Question: I need to step up my cardio to get ready for the beach season. What’s the best way to get this winter fat off of me? Should I increase my cardio time to an hour a day to burn more calories?
Answer: Eliminating fat by training longer or more frequently is not the only answer nor is it the best answer. Utilize your weight training to assist you in burning more fat by doing cardio after your weight training. It’s not just the calories you burn during the workouts. What makes the difference is how your metabolic rate responds from the intensity of your training. After you complete your training your body must repair tissue, restore glycogen levels, remove lactic acid from your muscles, etc. One of the most effective ways to change your base metabolic rate is to do your cardio after your weight training and the cardio should be high intensity cardio. This means using a step mill to climb or a treadmill on the maximum incline you can tolerate for 20 to 30 minutes. If you enjoy running you need to do sprint intervals instead of maintaining one intensity level throughout your exercise session.
On days that you don’t weight train, still do your cardio with intensity. Increase the time to 30 to 45 minutes though to still affect your post-exercise metabolic rate increase. Lower intensity exercise does not affect your post-exercise metabolism nearly as much. Longer sessions will still not change things as effectively as high intensity exercise. This is not to say that low intensity exercise will not help, it just will not help as effectively as high intensity cardio. Step up the intensity, keep your food clean, drink your water and get ready for summer.
God bless and keep training.,