Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Best Cardio for Fat Loss

By Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Author, Turbulence Training

Every day I receive an email or Facebook message asking me for the best cardio program for fat loss.

The answer is a bit complex, so I'm going to cover it all in this one article.

Now a lot of people make a big mistake with cardio, thinking that they can eat whatever they want and then just "hit the gym extra hard on Monday to burn this off."

I find it ridiculous...because first, it's not healthy thinking, and second, it is not accurate thinking.

Seriously, let's look at this for a second.

Take a look at the meal I had recently at my friend Vince Del Monte's wedding.

It began with the post-ceremony celebratory drink, right through to the anti-pasta buffet, followed by the main dinner (I had eggplant parmigiana), and then dessert, PLUS the late night sweets spread (the Del Montes know how to host a party!) would EASILY result in over 2400 calories.

And how long would it take you to burn that many calories doing your average cardio workout?

You'd need to do cardio for just a little less time than it would take you to run a marathon.

So 3 hours for the fittest TT readers, 4-5 hours for the average TT reader, and more than 6-8 hours for beginner TT readers.

Does that sound like a "regular cardio session" to you?

Heck no!

So FORGET the "I'm going to burn off this big meal with cardio" mentality.

It's WRONG thinking.

Plus, as I've mentioned time and time again, research shows that regular cardio doesn't really help with fat loss.

1) One study showed interval training was better than cardio at burning belly fat (and cut the workout time in half).

2) A second study found that 300 hours of cardio per year helped men lose only 6 pounds (and women lost only 4 pounds). So that's about 50 hours of cardio per pound of weight lost - at BEST!

(Obesity 15:1496-1512 (2007). Exercise Effect on Weight and Body Fat in Men and Women. Anne McTiernan*, et al.)

3) A third study found SOME folks start eating MORE when they start a cardio program. These folks end up gaining weight on aerobics.

(Reference: International Journal of Obesity 32: 177-184, 2008).

So if long, slow, boring cardio doesn't work, what's left for to burn fat?

Well first, I will acknowledge that high-intensity cardio seems to work better. In one study, subjects who burned 400 calories doing high-intensity cardio ended up losing fat while subjects who did only low-intensity cardio did not lose ANY fat at all!

(Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2008 Oct 8. Effect of Exercise Training Intensity on Abdominal Visceral Fat and Body Composition.)

But the best way, the fastest way, and the most enjoyable way to burn fat is with interval training.

And soon I'll be revealing over 31 different interval training methods for fat loss. And it won't just be sprinting on a treadmill for 1 minute straight. Trust me, there are a lot of unique ways to burn fat with interval training.

In the meantime, FORGET about slow, boring cardio. It is a generally a big waste of time for fat loss. Sure, it's good for running marathons, but not for busy people who only have 2-3 hours per week to burn fat.

More interval training secrets coming soon!

Stay strong,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Author, Turbulence Training

1 comment:

  1. Controlled diet really helps to burn fat...Its the most important thing that everyone must do...!!it keeps you healthy without fatty look..!! :) Burn Fat