Do Steady State Cardio Exercises Work in Fat Loss

The Best Type Of Exercise For Fat Loss

For some time now, so-called experts in fitness have been recommending that you target steady state cardio exercises to benefit your heart and achieve fat loss. They reckon that you should aim for the ‘fat burning zone’ and maintain that level of effort for prolonged periods.

If you have been following this method, your results will no doubt be disappointing you by now. If you use running, or jogging, in your exercise regime, try varying your pace, eg. jog for 10 mins then sprint hard for a couple of minutes, or until you run out of breath, then jog again until you you have recovered and your breathing has settled down. Then repeat, jog then sprint, then jog….

If you enjoy cycling or use exercise bikes, then try doing the same, sprint cycle for a hundred yards followed by a period of recovery, then sprint again.

You can adapt almost any form of exercise to this method. It just involves alternating bursts of high intensity followed by recovery periods of low intensty.

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Man, indeed all mammals, were designed for this form of activity, I know of no other mammal that follows an endurance pattern in a normal day’s routine.

Over the last 10 years, scientific research has indicated a couple of very important things to us about exercising for body fat loss.

First of all, lifting heavier weights while exercising leads to a higher caloric consumption by the body in the period for about 1-2 days following the workout when compared to lifting light weights with high repetitions.

So that’s why 6-8 repetitions per set is better than 12-15 reps per set when it comes to stimulating the metabolism for losing fat permanently. That’s one of the cornerstones of the types of training routines in programs that actually get results.

Intensity for short periods followed by a recovery period is not only the natural way, but you will get better and more sustainable results.

Out hearts were never designed to be used in a steady state way, except when we are at rest. Therefore the interval training method is far better for our hearts than these so-called cardio workouts.

So, do steady state cardio exercises work in fat loss? The benefits are dubious, if you want to maximize your fat loss and fitness gains, then think of interval training first. Your metabolism will continue working for you long after you have left the gym, or finished your exercise routine.

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The Fat Burning Zone Myth

Forget Fat Burning Zone When Losing Body Fat

Just before we start I’d like to point out that I did not write this aticle, Mike Geary (author of Truth About Six Pack Abs) co-wrote this target heart rate article with Craig Ballantyne (author of Turbulence Training) because they wanted to get the message out to everyone who keeps struggling with this outdated mentality that they must be in some sort of “fat burning zone” if they want to stand any chance of losing body fat with their workouts.

Target Heart Rate is Useless for Losing Body Fat

We’ll show you why targeting a specific heart rate to be in this so-called fat burning zone is actually the opposite of what you should be focusing on in your workouts if you truly want to get lasting fat loss results.

One of the worst myths in the fitness industry is that you need to maintain a specific heart rate range in the fat burning zone in order to lose fat. But this is simply not true. Unfortunately, this false belief leads people to choose low intensity steady state cardio routines that are ineffective and cause most people a major lack of results from their workouts.

The quicker you get rid of the “target fat burning heart rate = the best workout” mentality, the faster you will actually start to get real results with fat loss and changing the shape of your body for good.

In the Turbulence Training workouts, you actually burn more fat and more total calories when you are OUT of the gym due to the high-intensity and variable intensity nature of the training methods in these programs. This phenomenon is not due to the elevated heart rate you experience during the workout (even though your heart rate will be increased from the supersets and intervals), but rather from the metabolic and hormonal response you achieve from the more effective workout compared to your ineffective “fat burning zone” workout.

Over the last 10 years, scientific research has indicated a couple of very important things to us about exercising for body fat loss. First of all, lifting heavier weights while exercising leads to a higher caloric consumption by the body in the period for about 1-2 days following the workout when compared to lifting light weights with high repetitions. So that’s why 6-8 repetitions per set is better than 12-15 reps per set when it comes to stimulating the metabolism for losing fat permanently. That’s one of the cornerstones of the types of training routines in programs that actually get results, like Turbulence Training.

Another important aspect we have learned from scientific research in recent years is that highly variable interval-type training is far superior to slow, steady-pace cardio exercise for fat loss and post-exercise induced calorie burning. In the long run, if you focus on the internal metabolic response your body is getting from your workout routines, instead of how many calories you burn during some sort of magical “target fat burning heart rate zone”, you will achieve MUCH better fat loss results. So not only is it more result-producing, but it is also more time-efficient to use short high-intensity interval training workouts instead of slow, long, steady-pace cardio sessions.

The only time you might need to know your specific heart rate is during the recovery period of the interval training. It is important to take enough time during your recovery intervals in order for your heart rate to drop back down significantly (allow it drop to approximately less than 60% of your max heart rate).

That way you are able to get more quality work done when it counts. You do not want to start your next high-intensity interval too soon, nor do you want to exercise too hard during your recovery intervals.

All of these details are provided in the interval training guidelines within the Turbulence Training program. And we’ll show you how to properly structure your intervals so that you allow enough recovery time between each. With these guidelines, you do not have to worry about monitoring your target heart rate or anything fancy like that. It’s just not necessary. Just follow the TT instructions, and you will do great.

So here’s the bottom line:

If you want to start actually getting the fat loss results you’ve been wanting for so long, do not worry so much about your target fat buring heart rate zone during exercise. Instead, make sure that you are working at a high-intensity and a variable intensity (according to your individual capabilities of course) during each weight lifting and interval training session.

The TT workout guidelines will give you all of the details you need on the specific rest periods to use between supersets and intervals. With these guidelines, you will start to see vastly improved results from your workouts within weeks of implementing the changes.

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Good Carbs – Bad Carbs – Fat Loss

Healthy Weight Loss

There has been so much confusion about the topic of good carbohydrates and bad carbohydrates in recent years… I wanted to help clear up some of that confusion for you and set you on a clearer path to lifelong fat loss success and healthier eating.

First of all, although I am not a “low carb” believer (I certainly don’t think extremely low carbohydrate diets are healthy), I do believe that one of the main reasons that the vast majority of people struggle to ever lose weight is that they are over-consuming processed refined carbohydrates such as pasta, bagels, breads, cereals, rice, muffins, sodas, juices, candies, crackers, etc.

It is exceedingly hard to lose weight if you are over-consuming any of these types of refined processed carbohydrates (even if you work out extremely hard). In addition to causing big blood sugar swings and insulin surges that stimulate direct body fat storage, eating too many carbohydrates also increases your cravings and overall appetite.

Even carbohydrate sources that most people think are “healthy” really are just excess calories that

Wheat bran
Wheat bran (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

do not really contain significant nutrient density… and many types of breads and cereals claim to be “whole grain” through clever marketing although in reality, the first ingredient in them is refined flour, which is just going to spike your blood sugar and create an insulin surge. After years of eating excess processed carbohydrates, it becomes harder and harder for insulin to do it’s job and continue handling all of this blood sugar, and insulin resistance and eventual type 2 diabetes can occur in many people.

My opinion on this is that the majority of people struggling to lose weight would get much better results by following these types of guidelines:

1. Reduce overall grain-based foods in your diet (pasta, cereal, crackers, rice, etc) and focus more of your diet on healthy free range, grass-fed meats and eggs, raw grass-fed dairy, and a whole lot of vegetables.

2. Instead of grains for most of your carbohydrate intake, try getting most of your carbs from veggies, sweet potatoes, and a variety of berries and whole fruits (NOT fruit juices, which remove the beneficial fiber as well as other important nutrients in the fruit)

A variety of foods made from wheat.
A variety of foods made from wheat.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

3. If you are going to get any grains at all, focus on the most nutrient dense and fibrous portions of the grain… the bran and the germ. This means that the healthiest ideas are using oat bran instead of oat meal, and using wheat germ and rice bran by adding them to your salads, yogurt, cottage cheese, soups, smoothies, etc. This way you get all of the most nutrient dense parts of the grains without all of the excess starches and calories.

4. To replace the void if you are accustomed to consuming large quantities of cereals, bread, pasta, and other carbohydrate sources… try filling that void with additional healthy fats such as avocados, guacamole, nuts, seeds, nut butters as well as healthy proteins such as grass-fed raw dairy and grass fed meats, whole free-range organic eggs, etc. Healthy fats and protein sources go a long way to satisfying your appetite, controlling proper blood sugar and hormone levels, and helping you to make real progress on weight loss for life.

With all of that said, here’s one of my favorite carbohydrate sources that is high in fiber as well as contains a high density of antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals… it is yams and/or sweet potatoes. Try slicing them into thin slivers and sauteeing them with a few tablespoons of water in a pan for about 5 minutes for a quicker healthy carb (instead of baking them for over an hour). Finish them off with a touch of grass-fed organic butter and some cinnamon and you’ve got a delicous and healthy carbohydrate side dish!

For more unique exercise and diet techniques for losing your stubborn stomach fat, go to nutrition and exercise and get more key strategies for those flat sexy 6-pack abs and a flat stomach for life.