Has your cardio exercise become stagnated? You’re no longer losing fat and it seems that no matter how hard you push, the rest of the weight just won’t come off?
Your cardio exercise regimen needs a jumpstart, and there are three ways to do this.
Sprint ‘n Walk
Sprint ‘n walk. This means what the name implies: Sprint, then walk. Sprint, then walk. The sprint should last only a very short distance or no more than 10-20 seconds.
Don’t obsess about counting the seconds; no stopwatch needed. Count foot strikes and then stay in a range that seems to correlate to 10-20 seconds.
If this can be correlated to a particular distance, such as the straightaway of a track, or from a side street intersection to a particular tree, then do it that way too.
Sprint walking can be done in a parking lot from one end to the other, then walk back and repeat (or walk the perimeter and repeat).
As the session progresses, you’ll note that sprint speeds become slower, which is fine. Recovery time can range from one to several minutes.
Regardless of your fitness level, warm up for at least 10 minutes before doing all-out sprints: Each burst gets progressively faster till, after at least 10 minutes, you feel ready to sprint your hardest.
Another important note is that you should never abruptly transition from sprint to walk.
Always jog out of it like competitive sprinters do when there’s a false start or after they cross the finish line. Abrupt stops can injure the hamstrings.
If outdoor sprint walks aren’t an option, use a treadmill. Do not hold on during the sprints or recovery walks, but do hold on lightly while changing the settings from sprint speed to recovery walk.
When slowing the treadmill, don’t go straight from 12 mph to 3 mph. Go to maybe 5 or 6 mph for several seconds of jogging, then to 4 for another several seconds of jogging, then to your recovery walk pace.
The sprint ‘n walk approach will dramatically increase fat-burning.
Dumbbell Incline Walk
It’s amazing how much more energy expenditure is required to walk an incline while holding a 10 lb. dumbbell in each hand.
If done according to plan, this workout should bring on severe fatigue within 10 minutes.
Place the dumbbells on either side of the tread, the begin walking at 15 percent. The variable is the speed.
Begin at 1.5 mph. Then straddle the tread and pick up the dumbbells, then resume walking. Go for 10 minutes.
This will really burn fat. If several minutes into this, you can recite the alphabet without any difficulty, you’re not going fast enough. Faster speed = more fat burn.
After 10 minutes, you should be huffing and puffing quite a bit and very ready to quit.
After 10 minutes, walk three or four minutes at zero incline, casual pace, no dumbbells, to recharge. Then repeat the 10 minute fat-burning blast two more times.
With sprint pedaling, you don’t have to keep pushing buttons, though some may prefer to alternate between heavy pedal resistance and light pedal resistance.
If you hate pushing buttons, find a resistance that you can blast out and reach complete fatigue in about 30 seconds, but then pedal slowly enough to recover in one to two minutes.
The sprint pedaling protocol can also apply to outdoor cycling.
For some, this workout will entail a rather high pedal resistance. For others it will be low. It depends on fitness level.
Warm up for about 10 minutes (more is not necessary) before doing your first all-out pedal.
If pedaling your fastest doesn’t harangue you in 20-30 seconds, then increase the resistance next time.
As the session progresses, you’ll need to reduce the pedal resistance due to accumulated fatigue.
For a big fat burning effect, do eight, 30 second blasts, alternated with the 1-2 minute casual pedaling.
Employ these three fat-burning schemes to your cardio workouts for the ultimate fat-burning effect!