Keep F.I.T.T – (Frequency, Intensity, Time, and Type)
The human body is a very tricky thing, sometimes it doesn’t like to lose body fat. For survival purposes, your body will try to hold onto as much fat as possible. It would rather sacrifice muscle (protein, at 4 calories per gram) than burn fat (9 calories per gram) because your body doesn’t know when it’ll be fed again. That’s the primary reason we should eat small meals every three hours.
When doing cardio, be sure to do “smart cardio.” Your body quickly adapts to cardio-based workouts, so the more you do the same routine, the more efficient your body becomes, causing you to burn fewer calories from your fat stores each time you exercise. In response, many people make their cardio sessions longer, increasing the likelihood that the body is breaking down muscle rather than burning fat.
The most effective cardio programs are designed around the FITT Principle: Frequency, Intensity, Time, and Type.
- Frequency refers to the number of times cardio is performed each week. No less than three days per week with no more than two days between workouts is ideal.
- Intensity is the speed and/or the workload of the workout. It’s important to monitor continually the intensity level of the workout to ensure that you reach your fitness goals in the least amount of time.
- Time is the number of minutes an exercise is performed, not including warm-up or cool-down. It’s recommended to do no less than 20 minutes and no more than 60 minutes per session for optimal fat loss. Remember, more is not necessarily better.
- Type refers to the activity used to create a stimulus, e.g., treadmill, Stairmaster™, or fitness boxing. Any repetitive activity that continuously uses larger muscle groups is best.
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