Tom Venuto is an NSCA-certified strength and fitness specialist, life time natural bodybuilder, freelance article writer, and personal trainer. Tom has used both intervals and cardio in his training and wants to share his experiences with you. CB: The majority of my articles and interviews on my sites promote interval training. However, traditional “cardio” has worked for many individuals. In your opinion, so how exactly does traditional cardio compare to interval training? What are the pro’s and con’s of every? You have to experiment simply. Test and discover for yourself what is most effective. How do you know what works best unless you test it and measure the results?
I don’t create my own program predicated on what the latest research says or what the popular development is. I look at the research and focus on what’s going on at the “cutting edge,” but I don’t live and inhale and exhale by it. I do what produces results, period. There is no doubt intensive training is highly effective and backed with research. An excellent benefit of interval training for many people is time efficiency. Another is that it’s psychologically and physically interesting.
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Long duration conventional cardio can bore many people to tears. My personal preference for my own weight loss cardio training is to just work at the highest heart rate I can easily maintain for the entire length of time of the workout, 20-30 minutes. During pre-contest preparation, I often increase – in an intensifying fashion – to as much as 30-45 minutes, this day is primarily conventional cardio so my program to. I add intensive training more for variety than anything sometimes. I really do like hill and stair sprinting though, and have done that for years.
Oddly enough, I hardly ever really considered it “cardio” – I viewed it more as an adjunct to my calf exercises, although I’m sure I reaped some weight-loss advantages from it. Regardless of whether we’re discussing interval training or typical cardio, you want to burn as many calories from fat as possible given enough time you have.
I do not believe in the idea that low strength cardio melts away more total fats. That myth has clearly been debunked by the research, though it still continues. Naturally, beginners and de-conditioned people need to build some type of fitness base before doing the truly high-intensity stuff. HIIT can be risky for several people. Simple standard cardio like walking is wonderful for the elderly and overweight, although cardio shouldn’t take precedence over weight trained in any population.
CB: Given all these pro’s and con’s, what’s the best training approach for the masses looking to reduce weight and maintain (or even gain) muscle? Depends on the person entirely. Training and Nutrition have to be personalized. There is no such thing as a single best approach. We see people make great gains on abbreviated high intensity training and on high quantity. However, a very important factor is always true – there are fundamentals, which connect with everyone.