June 8, 2011

Is Cardio Making You Fat?

Is Cardio Making You Fat?

What kind of cardio are you doing? If you’re doing long, slow, low intensity cardio, then you’re going to burn calories WHILE you’re exercising.


But is this most effective fat burning cardio you can do? The kind where you barely break a sweat?

For the time and energy you invest, is there a more effective way?


Is it possible to burn calories even AFTER your exercise session is over? (As well as burning calories DURING exercise?)


Of course! If you’re ever heard of HIIT, or high intensity interval training, then this is your solution.


With HIIT your workout time is literally cut in half and you’ll burn more calories during your workout. As well, some studies have proven that you’ll continue to burn calories for up to 38 hours AFTER your HIIT workout with an elevated metabolic rate. This means that you could train on Monday morning and still be burning calories Tuesday night!

Sound too good to be true? What’s the catch?

The kicker is that for the short time invested in HIIT, you really need to push yourself and get a sweat on. It’s not called ‘high intensity’ for nothing.

There’s a variety of ways you can incorporate HIIT into your workout:




-stair running

-jumping jacks

-anything you can think of

And there are a number of ways you can set your work to rest sets up. For example:

-Do 20 seconds of HIGH INTENSITY work, and follow it with 10 seconds of rest.

-Do 30 sec of work with a 20 sec rest.

– Do 40 sec of work with a 20 sec rest.

-Do 15 sec of work with a 15 sec rest.

-Be creative, there’s no ONE way to do HIIT.

The key is to get the heart rate elevated and then let it slow down and repeat for up to 20 minutes.

How does interval training look in real life with real life athletes?

Take a look at sprinters…


Sprinters have events that are between 10-40 seconds in length, so their training reflects preparation for these events. They do short bursts of intense activity followed by short rests. Then they repeat this over and over again.


In other words…interval training (HIIT).

Take a look at sprinters. Do you see much body fat? They are some of the leanest athletes around with 4-6% of body fat. They have lean, sexy muscle and a stoked metabolism such that they can eat a ton to maintain their physiques.


Now, let’s look at marathon runners….

A marathon is a long event and these athletes train for hours at a much lower pace.


Is this the ‘look’ you’re after? Often marathon runners have some muscle, but it may not be what you had in mind…


It may not be the muscle tone you’re looking for as often is the case that marathon runners have a ‘skinny fat’ look.

Unless you were born to the right parents, that is, unless you have amazing genetics, you won’t get the body of your dreams with low intensity cardio.


In these pictures, what physique looks the most healthy?

Go figure, what physique is using HIIT?


What kind of cardio is the most time efficient method of burning fat?

How will you use your cardio time??

Check out my program for a ton of HIIT ideas.


Shawna Kaminski

Tags: , , ,

Filed under Blog by

Permalink Print Comment

Facebook comments: