When most think of cardio, they affiliate it with lengthy prolonged sessions of boredom. Most often people hate it. They cut their cardio sessions short or simply skip them all together. But, as previously mentioned in my earlier post, cardio is a must for pre contest bodybuilders or for any individual seeking to reach low levels of body fat.
So, what’s the alternative to lengthy prolonged sessions of boredom? CARDIO INTERVALS
Lose body fat, improve calorie after burn
Interval training is one of the most effective ways to lose body fat. These short bursts of high intensity demand a greater output and metabolically turbocharges your body even after your workout (after burn). The after burn can be explained by the amount of calories your body needs to burn in order to get your system to return to baseline… so in reality, the harder you work during your intervals, the longer it takes for your body to return to baseline, and the more calories you burn following your workout.
Time efficient, shorter workouts
Interval training allows you to shorten those lengthy prolonged sessions of cardio and get more done in less time. This allows you to see changes in body composition faster with less training time. Great for people with busy schedules, and for people who tend to get bored with their cardio.
Maintain muscle, the muscle anabolic fat loss
The real secret to fat loss is in your ability to build and preserve lean muscle mass. Muscle is metabolically active, it requires calories to maintain and build. Body fat is not metabolically active… So by preserving or increasing lean muscle mass, you’re therefore increasing your total daily caloric output.
Now, unfortunately, traditional steady state cardio for prolonged periods of time is catabolic (breaks down muscle)… totally the opposite of what’s wanted here!
Intervals, on the flip side, requires the body to utilize muscle to perform during those high intensity bouts and therefore triggers muscle protein synthesis. (muscle repair process)…
Here’s an example of cardio intervals I use with athletes and clients for fat loss
FAT BURNING INTERVAL
3 minutes warm up
2 minutes @ 55% -> (220-age)*0.55
3 minutes @ 80% -> (220-age)*0.8
**repeat for 4-6 intervals
3 minutes cool down
Drawbacks to intervals
- Not for beginners
- Can be mentally and physically demanding
- Can increase chances of burning out/over training
Trying to lose body fat? Trying to build muscle mass? Frustrated? Are your efforts just not yielding the results you’re looking for?
For one on one personal training, book your initial consultation with trainer and contest prep coach Joss Monette, visit https://wholetherapy.
janeapp.com/ and book your session online at Whole Therapy Lancaster Rd.