I am confused about what is better for maximum fat loss, cardio such as walking and jogging or harder, interval type training. I have a lot of body fat to drop and want to get lean as quickly and efficiently as possible. I know your reputation for getting personal training clients in shape and need your help! What is the best cardio for fat loss?
Fat Loss Rollercoaster
Dear Fat Loss Rollercoaster,
It’s time for you to change that name to “fat loss success story” I hope!
There is a lot of confusion about “the best cardio for fat loss” and the right way to get lean so I understand your predicament. I have written numerous articles on fat loss which I hope will educate you, and we have an extremely popular 6 week fat loss programme as part of our personal training services. However, to deal with your specific issue over fat loss and cardio here is the deal. With lower intensity, “steady-state” cardio you will typically achieve maximum adaptation after 6 weeks. What this means for your quest to get lean is that after 6 weeks your body will be efficient at the exercise (be it jogging, swimming, walking, stationary cycling etc) and your efforts at fast fat loss will grind down to an infuriating snail’s pace. It sounds like you have already experienced this, but don’t feel too bad as you are in the same boat as literally millions of other frustrated fat loss seekers. So what do you do about it and is there a best cardio for fat loss?
5 weeks of the correct type of training and the fat loss results speak for themselves!
From an exercise perspective, the answer is simple. It is best to move onto interval training for rapid fat loss results. The idea that low-intensity cardio is the best way to drop fat was dispelled many years ago and on countless occasions. Not least in the July 1994 edition of Metabolism, “Impact of Exercise Selection on Body Fatness and Skeletal Muscle Metabolism”. The authors reported that for a given level of energy expenditure, a high-intensity training program includes a greater loss of subcutaneous fat compared with a training program of moderate intensity”. (Editor’s Note: we do aim to constantly update our views on all matter relating to fitness and fat loss, and to read Nick’s views on the positives and negatives of cardio you can visit his June 2011 blog on “cardio training“)
Take home lesson for the “Fat Loss Rollercoasters” amongst you? Mix up your cardio intensities – fast, slow, fast, slow and maximise your fat loss. The best cardio for fat loss is the one that you have never done before!
Brendan did only 1 cardio session a week to achieve these results in less than 2 months.