If your aim is to burn fat and get lean fast you’ll benefit by integrating a good cardio plan in your fat loss program. Providing that your diet is well dialed in, cardio training combined with strength training in one program can tremendously accelerate your fat loss, improve health, increase fitness and help you to reach optimal body composition fast.
However, there are many different ways to design a cardio plan for getting lean, which varies in effectiveness and efficiency. The rate of fat burning with cardio can be controlled by tweaking the workout variables: intensity, duration and frequency. For getting lean fast you’ll want to have a cardio plan in which the variables are optimum for burning calories at the maximum rate when you execute them.
Since everyone have differences that could affect the suitability and practicality of a cardio routine to get lean, it’s better to have the general principles and guidelines for creating a particular program that will meet your needs and preferences instead of having a one-size-fits-all program to follow. Here’s a guide to help you setup a cardio plan to get lean fast, and get in shape fast.
Make Your Workouts High Intensity
If your aim is to burn fat quickly and efficiently, high intensity cardio is the best mode of cardio to incorporate into your training program. Intensity is the most important variable that affects the rate of calorie burn from cardio training.
The best way to get an intense, fat blasting workout with cardio training is by doing High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). It’s the most time-efficient form of cardio, very effective for fat loss and leads to increased levels of fitness and health.
High Intensity Interval Training involves alternating between very intense bouts of exercise and low intensity exercise for recovering. There are different ways to perform HIIT, with or without exercise equipment.
One good example of HIIT is sprinting for 30 seconds, then walking fast for 60 seconds. This workout can be performed anywhere outdoors that allows you to sprint such as a playing field, or it can be performed on a treadmill in the gym or at home. Once HIIT is performed correctly it will burn more overall calories than a less intense form of cardio done in the same duration.
Setting The Variables To Design Your Specific Workout
An HIIT workout would burn calories effectively whether the duration is short or long. However, longer durations of high intensity workouts will no doubt burn more calories. But one of the main factors to take into consideration when selecting a cardio plan is suitability for the user.
People are able to handle interval training differently based on their fitness level. You’ll also have to tweak the variables: intensity, duration and frequency to make an HIIT workout fit your needs and circumstances best.
Here’s a sample plan for an HIIT workout that you can use as a guideline. You can tweak it to become more intense or less intense in accordance with your circumstances and goals.
Sample HIIT Workout
Warm up 3-5 minutes
Perform high intensity exercise for 30 seconds
perform low intensity exercise (recovery) for 60 seconds
Repeat 10 times
cool down 3-5 minutes
Using Ratio To Modify The Intensity Of Your HIIT Workout
You can use ratio as a guideline to test and tweak any interval training workout plan. The above plan has a 1:2 ratio. It represents the 30 minutes high intensity (work) and 60 minutes low intensity (recovery). If I wanted to make the “work” and “recovery” time the same duration I will switch to the 1:1 ratio (30s work and 30s recovery). If I want to make the work interval last longer than the recovery interval I will change the ratio to 2:1 (60s work and 30s rest).
What If You Are Not Able To Do HIIT?
If you aren’t fit enough or you have a physical weakness that prevents you from doing HIIT in any way in your cardio routine you can choose a different, less intense form of cardio workout and optimize it for the best results. You can do steady state cardio at the fastest possible pace that you can handle. But you may have to do your workouts for a longer workout duration and/or more frequently to get lean fast.
In order to get lean as fast as possible with steady state cardio I recommend finding the highest intensity of any cardio exercise that you can sustain for 30-60 minutes a session, 3-7 days a week. Set the variables to design your specific cardio plan based on your available time and what you can stick to long enough. But always keep in mind that getting the right balance of intensity, duration and frequency will maximize fat loss.