Someone posted this in their journal on open diary and I found it very useful so I thought I would post it for those of you who have not seen it
7 Cardio Fat Burning Secrets
By Kelli Calabrese MS, CSCS
2004 Personal Trainer of the Year
If you have tried and failed at exercising more times than you care to count, you are not alone. In fact you are in the grand majority. However I don’t’ want you to feel bad or blame yourself. It’s not your fault. You are not an exercise expert and the information can be very misleading. Past failures simply teach you more ways not to go about exercising.
If you are left feeling confused, without hope and more desperate than ever, I’m here to share the secrets that work. These secrets are not only going to steer you clear of failing, but they will leave you in the best shape and health of your adult life when combined with a healthy eating plan.
The cardiovascular techniques I am about to share will change your shape and allow you to live longer, stronger, vibrant, energetic years. These are secrets that anyone can afford and can be a natural part of your lifestyle. These 7 secrets have had proven themselves time and time again with the longest lasting effects.
As a 19 year fitness industry leader who had transformed the bodies of thousands of people just like you, I can tell you with 100% guarantee that there is a way to improve your body. It’s not quick, it’s not easy and it does not work like magic! It takes work, patience, dedication, and consistency, however it works every time and the results are amazing.
7 Cardiovascular Techniques That Optimize Fat Burning
Variety is not only the spice of life, but it’s the key to Fat Burning when it comes to cardiovascular conditioning. The following methods will help to motivate you to exercise, push you past a plateau and give you the most return for investment of time. Change leads to progress.
Here are the 7 key cardiovascular fat-burning secrets:
1. Interval Training –
Interval training combines brief periods of high intensity exercise interspersed with periods of lower intensity exercise in the same workout. Intervals not only increase your cardiovascular efficiency, but burn more calories and fat in the process.
Lower intensity exercise such as walking allows for recovery so that you can work harder during the higher intensity intervals. Here is an example of how you can incorporate intervals into your routine. Simply start by alternating between walking and running. Walk for 5 minutes to warm up, and then run 1 minute, followed by 2 minutes of walking. Repeat that sequence for the duration of your workout. As you become more conditioned, decrease the length of low-intensity recovery periods (walking) and increase working intervals (jogging or running).
2. Cross Training –
Cross training combines a group of aerobic activities into one workout at steady or varying intensities. For example, take a 15-minute bicycle ride to the local track; walk or run for 15 minutes on the track; then bicycle home for 15 minutes. If you have access to exercise equipment, you might use the rowing machine for 15 minutes, then the stair climber for 15 minutes, followed by 15 minutes on the elliptical trainer. You may even incorporate a new activity you have always wanted to try.
3. Periodization –
One example of periodization is to choose a different activity seasonally. For example, you may primarily swim in the summers, cycle in the fall, participate in a boot camp in the winter and hike in the spring. These don’t have to be the only activities you do for the entire season, however it’s good for your body to adapt to a new exercise every few months.
4. Fartlek Training –
Funny name but great results! Fartlek means ‘speed play’ in Swedish. This training method is similar to interval training (see above) but the intervals are not measured by time or distance – they are irregular. For example, race-walk you feel winded, and then walk until you feel recovered. Then when you are feeling refreshed again, sprint to the corner. Walk slowly to catch your breath and break into a jog again. You increase and decrease your speed (intensity) based on how your body is feeling. Accelerate when you are feeling energetic and then cut back the intensity when you are feeling too exhausted.
5. Cycle Training -
Plan your cardio workouts in phases. For example, for the first week exercise at a lower intensity for 45 to 60 minutes. This will allow you to build your base level of fitness. For the next weeks, exercise at your highest intensity for 20 to 30 minutes. The following weeks exercise at a moderate intensity for 30 to 45 minutes. You can also have a transition week where you perform light amounts of exercise 2 to 3 times weekly for 15 to 25 minutes. This system allows you to maintain a high level of fitness, prevent injury and avoid over training. Repeat the sequence beginning the next month.
6. Circuit train –
Perform several cardiovascular exercises in a row for several minutes each. For example, perform each of the following exercises one after the other for 2 – 3 minutes each; Step up and down on a step, jog in place, jumping jacks, jog in a circle, jump rope, high knee kicks, and jump squats. Rest for several minutes and complete a second or third time. Circuit training is lively and less tedious than some other routines, so people tend to stick with it longer. It’s also an efficient calorie burner, increases muscular strength and decreases body fat.
7. Exercise first thing in the morning –
Morning exercisers tend to be more consistent with their exercise regimen. The odds that you’ll skip a workout increase with the passing of time, as interruptions arise and fatigue sets in. Those who exercise later in the day are also working against their body’s natural circadian rhythm, which is automatically set for heavier activity early in the day and slowing down in the evening. In addition, exercising in the evening adversely affects the natural release of hormones by your body. Once you get in the routine of waking up and exercising you body will welcome the idea and you will see the difference when you get dressed for the day.
Give your cardiovascular conditioning your best effort. With each session strive to work a little harder than the last one. Walking is a great exercise, but eventually, you must graduate from your starting level. If you keep walking at the same pace, the same course, the same amount of time and in the same heart rate range, the results will be diminishing. In order to change your body, push your physical limits beyond what you are accustomed to now.
Remember these 7 techniques only work if you practice at least one of them consistently. When you have done one for a while, incorporate another fat burning technique. Do not try to incorporate all of them at once. The complete formula includes first making up your mind to exercise and eat healthy, then consuming wholesome foods, followed by exercising your muscles, then performing aerobic motions and finally allowing your body to recover. Cardiovascular conditioning is one important piece of the puzzle. Now take your first step.
About the Author
Kelli Calabrese MS, CSCS – Kelli is the author of Feminine, Firm & Fit - Building a Lean Strong Body in 12 Weeks. She is the 2004 Personal Trainer of the Year and former lead fitness expert for eDiets and eFitness.
She is a wellness coach helping clients both online and over the phone. She is also the editor of Personal Fitness Professional Magazine and on the board of advisors for The Personal Trainer Business Alliance. For more information, go to www.kellicalabrese.com
or e-mail Kelli@KelliCalabrese.com