25 May 2016

Separate Fact From Fiction With These Cardio Myths

Fitness and workout advice

Cardio myths come in all shapes and sizes, and it’s essential you separate fact from fiction.

By understanding how to train right, positive results will follow.

MYTH: Extra cardio = extra weight loss

You may be clocking up the kilometres on the elliptical machine, but if you’re performing “easier” types of cardio over longer periods of time, you may not be getting the results you desire. Opt for shorter bursts of cardio, performed at a more intense pace. This allows for your body to expend calories throughout the day, resulting in a higher calorie burn.

Fitness professionals specialising in athletic training rely on the use of high-intensity interval training as the main source of maintaining peak fitness levels for individuals and sporting teams.

MYTH: I need to stay in the “fat burning zone” to lose weight

The notion of the fat burning zone was born as a result of the link between low intensity workouts and fat and carbohydrate burning.  It’s a fact that during lower intensity exercises, the body uses fat as its primary source of fuel, however, for overall weight loss, what matters most is the difference between calorie input and output.

Don’t get too focused on getting in the zone. For fat loss, try high-intensity interval training.

MYTH: Cardio before weights, always

If you undertake an intense cardio session, it’s unlikely you’ll have enough energy to complete an equally intense weights workout. Similarly, after completing a heavy weights session, the last thing you feel like doing is getting your muscles moving.

Since weight training and cardio affect muscles in different ways, it’s ideal to split up your cardio and weights training into two separate sessions. If that’s not an option, simply decide what you want to focus on. Alternate your intensity between weights and cardio.

If you’re unsure of where to start, consult with a Personal Trainer, who will be able to plan an exercise schedule tailored to your abilities, preferences and desired outcome. 

MYTH: Wearing weights during cardio will burn extra fat

No, those extra two kilo ankle weights aren’t doing you any favours when you work up a sweat. Arm and ankle weights aren’t heavy enough to make a significant impact on your calorie burn – if anything, you’ll be more likely to be thrown off balance.

Raise the intensity of your cardio instead of your resistance, or if your goal is to get stronger, move along to the weights machine. You can’t cheat your way to a fit body.

Cardio = TV time

For some people, the most rewarding part of cardio is the chance to plug in earphones, tune in to the personalised TV screen and catch up on your favourite shows. Alas, if you’re able to fully focus on a TV or flick through a magazine while you’re performing cardio, you’re not working hard enough.

Avoid the TV or reading during your workout – instead, focus on your movements and performance to ensure you’re adhering to proper form.  

Get in touch with AIPT today.

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