A common scene within millions of fitness centers all over the world
echo the all familiar sound of people pounding the treadmill, climbing
the Stairmaster and peddling the stationary bike. Within the adjacent
rooms are members taking part in Pilates, Aerobics, Yoga and Spin
classes. The center of attention is localized around the commotion of
slamming weight stacks, sweating muscle, loud music and exaggerated
grunts and groans. As vast as all these people may be with as equally
diverse goals and objectives, they all have something in common, - they
all want to evolve. Another scarce commodity the majority of active
exercisers share is, - lack of time.
Today we live in a world where more hours are devoted to work,
children, daily travel etc, and less time for recreation. But the
ironic thing I notice of these very individuals is that many of them
devote around two hours of cardiovascular activity in an attempt to
either battle the bulge, tone up or maintain their current appearance.
I have watched many athletes prepare for competition, conducting
anywhere from 1-3 hours of cardio activity per day on top of their
daily grueling weight training schedule. How these people have time to
lead a normal life on top their day jobs is beyond me. Where does this
train of thought originate from I often ask. I have concluded that it
has stemmed from a trend that began years ago and has failed to alter
since. Nutrition has constantly been manipulated in an attempt to find
the sure fire short cut to physical success but its close friend, -
cardiovascular exercise, has remained almost unchanged. You only have
to look at the abundance of diet books in ratio to cardiovascular
exercise books for clarification.
you begin your journey, in relevance to your goals, break down
everything needed to help you get to your destination within an
efficient time frame and that doesn't utilize more time than necessary.
conducting cardio for the fat loss/toning effect you are essentially
burning stored calories - fat. Most people as a whole will do way too
much cardio too soon and end up burning out before they have started,
which in turn leads them to an uphill battle to fat loss failure. Think
of it in simple terms and ask yourself this question, - do I really
want to conduct lengthily cardio sessions to burn off excess calories,
or do I want to eat less calories and conduct much less cardio. Nine
out of ten answers will relate to the latter. So, it is simple, eat
smaller portions at regular intervals with a restriction of
carbohydrates and fats which are dense in calories, but maintain a
higher influx of protein to hold onto the muscle required for a healthy
metabolism. Don't be worried that your energy levels will be lower; the
excess fuel will no longer be necessary to carry you through those
arduous and boring cardio sessions because now you only have to conduct
much, much less.
Your body adapts to its environment very easily
so when you continue the same routine everyday then it is obvious that
the body will slow down on its evolution of appearance. If you do what
you have always done, you will get what you have always got. Even the
slightest change will take leaps and bounds towards you objective, so
make only small ones that keeps chipping away at that sculpture you
have always wished for. Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day.
To begin with, I suggest only conducting 10 minutes of cardiovascular
exercise per day. I know it is only very small amounts but believe me,
your body and your spare time will thank you later down the road.
Because this is something your body is not used to doing it will react
by changing to adapt to its environment, in this case, losing fat via
the calories burned from the short cardio interval and more importantly
from the metabolism spike.
two weeks it is quite possible that your body would've adapted to this
environment so then I then would recommend adding an additional five
minute trend to your regime. These small but effective trends should
continue with five minute increments every two weeks until you max out
at two, twenty minute cardio sessions per day, totaling at forty
minutes. The small changes and short cardiovascular sessions will keep
your metabolism charged enough to consistently burn fat and just as
importantly, enable it to efficiently digest consumed foods without the
risk of storing as excess fuel ? fat. When people conduct as much as 2
- 3 hours of cardiovascular exercise per day, the metabolism slows down
to a snails pace in an attempt to spare the reserve energy that is
stored. It feels that the extended cardio is too much and fears that
the continuation will put the body in jeopardy of its health, thus the
metabolism slows down and more calories are stored at meal times.
Another issue that I would like to bring to attention is the all too
common need for people to conduct cardio before breakfast. We have all
been placed under the false pretence that this is in fact more
productive towards fat loss because we have fasted for 6-8 hours and
now the only stored energy is within our fat cells. Importance should
be placed on consuming breakfast, not extending your fast. At breakfast
time the metabolism is at its slowest because the body has been in
hibernation and no energy (food) has been consumed for sometime.
Extending this fast will ultimately result in an even lower drop in the
metabolism and more calories being stored when the first meal has been
consumed, this is because the body is experiencing an extended period
of starvation. Eating breakfast immediately upon rising will spike the
metabolism and results in more calories burnt during the 20 minutes of
cardio and continue the metabolisms momentum to the next meal, enabling
fewer calories stored at this sitting also. Instead of using a
lengthily cardio session as a tool to directly burn fat calories,
participate in smaller cardio sessions at the right times to enhance
the bodies ability to maintain a positive around the clock metabolism.
The second option takes a much smaller chunk out of your daily schedule
and bypasses the sugar crash/craving and insulin drops associated with
diets of desperation.