Thursday, September 27, 2012

Why short intense cardio workouts are superior to long ones

Are you still using the elliptical? Spinning for an hour? Taking a step class? Walking on the treadmill for an hour at a time?

Well here is why you should change those hour long workouts to FOUR minutes. That's right! 4 minutes. I'd rather for 4 than 60 minutes, wouldn't you?

Here is some research that I found quite interesting:

Researchers at Queen's University tested a Turbulence 
Training style workout against long cardio.
(Reference: Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2012 Sep 20.)

22 college-aged women did 4 workouts per week for 4 weeks in
one of three groups.

Group A did 30 minutes of treadmill running at 85% max heart rate

Group B did 8 rounds of 20 seconds of a single exercise (burpees,
jumping jacks, mountain climbers, or squat thrusts) with 10
seconds of rest between rounds.

Group C did nothing (they were the non-training control group).

Both training groups increased their aerobic fitness levels
by the SAME amount (about 7-8%). That's right, the short
bodyweight workouts (of 4 minutes) worked just as well
as 30 minutes of cardio. Shocking.

BUT...only Group B, the TT style training, also increased
muscular endurance in common exercises like chest presses,
leg extensions, sit-ups, and push-ups.

And finally, the TT style training used by Group B also
resulted in greater overall workout enjoyment.

The scientists concluded that "extremely low volume bodyweight
interval-style training" will boost cardiovascular fitness
just as well as cardio while giving you BETTER improvements
in muscle endurance.

All in just 4 minutes.

So, don't waste your time trying to get rid of that belly
fat with long, boring cardio. 

I've got plenty of older workouts posted that are short and intense, but here is another one for you:

Jump squats (or Speed squats if you are not a jumper)

Repeat 20 seconds on 10 seconds off for 4 minutes! 

OR try this one:

Mountain climbers
Speed Squats
V ups
Alternating (jump) lunges

Repeat 20 seconds on 10 seconds off for 4 minutes!.......

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