Not Seeing Results with Cardio Workouts?


Do you do the same cardio workout day after day and week after week? If so, you may have noticed a decline in your progress. In a previous blog I wrote about progressive overload with resistance training, the same principle holds true with cardiovascular workouts. That is your workouts must gradually get harder over time in order for you to see improvement.

Because you body adapts to the workout after a few weeks you need to be doing something harder than you’re used to in order to continue to improve. Your body becomes more efficient as it adapts. Let’s say you go out and run a mile and you burn 138 calories running at 5.0 miles per hour and it takes you 12 minutes. We’ll if this were your first run in a while you’d be sweating pretty good, you’d be huffing and puffing and your heart rate would be up pretty high. Now if you did this every other day for a month straight your body would adapt and if you continued to run at the same speed; still doing 5.0 miles per hour and finishing in 12 minutes your body would be more efficient and you’d sweat less, you wouldn’t be huffing and puffing and your heart rate would not be as high. This all equates to a lower caloric burn.

What this all means is you need to gradually make the workout harder if you want to continue to burn more calories. You can go faster, longer, or add hills or harder intervals. I prefer to add intervals because although your body still adapts to them they provide a raised metabolism for hours after the workout resulting in the greatest caloric burn. To see more on that click here.

Here’s one quick and easy way to make this work for you while doing intervals:

Month 1 – Run hard for 1 minute and jog light for 2 minutes; repeat two times. Total 9 minutes

Month 2 – Run hard for 1 minute and jog light for 2 minutes; repeat three times; Total 12 minutes

Month 3 – Run hard for 1 minute and jog light for 2 minutes; repeat four times; Total 15 minutes

As you can see each moth you run a little bit more. That’s how easy it is to avoid reaching a plateau in your weight loss.

I know you may be thinking how am I going to burn lots of calories in only 15 minutes? First off this example may not suit your specific needs, but the principle does; and that is increase time, distance, intensity or shorten rest intervals. Just remember it’s the high intensity that helps get your metabolism revved up for hours later. And if you’re not really sweating during the hard run your intensity is too low.

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