Walk into any gym and you will see the herds of people mindlessly jogging on a treadmill or using the elliptical for an hour at a slow pace. Often times they will just zone out and watch TV not really paying attention to what they are doing. The ironic thing is that most of the people you see in the cardio section exercising like this almost always look bad. To be blunt they are usually fat or skinny fat.
The fit looking people are in the weight room. So should you skip cardio completely? Not necessarily. There are great ways to do cardio that won’t hinder your fat loss goals.
Take a marathon runner and a sprinter. Who has the more impressive physique? 100% of the time it will be the sprinter. So why is everyone training more like a marathon runner and not a sprinter?
Honest answer? High intensity exercise is tough. It’s a lot easier to hop on a hamster wheel and go at a slow pace for 45 minutes. On top of this, most people think that jogging is the best way to lose fat. They don’t know any better.
Enter high intensity interval training.
HIIT involves bursts of intense all out exercise followed by low intense exercise. This is repeated for a set number of times. Here are two basic ways you can approach this type of training.
Tabata’s are very short but insanely intense. How short? They only last 4 minutes in total. Do you have 4 minutes to spare?
What you are going to do is go all out for 20 seconds and then go at low intensity for 10 seconds. Repeat 8 rounds of this. This might sound easy but it isn’t.
While doing 1 full Tabata can be good, try doing multiple ones to get a total body workout. For example
- Push Ups
- Bike Sprints
This will take you about 16-20 minutes in total.
I personally like doing reverse tabatas. What you are going to do is go all out for 10 seconds and then at a low intensity for 20 seconds. Instead of 8 rounds go for 16-20.
There are a lot of different exercises you can use with HIIT. However, my favorite is bike sprints. I’ve found that normal sprinting can sometimes lead to injuries. Bike sprints you can really push it hard without breaking form. Besides using the exercise bike, here are some other options;
- Kettlebell Swings
- Push Ups
- Mountain Climbers
- Rowing Machine
- Step Ups
Not only his HIIT more effective than jogging but it also takes a lot less time. So give it a try. These workouts are intense but will give you some awesome results.