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How Long To Do Cardio For Fat Burning
By Ivan Nikolov
copyright © 2008 Ivan Nikolov
People always ask me in the gym: how long to do cardio for
fat burning. It’s a one sentence question but the answer unfortunately can’t be
I’d say that knowing how long to do cardio for fat loss comes after you are
clear about how much calories you should eat a day in order to lose fat.
Why? Because if you don’t know how much you eat or if you eat a lot more than
you expend then there is a little chance that you’d lose any fat. Not even if
you were doing lengthy cardio sessions. You’d lose muscle tissue, though.
That’s for sure.
Any way, this is an essential topic but if you’ve gotten to the point where you
are asking about the duration of the cardio I will assume that you’ve already
got the diet part down.
Now, how long to cardio for fat burning can be understood in two different
ways: For how many weeks or months (I believe you are not thinking days!!) do I
have to do cardio to get in a good shape? Or how long in duration a cardio
session should be for effective fat loss.
I’d answer the first question like that: You will do
cardio for as long as it takes. You will do it till you reach your goal. It
might be 3 months, or it might be 2 years. It all depends on your current shape
and your desired final destination.
But keep in mind you should be losing not more than 2lb a
week. 1lb is ideal. And it should all come from fat and not muscle tissue.
To the second question I will need to talk (type) a little
In order to be effective at doing cardio you need to know
these basic rules:
You are better off doing cardio in the morning on an empty
stomach or any time during the day, after the workout with weights. The reason
being only then your glycogen stores (your own carbohydrate stores) will be
depleted or at least very low. In this situation your body will resort to using
fat for energy.
That was the first thing. The second thing you should
consider is: Do you intend to do regular cyclical cardio or high intensity interval training (HIIT)
Whichever you choose start by doing it three times a week.
Do 15-20min regular or 6-8min HIIT. Keep it there for a week and then increase
the first with 5min or if you are doing the second – with 3min. Keep increasing
each week till you reach 40min for the regular cardio or 20min for the HIIT.
At this point if you are not seeing any results, insert
another cardio session for a total of four cardio sessions a week. Wait another
week and check again for any changes. If you start seeing results in the form
of fat loss then continue doing what you are doing. It works.
If you are not seeing results, increase the cardio
sessions to 5 per week. Give it a week and assess the situation again. I bet at
this point you should be seeing some decent changes already. Keep it there.
But if not or if your body has adapted to that higher
level of activity, then your weapon is to increase the cardio sessions to 6 a
Once that stops working for you and if you still need to
lose fat, begin by inserting a second cardio session some time during the day
but hours apart from the first one. You will do two cardio sessions three times
a week and only one for the other three.
You get the idea: Start with three short cardio sessions a
week. Gradually increase the duration. Then increase the number of cardio
sessions up to 6 per week.
And if needed, start the same process over to pair each
cardio session with another one again till you reach the 2 cardios, twice every
day, 6 times a week situation. I doubt it, though, that you will ever need to
get to that point. I’m just describing the principle so that you know how to do
Well, after all that typing (my fingertips hurt…just
kidding) I want to believe you have an answer to the question how long to do
cardio for fat loss. If not, well… at least I tried. See you around.
ABOUT THE AUTOR
Ivan Nikolov, an accomplished natural bodybuilder shares a
wealth of information on Natural
Bodybuilding and Sports
Nutrition on his website www.IvanNikolov.com.
Start using his comprehensive Free Nutrition
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