Sunday, December 23, 2007

Cardio Intervals for Improved Fat Loss

Are you still doing long bouts of aerobic exercise for the purpose of losing weight? Many of the experts in the field have moved away from using this type of exercise with their weight loss clients. Alwyn Cosgrove has said, “aerobic training for fat loss is the most overrated and overemphasized method in use today. It's completely outdated as a fat loss modality.”

So, what should you do instead? Interval training. After a warmup, increase the intensity to a level that’s higher than what you normally do. As you get acclimated to this method of training, you want the hard part of the interval to rank about 8 or 9 on a scale of 1 to 10. Maintain that level for 1 minute and then lower the intensity to about 3 out of 10 and recover for 1 minute. If after a minute, you don’t feel prepared to increase the intensity again, simply extend your recovery time. You can do 60 seconds hard paired with 60, 90 or 120 seconds recovery. As you progress, you can increase your intensity even more and perform 30 seconds hard and then recover. Personally, I found that 30 seconds easy is not long enough for adequate recovery at that intensity so I use a 60 or 90 second recovery time on those. Listen to your body.

There are no magic intervals lengths; I simply chose those above because they are easier to keep track of when using equipment. One interval consists of the intense portion and the recovery time. Try this at your next workout: warmup, perform 4 or 5 intervals, then cooldown. If you are going to do this type of workout on a day when you strength train, always do it after your lifting. Change interval times and equipment regularly. Work up to 6 intervals total per session and do not do more than 3 (4, if you're an advanced exerciser) interval workouts per week.


No comments: