What Is The Best Cardio To Lose Weight And … What Is Not?
Losing weight can be a tricky subject. For some, it comes easy. For others, it can seem nearly impossible. But really, losing weight comes down to only a few things. Your diet, which I’ve talked quite a bit about recently, and your exercise. When it comes to burning calories while you’re exercising, cardio should not be overlooked. But what is the best cardio to lose weight?
Unfortunately there is not ONE type of cardio that is the “best.” Instead, you need to understand what the different types of cardio are and how they can be used to create maximum weight loss.
What leaves me scratching my head is when I see people at the gym pedaling their bikes in a half sleep while reading a novel …
that is NOT the best cardio to lose weight.
Instead of going to the gym (or even outside) with the thought of just “winging” it, you will see MUCH better results if you have a plan of attack ahead of time. Knowing exactly what you are going to do for each workout before you do it is crucial. And yes, this even applies to cardio.
The Different Types of Cardio
How do you know what type of cardio you should do? When it comes to cardio, it’s important to understand that there are different types … or at least different workouts that we usually consider a “cardio workout.”
Here are a few of the most popular and effective types of “cardio workouts.”
- Steady State
- High Intensity Interval Training
- Tabata Protocol
- Body Weight Circuits
- Muscle Confusion Workouts
- Metabolic Resistance Training
What is interesting is that these workouts all have a slightly different effect on the body and it’s ability to burn fat.
Steady State Cardio - Steady state cardio is probably the best for burning body fat directly, however it’s not that great for burning calories, releasing hormones or for EPOC. Also, it requires quite a bit time for optimal results.
High Intensity Interval Training – HIIT is great for the amount of calories burned, EPOC, and even for the HGH release. What isn’t great is that it’s not efficient at direct fat burning.
Tabata Protocol – The Tabata protocol is awesome for EPOC and HGH release but terrible for total calories burned and for direct fat burning … at least during your workout.
Body Weight Circuits – Body weight circuits are good for EPOC, total amount of calories burned, and they’re fairly good for releasing HGH. What they are not great for is directly burning calories.
Muscle Confusion Workouts – Muscle confusion workouts are basically the same as body weight circuits. Generally, most body weight workouts last about 1/2 hour whereas the two popular muscle confusion workouts last for 1 hour or so.
Crossfit – Crossfit is great for HGH release, calories burned and EPOC. Plus, it’s just plain cool. What isn’t cool though is that it doesn’t contribute too much to direct fat burning and the potential for suffering from over training symptoms is high.
Metabolic Resistance Training – Metabolic resistance training is actually quite similar to Crossfit as far as how your body reacts. It’s great for everything except for direct fat burning, which in the end, is one of the most important aspects to determining what the best cardio to lose weight is.
Zumba – Zumba is actually fun and efficient at burning body fat and calories. Where Zumba is lacking though is that it isn’t too hot for EPOC and HGH release.
So … What Is The Best Cardio To Lose Weight?
As you can see, it can be somewhat tricky labeling one type of cardio as the “best” cardio for weight loss. In fact, what might be the best method for one person is not necessarily going to be the best for someone else.
In the end, there are four main aspects that your cardio, or whatever you want to call your weight loss workout, needs to touch on.
- Calories – How many total calories are burned while doing the activity?
- Fat Burning – How much fat is used for fuel during the activity?
- EPOC – How many calories are burned after the activity has been completed?
- HGH – How much fat burning hormone is released due to this activity?
When your workout takes into consideration these four areas and hits each one CORRECTLY … you will be able to burn fat like crazy and yes, lose weight.
As you can see from the above list, there are many, many different cardio workouts that you can choose from. Honestly, all of the ones listed above are good but when it comes to the “best,” I believe that Visual Impact Cardio is the best, hands down. Visual Impact Cardio isn’t necessarily a new type of workout, but after reading it you will master the skill of fat loss and you will know the most efficient ways to setup your cardio routines.
How You Should Do Cardio To Lose Weight
Now, I obviously can’t go into detail on what Visual Impact Cardio outlines, but since I’ve seen the author, Rusty Moore, talking about some of this stuff on his Facebook page, I figure it’s fair game.
As a broad, non-specific, outline for creating an effective cardio plan, you should setup your workouts to be more intense in the beginning of the week and then taper off slightly as the week progresses. Now, there are many VERY effective tweaks, additions and subtractions that you will learn about, but this is a general and solid approach to get you started.
In Phase III of Rusty’s workout for men, he recommends doing HIIT for 15-20 minutes followed by 10-30 minutes of steady state. I’ve followed this advice in the past and got good results but I noticed my body getting tired and I also noticed the fat burning effects slowing down as the week went on. Instead of doing this throughout the entire week, you can focus on a routine like this for the beginning of the week and then ease up as the week progresses.
Now don’t get me wrong, there are other tweaks that drastically increase your weight/fat loss and the program goes into that in detail, but this is still AWESOME advice and you’re sure to see some good results from it.
I’ve done all of these workouts — except maybe the Zumba — and have gotten pretty decent results. By far though, if you ask me what is the best cardio to lose weight, I’ve got to let my results speak for themselves, and my best results have been from following Visual Impact Cardio.