Archive | Cardio

Long Cardio Is A Killer And Increases Your Body Fat

Did you know that long steady cardio exercise, like running, has now been scientifically proven to be detrimental to your health? According to research by Dr. Al Sears all those long jogs can result in cardiac distress, a shrinking of the heart, a reduction in bone density (causing osteoporosis) and a general gain in fat once exercise ceases.

First, let’s look at the distress that long steady distance running puts on your heart. Evolving from our hunter gatherer days we had no real necessity to run long distances, in fact the only running we ever did was in short bursts to avoid predators or to catch food. Our body simply isn’t designed to run long distances and the stress you put your heart under during this time can set you up for a heart attack. It’s a fact that many marathon runners do die of heart attacks.

Second, this type of cardio reduces the size of our heart rather than strengthening and increasing its size. Our body is a fantastic machine capable of adapting to anything with time; if we run long distances our body adapts to be more efficient at this activity. Fat is the preferred energy source from our body and so the more you train long distance the more efficient the heart becomes at using less fat. To be more efficient the heart will shrink in size, just like the engine in a scooter is more efficient than a 4×4.

Third, repetitive forces that are put through your joints like the ankles, knees, hips and back not only create repetitive injury but also reduce the bone density. Strength training is the key to improving bone density, keep the exercises short and with plenty of resistance. This type of training forces the bones to grow stronger, remember the body is a master adapter, so that next time you perform your strength exercises your bones are more capable of dealing with the strain. Long steady cardio puts your bones under undue distress and causes them to prematurely break down.

Finally, losing fat is about becoming less efficient with your fat energy supply so you use up more and produce less. Long steady cardio does use more fat than any other type of training during the exercise itself. However, as the body uses a lot of fat as energy it then turns all further calories into fat ready for the next long cardio session. This is fine when you are training regularly because you are burning the fat during exercise but as soon as you stop that extra fat is going to keep on being produced. Back to square one! So long cardio sessions are not good for fat loss in the long term.

So what is the answer? You must start training your heart like any other muscle in your body and in a way that it was designed to be used – short bouts of quick exercise with high exertion. This type of activity is exactly what we evolved to do, think back to our hunter gatherer days. As I said earlier, our body is a master adapter and hard short bouts of exercise will induce an increase in heart strength and size. Also, as our body no longer requires the excess body fat to fuel our runs it will be used as energy for long term body maintenance. Combine this type of quick activity with some strength training and you are well on your way to better health and fitness.

For more information on how to perform this type of training you can contact me via my website or sign up for my newsletter.

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Best Cardio Workout For Quick Fat Loss – Mistakes You Should Avoid!

There are few disadvantages by following this method. I will show you my best cardio workouts at the end of the article, but first I’d like to correct some comprehension of cardio exercises routines.

In a long term, low to medium intensity

workouts with low nutrition may not be only ineffective, but also dangerous! For example imagine a people who is just a beginner, overweight and never stepped in the gym before, substantial amount of aerobic exercise could easily lead to a joint

and muscle injuries.

– High intensity workout! The best cardiovascular workout to burn more fat

High intensity cardio workout has confirmed to be the best method for quick fat loss. In the low-intensity workout, the body will quickly adapt to the workout, where your tempo will be stable and your body start to save energy.

In other words, you will burn less

calories and your metabolism will decrease. Another disadvantage, when you decrease the calorie intake substantially and start to follow a low-intensity workout routine, it could cause overtraining and your body turns to catabolic.

Some research has shown the 30-65% lower calorie consumption among with these people who follow a daily low-intensity workout! You will primarily burn the energy through the fat storage when following the low-intensity routine which burns fat, while the High

intensity workouts burn energy mostly from carbohydrate stores. The total calories you burn will be much greater with high intensity exercise. You can eat more and still you will burn more fat than you consume.

– How much cardiovascular exercise do I need to get ripped

Let’s say, 20 min a day helps you to keep your blood pressure low and avoid other health problems like high cholesterol and vascular disease, but if you want to lose fat effectively, I recommend to do at least 30 min of aerobic exercise 3-5 times

a week.

If you train more, there is a risk for overtraining and injuries. If you do a strength training in addition to cardio, three times per week should be enough. Or if you like, you can split your workouts. For example strength training in the morning

and short 30min cardio in the evening. That’s an ideal exercise routine, because it helps you to recover the trained muscles faster from the weight training in the morning and helps you to burn fat faster.

But if you are heavily overweight and you have a slower metabolism, then you should first make sure, how much calories you eat and how much exercises you will need to burn off more calories, so you will create a caloric deficit.

You should start out a little workout

at a time until your body start to receive the stress and adapt to the workout, you will then gradually increase the workload and increase the duration of workouts! Your metabolism will speed up and your body start to burn off more calories, now you should look back at your diet and

add more calories if necessary.

– Benefits of cardio and strength training

By ignoring the strength training from your weekly workout routine, it’s like leaving money on the table! Seriously, combining aerobic workouts with strength training allows you to maximize the fat loss. If you are searching the best routine for quick fat loss, then you should

definitely include the strength training workouts into the routine!

With aerobic exercise, you will burn fat during the workout, which will decrease immediately after you finish your workouts, while in strength training you will continue to burn calories after the workout.

This has been proven with EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption). EPOC represent the amount of energy, that body needs to normalize after the workout. That energy will be taken from fat storage, while the glucose in the blood will be used to fulfill the glycogen storages.

If we take a look at the EPOC value from aerobic workout, the research will show, that you will burn 9-30 calories after the 0,3-3 hours of workout. But if we look at the strength training, there could be even 4-7% boost in your metabolism for the next 24 hours after strength training.

For example, if you normally burn 2500 kcal, you will burn additional 100-170 calories per day!

Now you will understand the benefits of cardio and strength training. Every exercise, whether it’s strength training or cardiovascular, are effective for fat loss if the value is more or as much as 6 MET-units (Metabolic equivalents). 6 MET-units means that the body’s metabolism will gets

six times higher during the activity.

– Benefits of interval cardio

This is fragrantly the best workout method that boost your metabolism to the roof! Interval workouts differ a little bit from a regular aerobic. Each session will be shorter than in a regular routine and the results are often better.

A regular strength training combined with interval

cardio workout following a high intensity can result a extremely high EPOC values in a short time. This process can boost your metabolism even for two days after the workouts. This means, that you can achieve the multiple times of higher metabolic rate and burn more fat than by following the same amount of aerobic exercise.

If you are looking for best ways to perform interval cardio exercises, I would recommend to run outside preferably into the uphill. Another good methods to perform these exercises would be a rowing machine or swimming. An effective exercise for quick fat lose are those, where the most muscles are activated

at the same time during the cardio workout. The same rule will affects to a strength training.

– Example of the best cardio workout routine

-Warm up properly before the workout. If you are performing the workout outside, spend at least 5 minutes by jumping in a place with slow tempo and do a little stretching exercises for the legs and mid-section of the body.You will make sure, the blood will stream into the target muscles.

-Each interval will takes 3 minutes to perform.

-Increase the tempo as much as you can within the first 60 seconds. Your heart rate should be 90-95%/max after a minute. You should now feel a little pain in your muscles.

-Don’t go too hard in the first time. You should test your ability first and then adjust it to the appropriate stress.

-Now, within the next 2 minutes, decrease the intensity close to the normal level, so that your heart rate will decrease to the 60%/max.

-This was the example of one of my favourite interval.

-Repeat it 3-6 times

-At the end of the workout, do some light exercises with slow tempo like in the warm up for 5 minutes.

If this feel too much for you, you can split the 60 seconds in a half and do the same with 2 minutes, so each interval will be 1.5 minutes.

– Interval cardio workout routine

WEEK 1-4

3 intervals, 3 times a week (19min)

WEEK 5-8

4 intervals, 4 times a week (22min)

WEEK 9-12

5 intervals, 4 times a week (25min)

WEEK 13-16

6 intervals, 5 times a week (28min)

*Each intervals include warm-up/end-workout


Now you know, what is the best cardio workout routine for quick fat loss and the huge benefits of intensive cardio and strength training, you are now ready to take it into action.

I know, because it works for me and for many people regardless of the approach. The only thing what matters, is to make it suitable for you. If you are starter, start with a little and

then gradually increase the amount of stress, tempo, training days, training time. Do whatever you can to make it suitable for you only! It could takes no more than 2 weeks.

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Top Cardio Exercise Machines For Weight Loss

So your planning on purchasing a cardio exercise machine but not sure which one? Well there are a multitude of good cardio exercise machines out there, choosing one really depends on personal preference. Here are a list of the top cardio exercise machines for weight loss to help with your decision.

1. Treadmill

The treadmill is one of the more popular exercise machines out there. They can be set to different speeds and inclines to raise or lower your workout levels. The only down side is the impact on the knees can be slightly strenuous if you have knee problems. This is a must have machine if you have long winters, but if you live somewhere where its summer all year long, opt for the jog outside.

2. Stationary Bike

The stationary bike is another machine that i would recommend if you live somewhere where the winter months prevent you to actually go outside and enjoy a pleasant bike ride. The impact on the knees are not as bad as the treadmill, but if you really have bad knees then a Recumbent Stationary Bike would be preferable. These are a little less strenuous on the joints then the regular stationary bikes.

3. Elliptical Trainer

Last but definitely not least, my personal favorite, the Elliptical trainer. This cardio exercise machine provides a full body workout therefor burning more calories in less amount of time then most other machines. It also has low impact on your joints so even if you have troubling knees this machine wont leave you in pain.

So there you have the 3 top cardio exercise machines for weight loss. I personally have a treadmill for those winter months, start my morning with a half hour jog. Then do another half hour on the elliptical in the early evening. For me that is what works best, but everyone has a different comfort level. So for that reason, i usually recommend visiting a local fitness center and try out a few different machines and see which ones suit you best.

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20 Conditioning Exercises You Can Do at Home

Doing an effective whole body conditioning and weight loss workout can be done entirely at home without any fancy equipment. A couple of dumbbells is all you will need. (Even if you don’t have dumbbells there is usually something lying around the house that is heavy enough to substitute in for them)

Here is a list of 20 exercises you can do right in your own home for a great whole body conditioning and fat loss workout.


Group 1:

Bodyweight Squats

Bulgarian Split Squats


Prisoner Squat

Reverse Lunge

Step Ups

One Leg “Get Ups”

Group 2:

Push Ups

Push Up and Point

Mountain Climbers

Decline Push Ups

Push Ups/Stick Ups

Step Up and Press

Squat and Press

Group 3:


Side Plank

Curl and Press

One Arm Rows

Bird Dogs

One Leg Deadlifts

Pick one exercise from each group and do them all back to back for a mini circuit of 3 exercises. Do each exercise for a timed interval of 10 seconds for a total of 30 seconds per mini circuit.

As you get better at them work up to doing each exercise for 20 seconds for a total of 60 seconds per mini circuit.

Take 30-60 seconds rest between mini circuits.

For beginners do a total of 3 mini circuits to start. Working up to 4 or 5 as you get better at them.

Once you’re ready to move to the next level add a second mini circuit by choose 3 different exercises (one from each grouping). Do your second mini circuit with the same time of work to rest ratio as your fist.

If you feel you are already at an advanced level you can add one or two more mini circuits up to a total of 4 mini circuits. These 20 exercises are just an example of what is possible, there are dozens more that would work in this mini circuit style, you can incorporate any exercise that you like into these mini circuits. This style of workout is a great complete whole body conditioning and fat loss program you can do right at home in under 45 minutes. I encourage you to give it a try and see that you can get a great workout done right in your own living room.

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Soccer Fitness – No More Long Boring Cardio Runs

In this day and age soccer conditioning is very different from what it used to be many years ago. In the past players would run laps, go for 30 – 45 minute cardio runs to get into shape for the soccer season. That was fine then, but as time goes on training changes and performance changes.

Youth soccer coaches who keep up to date with current soccer fitness training strategies avoid sending their players out for those boring cardio runs. Instead they develop practices that are up tempo and at game pace.

The two most common things we see in soccer games are sprints and sprints with recovery. This occurs at all ages regardless if they 8 or 18 male of female.

If you send your players out for a 30-45 minute conditioning run, this will only lead to slowness, weakness and injury. Unfortunately I have been on the treating end of players with these conditions because of misinformed coaches or parents.

How many soccer players do you know suffer from Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, and knee pain on and off the soccer pitch? How many of your players continue to pull their hamstrings and quadriceps muscles? If this is happening a lot you may wish to look at the training you are doing with them.

So how do we correct these problems or prevent them from happening in the first place?

Train your players the way the game is played. Soccer is played with interval sprints and recovery. The soccer player sprints for 10-20 yards receives the ball and then either passes off or carries and then passes it off. The soccer player needs to be in good condition to do all of this. Since pace of the game continuously changes, so should the training at practice.

Interval type training and sprints is more effective for soccer fitness for several reasons:

1) soccer is a game of burst of energy with recovery

2) this training prepares the muscular system for games

3) this training prepares the nervous system for games

4) this training prepares the energy systems for games

5) this training prepares the mind for the grind

As compared to the steady state cardio training this type of training prepares players for game pace and tempo. It is a more specific type of training. Not only that players need to have the strength to train with sprints and interval work. Any soccer player can go out and complete a 25 minute jog.

If you look at the body mechanics of a jog there is little range of motion occurring at the hip, knee and ankle joints. This only occurs if a sprint is included in the jog. On the other hand, sprints and interval training can be done by changing the type of movement that occurs.

Soccer fitness includes stops, starts, change of direction, side shuffles, forward and backward movements. These movements are similar to the actions on the soccer field and prepare the body for game time.

In conclusion, the days of sending soccer players out for boring cardio runs is over. The more effective way for training these athletes is through sprints and interval runs.

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Lose Chest Fat – The Best Cardio Routines to Burn Chest Fat

One of the most important muscle groups in the male body are the chest muscles, also known as the pectoral muscles. The truth is that the pectoral muscles are one of the most appealing muscle groups in the eyes of women. That’s why men with excessive pecs fat, also called man boobs, are anxious to lose their chest fat.

There are some specific treatment options in order to totally eliminate excessive pectoral fat, chest fat burning pills and plastic surgery being the 2 most common, but you can reduce the amount of excess chest fat you have by doing the right kind of aerobic routines.

Here is a list, in order of effectiveness, of aerobic routines that can reduce your excess pecotral fat:

1. Swimming – The breast stroke is especially effective because it works the chest muscles as well as providing a great cardio workout. Now, I know that some men with excessive chest fat have a hard time taking their shirt off in a public pool, but if you can look past that and do some swimming, it can burn off some of your chest fat.

2. Running – running is a great all body cardio workout. When you run your entire body is moving and all the muscles group are taking an active part. Your chest muscles are working as well

3. Walking – Walking is a less effective form of aerobic workout than running but as long as you swing your arms, your chest muscles are working as well.

4. Elliptical – If you’re hands aren’t moving this isn’t a very effective burning chest fat aerobic routine, but if you make sure to swing your arms continuously, your chest muscles are sharing some of the effort.

5. Rowing – rowing is a massive aerobic routine but it mainly works the back muscles, not the pectorals, so it doesn’t provide an added value apart from being a great cardio workout.

6. Outdoor bicycle riding – when you’re riding a bike you’re burning a lot of overall body fat, but your chest muscles aren’t working that much, so it provides little added value.

7. Gym bicycle riding – This is the least effective workout to lose chest fat because you’re sitting down, usually leaning back, and your chest muscles are totally relaxed. Spinning is much more effective because it involves a little resistance routine.

All these cardio routines can help you reduce your pectoral fat. Swimming is the most effective while gym bicycles are the least.

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Highly Effective Cardio at Home Workouts Without Equipment

Maintaining a healthy heart, increasing strength, flexibility and endurance are all benefits to be gained from a cardio at home workout. A successful cardio workout is extremely important in an effort to lead a long, healthy and productive life. Often the expense and time necessary to obtain an excellent cardio workout are preventative. Continuing the workout can be problematic as well. A gym membership or in home equipment can be too expensive. The success of a walking or running workout can be hindered by changes in weather or living in a area that is extremely hot, cold or rainy.  Each of these factors can impact the chances of exercising regularly and it becomes too convenient to decide against a cardio workout. What begins as a healthy life goal often ends as a project we began and did not complete. So, what is the solution?

As a personal trainer with countless requests from my clients for a cardio workout that could be done at home, it became my goal to provide a highly effective and inexpensive cardio at home workout that would keep my clients challenged and fit and that would provide the highest quality cardio work out possible. After many hours of research, I discovered an at home cardio workout that did not require expensive equipment, a gym membership, or a running or walking routine.  I discovered a cardio workout that burns off pounds of body fat that can be done at home without any equipment, and that can be done in much less time than traditional cardio workouts.

The method is bodyweight cardio. The bodyweight cardio circuits consist of different bodyweight exercises performed one after the other with no breaks until the end of each circuit.

Here is an example:

-Bodyweight Squats x 20

-Push ups x 15

-Inverted Rows x 15

-Explosive Lunges x 10 each leg

-Inch Worms x 5

-Jumping Jacks x 60


-Always check first with a physician to determine if any health problems exist that could prevent aerobic exercising.

-As with all exercise routines, gradually increase the level of activity and repetitions.

-Do not become discouraged. Daily exercise increases endurance and as strength is increased more can be accomplished.

-Complete each exercise, do not break, rest for one two minutes and then repeat the circuit 2-4 more times.

-Switch the order of the exercises to prevent exercise burn out.


-Set a timer for 15 minutes and complete that circuit as many times as possible within that time frame.

-The next time you exercise attempt to increase the number of circuits completed.

This exercise routine will provide you with an intensive and extremely effective at home cardio workout. The benefits of a healthy heart, increased flexibility, muscle strength, fat burning and endurance are all included with no hidden fee, no gym membership, and no purchase of a treadmill or walking miles in potentially dangerous locations at inconvenient times. Get started today to enjoy all the benefits of an at home cardio workout.

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Best Cardio Exercises to Lose Belly Fat

If you want to get flat and sexy abs the only way is to shed off the excess fat that’s covering the muscles beneath. It doesn’t really matter how strong your abdomen is, as long as it’s covered by fat, it will never show.

We all know that one of the best ways to burn stomach fat is to engage in rigorous cardivascular exercises. So, what are the best cardio exercises to lose belly fat?

In this article, I want to share some thoughts on how you can actually create a cardio workout without doing traditional cardio.

For instance, you can achieve a massive cardiovascular stimulation by doing circuit workouts. Circuit training is a workout in which you mostly do strength exercises, but during the resting time between sets, you do some form of cardio workout like jumping rope, sprinting on a treadmill, and so on.

When you’re doing circuit training, you’re basically pushing your body much harder than any other workout. You’re getting a cardio workout and a strength workout at the same time, a powerful fat burning combination.

Another way you can do powerful, non traditional cardio exercises to lose belly fat is to do supersets. This technique also involves not resting between sets. I’m talking about upper body — lower body supersets. With this technique, you do one set of an upper body exercise such as push-ups and immediately move to a lower body exercise such as a squat. You continue with another upper body exercise like the biceps curl and another lower body one such as the lunge.

By doing this kind of superset, you’re once again pushing your body to its limits (which is why I recommend consulting your trainer before you do this) which creates a cardio stimulation which can burn a lot of body fat.

Naturally, you can and should do more traditional cardio exercises to burn belly fat. The key is intensity. Without intensity, your workouts will be close to nothing, the effect will be minuscule and you will not get the results that you seek.

I recommend sticking to the more rigorous workouts such as running, rowing, kickboxing, and to avoid the less rigorous cardio such as the elliptical machine and the stationary bike. You want to burn off the most fat possible in as short a time as possible, so the intensity of your workout is key. It’s just easier to get a high level of intensity in more rigorous workouts.

There are a number of ways to do powerful cardio workouts. I like how you can use strength training to get a cardio stimulation and also the more rigorous traditional workouts.

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Vary Your Cardio Workout Routines

When you are thinking of cardio routines, you might think that it is to do with any continuous form of exercise to build endurance and stamina. Many of us restrict this to just the usual jog in a nearby park or on a treadmill at your nearest fitness centre. And many think that this is the only way you can build your stamina. Often, many give up jogging after a while because it is such a monotonous routine. The reality is that cardio workout routines can be done in various different ways to add excitement and variability to the “traditional” cardio workouts.

Most athletes have a cardio component to their training. Traditional cardio training focuses on consistent daily jogs each lasting at least 30 minutes to build stamina. Eventually people will get tired of this as I’ve mentioned earlier. A simple way to make your training more interesting is to go for short bursts of speed say 15-30 secs and then followed by slow jogs or vice versa. Try imagining that you are running around a track or circuit. Alternate between endurance-type jogs and sprinting adds variability to your cardio training routines. Steady state endurance training only trains the heart at a specific heart rate range and does not train it to respond to varying intensity of exercises.

There are many forms of exercise which focuses on variable intensity cardio workout routines. Team sports like basketball, football, volleyball, soccer all involve some form of “start and stop” exercise routines which most certainly need a fit athlete that requires a high amount of endurance in this type of sports. If you are the kind who enjoys playing team sports, it most certainly requires a different kind of training and obviously a traditional cardio workout will not fully benefit you. Try running at a consistent pace for 1 minute versus short bursts of speed alternating with a short consistent running pace and you will notice the latter is more tiring.

If team sports is not your thing, other variable intensity cardio workouts include mountain biking or bicycling. Riding a bike up a hill and down a hill going through different terrains does require a variable intensity routine. And the beauty about doing this is that it is not monotonous, you get to enjoy the surroundings and the different landscapes. You don’t necessary need to focus solely on your training. Try imagining that you are like Lance Armstrong. If you were to be an athlete like him, what kind of training would he require and the different parts of the world he visits for his competition!

To summarize, cardio training can be exciting if you choose so. Use your creativity to boost your endurance in different ways. Restricting it to the traditional 30 minute jog 5 times a week at a constant pace makes things boring and limited. Try the variable intensity routines and you will begin to adapt more to different sorts of stresses during exercise as well as in competitive sports.

Good Luck!

Bryan Wong YH

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The Shocking Truth About Cardio!

For decades we’ve been encouraged to add up to one hour of cardio per day to our already busy schedules. However, not only is this recommendation unrealistic for most people, it’s completely unnecessary and can be downright unhealthy!

Conventional cardio does NOT strengthen our heart and lungs as we’ve been led to believe – it actually does the OPPOSITE. (especially when done to excess)

Here’s why…

Long duration steady state cardio forces your body to adapt by gradually rebuilding our heart, lungs, blood vessels and muscles as small as possible. The end result of this “downsizing” is that we’re robbed of vital reserve capacity.

What is “Reserve Capacity?”

Reserve capacity is the ability of your heart and lungs to withstand a sudden increase in cardiac demand. In real life there are and there will be circumstances that put our bodies under stress and require our heart and lungs to be up the task. Heart attacks don’t occur because of a lack of endurance, they occur when there is a sudden increase in demand that exceeds your heart’s capacity.

And here’s the problem…

Conventional steady state cardio does NOT build reserve capacity! Exercising for long periods might make your heart more adept at handling a 60 minute jog, but it’s at the expense of providing you with cardiac output when you really need it.

More readily available cardiac output is what we REALLY need. So when we push for greater and greater endurance using long duration steady state cardio, it actually produces the opposite to what we really require in the modern world..

But there’s even more BAD NEWS…

A ground-breaking study of long distance runners showed that after these workouts, blood levels and oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides is markedly increased. It was also discovered that prolonged running disrupts the balance of blood thinners and thickeners, elevating inflammatory factors and clotting levels, both signs of heart distress.

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism also found that long distance runners had reduced bone mass and an increased risk of osteoporosis.

Moreover, extended rigorous exercise increases cardiac risk seven-fold.

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that long distance runners had reduced bone mass and an increased risk of osteoporosis.

Conventional long duration cardio can even make you age faster…

If you’ve made the observation that a large number of endurance athletes have more wrinkles and age faster than most, it’s no coincidence…

That’s because long cardio sessions produce huge quantities of free radicals. Unless these free radicals are mopped up by antioxidants in our diet our immune system can be compromised and make us more susceptible to colds, flus, illness and even degenerative disease. Therefore endurance athletes and heavy exercisers need to pay extra special attention to their nutrition as they require a higher antioxidant intake than the average person.

Conventional cardio reduces your anti aging hormones.

Human growth hormone (HGH) is associated with longevity, increased bone density, accelerated fat loss and maintenance of lean muscle, all of which become especially important as we age.

However HGH is only released when we engage our fast twitch muscle fibers. Unfortunately traditional cardio does not involve the use of our fast twitch muscle fibers, therefore we’re missing out on the tremendous anti aging properties of this youth hormone.

“What about burning body fat? I thought low intensity cardio and working out in the fat burning zone was the answer?”

The myth of the fat burning zone has been around for a while. While it’s true that a greater percentage of fat is burned when working out at a lower intensity, it’s the total calories burned that really matters.

For example, it’s been proven that short duration, high intensity interval workouts burn significantly more calories AFTER the workout has been completed… up to 9 times more to be precise!

In other words, each calorie that you burn from interval training burns up to 9 times more body fat than a calorie burned during steady pace exercise. Therefore, interval training has MAJOR fat burning potential.

Long duration, low intensity cardio training produces high concentrations of a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol promotes excessive muscle tissue breakdown and a lowered basal metabolic rate (the rate at which you burn calories.) This is why, over time, long duration steady state cardio can actually make you FATTER.

The Solution? Interval training…

Interval training has been demonstrated as one of the most efficient means of improving fitness, losing body fat and increasing reserve capacity – and WITHOUT the detrimental health effects listed above.

In regards to fitness, one study in particular (Tabata studies 1996) compared 2 groups of exercisers. In Tabata’s study, one group did a full 60 minutes of low to moderate intensity exercise 5 days per week. Group two also trained 5 days a week except that this group performed eight 20-second sprints of high-intensity cycling with 10-second rests in between. This was preceded by a warm up and followed by a warm down. Total exercise time? Only Just 4 minutes.

The results were extraordinary. Tabata found that athletes on the high-intensity interval training program increased their fitness levels much faster than athletes on a typical endurance training regime, all this despite the VAST difference in the amount of time each group spent working out.

Participants in the studies who did the 4 minute workouts not only increased their ability to do anaerobic exercise (the type of exercise that features bursts of high intensity) but also their aerobic capacity (typically performed at a steady pace with the idea of developing endurance.) Whereas group 1 showed no anaerobic fitness increase and a 10% increase in aerobic fitness, group 2 showed a 28% and 14% increase respectively… and all with only 4 minute workouts.

Unbelievable but TRUE!

Granted, the intervals used in the Tabata studies are too intense for the majority of fitness enthusiasts, which is why Body Blueprint Personal Training has designed specialized 12 -20 interval workouts.

Some final words about conventional cardio

In light of the information presented, can we really say that the human body is designed to cope with the demands of repeated, long distance cardio training, or could it be that we need to emulate the exercise patterns of our hunter gatherer ancestors?”

Based on numerous studies citing the detrimental effects of conventional long duration cardio on the human body in terms wear and tear, loss of muscle tissue, decline in heart and lung reserve capacity and more, the answer is definitely the latter.

Of course if you’re new to exercise moderate steady state cardio is the best way to build a base level of fitness. (For example, 30 minutes 4 or 5 times per week as recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine)

However don’t fall for the belief that more cardio is better. When given the choice choose quality over quantity every time.


Incorporate interval training into your fitness program and start reaping the enormous health benefits TODAY!

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