Forget the Old Rules of Cardio

15 May


The long time recommendation to do long sessions of steady state cardiovascular exercise is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Many ask how can it not be considered healthy when it has been for so long. We are not saying it’s not healthy because doing something is better than nothing. However, when you get down to the actual science of it, it has been shown to not be the most beneficial way to exercise. When it comes to cardio, we like the old saying out with the old and in the new! Use these three ideas to start benefitting quicker and more significantly from your workouts!

 1) Substitute Your Regular Cardio Sessions with Metabolic Conditioning

You will burn more fat, enhance your fitness level, maintain your muscle, and finally get the results you desire when you start doing these workouts instead of long cardio ones.  As former collegiate long-distance runners, we are here to say that you can even become a better runner by doing less cardio and more metabolic conditioning. For the last several years, anytime we wanted to prepare for a 10k, Half-marathon, Marathon (not for health benefits but because we love to run), we would do one long run a week with the other four to five days being intense interval workouts. How have we done? The same, if not better. Being in our mid-thirties, we can run faster and stronger than we ever did in high school or college and we feel like we are in the best shape of our lives.

Think for a minute about how different a sprinter looks from a marathon runner. Sprinters don’t get their physiques from doing slow, boring cardio, which is just one example, that cardio doesn’t work for getting in shape fast.


2) Start Doing Your Workouts With Your Bodyweight

Instead of just getting on a treadmill or elliptical at the gym, get on the floor and use your body weight to get your metabolic burn on. Interval training using just your bodyweight will leave you sweating and out of breath more than you ever would on a cardio machine. Hence, training using just your bodyweight is more effective than long, slow, excruciatingly boring cardio machine exercise.

For example, do this workout three times through for a 15-minute fat blasting circuit doing each exercise 30 seconds on and 30 seconds off.

1)    Burpees

2)    Mountain Climbers

3)    Plyometric Lunges

4)    Push-up Jacks

5)    Lateral Ski Jump

3) Do Short, Burst of Exercise Instead of Chronic Cardio

If you are the type that likes to try to catch up on all of your book or magazine reading while you get your cardio session in, then you probably won’t be a fan of this rule. If you happen to be a busy person that is not seeing the results you want and you are bored of using cardio machines then you will love this rule!

This last rule of cardio is that you must give up your long steady state workouts. Start doing high-intensity interval workouts that are always incorporating a variety of functional training movements where you work at 80-100% effort for short periods of time followed by adequate rest and recovery periods so that your body is constantly having to adapt and improve.  This could be found in what we call a Variable Intensity Interval Training (VIIT) program. Also, make sure to find a program that promotes safety by showing various fitness levels, but that is also efficient and effective at helping you reach your goals more quickly.

For Maximum Results, Obtain a Well Rounded Healthier Lifestyle

In summary, it’s always best to routinely mix in these new cardio rules with strength and core exercises for the ideal fitness regimen. Furthermore, it’s important to keep in mind that you will never be able to out-exercise bad nutrition. While our focus is to help individuals learn how to exercise more effectively and efficiently, we will be the first to say that exercise contributes to only 20 % of the benefits that come from living a healthier lifestyle while 80 % comes from nutrition. One of the best things you can start doing for your body is removing as many grain-carbs and sugars as possible. Then focus on eating a natural diet of one-ingredient foods comprised of lean or grass-fed proteins, lots and lots of vegetables, some fruits, and healthy fats.