If you’re racking up lots o’ cardio time, you’re probably either a) looking to drop a few kilos or b) a runner hoping to finish your first half or shave time off your next race. But logging 45 minutes on the treadmill every day or slogging through long, steady runs five times a week won’t help you blast fat or get faster. And after a while, you might become bored and start skimping on sessions (or skipping them entirely), says running coach Jeff Gaudette. Learn what to add and abandon to hit your goal. If you want to…
Want To Lose 5 Kilos?
Do this: Prioritise HIIT, advises Gaudette. High-intensity interval training increases the post-workout kilojoule burn by up to 15 percent compared with steady-state sessions, according to the American College of Sports Medicine. Do two interval workouts of any mode of cardio, spaced throughout the week: warm up at an easy pace for 10 minutes, then alternate a minute at high intensity with a minute at low intensity for 10 to 15 minutes, then cool down. Add in two moderately paced workouts on the days in between.
Drop this: Obsessing over numbers. “If you’re married to your watch, you can’t listen to your body,” says Greg Justice, an exercise physiologist and author of Mind Your Own Fitness. “Sometimes it’s better to go with the flow and let your body dictate the workout.” The same applies for tunnel-visioning on kilojoule displays or the leader board at CrossFit. Sure, it can be motivating to see your effort quantified or how you’re measuring up to everyone else sweating beside you, but it often paints an inaccurate picture of how hard you’re working.
Warm Up Faster
Before any aerobic session, Gaudette recommends doing this lunge matrix: five reps each of forward lunge, forward lunge with upper-body twist, side lunge and reverse lunge; repeat on the other side. It’ll fire up your quads, core and glutes and help loosen your hip flexors in about three minutes – five, tops – cutting down on the distance you’ll have to run at an easy pace to get all limber.