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Should I do cardio for weight loss?

Doing cardio work gets overemphasized with weight loss . Whether you workout on your own, with a personal trainer, do a bootcamp, and whatever your fitness goals may be, cardio has its place.

With weight loss being the focus, proper nutrition and a properly designed weight training plan need to your top two priorities.

A poor diet cannot be out done by hours of physical activity. First, we have a finite amount of time we can devote to exercise, let alone accounting for every thing else we are responsible for in a day. No matter the intensity or duration of exercise, our body is only capable of burning so many calories from activity alone ( while also considering our fitness level and making sure we are avoiding injury).

Weight training allows us to build and maintain muscle, directly influencing the number of calories we burn at rest contributing to greater weight loss long term.

If we aren’t prioritizing and focusing on these aspects of health and fitness, weight loss will be marginal , no matter how much cardio we supplement our routine with.

Once we have nailed down a system for our diet and weight training, cardio can be a great complement for additional weight loss and calorie burning.

The best forms of cardio for weight loss exist on opposite ends of the spectrum. Short, brief, and intense is the first type; with the second type being long, slow and frequent.

1. Interval cardio.

Cardio where we alternate between periods of short but intense work, followed by periods of recovery at a low intensity is known as interval cardio.

The benefit of this style of cardio training is a greater number of calories burned overall, it is easy to fit in to a busy schedule with it’s brief nature , you burn more calories from fat after the workout, and you get energy from carbohydrates and fat which perverse lean muscle tissue. This is the style of cardio we do at our bootcamp at Vitality Fitness.

Here is the recommended protocol with interval cardio:

  •  light warmup for 5 minutes
  • work for 15-30s at a high intensity
  • follow that up with rest for 30s -2 min
  • repeat this pattern 10-15 x.
  • cool-down for 5 minutes at a low intensity
  • adjust the work and rest periods to your fitness level.

2. long, slow cardio.

Long slow cardio like walking is great complement to good nutrition and weight training. Long and slow cardio burns calories and energy from fat, great for those who need low impact activity, or those at a beginner level of fitness and are starting out their fitness journey.

The downside is you need to do this cardio for a long period of time, multiple times per week for any calorie burning benefit. If this style of cardio interest you, start with walking 40-60 minutes at a brisk pace 1-2 per week.

Always here to inspire and motivate you, The Vitality Fitness Team.

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