The goal of everyone who does cardio is generally to lose body fat. So it only makes sense then to achieve that goal you have to make every cardio session you do worth your while. Listed below are seven cardio tips to keep in mind that will allow you to maximize the amount of fat you burn during your cardio sessions.
Tip 1: Do 30-60 minutes cardio at least three times per week
By performing such amount of cardio you are ensuring that your body is in optimal fat-burning mode and you are increasing the number of calories that you burn daily, therefore, forcing your body to attack your body fat stores for energy.
Tip 2: Do cardio first in the morning or immediately after weight training
During both of these times, your body is carb-depleted. And since your glycogen stores are at their lowest at that point your body will tap into your fat stores as its primary source of energy a lot faster. Also, doing cardio after weight training results in a higher caloric burn postworkout.
Tip 3: Keep your cardio intensity at 70%-80% of your max heart rate
Keep your cardio intensity at 70%-80% of your max heart rate or MHR (subtract your age from 220 and multiply by 0.7 for your heart rate in beats per minute). This zone burns the most amount of fat during your cardio sessions.
Tip 4: Do interval cardio
Intervals have been shown to burn more fat than cardio sessions done at a constant slow-to-moderate intensity. Interval cardio also increases your metabolism at a higher rate for a longer period after exercise is over which results in greater calories burned over time. For your cardio sessions try going for 20-25 minutes at a roughly 1:1 ratio of intense to slow/moderate intervals. For example, sprint for a minute, walk for a minute and repeat.
Tip 5: Preserve your muscles
Cardio helps burn fat, but it can also burn muscle. Minimize muscle loss and maximize fat burning by taking 5-10 grams of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) and 1-2 grams of carnitine 30 minutes before cardio. BCAAs minimize protein breakdown, and carnitine maximizes fat-burning during your workout. Also the more lean body mass you have, the better your body is at burning fat.
Tip 6: Vary your cardio
Regularly changing your cardio mode is the best way to keep your body responding to your efforts to maximize fat burn. For example, instead relying on that treadmill for most of your cardio training, you can break your 30-45 minute cardio session up into high-intensity 10-minute sessions by alternating machines for each of those 10-minute sessions. The combined 30 minutes of interval training that you spend on any of these machines are more efficient at helping you burn off fat than the 30 minutes you would otherwise spend on the treadmill.
Tip 7: Supplement with caffeine and green tea
Supplements like caffeine and green tea are critical for enhancing your fat burning from cardio. Caffeine boosts your metabolic rate and increases the release of fat from fat cells. Green tea enhances synergistically the effect of caffeine by increasing your energy expenditure and fat burning during and after your cardio sessions. Take 100-300mg of caffeine combined with 500mg of green tea extract 1 hour before your cardio sessions.