Your current cardio workouts may not be “working out”, at least as well as you had hoped they would.
That is ok though because believe it or not, cardio workouts are not as simple as “burning this amount of calories on the screen” or “doing what that person does”…it is a bit more complex than that if you want the BEST results possible. Now, this doesn’t mean that the workouts will be harder to do for you, it just means that you may have to pay more attention to HOW and WHEN you are doing these workouts to effectively burn the most fat possible.
If you fall into this category (like so many) of not only being tired physically from your cardio workouts, but tired emotionally from the lack of results then read on because this article is for you. Stick with me because in just a few paragraphs we’re going places kids…and so is that extra fat you’ve been attempting to torch! Here are the 3 reasons your cardio workouts are not working.
1. You are working out for too long.
Yes, you read that correctly. I hear all the time about people that go to the gym, go straight to the cardio section and they do “cardio” for an hour or longer. Most of the time these workouts consist of moderate jogging or high intensity walking for a certain period of time…usually in search of a specific calorie burn total. The idea that burning calories is what causes fat loss is correct by itself, but aiming to burn them right there, right then in the gym couldn’t be more incorrect.
Target heart rates are great for endurance athletes such as runners, but when you ask people what their cosmetic goals are you will usually not hear them say “I want to look like a runner”. This is because runners are aiming for better endurance and better miles times whereas you are going for weight loss or a shredded physique. This is why most “goal bodies” are products of professional NFL/MMA athletes or top actors/actresses that had a very specific training protocol to make them look like they did in “that movie”. To sum this up…spend less time in the gym running or walking towards a number and work more efficiently.
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2. You are working out too intensely.
Once again, you read correctly after confirming with a double take. It is possible to be too intense within your cardio workouts, and it happens more easily than you may think. Do you ever set out to complete sets of interval training (HIIT) for cardio and find yourself maxing out halfway through the workout? This is because there may be too little difference in your high intervals and your low intervals.
When doing interval training (Ex. 60 seconds sprinting/30 seconds walk) you may not be bringing your heart rate down as quickly as you should to create the true effect needed to work your heart effectively. This is often to blame on template based programs from magazines etc. but it can also be from you getting excited and going too intensely in your low pints of your workouts.
The goal of interval training is to force your autonomic nervous system to pull your heart rate down during the lower intensities, and this can not happen if you are going too intensely whether it be from excitement or simply from being too tired to execute that particular program. Even with cardio workouts, each person requires a different approach to achieve success.
3. You are working out at the wrong time.
This does not mean the wrong time of day. The walking first thing in the morning is a thing of the past, and it falls into the same category as number 1 listed above as working out for too long as well. What I mean by the wrong time is I too often see people walk in and march straight to the cardio section, complete their cardio workouts and THEN proceed to lift weights. Why? No really…why does this make sense? Let me answer…it doesn’t. Why on earth would you purposely run yourself into the ground with even the most effective cardio program ever for you and THEN proceed to give your best effort in lifting weights? By then your strength is gone, much of your energy storage is depleted and well…who the hell FEELS like doing that…really?
Did you know that if you lift first, and then execute your cardio workouts that you are not only going to burn more calories overall during AND after that workout, but you are going to burn at a higher percentage in the areas you lifted with? Spot targeting (lifting high rep with one muscle to burn fat on that specific muscle) is a myth, but research has shown that when cardio is done in this order that you can cause a greater burn in target areas. Once again it is all in having an effective program.
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All 3 of these examples of ineffective training are very much alive and kicking. I see and hear all of these over and over again and a lot of the times I hear about it is clients telling me about friends, family etc. that can not get out of their weight loss ruts. You could very well be working too hard and ineffectively to reach your weight loss goals…it happens all of the time. If this sounds like you then ask questions, get answers and most importantly get a program that fits your specific needs.
Even P90X runs out of days after 90, so make sure that your program doesn’t leave you hanging after 90 days or worse yet, leads you in the wrong direction unknowingly for months or even years! I’m sure you chose to make a change for yourself…so remember to work out and eat for what is best for you, and no one else.
Do the above inefficiencies sound like you, a family member or a friend? If so, then ask your questions below and check out the customized program options for both nutrition and workout programming now.
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