View Full Version : Cardio for Weight Loss

07-22-2008, 14:02
So we finally purchased a treadmill and I've been good about using it. I'm now up to a daily 50-60 workout. Now I've read all the stuff about working the heart at 60-80% for maximum weight loss. To add variety to my workout, I'll also use the "Sprint-8" program - which is a 20 minute workout with 30 second sprints and 90 second jogs.

Typically, I'll use the Sprint-8 for 20 minutes, and then follow that with 30-40 minutes trying to keep my heart rate up in the 75% range.

Question: Would I burn more fat, or loose weight faster, if I did several "Sprint-8's" in a row, or simply did 60 minutes at the 75% of my max heart rate?


07-22-2008, 15:20
The best thing to do is a bit of both. You will see more results if you change your program up as much as possible. If you do the same thing too often, you become used to it and your weight loss will slow down. So maybe you do a week of one program and then a week of another. At the end of the day a calorie burned is still a calorie burned no matter what program you use.

07-22-2008, 15:38
Just do whatever keeps you motivated to stay on the treadmill, and don't worry too much about the details right now.

Burning calories is only half of the equation. It's an important half, but it's hard to run your way to lost weight without paying attention to what you're eating. It's much easier to loose a pound my not eating the calories than it is to exercise away the same number of calories.

An average weight marathon runner will burn the equivalent of 3/4 lb of fat during a 26 mile race. Even if you run a marathon each day during the work week (no one can really do that, of course) you won't burn 5 lbs worth of calories. The real payoff comes over time when you eat less, burn more, and keep it up over a period of time.

I don't want to sound like the treadmill time is not worth it - that's not true at all. Too many people start an exercise program, only to get discouraged and quit when they don't loose a lot of weight. Attacking the diet side of the equation at the same time will help you get to where you want to be.

07-22-2008, 15:42
You shouls look into the running room programs.

For one, put your treadmill into 2% angle, to simulate outdoors.

Second, they recommend 10:1 rule - running for 10 min, walking for one. You will be able to run much longer that way

07-22-2008, 16:08
running at 60-80% max is ideal for fat burn. If you do the sprints, make sure your sprints are aerobic (meaning they are not so fast as to push you beyond 85%). Usually, the fast and slow pace running is done to help your heart train for recovery. Very helpful for racquetball and tennis players that do a lot of running for a point and then have 20 seconds before the next serve...

For normal weight loss programme, a 6 day workout involving 3 days of aerobic (either running or a sport that involves aerobic activity) training and 3 days of weight trining works best (Alternate them). Remember that weight training burns calories even after you are done (the body repairs the muscles and builds new muscle although it is a bit more complicated than that...)

07-23-2008, 10:23
Don't neglect the weight-training part of the equation--muscle burns more calories than fat does, so the more muscle you're carrying, the faster you're metabolizing. It makes a huge difference. Good luck!

07-23-2008, 18:15
I agree to not forget about weights... For the best results for cardio I like something similiar to what you are doing but I do a full out sprint (on what ever machine I am using I actually do not really recommend it on a treadmill because you could really hurt yourself) for one min and then walk for 1 min. Do that back and forth for 30 to 40 min. It is called High Intensity Interval Training (do a google search for HIIT workout). It is what I used when I was in charge of the Fat Bodies when I was in the Marine Corps. It is great for loosing weight, you will burn more calories after a 30 min HIIT workout then after a 60 min run. Give it shot but just be careful on a treadmill. I like it on a stationary bike or Elliptical trainer (my fav).

Ultimately you would be best to try many different things and change it up (as has already been mentioned). You will figure out what works for you.


07-31-2008, 13:11
Recently started an exercise program myself to help with my stamina and lifting. I've been doing this for a month now. Started with 30 minutes on an eliptical machince and have now graduated to 60 minutes. 30 minutes on eliptical or bike followed with 20 to 30 minutes on stairclimb machine. I then alternated days with lower and upper body weights.

I do have a question. Can anyone tell me on the different settings on say the elipitcal machine, there is a fat burn setting. Does this do more for losing weight than if I did the cardio setting?

07-31-2008, 13:32
The fat burn setting is kind of a myth--the main thing is to continuously work within your target zone, ideally with varying intensity (like the HIIT method).

07-31-2008, 16:59
I find that if you add some weight training to the routine every other day that it increases your metabolism. You will see a greater percentage of weight loss if you do this with your cardio workout. And of course this increases your strenght. Hope this helps oh one more thing drinking water increases metabolism by 3%. Hope you have a great night.