Last week I discussed a way to save time and implement your cardio into your weight training. Not only does this help burn fat and retain muscle effectively, but it is an efficient alternative to keep cardio and fat burning methods in your training routine. With this being said, some people either want to separate their cardio from their weight training and still find a way to perform it in the most efficient way possible, or they refuse to do any cardio whatsoever because they are under the impression that it is only effective as a means of burning fat if they perform long steady bouts and burn the most calories possible.
Recently I was listening to a podcast from legendary New Jersey strength coach Joe DeFranco. As an aside, I would highly recommend listening to it (the show is called “The Industrial Strength Show”), as it is jam packed with great content for any person interested in fitness, strength training or nutrition. Anyway, anyone who knows me well knows how much stock I put into what comes from Joe, and how much of what I have learned has come from him. Thus, when I heard him mention that he had been trying this new “1-minute” cardio training, my hesitance in believing its effectiveness slowly began to wane. After this experience I did some more research and I actually tried it today on my assault bike, and here is what I came away with. Spoiler alert: I am a huge fan. Also, I want to preface this by saying I am in no way a physician, and I do not recommend this for someone who has done no physical activity whatsoever for a significant amount of time. Be smart, and make sure you are healthy enough to engage in this type of intense activity. Work your way up if you need to. Now that I got that disclaimer out of the way here we go!
How It Works
Here is a no nonsense and easy to understand breakdown of the cardio. While the actual max intensity bouts only last for 1 minute, the workout itself is a total of 10 minutes. Let me first say this. If you are reading this and are still convincing yourself that you “do not have time for this,” you clearly just make way too many excuses. Even the busiest people in the world can spare 10 minutes out of their day. Anyway, I digress. Here is the breakdown:
1 minute Cardio
Why It Works
I am not going to copy and paste 50 quotes into this and confuse everyone. I am going to try and break this down from what I have read and understand so it is simple and you can follow along. Essentially, the belief is that the duration of cardio can be reduced as the intensity of the working bouts increases. So, while you may need 45 minutes of slow walking to generate a fat burning effect, you may only need 15-20 minutes of cardio with intervals at 75% and even less once you are performing your bouts at a maximal level. You essentially want to create mitochondria (the power house of the body’s cells that burn up fat and sugar) and you will accomplish the same amount of mitochondria creation in short maximum intensity bouts as you will in longer lower intensity bouts. In other words, there are many ways to skin a cat, or you can accomplish things by different means! Why not accomplish something in 10 minutes instead of taking 45! It seems like an easy choice to me!
My Final Consensus
After doing my homework and actually trying this 1-minute cardio workout, I am definitely a fan. I would like to see how I feel long term, but it was challenging, and how I felt afterwards told me some significant things. For example, I found it to be tremendously stimulating hormonally. I was having a slow morning and my mood was not great, but after I was done I felt revitalized. In addition, I performed this before my lift, and had one of the best lifts I have had in a while. I hit a repetition PR on my bench press; with the same weight I used Saturday when I left multiple reps on the table.
Basically, if you are fit, time restricted and want to burn fat I would give it a go. The leaders in the industry love it, it is backed up by scientific evidence and if it means anything to you I tried it and liked it. I will be sure to mention how I liked it over the course of the week at the beginning of next week’s article. Cheers!
Gerry DeFilippo: ISSA CPT- CPPS, AAPS. Founder/Owner: Challenger Strength.