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beachbabe101
07-02-2006, 02:41 PM
I joined a gym last month. And my personal trainer says that she wants me to lose body fat.What's the most effective cardio that I can do to lose fat .Thanks

Psycho445
07-02-2006, 03:27 PM
First of all, diet is much more important than cardio in terms of losing fat. Make sure you get that in check.

For cardio, the most effective routine isn't based on a specific machine or type of exercise. Do something like

5 min high intensity on a machine you don't normally do
5 min break
40 min at medium intensity on a machine you really like

The reason for this is because in order to lose fat, your body must first release fatty acids from adiopose tissue and then burn the fatty acids in the muscle through beta-oxidation. In order to release the fatty acids, they body needs high levels of catecholamines (adrenaline/noradrenaline). Catecholamines are released from high intensity cardio. Unfortunately, jacking up levels of catecholamines limits burning in the muscle, which is the reason for doing medium intensity afterwards. Furthermore, repeatedly doing the same exercise actually creates negative feedback systems, which lowers your body's catecholaminic response. That is the reason for doing the high intensity on a machine that you do not normally do.

DUMB BELLE
07-03-2006, 12:31 PM
BUMP to Psycho!

Beachbabe, I fully agree that most of your fat loss will come from your diet. What is your current diet? If you post it we can maybe give you some more tips. Someone on this site (can't remember who) once said that cardio should just be an extention of a good diet for fat loss.

Remeber also that weight training will increase your muscle mass, which in turn increases your body's metabolism!

That being said, I believe there are certain guideline methods you can use to get the MOST out of your cardio.

Firstly, you need to work out your Maximum Heart Rate (MHR). This will depend on your age.
220 - your age = MHR. Your pulse should not really exceed this number during exercise as it can be dangerous unless you are an advanced athlete.

If your aim is simply to burn fat then you need to work within the fat burning “zone” at approx 60-70% of your MHR for 30 - 40 minutes. Going much longer than this can compromise your muscle mass.
Eg: 220 - 29 (your age) = 191 and 65% of 220 = 124 (your fat burning “zone” will then be more or less around this figure.) This is an optimum level for your body to use oxygen in the right way to burn body fat in a consistent manner. In this “zone” you might experience that this only feels like a moderately difficult exertion level. Don’t let that put you off! It works.

If you can, I would strongly recommend you invest in a heart rate monitor that can be worn on your body while training. Many gyms have equipment that has heart rate monitors on them but they are sometimes not very accurate.

I am a firm believer in getting the best results in the shortest amount of time, which is why I LOOOOVE HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) sessions. Let me explain this……..
HIIT is performed by repeated intervals of high intensity and low/moderate intensity. The lighter part of the interval would be done in the rage of 50-60% MHR and the higher intensity between 75-80% intensity. I like to do this on the bike. I’ll start with a moderate speed and resistance for about a minute and then increase my speed and resistance for another minute and then back to moderate for another minute and so on. On an effort scale of 1-10, I aim for about a 5 and then go for 8 etc. You can time your intervals for however long you want eg: 30 seconds on low and 1 minute high or 30seconds/30 seconds or whatever works for you. Initially you may want to maybe do moderate for a minute and high for 30 seconds. It really doesn’t matter how you divide it, the important thing is that you keep changing the effort levels. You also won’t be able to do it for very long periods of time (and nor should you). When I first started doing HIIT, I could only last for 4 minutes in total by doing a 30 second/30 second split. You can build up your time gradually but even 10 minutes of HIIT (done properly) is hugely effective and you’ should feel totally pooped by the end of it!

Let me explain why I believe this method works (as explained in various articles on this site).
Many people feel that the most significant benefit of cardio training is that it burns body fat while you are working out. Although some of the body's fat stores can be burned off and used as energy during this time, it's actually a very insignificant amount. When you do HIIT you burn the most CALORIES per unit of time but you also burn less FAT during the workout (as you not in the fat burning MHR “zone”), HOWEVER the plus side is you deplete muscle glycogen which means you'll be less likely to store "new" fat because any excess calories will be stored in the muscles instead.
While you mostly burn glycogen (stored carbohydrates) when you do HIIT, you end up burning more body fat at the end at the day due to the fact that the metabolism has been revved up longer. HIIT elevates your metabolism for hours AFTER your session as opposed to more traditional cardio, which only elevates it DURING the actual workout. This means you continue to burn calories and fat for long periods after your training has finished. This increased metabolism will generally last 4-24 hours or more.
In addition, the shorter duration of the activity is more conducive to keeping muscle mass in caloric deprived situations (such as when you are dieting).

I don’t believe that one way is the ONLY way when it comes to cardio (and you will hear people arguing about this all the time), so what you can do is a combination of “fat burning cardio” and HIIT. For example, on a Tuesday you could do “fat burning cardio” and on a Thursday you could do HIIT OR you could warm up for a few minutes in the “fat burning zone” and then the last few minutes do HIIT on a Tues and Thurs. Get the idea? You can also increase your cardio to 3x a week if you want but don’t aim for much more than this and try (once again depending on your goals) to keep your weight training and cardio separate!

I also believe that training first thing in the morning before eating is beneficial. Although there is much debate about this at the moment, I still believe that it has its merits and that if you can find the time to do your cardio first thing in the morning, I’m sure your results will be even more noticeable.

When doing cardio at this time you burn more body fat than at any other time in the day because your body does not have any glycogen in the system to burn. Therefore, it has to go directly into the fat stores in order to get the energy necessary to complete the activity. In other words you will start to burn into fat reserves more quickly as there is no food for the body to use as fuel. Don’t over do this type of training as this is an easy way to lose muscle.

I hope that covers my opinions on cardio to some extent but like I said they are only MY opinions. I’m sure you’ll find many conflicting theories but this is really what works for ME and since we are all different you'll have to figure what gives YOU the best results.

Good luck!

terracotta
07-03-2006, 01:47 PM
Belle - you have just described moderate intensity interval training (MIIT)

In HIIT, you alternate between intervals of 80-85% MHR and 85-90% MHR with a 5 min warmup before and a 5 min cooldown after. Typically when someone starts HIIT they cannot go very long on the HIIT portion, sometimes only ~5 min total.

DUMB BELLE
07-07-2006, 09:22 AM
Belle - you have just described moderate intensity interval training (MIIT)

In HIIT, you alternate between intervals of 80-85% MHR and 85-90% MHR with a 5 min warmup before and a 5 min cooldown after. Typically when someone starts HIIT they cannot go very long on the HIIT portion, sometimes only ~5 min total.

Hmmm......
Now, I'm confused.
Forgive me for paraphrasing what you said in the above but I need to make sure I understand what you saying.
Are you saying that HIITwill consist of the following:
5 min warm-up then...
1 min 80-85% MHR straight to
1 min 85%-90% MHR then back to
1 min 80-85% MHR etc. etc.
Then 5 min cool-down?

I always thought that HIGH Intensity Interval Training meant alternating between High-Low intensity. Are you actually saying that its about High-HighER intensity?

You've just given me a heart attack here!!!!!

Here I was all proud about the increases I've been making on my "HIIT" training (and DYING in the process) and now you tell me it's only MODERATE?!?
Holy **** - I SUCK!

Would this HITT have the same or better advantages as MITT in terms of fat loss and increased metabolism or, are the benefits more in terms of aerobic capacity, respiratory rate and fitness levels?

HEEEEELP!

Truly DUMB Belle.

terracotta
07-07-2006, 10:00 AM
High/low intervals is not HIIT.. yes :)

Most people feel like they are going to puke when they do HIIT.. some people can not do it, and you should not do it when on a stimulant fat burner (such as an EC stack). Also, most people can only do ~5 min to start (make sure there is a warmup and cooldown around it as well).

True HIIT has a stronger afterburn effect.

Try 30 seconds at 90% MHR followed by 1 minute at 80% MHR. Then repeat 3 or more times.. just make sure you have a 5 minute warmup and a 5 minute cooldown.

pltwife
07-07-2006, 04:33 PM
Oh crap...I've been doing the high-low stuff too...not HIIT. Darn, I was so proud of myself. Well, even the high-low is hard for me. I run at say 5.6 mph for 1 minute and then at 6.8 for 1 minute and back and forth

DUMB BELLE
07-08-2006, 04:08 AM
Yeah, I really feel like a tit. Here I was busting my ass off only to find out I'm actually doing MITT and not HITT! DARN. Now I hate cardio EVEN MORE than I did before.
Sigh.............
Anyway, its been working for me thus far so I guess I'll keep at it while it works and as soon as I plateau I'll step it up to HITT (vomit,phewk,cotch!)

Ignorance really IS bliss. I was quite appily plodding along through my "HITT" thinking "Hey, not bad." but now I'm gonna be thinking "C'mon you lazy ass, step it up step it up STEP IT UP!"

Well, thanks (i think) Terra! LOL!!!

PS: I'm sure Beachbabe101 would still benefit from MITT though, especially if she is just starting a cardio program? What do you think? Should she start with MITT and gradually increase to HITT or go straight to HIIT?

wide lats
07-08-2006, 06:06 AM
I joined a gym last month. And my personal trainer says that she wants me to lose body fat.What's the most effective cardio that I can do to lose fat .Thanks

Sack your personal trainer if she cant tell you what to do.

terracotta
07-08-2006, 07:12 AM
Yeah, I really feel like a tit. Here I was busting my ass off only to find out I'm actually doing MITT and not HITT! DARN. Now I hate cardio EVEN MORE than I did before.
Sigh.............
Anyway, its been working for me thus far so I guess I'll keep at it while it works and as soon as I plateau I'll step it up to HITT (vomit,phewk,cotch!)

Ignorance really IS bliss. I was quite appily plodding along through my "HITT" thinking "Hey, not bad." but now I'm gonna be thinking "C'mon you lazy ass, step it up step it up STEP IT UP!"

Well, thanks (i think) Terra! LOL!!!

PS: I'm sure Beachbabe101 would still benefit from MITT though, especially if she is just starting a cardio program? What do you think? Should she start with MITT and gradually increase to HITT or go straight to HIIT?

I think starting with MIIT and slowly making it hard would be a good idea. Also, if you like high low intervals, it doesn't mean you have to stop doing them! It is going to be more of a cardiovascular workout if you do the MIIT anyways.. HIIT just pushes your body to an extreme to cause it to burn more calories after the cardio. There is no reason you *have* to do it!

mykidsmom
07-08-2006, 12:20 PM
Personally, and this is just MHO, I think much of losing body fat has to do with your diet and exercise history. I had dieted and yo-yoed and restricted carbs and calories on so many occassions over the past 25 years, my body does respond well anymore to dietary changes. That being said, I still eat very clean, but now I eat around 1600 cals and 2-3 starchy carbs (and lots of greens) per day. I was eating about 1300-1400 cals and 1 starchy carb/day and doing 3 days w/ weight and 3-4 days of HIIT - to the verge of puking stage or 45 minute moderate cardio. NOTHING!!!! So, I've recently switched to 3 days of 30-40 minute moderate cardio and 5 days of pretty heavy lifting. That did the trick for me. I've dropped from 23.6% to 19.3% in a month. I had been stuck at 23.6% for over a month. I've gained about 3 lbs of muscle, so the scale hasn't changed, but my measurements have.

Apparently, building muscle is the only way to get my hypoactive metabolism back into gear.
Just something to consider.

ab-swing asianbabe
07-08-2006, 11:22 PM
I think we've forgotten... diet + cardio + lifting + rest to lose fat :)

Saeco Pink
07-08-2006, 11:49 PM
Just a quick note:

You can do true HIIT outdoors much easier than on a treadmill. It's basically all-out sprinting with barely any rest between efforts.

You can also do it in a swimming pool.

terracotta
07-09-2006, 01:07 PM
I think we've forgotten... diet + cardio + lifting + rest to lose fat :)

:D

DUMB BELLE
07-23-2006, 03:25 PM
I think we've forgotten... diet + cardio + lifting + rest to lose fat :)

On the contrary!

I merely focused on the cardio aspect since her original question was: "What's the most effective CARDIO that I can do to lose fat?"