Ok, so whether you love it or hate it – cardio does have its little role in the fat loss movie that you’ve been the star of. LOL, whether you asked for the staring role or not, lol. Well surely you have because ain’t nobody forcing you to lose fat, but I digress. But the thing is that cardio for fat loss is like that finicky little co-star, who is probably a crazy method actor, that likes to torture you for the sake of the role… But in the end does brilliant work so you just let it go – cause y’all might win an Oscar…
Ok – tangent again! Sorry, lol.
So anyway, let’s discuss a few thaaangs, that you need to keep in mind if doing your cardio – and not wasting time – is important to you.
Cardio for Fat Loss is Simply a Tool in the Toolbox
Oooook, let’s start with this important realization.
Now, although I’m hitting on how cardio has its role in the fat loss equation, you’ve got to keep in mind it is NOT the main driving factor.
Look, you cannot magically erase calories away, last night’s big mistake, the cookie binge that happened because you meant to eat 1 but you ate the box, the bottle of wine you drank by yourself – topped it OFF (lol I’ve done this, I KNOW).
Cardio is NOT a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser…
So, I’m sorry, NO you cannot just erase way your caloric mistakes…
However, you CAN get the body to do some amazing things with properly applied cardio.
And when I say properly applied, I mean by really harnessing the power of what some of the current science says about what works and what doesn’t.
Cause let me tell you, if you are still doing mostly steady state cardio as your typical means of getting it done – honey you are living in the stone ages or something.
And no wonder you could be bored to tears!
The other thing is that you don’t even have to do it on a machine at the gym! Cardio can happen anywhere, and really be by way of any method you choose!
So let’s get a little deeper and see how you can spice this baby up, shall we?
MetCons, Intervals, and HIIT – OH MY!
YES, there are so many forms of cardio out there, that you really have a nice garden variety to choose from… And get some serious work done.
One of the things that I LOVE to include in my own client programming is using various modalities of cardio. And sometimes, I use various types in A SINGLE SESSION!
Let’s break stuff down into some easy to understand definitions though first…
- MetCon Circuits (or Metabolic Conditioning Circuits) are basically any kind of circuit you put together that has you moving at a HIGH INTENSITY PACE! The goal – getting and keeping the heart rate up, just like you would any cardio workout.
- Intervals would simply be when you bring up your heart rate and intensity for a set amount of time, and then allow yourself to recover… Only to go BACK into another bout of elevated intensity work, then recover – and repeat that cycle. Ideally on scale of 10, the overall intensity usually feels like a 7 to 9.
- HIIT… OK here’s what REAL HIIT is. It’s interval’s big bad and mean older brother, who is probably a bully and stole folks lunch as a kind… Probably tried to kill ants by fiery death with a magnifying glass and the sun. It gives NO F-CKS about your lungs, and will kill you – but you love it. Yeah that’s HIIT! Ideally you shouldn’t be able to do more than 20 mins of it, if you do it right. And the high work interval is about only 20 secs long (this is the TRUE anaerobic threshold of the body – and it is the system you need to be in with HIIT). You can recover for double the work interval (so about 40 secs), and then repeat.
These are ALL great forms and ways of doing your cardio – and not hating it because it’s boring! So let’s take a look at how you can now mix it up!
Programming Your Cardio Like a ROXSTAR!
So this is what I do!
I love to mix things up when I do any kind of cardio programming. So you won’t be just sitting back doing boring old steady state for an hour!
What I like to do (and suggest for you to do as well), is to see how you can mix HIIT, with steady state, or intervals, and come up with combos that make you die!
You see, cardio for fat loss, when you’re looking to really change your body – needs to take you outside of your comfort zone! So add these to your mix the next time you have your cardio planned out.
RoxStar Fitness – Cardio for Fat Loss Workout #1 (In the Gym)
- Start off on any machine of choice.
- Wearing your HR monitor try to keep your HR above 80% Max HR for the entire duration. If you don’t have one, the intensity should feel like an 8 on a scale of 10.
- Perform 10 mins of steady state cardio at this high intensity pace. Really PUSH IT!
- Move to either the treadmill or the bike.
- We are going to do a total of 20 minutes of HIIT!
- Start off with an easy paced 1 minute warm up. Let’s not out this towards the total 20 mins for shits and giggles lol.
- Next, crank up the speed on the treadmill (or the resistance on the bike), and SPRINT FULL OUT AS FAST AS YO LEGS CAN TAKE YOU! I want you sprinting like you’re up in the Pridelands from the Lion King, and that stampede of gazelles are about to trample yo’ azz. THAT fast! Scale of 10, this intensity is like 9-10!
- After that, slow down the pace so you can breathe and not hack a lung up. On a scale of 10, this should feel like a 5 to 6. When I’m doing HIIT on the treadmill, I like to simply hop off onto the sides and straddle it while keeping the speed of the belt. Much easier!
- Repeat this until you’ve done a full 20 minutes.
Segment 3 (HA! You thought you were done… NOOOPE!).
- Walk your way over to the stepmill, set the program for any one of the hill or interval programs of choice.
- Perform it at a level 4 or above – whatever you can realistically do.
- Complete just 10 mins, and you’re done!
Now, I would say you can do this set up about 3 to 4 times a week. And in between, just hit some steady state cardio to allow the body to kind of recover.
RoxStar Fitness – Cardio for Fat Loss Workout #2 (In the Gym OR At Home)
Now, I couldn’t leave out my at home trainees! Honestly you can do the above cardio easily by running outside, using stairs, and even a jump rope. Tweak it to your needs, and you’ll be ok.
What I’ll whip up for you is this quick Tabata Metcon Circuit that takes up minimal space, but still gets you sweating!
Use an interval timer to keep with the time of the program. You can easily download one in your phone’s app store. Perform ONE SET of each exercise below for 20 secs. In between take ONLY 10 SECS rest. The idea is to beat the number of reps you do each time you repeat the circuit. So if you do 20r of something in round 1, round 2 aim for 25r. Something like that.
Keep it moving, and keep the intensity high!
The RoxStar Fitness MetCon Cardio Circuit – Make Fat Cry Blaster
- Mountain Climbers – 20s
- 10s Rest
- Jump Rope or Jumping Jacks – 20s
- 10s Rest
- DB Squat Press (fast pace) -20s
- 10s Rest
- High Knees Running in Place – 20s
- 10s Rest
- Burpees – 20s
- 10s Rest
- Pop Squats – 20s
- 10s Rest
- Butt Kick Running in Place – 20s
- 10s Rest
- Alternating Jumping Lunges – 20s
- 10s Rest
Take about 1 minute off after the final exercise, and then repeat this whole circuit again about 4 to 5 times. That’s a total of 16 to 20 minutes, since the full circuit is 4 minutes total.
After this workout, since it’s only 20 minutes, feel free to tag on about 10 to 20 mins of moderate intensity steady state cardio. This will give you a nice bang for your buck for that workout that day!
Just like I mentioned above, you can do this about 3 to 4 times a week. On the days you don’t do it, you can throw in some cardio to allow the body some good active recovery!
Hey! If you like this article, comment below and give me your thoughts! And please share it with your friends! Because it’s up to US to spread the TRUTH and science behind what really works when it comes to training and nutrition!
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