Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Mrs F talks Cardio
Cardio The Mrs F Way
Some of this is based in science some comes from trial and error and some is just plain common sense. This is what I do. I'm not saying you need to do it or that this is the only way to do it. All I'm saying is that this is what has been working for me. If you are already working out more than this or harder than this... well.... use your head and keep doing what you are doing.There is some background information about why I am doing this workout in the video and you all can watch that to get the full scoop.
This is what I'm doing now (this is not where I started so keep that in mind):
I am WALKING on the treadmill for 60-80 minutes in one stretch.
I am walking at what I consider to be a purposeful pace, as in I've got to get to an appointment and if I get going I'll be on time... not I'm late and I need to jog!. For me this is 3 mph (I'm serious). Keep in mind I am short so this maybe slower than a purposeful pace for you. I chose this speed because it is about .75 mph SLOWER than if I was at my top walking speed. I want to be at a comfortable but PURPOSEFUL pace so I can focus on my incline.
While walking 3 mph I do incline intervals. On my treadmill I can go up to a 12% grade incline. Right now I'm doing short intervals (about 1.5 minutes) alternating between 0% incline and 8% incline. If I am doing a shorter workout I alternate a double interval at 0% with a single interval at 12%... believe me I need more of a recovery after the 12% incline. When I'm working out I feel like I'm working at about an 8 out of 10 exertion level. Could I work harder?.... yes.... but could I work harder and keep doing it for 60 minutes?.... no. You will burn more calories by uping your incline rather than your speed (fact). Also when doing intervals it is my understanding that you want to change it fairly dramatically so that your body has to work harder since it can't acclimate to the workout. This means 0% to 8% not 7% to 8%... this is one instance where overachieving might actually hold you back.
This is not my first go round at working out. I have done lots of different things in the past, but this has gotten me thinner than I have ever been. My thighs are literally thinner than when I was a TEENAGER! I am absolutely positive that working out at a slower pace while walking "hills" has allowed me to tone my legs and butt in a way that no previous cardio ever has (not even my pilates training!). Also I think keeping at a slower pace for a longer duration allows you to reach fat burning mode and stay there for a longer time. I started doing this workout (I change the incline % periodically) in July when I had hit a weight loss plateau. At that time I was 31% body fat. I started doing this cardio workout 5-6 times a week (consistently) and in 4 months I had lost 10% body fat. I am thinner than I have EVER been as an adult... probably even as a child! I truly believe this can help anyone burn fat faster than shorter more *intense* workouts. I'd love to find out. If you do give this a try PLEASE let me know how it has worked out.
And... People... the endorphins you get from the long cardio make it all worth while! Trust me.