Cardio Fast or Slow?
photo by mikebaird
Here's the deal: There are really 2 categories of people when it comes to how intense you should perform your cardio. It mixes people up because you notice the bodybuilder at the gym carying 8% bodyfat yet he's going at a slow pace and then you see a regular lean guy on the treadmill sprinting like someone's chasing him. Well, here are the 2 categories:
1. Food tracker: I myself place myself in this category. For example I don't need to perform hard cardio because I follow my nutrition, I know exactly how many calories I'm consuming so if I burn off 200 calories by walking, jogging or running it's a 200 calorie deficit either way. So in this case it doesn't matter as long as I get to my desired deficit.
2. Non food trackers: Now if you don't follow a strict diet or you don't have a consistent calorie level every day then the intensity really matters. Now keep in mind that the more calories you burn the hungrier you become so be careful not to over eat, this will be counterproductive to your fat loss. The best way to lose body fat for these people has been shown to be intervals. So for example 30 seconds fast 1 minute slow. If you're in this category you want to perform a minimum of 20 minutes and a maximum of 45 minutes. If you're over 50 I would recommend just sticking to the heart rate fat burning zone. The fat burning zone will ensure that your at least working hard enough to burn fat. But don't be fooled by the name. When someone surpasses the fat burning zone by bringing there heart rate higher, it allows them to burn more fat after they stop the exercise which will be prolonged and more effective in the end.
So bottom line: if you're a food tracker, you get to be lazy and go slow like me
If you're not a food tracker you need to push hard.