Faster Weight Loss- High Intensity Cardio Secrets (Part Two)

“Getting your engine running hot for fast weight loss”

In the first article of the Down and Dirty Cardio Secrets Series I spoke about the biggest paradox of fat loss- inefficiency.

High Intensity Cardio

By avoiding the trap of falling into the “groove” during your cardio by constantly changing it up, we keep the body challenged by changing variables and exerting in ways it is unaccustomed to.

This should be a staple in any weight loss program.

In this article I'm going to tackle the biggest key to cranking the dial up on your fat burning abilities by pushing your body into the “heat zone”.

This is an extremely effective high-intensity cardio workout you can use in combination with our weight training for fat loss workout and Dirty Little Book of Dieting.

woman doing cardio running outside
The fat-burning solution is high-intensity cardio. This type of cardio burns more calories than, any other type, so you can achieve your goals faster.

If you were to take a look at the dashboard of a car, you'd see many gauges. They are there to measure how much fuel is in the tank, how much oil you have, RPM's, and how hot the engine is running.

I want you to focus now on the temperature gauge– the one that tells you how hot the engine is running.

What happens when you're driving around town, going stoplight to stoplight at a leisurely pace? Not much, right?

The temperature gauge stays relatively low, RPM's stay low and not much fuel is used.

I equate this to long, slow cardio. You know, the stuff they tell you to do in the average fitness magazine- 40 minutes on the treadmill at a 2.9 speed.

Awful and boring.

When you're performing activity for the purpose of weight loss, you want the engine running hot.

Picture yourself in your favorite car out on the Autobahn- or whatever highway you like to crank the speed up on.

Step on the gas pedal down to the floor and tear it up!

Take a look at the gauges now.

The temp needle is in the hot zone- the Red Zone. RPM's are cranked to the hilt and fuel gets burnt at a rapid pace.

Keep your foot on the pedal for 17 minutes. Then slow down, park the car and lift the hood. Feel the heat coming out of the engine?

That's where you want to be after cardio!

The same science of molecular action going on to make the engine hot is the same principle that gets your body running hot.

Wait a half hour and that engine is still hot. So is your body and your metabolism. That's where the real benefit comes in. The heat you feel coming from your body is the side effect of calories (body fat) being incinerated.

Hopefully you've gotten the point I've illustrated here.

The harder you crank the engine, the longer and hotter your engine will run.

So how do you apply this to your own cardio?

Lets say you're going to hit the Elliptical trainer today. I want you to crank up the intensity for 17 minutes…


We're going to add some variables to make this exercise more effective and manageable.

First of all, there's no way you'll be able to crank for 17 minutes… at least not at the recommended intensity. Therefore we're going to crank for a given period of time interspersed with a recovery period.

The recovery period will be about 50% of the cranking intensity. It will allow your body to regroup to tackle another cranking interval.

I've devised this as a 17 minute program for several reasons.

1) 17 minutes is an optimal time frame to allow you to really crank up the cardio intensity while still keeping the workout short enough so there's no drop off in intensity near the end of the workout.

2) Intense cardio training has been shown in research to have the highest metabolic impact and thus more effective for weight loss.

3) Less time during cardio means less total repetitions the joints go through, resulting in less wear and tear.

4) Motivational wise, knowing that you just need to put your head down and give your all for 17 minutes can make the difference between going for it and giving it up.

If you're looking for another secret to break through a weight loss plateau, this is it!

Lets get started with the “Hot Zone Workout”

Now, the crank to recovery ratio can vary depending on your level of fitness. I'll give 2 examples here, one for a beginner and one for the more conditioned body.

High-Intensity Cardio Workout for Beginners

Warm up phase:

1 minute body acclimation set at level 5.

The point here is to warm the body and get the blood flowing. The body starts to release into the blood stream the hormones that help you really kick it into gear.

Cranking phase:

1) Raise the level of resistance to 10 on the machine and perform the movement aggressively. (Think of the Olympic sprinter here- explosive, yet graceful and in control).

2) RPM's should be in the 80-90 range.

3) Perform at this level for 30 seconds.

Recovery Phase:

1) Lower the level of resistance to 5 on the machine and perform relaxed and fluidly while in total control.
2) RPM's should be in the 60-70 range.
3) Recovery phase will be 1 minute and 30 seconds.

Continue to alternate between the cranking phase and recovery phase until the 17 minutes allotted has been met.

Advanced High-Intensity Cardio Workout

(For more conditioned individuals)

Warm up phase:

2 minute body acclimation set at level 8.

As with a beginner, we're warming the body up, preparing the body for battle. I give the conditioned body another minute of warm up because we go right into an intense, higher resistance phase immediately.

Cranking phase:

1) Raise the level of resistance to 14 and perform aggressively.

(Again like the Olympic sprinter, you should be explosive, yet graceful and in control. One extra point- due to increased resistance, it becomes increasingly difficult to stay fluid. Pay close attention to posture and body position during the cranking phase. A little leeway is ok, but don't slack.)

2) RPM's should be in the 80-90 range.
3) Perform at this level for 30 seconds.

Recovery phase:

1) Lower the level of resistance to 10 on the machine and perform fluidly.
2) RPM's should be in the 50-60 range.
3) Recovery phase will be 2 minutes.

BTW, you may also be interested in four workouts tricks that burn more fat.