Busting the Cardio Myth

 

Do you ever notice that you see the same people on the treadmill every time you go to the gym? The same people with the same goal, to lose weight. But if you pay attention, these people never really seem to change. They run and run and run and they’re bodies look relatively the same as day one. So what’s the problem? Are they eating too much junk? Possibly. Are they running too slow? Probably. Are they just not running far enough? Well, really it’s just a combination of a lot of problems, so here’s how to fix them.

 

First of all, let me ask you this. How many times have you looked at a true long distance runner and read “wow, I really wish I had that guys/girls body”? Odds are you’ve never really paid attention. Marathone

rs are skinny, sure, but is it the kind of skinny you want to be? No muscle definition, no butt, no legs, more fat than muscle. Is that a bad thing? Not if you’re a marathon runner. But if you’re in the gym for the sake of getting in shape and having a rocking body then that may not be the way you want to go. So let’s talk about what a sprinter looks like. Have you ever seen a true sprinter with a beer belly? How about one with a flat butt? Odds are low. Short distance runners have well developed muscles, good definition, low fat percentages and are in great shape.

 

So what’s my point? Well, those people that are running on the treadmill day after day, hour after hour have great intentions. There heart is in the right place but they have been led down the wrong path. You can save time and be more efficient by doing one thing. Instead of running at a constant pace for long periods of time, run at a much faster pace for shorter periods of time. What exactly does that mean? Sprint. It’s no coincidence that a sprinter is lean and muscular and a jogger is flabby and skinny. Sure, sprinters have to resistance train to get that level of musculature, but I can promise you the leanness comes from there track training.

 

Here’s a look at how it works. First let me tell you that you don’t need to run to accomplish this type of training. In fact, for the average person who is not an athlete I would tell you to use something along the lines of a spinning bike or recumbent bike. An elliptical will do but certainly not my first choice. The reason for this is to save your joints. When you walk or run (jogging especially) it takes a huge toll on your ankle, knee and hip joints, so we’re trying to look for ways to keep your feet in contact with an object, such as the bike. But I digress. Doing intervals is fairly easy and can be done in a couple of different fashions. First pick your work to rest ratio. When starting out you want this to be pretty big, we’ll say 1:4. Next pick your interval time. I like to keep intervals less than 30 seconds for optimum fat loss so we’ll go with 30 seconds to make it east. So our intervals will look like this: 30 seconds of work with 120 seconds of rest. So what is work exactly? Work in “fitness terms” can be defined as the act of doing fitness. Pretty broad right? OK, I’ll narrow it down. In this context work can be a couple of things. When talking about a spinning bike work can be 30 seconds of fast, all out peddling but can also be 30 seconds of high resistance peddling, or a mixture of both. Rest, of  course, is low resistance peddling or even no peddling at all. The point is to get that heart beat pumping up really high, letting it recover to a comfortable level, then bumping it back up. Slowly, you’ll be able to decrease your work to rest ratio. You can also do different intervals, say 20 seconds of work instead of 30 seconds. Start with 15-20 minutes worth and work your way up to 30-40 minutes at most. Remember, this is high intensity, so you should be spent at the end of your session.

 

This training will definitely come in handy for those trying to lose weight or just trying to get in great shape. It  will especially come in handy with Thanksgiving a couple days away. If you have any questions regarding interval training or any other training or diet questions in general please let me know. Thanks for reading and have a great Thanksgiving!

 

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Jerry Scarlato
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Jerry Scarlato

Owner, Fitness Coach at Thrive Fitness
Jerry Scarlato is a Personal Trainer and Entrepreneur who lives in Northern Kentucky. He runs 2 businesses related to health and wellness: Thrive Fitness and Thrive Online. Jerry has been involved in the fitness for his entire adult life, including playing sports through college. Along with being an Entrepreneur, Jerry is a content creator,
Jerry Scarlato
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