I have a simple rule: do the least amount of work necessary to achieve maximum results.

This golden rule applies perfectly to cardio. Too often, clients tell me their cardio regimen and what I hear is as painful as nails scratching a black board. For this reason, I’ve decided to set the record straight. Before I go into details, keep in mind that 1) we are referring to cardio training to burn fat, not improve performance and 2) the approach below is for the ones amongst us who have jobs, kids and are not gym rats and, therefore, need to be in and out of the gym within a reasonable amount of time.

Tip #1: Do cardio AFTER weight training. This is extremely important. After lifting weights, your growth hormones levels are elevated. This puts you in an ideal state to tap into your fat storage as a source of energy during your cardio. As a matter of fact, you will burn approximately twice as much fat as when you do cardio in a separate workout.

Tip #2: Mix it up. Best results are attained doing High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), however, this system of training can be very taxing physically and mentally. For this reason, plan some HIIT training approximately twice a week and the other cardio sessions (between one and three more) can be at a lower and steadier intensity.

Tip #3: Don’t do cardio on leg day. Because most cardio machine involves legs, be cautious not to overtrain them.

Tip #4: If you want to do cardio first thing in the morning. Have a protein shake in water. Do not take in carbs. This will allow you to tap in your fat storage for energy while avoiding wasting hard gained muscle.

Yours in health,

Guy Dufour