Lose 6 Pounds a Week with Cardio

If you’re looking to lose some pounds, you need to invest in some serious cardio.

Fat Burning Cardio CircuitFor serious weight loss, you should start with 30 minutes of cardio and work your way up to 45 minutes, 6 days a week. Combine that with strength training to ensure that you’re building lean muscle. That way when the pounds drops off, your body will be toned and firm underneath.

When you’re doing a lot of cardio, it’s good to mix it up by combining different forms of cardio. The intensity levels remain the same and so does the time, but you don’t just have to stick to a treadmill workout. Try some stationary bicycle, or elliptical or rowing machine.  By mixing it up, you help prevent getting bored with your workout and the variety keeps the muscles working harder.

Fat Burning Cardio 4-Day Split

Day 1
AM – Cardio – Sprint Intervals – start with 5 minutes of light jogging to warm up, then ease into 30-second sprints followed by 90-second low intensity intervals for active recovery. Really push yourself during the springs. By the fourth sprint, your intensity should increase and you should be working at 100%. Cool down with 5 minutes of walking, followed by 10 minutes of deep stretching.
PM – Strength Training – Back/Triceps

Day 2
AM – Cardio – 45 minutes of moderate intensity, steady state
PM – Strength Training – Chest/Biceps

Day 3
AM – AM – Cardio – Sprint Intervals – start with 5 minutes of light jogging to warm up, then ease into 30-second sprints followed by 90-second low intensity intervals for active recovery. Really push yourself during the springs. By the fourth sprint, your intensity should increase and you should be working at 100%. Cool down with 5 minutes of walking, followed by 10 minutes of deep stretching.

Day 4
AM – Cardio – 45 minutes of moderate intensity, steady state
PM – Strength Training – Legs

Day 5
Rest – even if this is a rest day, engaging in a Yoga class that focuses on deep stretching movements rather than balance and strength poses will aid your recovery.

Originally published @ FITLODE.COM

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Fat-Burning Walking Workout

Walking is probably one of the easiest exercises you can do – all you need is a pair of comfortable shoes.

Fat-Burning Walking WorkoutWhile some of us believe that the only way to lose weight is to crank it out on the cardio machines until we’re drenched in sweat, you’ll be surprised to learn that with the right walking program, you can burn more than a day’s worth of calories in one week.

There are countless benefits to walking:

  • Cheap and easy way to keep fit
  • Gets you into the habit of regular exercise
  • Helps with flexibility and stability, and reduces the risk of falling in older adults
  • Social outlet when done in a group
  • Reduces bad cholesterol (LDL)
  • Increases good cholesterol (HDL)
  • Reduces your risk of heart disease and high blood pressure
  • Reduces your risk of diabetes
  • Helps with arthritic pain management
  • Helps to manage diabetes
  • Reduces your risk of some cancers like breast cancer
  • Good for bone health
  • Helps in weight loss and weight management
  • Helps elevate mood, self-esteem and reduces anxiety
  • Improves quality of sleep
  • Energizing

Many studies have been done on the benefits of walking and how it can help you to lose weight. One recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition surveyed a group of women aged 18 to 30 years old over a 15-year time span. The results of this study showed that women who walked for a minimum of four hours a week showed a 44% greater success rate at losing weight than those ladies who didn’t walk at all.

To truly get the most benefits out of your walking program, you should walk for 45 minutes at a time, if not every day then at least 5 days a week. You want to work at 75% of your target heart rate at a speed of 3 to 4 ½ miles per hour. Buying a pedometer would be a good investment, if you’re truly serious about getting back into shape with walking.

For beginners, I would stick to just walking for the first two to four weeks and then add some one-minute intervals of targeted moves that will work your whole body. After two to four more weeks, add hand or wrist weights. This will help you to tone up and burn extra calories.

Fat-Burning Walking Workout

Warm up with light walking, swinging your arms in a controlled fashion, side to side and around in circles both clockwise and counter-clockwise. Make sure your feet are landing with toes pointing forward and about hip-width apart. Keep your shoulders loose, your chin up and your tummy tucked.

After five minutes, increase your speed and work your way up to 3 to 4 ½ miles per hour and sustain this tempo for another five minutes. Then you’ll start with one-minute intervals of the exercises listed below:

One-Minute Walking Interval I

  • Walking Lunges – work the arms into bicep curls.
  • Skipping – swing the arms laterally out to the side to work the shoulders.
  • Heel Walk – swimming the arms side to side in a marching fashion.
  • Toe Walk – this will tone up those calf muscles. With the arms, straighten them above your head for shoulder presses.
  • Kick-Step – kick you lead leg up to work the front of your thighs. You can transition to the other leg with a little skip when you land – known in dancing terms as the quick-ball-change.
  • Elbow to Knee – with each step, bring your knee up and cross over to touch your knee to work the torso.

Resume your walking pace of 3 to 4 ½ miles per hour for another 5 minutes, then move into this second interval of one-minute walking exercises  for another 5 minutes:

One-Minute Walking Interval II

  • Runway Walk – exaggerate your walk here like you’re a runway model. This will help work the hips as you cross your legs slightly in front, making sure that each foot lands in the same spot at the next. Raise your arms up to shoulder height in front of you as you walk.
  • Windmill – bring one leg out to the side and the opposite arm out to mirror it to work the outer thighs and shoulder cap.
  • High Knees – start with your arms above your head and with each step, raise your knee up as your arms come down in a lat pulldown to meet your knees.
  • Heel Walk – finish this set of intervals with another round of heel walking, this time straighten your arms behind you and pump back to work your triceps as you walk.

Resume your walking pace of 3 to 4 ½ miles per hour for another 5 minutes, alternating with 5 minutes of one-minute exercise intervals until you’ve walked a total of 45 minutes (not including your warm-up).

Now, it might take you a while to get comfortable performing some of these moves out in public, but once you do, the benefits will reward you tenfold. With this walking workout you could lose 1,200 or more in just one week.

Originally published @ FITLODE.COM

Running to Lose Weight

Running is one of the most effective ways to reduce weight gain, which affects the lives of millions of people worldwide.

Running helps in fat burning and reduces more calories per minute than any other type of exercise. The best part of running is all you really need to get started is a good pair of running shoes, a slot of time and the will power and stamina to get up and go.

It’s important to develop a proper running program in order to increase your running stamina. As you start out as a runner, you will find yourself running for a bit, then walking, then (as soon as you see a car coming!) running again until you build up the stamina to run the entire time. Pace yourself and maybe just start out with a 20-minute run, gradually increasing your time as you progress and your strength develops. Great progress can be made in as little as two weeks, where you should notice you’re walking less and running more.

Strive for an ultimate goal of running for 30 minutes. Once achieved, you should incorporate interval training as it increases endurance and supports weight loss by burning more calories during the running phase. Interval training will increase your V02 Max and improve your heart rate. Set challenging goals for yourself that will place more demand on the body, burn more calories and get you closer to your weight loss goal. With interval training, you will develop cardiovascular endurance so that you can run for longer durations.

Stride and gait are very important for runners. Many make the mistake of running with too wide of a gait, which places a lot of stress on the hip and knee joints. An efficient running stride is about 180-182 foot-strikes per minute. This is a comfortable pace that increases efficiency and reduces the risk of injury. You can gradually change your stride by being disciplined and patient, along with practicing it proper technique daily.

A shorter stride will serve you better in terms of increasing your physical fitness level and using your energy efficiently. For this, lean forward and make sure that your feet land close to your body. Another option is to defy gravity, which is done by reducing the contact time between the foot and the ground. In simple terms, it means that pull your foot up as soon as it touches the ground without bouncing too much. Some plyometric training will help to perfect this technique and will steer you away from a landing-standing-pushing momentum, which is cumbersome and will slow you down.

In order to perfect your stride, you need to minimize your bounce. Avoid an up-and-down motion. Instead adopt a forward motion as this will help you conserve energy and help build speed and momentum. It also helps reduce injury and aches and pains. If you bounce too much, you’re placing too much stress on the vertebrae, particularly in the neck. You can also add sprints to your training that will condition fast-twitch muscle fibers. This conditioning and training also increases stride efficiency and power. Hill running and cross training can also be incorporated into your running program.

By the time you master the perfect way of running, your waistline will have shrunk substantially! As you lose the excess fat, you will feel energized and become more active. Running will become easier and your goals will shift from losing weight to staying fit. Remember, all you need is a pair of running shoes and the great outdoors.

Originally published @ FITLODE.COM

David Beckham’s Cardio Workout

If you want to increase your endurance, you need to increase your V02 Max and the best way to do that is through cardio training.

David Beckham's Cardio WorkoutFor a soccer player like David Beckham, endurance is key to performing well on the pitch. In a game that is a cross between a marathon and a sprint, it’s important to train the heart, increase your lung capacity and improve oxygen delivery to your muscles. This includes training your body to perform anaerobically, so it is better-equipped to deal with lactic acid build-up.

What you need to do before you embark upon this challenge is calculate your maximum heart rate – subtract your age from 220, then multiply this by your target heart rate, whether it be 50 or 85% to determine the level you need to be working at. This challenge should be performed no more than twice a week. Make sure you’re realistic about your goals and work within your current fitness level. This will affect your resting times and your THR.

Beckham’s Cardio Workout

WEEK 1

Run for 5 minutes
Goal:  85% MHR
Recovery:  4 minutes (until heart rate is down to 60% of max)
Repeat 3 times

This breaks down into a 30-minute drill. By resting for 4 minutes, Beckham lowers his heart rate to about 60% of max before beginning the next set.

WEEK 2

Run for 2 minutes
Goal:  90% MHR
Recovery:  2 minutes (until heart rate is down to 60% of max)
Repeat 7 times

This breaks down into a 20-minute drill with enough rest to bring down your THR to 60% of max.

WEEK 3

Run for 1 minute
Goal:  95% MHR
Recovery:  1 minute ((until heart rate is down to 60% of max)
Repeat 15 times

WEEK 4

60-yard retro sprints (sprint 60 yards, turn around, sprint back)
Goal:  To complete one circuit within 20 seconds
Recovery:  1 minute (until heart rate is down to 60% of max)
Repeat 8 to 10 times

WEEK 5

Sprint for 60 yards
Goal:  All out (just give ‘er!)
Recovery:  10 seconds (until heart rate is down to 60% of max)
Repeat 8 to 10 times

Originally published @ FITLODE.COM