Saturday, February 19, 2011

Is cardio created equal?

As I fought to lose 150 lbs I learned many different things about fitness....some things made sense some things worked others made no sense and worked and many things made perfect sense but did not work!  Did that make sense?  :):)

An example of this is the steady state cardio vs. interval cardio debate.  Steady State means you work out at the same level for 30 minutes and interval means you go as hard as you can for a minute and then light for 2 and you repeat that ten times for 30 minutes.

I am a firm believer in interval training and I think I gathered the results to back it up.

I was reading an awesome article yesterday by Rachel Cosgrove and it landed in the same place my belief has been.  Rachel did a ton of training to get ready for an Iron Man event and she was doing 20 hours a week of endurance training so she could compete while keeping her daily calorie intake at 2000-2500 calories.  After a certain point her body adjusted to that level of activity and fat did not burn away she just built tremendous cardiovascular strength.  She did this for seven months and if you do the math that was a 224,000 calorie deficit which if the theory of a calorie is a calorie is correct she should have lost 64 lbs. she lost 5.
This leads to my belief that steady state cardio is great for your heart and for endurance training but for fat loss it is not the best use of your time.

After the iron man she decided to lose fat and she went to interval training with her cardio as well as weights.  She opted for 5 to 6 hours a week instead of the previous 20 hours!

The transformation in her body was amazing and only one thing can lead to that.....when you work out steady state you may burn 150 calories and you are done....if you go with intervals and you burn 200 calories it is not over when the workout ends....after intervals you get your metabolism firing and it can burn calories at a higher rate for as much as a day........intrigued?

Stick with me and we will have your body working like a calorie burning furnace in no time!

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