What’s wrong with cardio?


Eat vegetables and chicken breasts, do cardio and burn fat faster. So simple to stay thin! It looks like ideal weight loss plan for past years, seems like a panacea from all that fat. But why we still do those cardio and feel just tired and exhausted without any proper results?

What’s wrong with cardio?

Yes, regular cardio exercises improves your health make you weight loss (burn great amount of calories) for the first period of time,improve your cardiovascular system, enhances your metabolism (by alternating between burning of fats and carbohydrates), interact with insulin more efficient. But what will happen next if you keep on making just cardio on that treadmill or elliptical trainer for every day for an hour or even two? For some moment you stop losing weight! Your body (such a smart bastard) will sabotage your efforts!

Why does it happen?

Your body gets used to aerobic exercise and uses minimum energy and oxygen. So it doesn’t need more energy and, of course, calories to make exercises.  This is certainly not conducive to fat loss.

Hormone Disbalance
Doing your everyday cardio workouts more than hour to moderate pace for extended durations with 65-70% of your maximum heart rate (for spend glucose, than carbs and just than fats) increases the release of cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone leads to a chronic inflammation and organism aging. In addition, your cells become resistant to insulin and body cannot activate fat burning to take more energy.  Level of the ghrelin (hormone that triggers hunger) increases approximately on 15%. Level of the leptin (hormone which suppresses the hunger) decreases approximately on 15%.

The Loss of Muscle
Long duration cardio workout decreases your muscles along with fat. During this process your body burns less and less calories. And it is easy to explain.  To support each pound of muscles you need 6 calories per day, for fat it’s 2 calories. So the more muscles you have, the more calories you burn.

What should you do instead of cardio?
Interval training provides the assumed benefits of cardio and weight workouts without the disadvantages. With interval training you alternate of high-intensity exercise at 90% of your max heart rate and low intensity (like marching) or complete rest. You increase the physiological changes in your body by training at a higher intensity faster than just doing 2-hours cardio.  

stop losing weight

How does it work?

  1. Interval training burns more calories because of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption that’s maintained after the workout is over. To balance metabolic after highly vigorous activity disturbance your body will take more energy from fat blasters even after training will be ended and you will lose weight for next 24 hours.
  2. You make your body moves faster on the high heart rate, and it burns more fuel (fat). Such kind of very high intensity makes your body burn more than on cardio workout, and muscle cells help blunt fat storage burning more effectively. It will take calories to recover, refuel and re-oxygenate.
  3. Muscles won’t disappear because the source of energy would be different, not like from the steady-state running. This after-burning effect that takes place in high intensity interval workout and burn just fat calories.
  4. Basically, during the recovery faze all your body is trying to return the debt by supplying oxygen to help break down the lactates. As we know, 50% of the lactate produced during intensive exercise is used by muscles to form glycogen which acts as a metabolic fuel to sustain exercise.
  5. Increasing of adrenaline helps you burn belly fat.
  6. At the same time, testosterone, produced through interval workouts, keeps up muscles and even increases it, and so with its help you burn more and more calories.

stop losing weight with cardio     
But wait, there are more benefits, like:

  • You will burn more calories even faster (it takes from 4 till 30 minutes for workout 2-3 a week instead of 1 hour every day)
  • It’s convenient to do everywhere without additional equipment
  • You have variety of exercises and rates combinations
  • You will do anaerobically (weights), as well as aerobically (cardio) moves
  • Stay lean and toned at the same time

Types of interval trainings
Let’s have a look on the main protocols of highly intensive interval training combination. There are several types of interval workouts could accomplish your weight loss goals according to you level.

  1. Tabata Workout: 5 min warming up, 4 minutes workout: 20 sec hard sprinting (or other exercising), 10 sec slowly, 8 sets, 5 min cooling down.
  2. 25-Minute Sprint Fartlek (speed play)Workout : jog - 8 minutes, fast-run - 4 minutes, sprint - 20 seconds, walk - 1 minute, sprint - 30 seconds, walk - 1 minute, sprint – 30 seconds, walk - 1 minute,  jog - 5 minutes, fast run - 4 minutes, cool down by walking for 5-10 minutes at the end
  3. Walk-Back Sprint: run the distance you select (50 m, 100 m, 200 m) and then just walking for recover.
  4. The Little Method (27 min): 12 cycles, do 60 sec of high intensity and then 75 seconds of low intensity.
  5. Turbulence training by Craig Ballantyne (45 min max): alternate high-weight/low-rep strength training (8 reps) with high-intensity cardio (1 min).
  6. Exercises/rest. You can use different kinds of variation.

    2 min/2 min

    1,5 min/1,5 min
    1 min /1 min
    30 sec/30 sec


    30 sec/30 sec
    1 min/1 min
    2 min/2 min
    4 min/4 min
    2 min/2min
    1 min/1 min
    30 sec/30 sec

cardio exercises improves

Interval training main rules and protocols
Follow next rules before start interval workout:

  1. Set goals for first week. You can increase number of repetition or intensity (not both at the same time) in 10% every next week.
  2. Make 5-10 min warm up.
  3. Start slowly and with longer intervals.
  4. Do your best on high intense intervals.
  5. Keep your heart rate on 100-110 bpm when you are rest.
  6. Increase intensity, duration or number of repetitions to improve your level.
  7. End up with 5-10 min of cooling down.
  8. Hydrate yourself and eat more protein.
  9. Give your body proper recovery: make interval training 2-3 times a week.

Consult your doctor before to start interval training. You need to be sure your heart is fine and can easily manage this kind of exercises.