Do you know the absolute best way to use a weight loss cardio workout to permanently lose weight?
Have you ever lost weight in the beginning from doing a lot of cardio only to hit a frustrating plateau?
If you are like most people the answer is yes and no and usually in the order!
This article is going to go over a few reasons why the average weight loss cardio workout might actually be preventing you from losing weight. Please pay special attention to this article because it can save you lots of time, help you enjoy exercise more, and give you a new outlook on losing with with cardio.
By using "cardio", I am talking about using cardiovascular exercise on a basic cardio machine such as treadmills, rowing machines, upright or recumbent bikes, ellipticals, or any other common cardio machine you see at the gym or at a department store. This also refers to things such as walking outside or going for a bike ride.
It is very common see someone try to lose weight in the gym by getting on a cardio machine and trying to go for 30-60 minutes at a slow pace. They may try to do this 3, 4, or 5 days per week!
For the first 2-3 weeks, there is usually an immediate result. The weight on the scale goes down and you are feeling great. Soon after however, the weight loss slows down and your progress comes to a crashing halt.
Let's go over 3 quick reasons why your hit a frustrating plateau with the normal cardio workout, and more importantly, how to avoid it completely.
Reason #1: It Is Boring!
Unless you are a long distance runner who loves running with all their heart, you probably would rather spend your time doing something other than going at a slow pace on a cardio machine for 30, 45, or 60 minutes. A 60 minute cardio workout 3-5 days a week is a sure way to lose all enthusiasm for exercise and be really bored throughout the whole process.
So many people who do this type of workout try to read a magazine, watch TV, talk on the phone, cover the timer with a towel, or do just about anything else to distract them from their workout.
Reason #2: You Burn Fewer Calories Each Time You Workout
Your body will adapt very quickly to doing a very slow and long weight loss cardio workout. Think about it like this. If you went outside and ran a mile right now it would feel pretty difficult if you were not already a conditioned runner. But what if you ran the same mile 5 days per week for the next two months? It would get easier. Your body would adapt to it because that is what it does best.
The same goes for the average weight loss cardio workout that lasts for 30, 45, or even 60 minutes. At first you might burn a lot of calories, but after doing the same type of cardio workout for too long, the body will become more efficient and will adapt.
This means that the workout that burned 300 calories in January might only be burning 150 calories in March! The only thing you can do it so longer or work harder. Neither one sounds like a very appealing option.
Reason #3: The Average Weight Loss Cardio Workout Does Not Stimulate Your Metabolism
Instead of focusing on the number of calories you burned during a single workout, I want you to instead focus on burning calories during the workout and for hours afterwards!
Research has shown that slow same speed cardio does next to nothing to stimulate your resting metabolism. This means that you workout for 45 minutes, burn 300 calories, and then negate the whole workout with a Gatorade afterwards.
How to Fix This Problem
Did you know that you can use a different type of cardio called interval training that can burn a lot of calories during the actual cardio workout and for hours afterwards as well?
When performed correctly, interval training is faster, more fun, and most importantly, has been shown in research to have a dramatic effect on your resting metabolism. This means that you might burn 300 calories during the actual workout, then another 300 the throughout the rest of the day!
Interval training is an excellent weight loss cardio workout option for this very reason. Interval training simply consists of using both high and low speeds and intensities at set points in your workout. It can be done on any cardio machine and can even be done walking outside!
If you are truly serious about achieving weight loss with a cardio workout, then learning more about interval training is an absolute must. Your will feel like you got twice the workout in half the time and have a lot more results to show for it!