Losing Weight Correctly
by: Jerry Burch
You're staring at the treadmill and anxiety starts to build because you can't take another day of this cardio. This is the feeling that so many people run into when they are trying to lose weight. The big issue seems to be not knowing the options of cardio people have. The other issue is wanting immediate results. We are all after the end goal; results.
So often someone comes up to me in the gym and begins asking a million and one questions pertaining to cardio. What kind of cardio did you do for your last show? Do you suggest doing cardio in the mornings before you eat or after your workout? What type of cardio would you suggest for my physique? That questions are endless, yet every person wants the same thing; results. Okay people....I get it.... you want to be lean! I can honestly say that this shit is NOT that simple. There will NEVER be a one fix solution that magically burns fat for every single person. Here is where we get into the issue...What works for someone, might NOT work for you. People thinking one size fits all works for everyone is what drives me nuts about online diets and cardio fads. People run daily to these online diets and cardio fads to fix their issues. Just because it worked for someone that was on an Olympia stage does not mean it's going to do shit for you!
CARDIO DOES WHAT
Okay, let’s take a look at what cardio does....it burns fat right? Knowing where fat comes from is very important to know so you can understand what is happening within your body. Fat comes from calorie intake greater than your daily requirements also known as calories above maintenance level. Now, of course the subject on daily requirements alone would require an entire different article but to shorten it up, every person requires a certain amount of calories divided into macronutrients for their daily activity level. Genetics, daily physical activity, and food sensitivity plays into determining the caloric number every person needs. Let's look at the big picture of this when it comes to burning fat and cardio. When it comes to losing weight, cardio can play a huge role in burning unwanted fat from your physique. However, to determine the type of cardio and duration of time of cardio, you need to determine your caloric needs and requirements. This is the only way to have a good understanding of how long and what type of cardio will work best for you.
CALORIE FOR A CALORIE
To simplify this, if you require 2000 calories a day to maintain a proper diet, nutrition and weight balance, you can make the adjustments necessary to increase or decrease your weight. If your goal would be to create a deficit, this caloric decrease would be accomplished through diet and cardio. If your requirements are 2000 calories a day, and your normal day to day physical level burns a total of 300 calories a day, you're already ahead of the game. However, let's say your daily requirements are 2000 calories a day and your job is somewhat of a sitting job then you're unable burn any excess calories. This is where training and cardio can come in handy to help assist you create the deficit you want.
Fat loss and weight gain is simple and it boils down to calories in and calories out. If you take in more calories than you expend, you're going to gain weight. If you're creating a deflect in your caloric intake, you're going to gradually lose weight. This sounds simple and I know someone reading is going to be tempted to do a crash diet. Let me say this now, I do not recommend going on a crash diet because you will look and feel like shit.
Now, there are several exclusions to the above paragraphs including people who want to gain muscle... people who want to maintain lean muscle, people getting ready for a fitness competition, and people that just need to lose weight. For the purpose of this article we are going to stick to the everyday individual that is just looking to lose weight.
TYPES OF CARDIO; HIIT
There are several different types of cardio in today's market including fasted cardio (morning cardio before breakfast), lower intensity cardio usually done after a workout, and high intensity cardio (HIIT) which I always highly recommend for the average person looking to lose weight. Fasted cardio is just as it sounds, waking up in the morning and doing cardio on an empty stomach. This is a very dangerous way to go about your cardio needs because the body is in a fasted state meaning your operating on an empty tank of gas or in this case empty body with no food! To use an analogy, it's hard to drive a car with no gas right? More than likely you're going to end up breaking down on the side of the road before you make it to your destination. It's the same way with fasted cardio. Yes, it can be effective because you're burning calories that you have yet to consume. However, you're operating on an empty tank pushing your body beyond exhaustion that can lead to passing out. I will usually only recommend this cardio to someone who knows their physique and has lower body fat percentages. Usually someone getting ready for a fitness competition and who needs to work on key points of their fat loss is when fasted cardio would come into play.
Lower intensity has it's time and place and is a good way to burn calories without burning excess muscle. For the purpose of this article, I am going to skip it and go straight into high intensity cardio.
High intensity cardio also known as High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is defined exactly as it is spelled. It is cardio that is of high intensity. It is scientifically proven that just fifteen minutes of high intensity cardio can burn more calories than standard cardio methods that take an hour to complete such as low intensity or steady state cardio. Yes, it really is that good. It is not just the efficiency that makes HIIT so amazing. When training with HIIT type cardio, you continue to burn calories even after your workout. Training with a HIIT style program increases your heart rate to beyond fat burning levels. In return it maximizes your metabolism and keeps your body in a fat burning state for hours even when you are done! To top all of this off, you don't even need a gym or equipment for this kind of cardio. You can go hit the street, a running trail, a playground, anywhere and everywhere!!
Still not sold yet? Go out and give this example workout a try. All you need is fifteen minutes and to give it all you got! You will be proud of yourself and you will truly feel the effects once your done. Just don't bullshit the workout! Truly give it all you got; it is only fifteen minutes!
Find a trial, track, or roadway to run on.
-5 minutes moderate jog
-45 seconds of sprints followed by:
-15 seconds of a brisk walk
-repeat this only five times!
-Finish with a 5 minute cool down
Once you feel comfortable with sprints it is time to take it up a notch!! Now, here is where the true HIIT process comes in handy!
-2 minutes warm up jog
-30 seconds sprint followed by 30 seconds jog (NOT WALK)
-Do the above for 5 rounds followed by
-1 minute moderate pace jog
-45 seconds sprint (ALL YOU CAN GIVE) followed by 15 second WALK (control your heart rate)
-Do the above for 5 rounds followed by
-2 minute cool down jog
This here is your ticket to the weight you want to lose while maintaining the muscle you want to look great with. If you are not doing this already, get started now.