I see this every time I go to ANY gym. I figure that since I harp on this particular point so much, that everyone should have heard this message by now, but apparently not.
Many people are still stuck doing long duration, low-intensity cardiovascular workouts.
Here’s the deal: If you’re looking to achieve maximal benefit from the time you put into your workouts, long duration “slow” cardio is NOT the way to go, and for many reasons.
Here are just four of them:
1. Minimal Caloric Burn
Look, 45 minutes on the treadmill may burn a whopping 300 calories if you’re lucky -the equivalent of ONE TENTH of a pound of fat. Studies have shown that most cardio equipment actually OVER estimates your calories burned for those long workouts too, so if you’re looking for more BANG for your buck exercise, long cardio workouts are a poor choice.
This workout style is NOT a poor choice 🙂
2. Time Waster
Do you have hours to spend training? I didn’t think so. The number one objection to working out is ‘I don’t have time’. Of course you don’t have time if your workout takes an hour or more daily. In fact, research has shown that anything more than 90 minutes a week can be detrimental to your fitness and fat loss efforts.
In addition to getting over use injuries, the ‘belly fat storing’ hormone cortisol sky rockets with long workouts.
These workouts are SHORT and will not cause over use injuries or elevate cortisol.
3. No prolonged metabolic benefits
Did you know that with higher intensity exercise it’s possible to continue to burn calories for up to 48 hours post workout?
It’s true. But you know what else is true?
Long duration, low intensity cardio provides virtually NO prolonged elevation in metabolism. In fact, with slow-go cardio, metabolism returns to baseline almost IMMEDIATELY following the exercise session. You’ll burn calories while you’re exercising, but the REAL benefit of the right kind of exercise is the fitness benefits that you’ll enjoy long after you’re done.
Long slow cardio just won’t do it for you, but these workouts will burn calories LONG after you’ve stopped exercising.
4. Minimal fat loss
If you’re burning minimal calories during your workout and virtually no additional calories after your workout, if fat loss is your goal, then it will be difficult to achieve any results. The majority of folks ‘do cardio’ to get results, so what’s the point?
So if slow-go cardio isn’t a great solution, what is?
Don’t do the #1 WORST WORKOUT EVER ==> DO THIS INSTEAD
If you’re a treadmill lover, instead of doing long slow cardio, try this treadmill workout instead of your usual long plod on the dreadmill:
Upper Body BAM
Set your timer for 20 minutes, go through this set as many times as you can.
- 10 inverted rows (feet on frame) (do wall sit stick ups if this isn’t possible)
- 10 decline push ups (feet on frame)
- Forward run 1 min – somewhat hard exertion
- Forward run 1 min – step it up!
- Forward sprint 30 seconds – as fast as possible!
- Forward run 1 min – recovery
Repeat for 20 minutes
Here’s the inverted row:
Ditch the #1 WORST WORKOUT (EVER) and check out the workouts HERE instead.