Panaerobics is a fun form of cardio exercise that amplifies fat burning.

Panaerobics is a unique and effective way to melt off excess fat while also greatly improving heart health–and anybody can do this fun form of exercise.

The word “panaerobics” was coined by Dr. Len Schwartz years ago, and it’s a fusion of panorama and aerobics: whole body aerobics.

In panaerobics, you perform cardio (usually walking) while simultaneously performing upper body movements with very light hand weights, yielding a high fat burn.

Panaerobics exercises are typically done with 1 to 10 pound weights. The upper body and lower body exercise at the same time.

Panaerobics differs from straight endurance exercise (such as running, cycling or even step aerobics with the arm choreography) because it builds an element of strength due to the hand weights—strength building while building cardiorespiratory fitness.

This doesn’t mean that panaerobics is a substitute for traditional strength training; it’s still a cardio-centric modality. What results from panaerobics is endurance-strength.

Remember, the weight range is 1 to 10 pounds so that you can sustain long duration—loading as much muscle you can while performing aerobic exercise like walking—a great fat burning workout.

Panaerobics burns tons of fat.

Because so much muscle mass is being worked simultaneously, a significant calorie burn results. Photos of Dr. Schwartz in his early 80s are shocking: a ripped physique.

Panaerobics does not include counting reps; you perform reps throughout the duration of the walking, stationary bike pedaling, or use of an elliptical machine or stair climber.

  • Start out with very light weights
  • Beginners will tire very quickly even with just 1-pounders.
  • Go for time lapse, such as 15 minutes nonstop for your first session.

Just like your legs won’t stop during the session, the upper body movements don’t stop, though they can change. It may take time to find the right rhythm.

Some examples of upper body movements: shoulder press, frontal raise, side (lateral) raise, side flye, biceps curl, biceps curl to shoulder press, side raise followed by front raise, front cross-overs, cross or uppercut punching motions, or any other combinations that come to mind. The more vertical the lifting, the more taxing on the muscles.

You need not perform every conceivable motion in one workout. Rather than focusing on increasing the weight during a short session, focus on increasing duration with the same weight.

An hour-long panaerobics session with 2-pound weights will blitz the body and burn substantial fat.

Don’t turn this into merely an extra long weight lifting session (e.g., walking for just five minutes while doing shoulder presses with 20 lb. dumbbells—this is not panaerobics).

Remember, the upper body reps go in synch with the lower body movement.

This means if you’re walking, each shoulder press or frontal press coincides with each footstep.

For pedaling, find a rhythm that upper and lower body share.

If you need to take a rest at some point and just keep the weights hanging at your sides, that’s fine; panaerobics is very fatiguing to those who’ve never done it.

Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained women and men of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health. 
Top image: Shutterstock/Vladimir Borozenets