Hitch Fit Living Magazine Volume 5 - March/April 2016 - Page 37

While that approach is cardio training, you’re not burning as much body fat while performing that level of intensity for a prolonged duration at a high heart rate. This run hard, run long approach is known as endurance aerobic conditioning which is very important for athletes such as distance runners, cyclists, etc. Training your circulatory system in this way increases your Vo2-Max. However, most of the people who are doing cardio simply want to burn fat and look great, yet many aren't doing cardio in the most effective ways to achieve that result. It's important to know how the body works and breaks down nutrients for energy. When you’re doing cardio at a high heart rate, you’re body is initially drawing energy from carbohydrates in your system burning them all up within the first 10-20 minutes depending on the amount you have consumed prior to cardio training. When your heart rate is at a high BPM and the carbohydrates are burnt off it goes straight to your lean muscle mass for energy as protein is the next easiest source to break down for energy. Body fat is too hard and takes too long to burn and will not supply the energy needed to sustain the high intensity activity level for a prolonged period of time because your body can’t break it down fast enough. Thats why most marathon runners are very slender, they don’t have much lean mass and are usually not very aesthetic because they train that way for their end goal result of running long distances, not for aesthetics. So ask yourself, “Is my goal to really increase my Vo2-max and my marathon time?” If that is your goal or the type of training that you simply enjoy then great, more power to you! However if your goal is to burn body fat and retain your lean muscle mass then you need a different approach! Fat Burning cardio also called steady state cardio is a lower intensity type of aerobic training that burns body fat and it also increases your Vo2-max, just not as much as the high intensity prolonged aerobic conditioning style of training. For steady state cardio you need to sustain 60-75% of your calculated max heart rate for a prolonged period of time. 45-60 minutes. (To calculate your max hear