By Bladen Baird

Have you increased your cardio but aren’t seeing results?

It seems everyone is stuck in the 1970s and 80s when it comes to exercise specific to fat loss. Back then the prescription of 45-60 minutes of steady-state cardio within the ‘fat burning zone’ was at the forefront of any fat loss program. Now, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this if you’re getting the results you’re looking for, but if this method isn’t working for you, perhaps it’s time to try a different approach.

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Return to that same commercial gym day after day, week after week, and even month after month and it’s likely you’ll see the same people doing the same thing with the same physique. There could be two reasons for this: their nutrition isn’t up to scratch, or it could be because the traditional lengthy steady-state cardiovascular workouts have become an inefficient fat loss tool for them.

Some of the geeky science

The main goal of any fat loss program is to increase metabolism and thus burn more calories. Toning is defined as an increase in lean muscle mass with simultaneous decreases in body fat. By performing traditional cardio for an extended period of time we produce a hormone called ‘cortisol’. While it does break down stored fat, it has also been shown to break down lean muscle. A decrease in lean muscle slows down our metabolism.

“High-intensity interval training (HIIT) will keep you burning calories long after you leave the gym”

Now, if you’ve determined that traditional cardio within the ‘fat-burning zone’ isn’t working for you, what do you do instead? The answer: a combination of circuit training and high-intensity interval training.

Circuit training is a combination of strength and aerobic training. It burns far more calories than just strength or aerobic training performed on its own.

HIIT is cardiovascular training that combines high-intensity work phases with low-intensity rest phases. This style of cardio will keep you burning calories long after you leave the gym.

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