You can lose weight without fitness, but with regular workouts it can be done faster and more efficiently. How to build an aerobic exercise for maximum results? And is it true that the most effective way to burn fat is cardio workouts?
This article will deal with the most popular questions that relate to cardio workouts and their effectiveness for weight loss. We will also look at popular cardiovascular training myths that can be misleading and impede progress in the classroom. And finally, we will offer you a ready-made complex of cardio exercises for practicing at home or in the gym.
Benefits of cardio workouts for burning fat
Cardio training (or aerobic training) occurs due to the energy that is produced during the oxidation of glucose molecules with oxygen. This is the main difference from the power load, where energy is extracted in an oxygen-free way. Therefore, during cardio, not only muscles are trained, but also the entire cardiovascular system.
Cardio workouts are especially useful for those who are just starting to do fitness. They prepare your heart for heavier loads. What else is useful aerobic exercises?
Benefits of cardio workouts:
- Calories are burned, which facilitates and speeds up the process of losing weight.
- Increased endurance, you will be able to withstand all the heavier loads (this will be useful to you in everyday life).
- Accelerated metabolic and metabolic processes.
- The strength of the lungs and their volume increase.
- The work of the cardiovascular system improves, the risk of diseases decreases.
- Increases immunity.
- Removed stress and psychological stress.
- You will receive a charge of vivacity and energy for the whole day.
Pulse during a cardio workout to burn fat
In order for the cardio workout to be effective, it is necessary to practice in the area of fat burning. The so-called fat burning zone is within 65-85% of the maximum heart rate (HR). The higher the heart rate, the more calories you will burn. The pulse corridor at which fat burning is achieved is calculated using the following formula:
HR max = 220 – age (this is the maximum allowable pulse value)
Next, we calculate the area of fat burning, it is in 65-85% of HR max:
- Lower bound: HR max * 0,65
- Upper limit: HR max * 0,85
Let’s say your age is 35 years old
- Lower bound of fat loss zone: 185 * 0.65 = 120
- Upper limit of fat burning zone: 185 * 0.85 = 157
To measure the pulse during a cardio workout, you can use a heart rate monitor or fitness bracelet. If you do not have it, you can measure the pulse yourself during the session. To do this, count the number of beats in 10 seconds and then multiply the resulting value by 6. So you get the value of your pulse.
The main rules for effective cardio workout for burning fat
- Prefer interval loads. Interval training is much more effective than monotonous aerobics. You will burn more calories and more efficiently. In addition, such cardio programs are less damaging to muscle tissue. For example, you can perform exercises on the principle of tabata: we train for 20 seconds with an intense load, we rest for 10 seconds, we do 4-8 sets, we rest for 1 minute. You can also choose intervals for your options.
- People who are overweight also need aerobic exercise. Only in this case it is better to choose walking: on the simulator, on the street, or at home, for example, look at our selection: Top-10 video training based on walking for beginners. It is not necessary to run or jump to drive off excess weight. The most important thing in cardio workouts is to work with an increased heart rate, and this is achieved during any vigorous physical activity.
- Cardio workouts should always be complemented by strength training. Without strength training, you will lose muscle, slow down your metabolism, degrade body quality. It is not necessary to perform both types of load on the same day, they can be alternated. Be sure to take a look: Strength training for girls + ready plan.
- Begin classes with strength training, and finish aerobic. If you combine two types of load in one day, it is better to start training with strength exercises. Otherwise, after cardio you will not have the strength to work with high-quality weights.
- Always watch your heart rate. At low values, you will not reach the desired goal, and at high values - harm your health. If you do not have a heart rate monitor, measure the pulse yourself 2-3 times during the session.
- Periodically change the type of aerobic exercise. If you are in the gym, then alternate, for example, an ellipsoid and a treadmill. When doing cardio workouts at home, try changing exercises. This will increase the effectiveness of the results.
- If you have knee problems, choose low-impact cardio. There are a lot of low impact programs that will help you burn fat without harming your knees. If you are in the gym, you can choose a brisk walk on the track or an ellipsoid.
- How often do you need to do cardio workouts? If you want to lose weight, then do cardio at least 3 times a week for 30-45 minutes. If you want to keep fit or work on muscle mass, it is enough 1-2 times a week for 30-45 minutes.
- Even if you do not need to lose weight, do not completely exclude cardio workouts from the schedule. With their help, you improve your endurance and the work of the heart muscle.
One example of interval training if you are running:
Many people do not like cardio workouts and try to avoid them if possible. But now there is a very large selection of aerobic and interval programs, so you can choose the most suitable option for yourself. In addition to traditional running, it can be walking, plyometrics, crossfit, step aerobics, kickboxing, aqua aerobics, tai-bo, cycling, dancing, training on an ellipsoid and exercise bike. Also an alternative to cardio training for burning fat can be sports activity: skiing, skating, roller skating, swimming, athletics, and playing sports.
8 major myths about cardio workouts for burning fat
MYTH number 1: For weight loss and burning fat, be sure to engage in cardio workouts
No, for weight loss and burning fat, it is not necessary to do cardio workouts. Lose weight from a calorie deficit (consume less food than the body is able to spend per day), and body quality is improved through strength training due to the strengthening or growth of muscles. Therefore, you can lose weight without cardio workouts.
However, cardio workouts provide extra calorie consumption, thereby helping you create the necessary deficiencies for losing weight and burning fat. So with regular cardio workouts you will lose weight easier. In addition, heart training is a very useful component of fitness training, which should not be avoided if you do not want to get problems with the cardiovascular system.
MYTH number 2: If you wrap problem areas with a film or wear a thermal belt, then fat burning during cardio workouts will be faster.
No, it does not affect the process of losing weight at all, does not increase calorie consumption during classes and does not help fat burning during cardio workouts. Film and thermal belt just make you lose more moisture during your workout. Perhaps your weight will even decrease slightly, but only at the expense of lost water, not fat.
In addition, dehydration during exercise is not only very harmful to health, but also reduces the effectiveness of exercise. Therefore, the film and thermal belt will not help weight loss, but only harm health.
MYTH number 3: If you do strength training, then cardio is not necessary.
If you are engaged in strength training and working on muscle growth, this does not mean that you do not need cardio. The muscle of the heart trains much longer than the muscles of the body, so with the growth of power loads your heart (unlike the muscles of the legs and arms) will simply be unprepared. This is fraught with not only a fall in results, but also serious health problems.
Imagine that you are engaged only in the development of the muscles of the body, forgetting about the heart muscle. With an increase in body weight, the heart has to pump more blood, and therefore work harder. As a result, your untrained heart with wear increases will wear out very quickly. Therefore, even if you are working on muscle mass, you should have a competent combination of strength and cardio workouts.
Myth number 4: If you constantly engage in cardio workouts, then follow the diet is not necessary. During the classes, everything “burns down”.
When during the day you consume more food than your body is able to process, then all the “unspent” goes to the reserve fund – fat. For example, an average hour-long workout burns 500 kcal per hour of occupation, and this is equivalent to only 100 g of chocolate. Therefore, if you want to get rid of fat, you need to follow the diet in order to fit into your norm and not gain weight. Cardio workouts are a great way to burn calories, but nutrition is the first step for losing weight.
In addition, if you are engaged in intense cardio workouts for burning fat, then the body perceives it as a very energy-intensive exercise. Trying to compensate for the effort, he begins to increase his appetite to fill up the energy. You unwittingly begin to eat more, and that is why often there is a situation when intensive training does not help to lose weight. We recommend counting calories so that the process of losing weight is clear and obvious.
MYTH number 5: Cardio training should be long, because the consumption of fat begins only after 20 minutes of exercise.
Another popular myth is that fat begins to burn only after 20 minutes of exercise. But it is not. The duration of the cardio workout depends only on where the body will draw energy for exercise. But for the overall process of losing weight, it does not matter. For weight loss, the main thing is to create a shortage of calories, that is, spend more calories per day than comes with food.
Cardio workouts longer than 20 minutes are beneficial only because you can spend more calories than short ones. We emphasize that for losing weight it does not matter whether you will train 5 times a week for 10 minutes or once a week for 50 minutes. Calories are spent on any workout, and not as important as you spend these calories: with the help of a long or with a short lesson. The only recommendation is not to engage in cardio workouts for more than 1 hour, because it threatens to cause muscle tissue to collapse, which is not very good for body composition and metabolism.
Myth number 6: If you train outside the area of fat burning, then the training will be useless.
This is not true. Whatever the heart rate during exercise (heart rate), you will burn calories. The higher the heart rate – the greater the consumption of calories. 70-80% – those are the optimal numbers at which you train your heart with high quality and burn the maximum number of calories without harmful load on the body.
MYTH number 7: If there is a problem with the joints and vessels, then cardio cannot be done.
You can, but you only need to choose low-impact options for exercises. The most important thing in cardio workouts is raising your heart rate and burning calories, no matter how you achieve it: normal walking or intense jumps. If you are engaged in the gym, then choose to walk on a treadmill, changing the speed and angle of inclination. If you’re at home, you can walk, for example, in this 45-minute video from Leslie Sanson (suitable for beginners):
Myth number 8: You can not do full cardio workouts at home without simulators.
If for strength training you really may need additional equipment (dumbbells, barbell, exercise equipment), then for home cardio training at home no equipment is needed. Below are the ready-made sets of videos with cardio workouts, but we also recommend that you look at our article: A selection of cardio exercises at home + a finished lesson plan.
10 Fat Burning Cardio Exercises
We offer you a ready cardio workout to perform at home or in the gym. You do not need additional equipment, all exercises are performed with the weight of your own body. The load can be easily adjusted by speeding up or slowing down the speed of the exercises.
The program will consist of two circles. In each round you will find 5 effective cardio exercises for burning fat. Exercises are performed one after another, first the first lap, then the second lap. You can do the exercises not on time, but on the count, about 20-40 repetitions, depending on the exercise.
Plan for beginners:
- Each exercise is performed for 30 seconds, then 30 seconds rest
- Each circle is repeated 2 times.
- 1-2 minutes of rest between circles
- Total workout duration: 25 minutes
- Each exercise is performed for 45 seconds, then 15 seconds rest
- Each circle is repeated 2-3 times.
- 1-2 minutes of rest between circles
- Total duration of training: 25-40 minutes
The first round of cardio exercises
1. Running with the overrun of a shin
We run on the spot, trying to hit the heels on the buttocks. Lightweight version: walking on the spot with overrun of the leg.
2. Squat jumps
We jump into a wide squat, touching the floor with our hands. Knees should not go beyond the socks, the back remains straight. Light version: perform a wide squat without a jump.
3. Horizontal running
We accept the strap position and tighten the knees to the chest, quickly replacing one leg with the other. The body forms a straight line, the back does not bend or bend. Light version: alternately tighten the knee to the chest in the bar. Read more about the horizontal running exercise.
4. Breeding hands in a half-ride
We jump in a half-ride, simultaneously spreading our arms and legs. During the whole exercise, keep the position of the half-seat. Lightweight version: relegate the legs to the side in the half-squat position without jumping.
We throw up our arms and legs, moving as if on a ski track with small jumps. Hands move in sync with the legs. Lightweight version: walking in place, simultaneously moving your arms and legs.
Second round of cardio exercises
1. Running with knee lift
We run in place, raising the knees so that the thigh is parallel to the floor. The back is straight and does not go back. Lightweight version: we walk in place, pulling the knees to the chest.
Pull your knee up to your chest from the strap position and jump vertically upwards, then take the position of the slat with a backward jump. Light version: the exercise can be performed without jumping. Read more about exercise.
3. Breeding legs in the bar
In the position of the bar jump, spreading his legs to the side. The body keeps a straight line, the back remains straight. Light version: alternate legs to the side.
From the squat position, we make a sharp vertical jump up and then return to the squat. Light version: perform regular squats. Read more about jumping squats.
Position the shallow squat on one leg, the other leg is retracted. Jump to the side, transferring the weight to the other leg and touching the floor with your hand. The weight is transferred to the supporting leg, the free leg is retracted. Light version: jump from side to side, without touching the floor with your hand.
Thank youtube channel for gifs: Shortcircuits with Marsha.
Cardio workouts for burning fat at home
So, to perform cardio workouts at home, you do not need additional equipment, you can train with your own body weight . This is a big advantage. It is not necessary to take street jogs (which can be so hard to convince yourself) when you can practice cardio at home with no less efficiency.
If you are looking for ready-made effective videos with cardio workouts for burning fat at home, then we recommend that you watch:
If you are ready for heavier loads, then high-intensity interval workouts will be most effective for losing weight: