If you’re still doing cardio to get lean and get rid of you belly, I want to save you the trouble and provide an alternate approach so stick with me.
First I need to beat up on steady state cardio just a little to remind you why you shouldn’t do it.
Steady state cardio – you know running, jogging or just plodding along on a treadmill watching re-runs of ‘The Price is Right’ or other mind numbing sit-coms, will not get you the body of your dreams.
If looking better naked is your goal, low intensity cardio won’t get you there, unless ‘skinny fat’ is what you’re after. Sure, you might lose some weight, but you’ll just end up as a smaller, still-with-belly-fat version of your former fat self. A harsh reality, I’m sorry – but I want you to get results instead of just getting frustrated and giving up on exercise all together.
You see, steady state cardio doesn’t burn fat the way you’ve been fooled into thinking. It can actually burn more muscle than fat and muscle loss is the LAST thing you want your workouts to do. Muscle is metabolically active tissue and its muscle that helps to burn calories so you can keep off those extra pounds. If you have more muscle on your bones, you’ll simply burn more calories day in and day out, even as you sleep.
Yes, even at rest, you’ll be burning more calories when you have more muscle tone. Add to the fact that its muscle that puts the sexy in your jeans and it should be apparent that we all need to add some muscle tone to our frame.
The number one priority when attempting to lose fat then should be to keep the muscle you have and even build a little more. Losing muscle will make it harder to look good naked. With less muscle, it’s also harder to lose the fat that makes you look like a melted candle or the Pillsbury Dough boy (or girl).
Steady state cardio will likely just leave you frustrated with lack lustre results.
Now, maybe you’ve heard that steady state cardio burns more fat as an energy source than higher intensity cardio? Well, let me clear that one up and explain why, even though this may be partially true, that steady state cardio is still not your best fat loss exercise…
You see, your body will use a greater percentage of fat as an energy source when doing low intensity cardio exercise for extended periods, but the fact is, your body will burn more total calories when you do higher intensity exercise. In the end, you’re looking to burn more total calories to have an elevated metabolism. That way, you’ll actually continue to burn more calories even after you’re done exercising.
I mean, wouldn’t you like to continue to be burning calories while you hit the shower and drive to work after your workout? Studies show that there’s a little something called “EPOC” or post excess post exercise oxygen consumption that occurs with high intensity workouts. You can have an elevated metabolism for up to 36 hours AFTER your workout if you play your cards right.
So what kind of workout will elicit EPOC or this sort of elevated metabolism?
Your best type of cardio is burst training or you may have heard it called HIIT (high intensity interval training).
I’ll do you one better though…since it’s the muscle on our bones that makes for sexy curves and functionality, combining burst cardio training with resistance training is the holy grail of oh-my-gosh-flat-belly-sexy.
So, it’s best to ditch the steady state cardio, the running, the jogging and do some burst training that will make you a hot mess in no time flat. One of my favorite tools to do that is to use the unsung jump rope.
Take a look at the video below to see how I’ve replaced running with a jump rope and simple bodyweight resistance training moves to come up with an effective fat burning workout that you can do in your living room.
You’re more likely to train with intensity when your workout is short and you’re not bored out of your skull…In the workout below, I mix up strength training and HIIT bursts in just the right combination to keep your heart pounding and your muscles burning.
And you’ll have a lot of fun while you’re at it so you’re more likely to continue to workout if you’re enjoying yourself.
Check out Challenge Jump Rope for more super fun workouts like the one in the video.