As a veteran personal trainer, I often see many people with many goals and if it’s one thing that holds true you really need to incorporate cardio when it comes to a fat loss program. So, In this blog article, I wanted to have a look at the different types of cardio machines and give you my personal opinion as to which one I believe is best for fat loss.
First let us understand the term cardio.
Cardio is defined as any type of exercise that gets your heart rate up and keeps it up for a prolonged period. Your respiratory system will start working harder as you begin to breathe faster and more deeply you will also find it difficult to engage in a conversation that is when you know you are doing cardio training.
By this time if you have read this far great keep reading! Let us dive into some frequently asked questions when it comes to cardio
Does cardio burn body fat!
Yes, studies show cardio training is one of the most effective ways to burn body fat.
What is the difference between high impact and low impact cardio?
The term High impact cardio as the name suggests is when your body is involved in a lot of jolting or jumping movements (think running, skipping activities)
Low impact (which is what I suggest for beginners or intermediate levels) enables you to increase your heart rate over a period whilst minimising the stress on your joints.
Both low and high impact training is excellent for weight loss, with low impact you will need to go a little longer such as 45-60 minutes, once you become more experienced with low impact cardio you can switch it up to high impact based on your body’s response.
How often should I do cardio each week
If your goal is fat loss, I suggest 3 times a week, it’s important to make sure you have adequate recovery and listen to your body as a feedback mechanism. Initially its also a good idea to undergo a weekly massage if you have not done cardio for a long time or invest in a foam roller and some bath salts for that extra recovery.
So, what is the best cardio equipment
A lot would depend on what access you have but I’m guessing your already a gym goer so let’s assume this, if not there are still plenty of activity’s as listen below for both indoor and outdoor.
Walking (outdoor)low impact
Yes a great way to get outdoors and connect with nature, the problem I see is most of us are not walking at a quick pace so be sure if you walk outdoors choose a variety of levels(eg uphill,on grass, sand and if you really feeling energetic gran a weighted vest for added intensity, ideally walking should be around 45-60 minutes to het the full effect.
Sprinting & Plyometric exercises (outdoor)high impact
Sprinting although difficult at first is one of the best things you can do for fat loss Sprinting, however, not only helps to burn fat but also encourages muscles to grow. The reasons for this are not as straightforward as you might think. Researchers are aware that it is not just the total calorie burn that matters for body composition, but the type of diet and exercise people do.
Research in Exercise and Sports Science Review suggests that sprinting shocks the body into becoming fitter at the cellular level.
Treadmill (indoor)low and high impact
The treadmill has a predictable surface that is much easier to negotiate than sidewalks, curbs or trails and the risk of tripping is reduced, for low impact I would suggest incline set at 8 and speed at 5 this is a great way to work the lower body and ensure you swing your arms (marching motion) the key here is to not hold on to the bar and for added intensity ad a weighted vest.
interval training on the treadmill with varying of speed and varying of incline will teach the muscles to switch quickly between aerobic and anaerobic exercise, while burning both carbohydrates and fat efficiently. Interval training is also ideal for intermediate levels ensuring you increase endurance and training the body to recover quickly from strenuous exercise.
Bike (indoor or outdoor)
Bikes are great for fat loss, the idea again is to go at a good quick pace plus it’s a great activity for strengthening the lower body area’s such as hips, quads and of course glutes and if you have knee, ankles or hip issues cycling is a good way to reduce the pressure, just remember the goal should be to increase the intensity so you would find it difficult holding a conversation.
The great thing about this machine is that it mimics the movement patterns experienced when walking, running, and climbing stairs, to provide an effective, full-body workout. It also protects your joints proving low impact and you get to work the whole body
Good rowing machines such as the concept 2 rower provide a killer upper body workout, think shoulders, traps lats and even lower back and hamstrings. The most difficult part of the rower is the duration you will struggle if you’re a beginner to even finish the 5 minute mark, as your body will be screaming at you ,but you can be rest assured the benefits include a much stronger back and shoulders and improve posture. I suggest you pace yourself accordingly and go for at least 10-15 minutes to get the full effect.
This blog article would not be complete if no mention of the versa climber, for some you may not even know what it is(you will find one on our gym)as most gym’s for cost reason wont stock it yes its expensive.
But by far this is my number one piece of equipment for fat loss
According to a study by Men’s Health, classes at Rise Nation burn 22.3 calories per minute, while popular cycling, treadmill and rowing classes burn between 13 and 14 calories per minute. Quite simply, the Versa Climber gets your heart rate up fast and allows for efficient, butt-kicking cardio workouts.
- IT’S A TOTAL-BODY WORKOUT. …
- IT MULTITASKS. …
- IT’S GREAT FOR WEIGHT LOSS. …
- IT MAY IMPROVE YOUR POSTURE. …
- YOU SHOULD GO AT YOUR OWN PACE. …
- YOU DON’T NEED TO STAY ON IT FOR A LONG TIME. …
- IT’S SAFE AND LOW IMPACT
So there you have it just be sure when doing cardio do it often even when your feeling like you don’t want to (that’s usually the best time to do it) make it a goal to burn at least 100 calories every 10 minutes for low impact and around 20 every 10 minutes for high impact and listen to your body for any feedback and scale back or forward as necessary, and you will be laughing with health and fat loss each day.
Let me know how you go