Cardio is an essential component of staying healthy, and decreasing our chances of becoming obese right? Well it seems plausible so most people who hit the gym for general exercise end up doing dull routines on the treadmill or exercise bike. These workout sessions become a habit and they can soon become boring and predictable.
When that happens they can also be very unproductive. If you do not challenge your body your fitness and strength will become stagnant. You wouldn’t expect a marathon or sprint worker to never push the barriers or only perform an even paced training schedule and then go on to do great things out in the competitive field.
There are a few things you can do to improve your results and get fitter at the same time.
Change It Up
Short burst speed training is an excellent way to challenge your body and burn more fat at the same time. As the name suggests it should only be done in 30 second bouts at a time. You will need a responsive treadmill that is capable of fast one touch speed increments.
Start by warming up on the treadmill at a mild pace for about 5 mins. Then when you are fully warmed up raise the speed to a fast running pace very quickly. Run as fast as you can for 30 seconds and after this immediately lower the speed of the treadmill to light jogging pace, and then walking pace if you need more recovery. Rest for about 2 minutes then repeat the cycle again for a further 5 times.
This is an excellent way to shock your cardiovascular system. If you never push your muscles and recovery to the limit you are not getting the full potential out of your training. Obviously once a week or once every 10 days is enough for this type of training as the demands would be too much on your central nervous system. A good treadmill reviews website will have some training routines you can practise on their site, but very few will have this advanced model of training as it has only just entered the exercise industry.
Sprint work can also be done outdoors to great effect, but as most people train indoors the treadmill becomes the tool of choice.
Thinking Beyond Traditional Cardio
One method of training that is not only an alternative, but in many ways superior for fat loss is weight training. If you combine this with sprint training you will have amazing results. Not only will you feel fitter, you will also look more trim.
Performing the big compound exercises, like the squat, bench press, shoulder press and deadlift can actually improve your cardiovascular fitness and reduce bodyfat at the same time. That’s a nice combination most people will appreciate. These exercises put so much demand on your entire central nervous system, when it is in recovery mode your body will start eating up your fat reserves to fuel the new muscles you are building.
You will not develop enormous muscles in the process, you need to pile on the calories and other substances for that look. Have you ever watched the Olympics and wondered why or how the light female and male power lifters under 80kg look so lean but are yet so strong? This is the effect strength training has on your body. It gives you a lean appearance and makes you very strong. What’s more as the fitness industry has embraced strength training as part of a general fitness routine you can now see lots of women and men performing everything from the squat to the deadlift in commercial gyms.
If you have any concerns about performing these exercises see the local instructor in your gym. Each exercise should be performed in strict form, and just because the name suggests strength training it doesn’t mean you load up the weights to your maximum capacity. Strength training rarely involves working with your heaviest weight. It involves increasing the intensity little by little each week, and then dropping the weight when it gets too heavy and working your way back up again. Train smart, not necessarily hard all the time.
Combining these 2 training methods (sprint & strength training) into your fitness routine can work wonders for your overall fitness and appearance. It can also get you out on a lifeless regimented exercise cycle.