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5 Reasons “Slow-go” Cardio Sucks

Posted by Joel Marion

Over the next week or so we’re going to be talking quite a bit about metabolic resistance training (i.e. “cardio with weights”), but before we do I want to address something that slightly concerned me when reading through some of the comments that came in on yesterday’s “empty stomach” cardio post.

Apparently, many people are still stuck doing long duration, low-intensity cardiovascular exercise — yikes!

Here’s the deal: if you’re looking to achieve maximal benefit from the time you put into your workouts, long duration “slow-go” cardio is NOT the way to go, and for many reasons.

Here are my top 5:


1. Minimal calories burned — 45 minutes on the treadmill may burn a whopping 300 calories if you’re lucky, the equivalent of ONE TENTH of a pound of fat. Exercise ten hours a week and you might just lose a pound!

Which brings me to my next point:

2. Way too much time involved — I don’t know about you, but I don’t have hours and hours of my time to pour into working out each week. In fact, very rarely do I ever exceed three hours of exercise weekly, and you know what? That’s ALL you need.

Beyond that, slow-go cardio is:

3. BORING as heck — Sitting on an exercise bike staring at the wall in front of me for 45-60 minutes? No thanks.

But perhaps even worse is the fact that slow-go cardio provides:

4. No prolonged metabolic benefit — Did you know that with higher intensity exercise it is possible to continue to burn calories for up to 48 hours post workout? It’s true (and we’ll be discussing this “afterburn” effect in another post very soon). But you know what else is true? Long duration, low intensity cardio provides virtually NO prolonged elevation in metabolism. In fact, with slow-go cardio, metabolism returns to baseline almost IMMEDIATELY following the exercise session.

And finally, the reason that trumps all the others:

5. Minimal fat loss — Minimal calories burned during the session and virtually no additional calories burned afterward = minimal, if any fat loss results. And let’s be honest, the only reason anyone is doing cardio is for the “result”.

So if slow-go cardio isn’t a great solution, what is?

Short duration, high-intensity exercise.  Less time, faster results — THAT’S what it’s all about.

And keep in mind, “high intensity” is relative to you. I don’t care if you’re already in great shape or if you’re 40 lbs overweight, you can exercise with intensity.

So what about you? Are you stuck doing slow-go cardio or have you embraced the benefit of much shorter, higher intensity sessions?

Give me at least 750 comments and I’ll be back to talk about short duration, high intensity exercise in more detail tomorrow.

Talk to you in the comments section,

Joel

P.S. Want to learn 3 other specific fat-burning tips that you can start using today?  Check out the below link:

==> What “special” foods can boost fat-burning by 207%?
 

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721 comments - add yours
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I focus HIIT with kettle bells and LISS with the elliptical. Going to incorporate HIIT on the elliptical as well.

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@ Mark:

Agreed!!!!! Based on the Fatty Acid Oxidation Energy System, doing early morning fasting, low intensity cardio is the absolute best way to maximize your fat loss. And for anyone who’s interested, go out and do some of your own research on this Energy System when you can, cuz its way too long for me to type out here.

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@ Ken:
Since kettlebells are a strength workout I am a bit puzzled as to how you do HIIT with them. HIIT refers to a form of cardio workout. Are you condusing HIIT with Tabata Protocol or circuit training?
Since the biomechanics of an elliptical are not in any way natural or related to any movements we do in real time I am confused as to the benefits of “interval traing” on a machine which applies Newton’s Laws of Motion and assists the workout due to the pendulum efect.

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@ Sergeant Major:
I’ve used kettlebells to get a great HIIT workout by performing kettlebell swings. I also include supersets or high intensity total body exercises much like you would a circuit workout or metabolic resistance exercises. The point is to make the transition from one exercise to the next such that your heart rate becomes elevated.

Interval training refers to high intensity “exercise” followed by lower intensity active rest not simply traditional modes of “cardio.”

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I do cardio (treadmill ) at 7.5 mph for 30 mins. and burn exactly 500 cals. But I never look forward to doing cardio unless i take oxy elite pro diet pills which gives me the boost. I was wondering if running 7.5mph is unnecessary in order to lower my body fat % and does starting and stopping ( every 2 mins)throughout the whole 30 mins of my run ruin my chances of lowering my body fat?

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@ Aaron Ivey:
On the lexicon of most trainers Interval work and HIIT refer to the various forms of cardio not resistance training. The resistance training equivalent is circuit training. There is a paradoxical effect associated with both forms of training, the training effect in fact occurs during the recovery and not the load phase. The research on kettlebells have found an excellent cardio component without any dedicated cardio component wjhich is true of all forms of strength circuit training.

My point is that there are standard forms of terminology assigned to the various different types of workouts, to create your own leads to confusion and a lack of communication.

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