How To Boost Your Results From Traditional Aerobics
Let’s start with a simple fact. Traditional aerobics, or long duration, low intensity cardio, is not the be all end all when it comes to either weight loss, or overall health and fitness.
For starters, the number of calories burned are relatively low for the amount of time put in, much lower than most people realize.
A typical thirty minute cardio session of fast walking or jogging, outside or on the treadmill, only burns about 150 to 300 calories, hardly a life changing number.
This is easily negated by a beer or two, a couple of tablespoons of peanut butter or even a bagel with a little cream cheese!
Aerobics also does nothing for keeping or building lean muscle, which helps to boost your metabolism and positively reshape the body.
Okay, so that kills the idea of using aerobics for fat loss. Well, not so fast. It’s not completely useless for fat loss, plus it can have some important health benefits, too.
First, let’s go with cardio as the term instead of aerobics.
It just sounds better. Athletes do cardio.
Aerobics is for 80’s women in leggings and drugged up bodybuilders in brightly colored clown pants leaning out for a contest. And that’s not us!
We’re talking about exercises using the largest muscles of the body that elevate the heart rate and allow you to to thirty minutes or more at a steady state or do interval training.
This means a lot of different exercises like:
- Walking / Jogging / Running
- Elliptical Machine
- Stationary Bike
- Stair Climbing (the machine or actually running stairs)
- Bodyweight exercises and calisthenics (jumping jacks, squats, skater hops, burpees, etc.)
- Sports (like tennis, basketball, racquetball, etc.)
- And many more!
Yes, the first one is walking, jogging and running.
They can have their place, provided you don’t overdo it and that they are part of an overall plan that includes resistance training.
You can also combine them into an interval training workouts, such as hard running for 30 seconds, followed by 60 seconds of walking and repeating for “X” number of rounds.
Also, walking, while not the best calorie burner in the world, has fantastic overall health benefits.
Everyone should walk for twenty to thirty mintes a day if at all possible.
A great way to use traditional aerobics to boost your fat loss results is to include a shortened session immediately after an intense resistance training session.
A key to making this effective is using a resistance training program that is intense and gets the heart rate elevated.
We’re talking about maximizing fat burning, not doing singles on the bench press with five minutes of rest between sets.
Your resistance training workout should include short rests between sets and even techniques like supersetting, where you perform two different exercises back to back without rest.
For example, you might do a set of bent over dumbbell rows for ten repetitions, followed by a set of dumbbell bench presses for ten repetitions. You would then rest thirty to sixty seconds and repeat.
It’s also important that you perform full body workouts and not split routines where you might just work your arms one day, your legs another day, your chest on a third day, etc.
Perform three full body workotus per week on nonconsecutive days, such as Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday.
When you perform a full body intense reistance training workout of twenty to thirty minutes and then add ten to twenty minutes of cardio immediately after, you greatly increase your fat burning results.
You don’t waste time getting your body “ready” in the first ten or fifteen minutes.
You’ve already tapped into your glycogen stores from the resistance training, you’ve already elevated your heart rate, and now your body is primed and ready to keep burning calories from your cardio, starting from minute one.
In short, use a cardio session immediately following an intense reistance training session that utilizes short rest periods between sets (or interval traiing style), and a full body workout.
Perform a normal aerobic session (that sometimes is done in interval training style), on your non-weight training days for thirty to forty-five minutes.
Do not always use the same exercise.
Your body is highly efficient and the number of calories you burn the first time you go running will not be the same as the tenth time if you always do the same thing. Use a variety of exercises like in the list above, to keep your body guessing and your metabolism revving.