet you are still not seeing results.  Why?  Because hormones may be playing a part in keeping you stuck.  Stay tuned!