5 reasons “slow-go” cardio SUCKS

Posted by Nigel Jeal | Posted in Articles, Cardio, Fitness | Posted on 28-07-2012-05-2008

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I’ve been going through some emails over the last few days I’ve noticed that 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 a couple hours of exercise weekly, and you know what? That’s ALL you need. In fact, research has shown that anything more than 90 mins a week may be detrimental!

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. 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?

Both interval training and bodyweight circuit training are great alternatives for weight loss and fat burning. Plus, with bodyweight exercises, you can sculpt your lower and upper body, and your abs!

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment and we’ll get back to you. Thanks for reading.

–Nigel

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