Losing weight isn’t easy, but a lot of the time people are simply not getting the right information in. Ultimately, it’s calorie in Vs calorie out right? Well… yeah it is. Of course, you need to be getting the right calories in, and certainly it helps a lot to have a higher percentage of protein than most people will be eating. Exercise wise a whole lot of cardio right? Well…yeah cardio is great and super necessary to start to burn those calories, but it’s not the only thing. Resistance training will help rev up your engine, a person with higher muscle mass will automatically have a higher metabolism and fat burning machine on them. It’s what we always want. Resistance training is a key to your weight loss, if you are not doing it, you are missing out on fat loss and health benefits that are critical.
Back to calorie in Vs calorie out, what is most effective type of cardio you can do? I’m going to say as a general rule you will burn more calories doing interval training. For the time you need to work out, the more intense you do it, the more calories you can burn. The best thing about interval training is you can suit it to your levels, build up and reduce the rest intervals as your fitness increases and ensure that you are burning what you need.
What Is Interval Training?
Interval training is what you make it. First thing that comes to mind when I say it will be hopping on the treadmill or bike, alternating between hard and easy periods for a certain amount of time. Is this correct? Yep absolutely, but you can adapt it to whatever you want. Circuit training with weights, doing squats for 30 seconds, rest for a minute. Fast step ups for a minute, resting for two. Swimming hard for 45 seconds and swimming easy for 45 seconds. Intervals are so popular because they are achievable for everyone, but they also take less time. Time is the number one excuse for people not losing weight, they don’t have time. You can get a HUGE cardio session done in 10 minutes with some crazy Intervals and get some very good results. Time is no longer an issue.
How do I do Interval Training?
As I said above, you can adapt it how you want it, however for simplicity sake we will take a look at some bike intervals. There are some general rules I think you should follow to ensure you get success:
Find your level. If you are extremely overweight and unfit, the interval level you will work at will be lower, this could mean less resistance, less pace or less time in the hard phase.
Ensure that you are manipulating these variables: Pace, resistance, time. To step it up you can ride faster, ride against a harder resistance, or ride longer. Best thing? All three.
Work hard. For me Interval training is meant to be tough. There’s no secrets. If you can bump up your resistance level, smash your legs over and get it done for 30 seconds, great. The harder you work, the better results you will get, period.
A starting/ beginners (very unfit) Interval session on the bike would be
- Warm Up 3 mins low resistance
- 15 seconds ON (low resistance spinning legs over as fast as possible)
- 45 seconds OFF (low resistance legs over at a good pace)
Stepping it up to
- Warm Up 3 mins low resistance
- 30 seconds ON (Medium resistance, legs moving over as fast as possible)
- 30 seconds OFF (low resistance legs moving over at a good pace)
The second workout is tough for me and I am a pro athlete, find a balance in between working in your fitness level. Lengthen the recovery period but ensure that you keep a good pace, up the resistance, stand up etc etc. Interval training is great and experimentation is even better. You can also vary the intervals within the time frame, however it is just easier especially for people starting out to keep the same interval training through the workout.
These kind of intervals can be performed on the elliptical as well as the treadmill in the gym, outside jogging/walking or running/ jogging, in the pool…wherever you want. Ensure you find your level, work hard, and get it higher every week. The lower you start, the better gains you are going to get. That’s science and something you can count on. We’ll go into more depth later, leave any questions below about specifics and I’ll answer them best I can.