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Cardio : A Waste Of Breath?

You’ll have heard us mention on this blog, in our newsletters and in our talks that we feel conventional cardio is not the most effective way to be spending your gym time!

I see many of the same faces on the steppers for twenty-whatever minutes, then on the running machine, then on a stationery cycle, and finishing with some abs. Total gym time about 60-90 minutes. Total return on investment very little I am afraid (unless the goal is getting ready for a marathon/triathlon/etc)

I’ve come across a great study today, yes yet another one, that gives a little more weight to this argument.

A Harvard Health Professionals study that followed 7000 people found that the key to exercise is INTENSITY and not endurance!

The conclusion was that the higher the intensity of the exertion, the lower the risk was of heart disease.

Long duration, medium to low intensity cardio conditions the heart and pulmonary system (lungs) to get smaller in order to conserve energy and increase efficiency at those exercise levels. It teaches the body to be average!

Now think to if we are ever in a high stress situation in life. If we have trained the heart and lungs to be average and we now need them to work at their maximum what do you think will happen?

They will not be able to work to their potential as they are never training to work at their potential! This can be the difference between life and death in extreme circumstances, but even in normal day to day life it is important that we challenge the body in order to keep it in top functioning condition!

The goal is to make sure your whole body can respond to what ever life throw it’s way!

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So back to the study and we see that INTENSITY IS THE KEY

When we do cardio in an intense fashion we raise our VO2 Max (the bodies ability to transport and then utilise Oxygen), so making us much fitter and healthier and there is also one other very cool effect that I am pretty sure will interest you……

FAT LOSS is maximised when high intensity cardio is used! I know that health is always priority number one when it comes to working out, but fat loss is what many people crave. It’s fantastic to know that when we do this form of cardio and also high intensity weight training that we are not only looking better but feeling better, getting healthier, cutting our risks of degenerative diseases, cheating the ageing process, improving our mood, getting faster, etc, etc, etc.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is the key to fat loss. If 4-12 minutes of HIIT 3-4 times a week sounds better to you than 90 minutes 5 times a week then I think you will prefer HIIT training to conventional cardio!

Here’s what BBC’s Horizon said about it recently;

You’ll see they mention three minutes, which is great to get healthier, but if Fat Loss is also a goal, then read on.

This is something we at Ultimate City Fitness have been preaching since we started the business. You will not find ‘steady’ exercise part of what we preach. We look to push our clients and readers to their maximum (within safety and good form, naturally).

The best form that we have found of it is called TABATA training and we have five videos (FAT MELTING IN 4 MINUTES VIDEO SERIES) explaining what this is, and how it will melt the fat off anyone that does it to give away for FREE. We’ll also include a FREE copy of the report called the top 5 FAT BURNING MYTHS for free and you’ll then get FREE access to our FAT LOSS tips newsletter. The best things come in FREE’s 😉 All you have to do is click the box below.

Train Hard, Live Easy

Tom @ UCF


  • JJ 07/07/2012

    Great topic and thoroughly agree with the principaks of HIT training. It’s the way to go for fat burning and weight control.
    However, I am intrigues about the use of TABATA system…?

  • Grant Koch 08/10/2012

    Looking good
    Yeah buddy


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