No, you’re not reading a late night Info Blog. Interval training is all the pound shedding rage, even amongst fitness competitors, and it works. But there are a few common cardio related fat burning fallacies that should be addressed.
Fallacy #1: fasted morning cardio. Sure it has a purpose but it’s mentally draining and can take up 3x longer to get the same fat burning, calorie expending benefits of HITT intervals. Stop the fasting, eat a few more carbs, and then walk into the morning HITT training with energy and mental focus. Yup that’s right, that slow, fasted, snoozefest, cardio crap most people put themselves through every morning before the crack of dawn isn’t as effective as eating a well-balanced, whole foods meal and turbo charging your morning cardio #fatburningfallacy.
Fallacy #2: WODs and Tabata are anaerobic, fat burning events. Cardio intervals work, but only if you actually rest hard, work hard and repeat. More than ever, when interval junkies do them, they often don’t rest enough. Why?? A big reason is the advent of WODS and Tabata based training. Both activities primarily use the aerobic system (i.e. moderate cardio heart rates using semi continuous activity) which reduces the intensity of your workout. Tabata and WOD style workouts definitely work but they may not be optimizing the metabolic fire and often don’t maximize the calories burned after the workout ends (EPOC) or growth hormone outputs. Both of which have been shown to improve fat oxidation.
Just because there is an attached fallacy doesn’t mean that these methods don’t work; but there’s a catch.
- Firstly, fat doesn’t burn effectively at WOD & tabata intensity – it’s mostly carbs!! The fat burns
- Secondly, fats only take over when the energy is being used a very low intensity. This might lead you to believe that low intensity, fasted cardio is effective at burning fat. It is, but it takes an ungodly amount of time to burn the same amount of fat and intervals in a 1/3rd of the time. Enable
I have used the progressed variations of the programs outlined below to train some of Canada’s top Olympic & professional athletes. These programs bust fat safely and quickly. Bonus, the workouts below:
- Burn more fat,
- are psychologically less draining,
- burn nearly as many cals in a 1/3rd of the time needed Vs long slow cardio
Rx: Type: multidirectional intervals – speed, agility quickness (SAQ) training can and should be performed by the young, athlete and old alike.
Intensity: moderate (more than 4 weeks experience on a fitness program)
- 75 – 85% of Max Heart Rate
- 2-3x / wk for 9-30 min (i.e. 3-5 intervals)
- 3-5 reps x 1.5-3min on 1.5-3min active rest (new to intervals start volume on the left)