Cardio-Strength Training

Cardio-Strength Training

So last post we talked about the Eat-Clean Principles and at the end of the post I asked you a question:

Think 45min to an hour of moderate cardio is the best way to burn fat?

What do you think?

I’m sure if you’ve ever been inside any gym you’ve seen it.  The lines of cardio-machines with all sorts of people exercising within their particular “fat-burning zone” as they text on their cell phones, watch TV, and perhaps even have a conversation with their friends about who said what on Facebook.  Those same people are typically training cardio at low to moderate intensities, at steady-state, and somewhere between 45mins to an hour because that’s what most books and magazines say to do right?  Most trainers will tell you that too.  The only problem with that is that most people don’t have that much time in the day as it is.

I’m exactly like everyone else.  I don’t have enough time in the day to run on a treadmill or ride a stationary spin bike for 45mins to an hour then do weights for another 45mins to an hour.  Besides I hate doing cardio that way.  It truly bores me to sit there on a bike for that long, riding, and watching TV.  There has to be a better way.  A more efficient way.  In my never-ending quest to learn how to most effectively and efficiently train ones body, I came across this book by Robert dos Remedios called Cardio-Strength Training.

What is cardio-strength training?  According to Robert’s book it’s defined as short sessions of high-intensity, interval-style training and it’s as cutting edge as it gets.

cardio-strength training outperforms standard, steady-state aerobic training for conditioning and fat loss.

What are some examples of a cardio-strength training you ask?  The most popular form is known as the “Tabata Protocol”.  Basically it’s work/rest interval of 20sec work/10sec rest.  During the 20sec of work, you are to go as hard as you possibly can.  ALL OUT!  You then rest for 10sec and do it again.  You continue to do this for a total of 8-rounds.  The entire workout is 4-minutes long.  Trust me folks…  speaking from experience…  there’s no texting on your phone or watching TV during one of these workouts.

The book describes a study in 2006 where scientists compared the effectiveness of the high-intensity Tabata Protocol vs. traditional steady-state cardio at low to moderate intensity to see both aerobic and anaerobic capacity changes.

The study was 6-weeks in duration.  One test-group was asked to do a single 4-minute Tabata, 5-times a week (totaling 20-minutes/week).  Another test-group was told to do 60-mins of traditional steady-state cardio (spinning on spin bikes in the “fat-burning” zone), 5-times week (totaling 300-minutes/week or 5-hours/week).  The results were shocking.  The spinning group showed 0% increase in anaerobic capacity and less than 10% increase in aerobic capacity.  The Tabata group showed an amazing 28% improvement in anaerobic capacity and 14% increase in aerobic capacity!  They also did that by training 15x less!

Another study compared the two styles of training again.  This time the steady-state cardio group (endurance group) performed exercise for a total of 20 weeks and the cardio-strength training group (interval group) exercised for a total of 15 weeks.  At the end the endurance group burned 28, 661kcals vs. the 13, 614kcals that the interval group burned.  The researchers then adjusted the difference in the energy cost of training and found that the interval group burned 9x more fat than the endurance group!

So that’s the science behind cardio-strength training.  I’ve personally found it to be amazing for my busy lifestyle and I know it works.

Next time: Cardio-strength training modes I use

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